Why is Reclaimed wood so popular?

Reclaimed Headboards
Reclaimed Headboards

Why using reclaimed wood is so popular?

On the off chance that you are an enthusiast of natural home stylistic layout, you’ll most likely have heard this term a couple of times before. In any case, for the individuals who are as yet attempting to find their way around farmhouse furniture, this is basically what reclaimed wood means:

When you reclaim wood, you recover the wood from its underlying application so it can fill another need elsewhere.  Reclaimed woods are basically derivatives of remodeling activities, and you can get this sort of wood from your old dwelling-place, barn, decking of old structures, etc. Although these days they are often sold in furniture stores as reinforced products.

Since reclaimed woods are recovered from old structures, they usually come out chipped and aged. Apparently, a lot of people of our modern day society fancy the contrasting appearance that reclaimed woods create when used for interior decorations.

While this is a total surprise, it is also logical as there are many upsides to the use of reclaimed woods. In the event that you are curious about why the use of reclaimed wood is the latest trend in home décor, here are a few solid reasons why reclaimed is popular in today’s world.

1.    Quality of the wood

Reclaimed wood is popular for a lot of reasons, and one of the most obvious ones is their quality. In the past, woods used for flooring, siding, headboards and so on are usually old growth woods. These woods have reached the highest level of maturity, and so they are capable of providing support for your home without deteriorating.

However, with the current commercial forest practices, many of the woods that are available in the market are usually cut down before they reach their max level of maturity. Which makes reclaimed wood the greatest source of high-quality wood for your housing needs.

2.    History

Generally, reclaimed wood is retrieved from historic buildings, and so they usually have their own history. If the wood can speak, it would probably tell tales that you have never heard before. Many citizens of today’s world fancy home decors that would help them connect with the past – that is what reclaimed wood offers.

Whether the wood is reclaimed from the fence of a mansion, the scaffolding of a church or the decking of a warehouse, having it in your home would give you a feeling of accomplishment. In fact, many rustic décor aficionados use reclaimed woods in their homes to connect with their past so that they can appreciate their present.

The logic behind this reasoning is deep and mysterious, but that is the thing with history – it is enigmatic.

3.    Eco-friendly

Now that we are conscious of how our activities here on earth affects our planet itself, eco-friendly materials are now the order of the day. Since reclaimed woods are recovered from old structures as opposed to cutting down new trees (Which would at the end of the take a toll on our planet’s ozone layer), they are the eco-friendliest source of wood for your home.

Once more, most of these reclaimed woods have equal strength as the fleshly cut woods. As a matter of fact, some of these reclaimed wood like the old growth woods are stronger than fresh wood. This is because they had achieved maturity before they were cut down.

Reclaimed Coffee Table
Reclaimed Coffee Table

4.    They’ve got character

In all probability, this is the most obvious reason why reclaimed wood and rustic furniture is very popular in today’s world. While new woods are loved for their flawlessness, reclaimed woods are loved for their imperfections. All the imperfections on reclaimed wood add up to the full character of the wood. For instance, stain, nail holes, checking, bug holes as well as deterioration marks can make a reclaimed wood beautiful. The overall character of the reclaimed wood also comes from its history and age. As a matter of fact, the older the reclaimed wood gets, the more character it develops and the more appealing it becomes. Since reclaimed woods age differently, everyone your find would almost certainly have its own unique character. At the end of the day, all these unique characters would contribute their own quota into making your home beautiful.

5.    There are readily available

You won’t have to stress to acquire reclaimed wood for your decoration needs. Then again, it would be better for you to buy from experienced providers as they would have reinforced the wood before putting it up for sale.

If you need to give your home a rustic look, you can utilize these recovered woods for the siding, headboard, floor or furniture of your home. By the day’s end, your home would be chicer and welcoming while you get the opportunity to get a good deal on your furnishings, deck, siding, and anyplace else you utilize the recovered wood in your home.

