Reclaimed Wood 101

It’s time for a little lesson about reclaimed wood. Many people love the look of reclaimed wood, but don’t know much about it. That’s where we come in. We love sharing our passion for this material and educating everyone around us at the same time. Here are five things to keep in mind about the wonderful world of reclaimed wood:

1. Reclaimed wood has age and character that cannot be mimicked. Old wood grew in a natural environment that made the wood strong and durable. The barns and structures we dismantle can date back to the 1800s (or earlier) and the timber dates back hundreds of years before that! All of this aging brings out color and patina that is truly unique and really can’t be recreated on new wood.

2. Using reclaimed wood is environmentally friendly. Reclaimed wood doesn’t grow on farms which cultivate fast growing trees that aren’t supportive of an ecosystem. We reclaim our materials by the hands of our own team, ensuring care for the land we’re working on as well as minimizing waste. Most old-growth wood isn’t available any longer which makes using reclaimed wood unique and in many cases one of a kind.

3. It’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to antique wood. We will always do our best to achieve the look you’re going for, but it isn’t an exact science. Color and texture vary even within the same exact bundle of wood. When you learn to appreciate the nature of old wood, the possibilities are endless.

4. Embrace imperfection. Old wood has history and character. This wood has endured snow, rain, heat, cold, and in many cases hundreds of years of this weathering. When you realize that you’re not the one dictating the look and feel and you let the wood show you the way you will always be more than satisfied with the outcome.

5. Work backwards. We know what it’s like to have a creative vision. But when it comes to working with old wood, you aren’t really calling the shots. Sometimes we recommend “working backwards” — find the wood that speaks to you and go from there rather than trying to make the wood match a picture or color palette you already have in mind.

Reclaimed Wood Education

Team Tips

  • When cladding a wall with barn wood we recommend you paint the wall black or dark brown first.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that any items you order will fit into your space. Measure, measure, measure!
  • Wire brushing is used to give texture and clean the wood of dirt and debris. We also use a torch to darken fresh cuts. This combination of wire brushing and torching gives a dark, weathered finish and we prefer this to using stain to achieve a darker color.