Barns were everywhere in the 1900s. Back then they were made mostly of timber and other types of wood, whereas today, modern barns are generally made of steel. That old aesthetic of the worn wooden barn exudes a wonderfully rustic southern charm. In many ways it is sad that old barns that once stood high and mighty are now on the verge of crumbling down. Some wood used in these aging buildings is so sturdy, however, that they are still in usable condition even after a hundred years.
That is how a few creative minds discovered a new use for wood used to build these old barns. They are allowing these relics of American farming history to live on through beautiful pieces of furniture made from the wood salvaged from these historic buildings.
Reclaimed wood has that distinct look that makes reclaimed furniture so desirable in contemporary design. Reclaimed wood can be made into bed frames, dining room tables and chairs. Designers also use the wood to add character to new homes.
Those fortunate enough to own property housing an old barn that is no longer used, you could make extra money by reclaiming the timber and selling it to reclaimed furniture manufacturers. Even better, if you have the skills, you can build reclaimed furniture from the wood and sell them or use them yourself. So how does one “reclaim” the wood from an old barn?
As daunting as it may seem, reclaiming wood is relatively easy and doable. Just following these
1. Consider the framework and build of the barn. Make notes on what parts can still be used and what can’t be salvaged. Also, observe for possible danger zones. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. A crowbar is your best friend, in this case. Use it to pry wooden planks, wallboards and
the flooring off the structure. Be careful not to damage the planks when you pry them off.
Even a small splinter can make or break the reclaimed wood.
3. Remove rusty nails and old screws from the planks using a hammer or your crowbar.
4. Clean them by first brushing the dust off then by washing them with a pressure
washer, which will effectively loosen all the hidden dirt accumulated all those years.
5. Leave the wood to dry under the sun. This may take several days.
6. Get creative! You are now ready to transform the old lumber into something wonderful.
Use varnish to enhance and protect the wood of your reclaimed furniture.