Making furniture out of old weathered wood or barn wood is a great way to bring in an old rustic look to your home. The old wood with all of it's distress markings and years of use is like bringing in an antique, but just the wood is old, in a new form and with a new purpose. You can think about how long ago it may have been cut and the way things were back then. So much took place in that time with different families growing up and moving on. If you tear down an old structure or find an old piece of wood with beauty and character, then consider using it in a "new" piece of furniture. Tackle the project yourself or have a local craftsman turn it into something lovely and functional.
You can test some sanding and finish options on a small piece of wood. Sometimes it is best to do very little sanding, other times you may like the look of the wood if you bring it down just a little farther. Sand enough to get the splintery wood out of the way. You can leave the wood as is or put a protective coat on top of the wood. I find that it can be a very nice look to do some finish coats. It protects the wood, creates a nice look and makes it easier to clean up and dust.
Some companies make furniture that is made to look like barn wood by distressing it themselves and putting on a finish that make it look old and weathered. This can still be a nice appearance and it allows the company to have lines of furniture that keep a consistent look. Other companies and individual crafts people will buy and collect truly old barn wood for their projects. Both can look very nice, but with the real barn wood you feel that their really is a story that comes with the materials.
Projects that may be quicker and easier with barn wood are side tables, coffee tables, shelves, and benches. If you have a good supply of wood then you can get into bigger projects like a dining table.
Barn wood and weathered wood have a great look and can fit into many styles of decor. It is recycling at it's best when you salvage some old wood from a burn pile and make it into a wonderful new piece of furniture. Next time you see this wood being tossed out or thrown into a pile, think about whether you could have it made into something, or maybe you have a wood worker friend that would love to have some old boards.
Good luck hunting for those old boards with tons of character and know that they can be transformed into something beautiful and functional for your home.
Call or email for more information on our line of barn wood furniture.Bed and night stand pictured were made by Green Gables furniture. Wilderness Creations carries the full line of Green Gables barnwood furnishings. Located in Dublin, NH.