This is where you get to make the best use of your budget without compromising your home’s stylish appearance.

6.    Good looks

At the end of the day, the reason why reclaimed wood is so popular today boils down to its good looks. It doesn’t matter how eco-friendly it is, how much history it conveys, how high-quality it is or how full of character it is; if it doesn’t look good, no one will find it attractive.

If you think reclaimed wood is popular, then it’s because people find it attractive. Just take a look at any home with reclaimed wood as its décor and see how it compares to other homes. You’ll see that the difference is very clear.

  • How much does it cost?

Reclaimed wood, in general, is not overly expensive and you can expect to find it offered at prices that are well within your means. This goes without saying that the price of the reclaimed wood is greatly influenced by its age, quality, size, etc. Another factor that can influence the price of the salvaged wood is the print on the wood.

Generally, lumbers have their own inherent print that makes them different from other lumbers. This unique print is similar to a human’s fingerprint in several ways. But unlike the human’s fingerprint, two or more timbers can have similar print patterns.

But then again, some prints are very hard to come by. Notwithstanding, you’ll have an array of wood print to browse when you consult premium suppliers of reclaimed wood for your wood needs. Taking everything into account, you can expect to find top-quality reclaimed woods offered from $10/sf to $50/sf at the very least.

Although most premium suppliers of reclaimed woods have a minimum order for their products. To know the reclaimed wood options that are available to you, contact your premium supplier of top quality reclaimed wood.

  • Why are some reclaimed woods so expensive

Like we said earlier, the cost of reclaimed wood is influenced by a lot of factors such as size, print, quality, age, etc. Some suppliers also reinforce their reclaimed wood so that it can last long term without failing.

Of course, they’ll want to be compensated for their investment and thoughtfulness. That’s why some reclaimed woods are more expensive than others.

20 Ways to make wood look old

20 Ways to make wood look old

MAKE-WOOD-LOOK-OLD

There is something special about the aged wood that draws everyone’s attention.  It adds a real warm and inviting feel to any space.  Often you have to wonder what story’s that board would tell you if it could talk. 

Unfortunately for us there is a limit to the amount of aged wood that is available.   Most barn wood on the market comes in at a high price tag as well.

There are few simple ways you can achieve that old wood look. 

Simple methods such as basic painting techniques, using chains or screws to add texture or simply applying an antique wax over your painted piece may add the old look you want.

In this article I will try to go a little bit more in depth with the techniques that I have used as well as discovered online by doing some research.   

Simple painting & staining techniques to make wood look distressed.

1. Dry brushing

This is a simple painting technique that will give you an incredible rustic look very quickly.  This method involves dipping the tip of your paint brush in paint.  Remove a majority of the paint on a scrap piece of wood or towel.

Afterwards, lightly drag the brush across the surface of the piece using minimal pressure.  This will add a light grain like texture to your piece. 

Dry brushing works best when you use complementary colors.  Starting with a dark base color and dry brushing a light color.  You can also start with a light base color and dry brush a dark color but start lightly as the effect can be drastic.

2. Wet wash with paint

Have you ever heard of a white wash finish?  Well this is basically the same technique.  I like to use darker browns or mud colors for this technique as you can get really cool effects when working on unfinished wood.  When using darker colors the water really help enhance the wood grains.

You will need to find an old spray bottle and fill it up with some water (warm or cold), a sponge and a paint brush. 

Spray the surface of the piece you are finishing using the water bottle.  Apply the paint of your choice to the wet surface using the paint brush. 

Using a wet sponge wipe the paint (you just brushed on) around the surface.  After a few passes your sponge should be pretty full of the color you’re using (this is a good thing).  Lightly drag the colored sponge following the woodgrain for an even finish. 

If there are dark areas that need to be lightened simply use the spray bottle to soak the area and drag with the sponge until you achieve your desired look.

Be sure you work in small sections with this method.  If you notice that the color is more opaque simply rewet the surface and wipe with the sponge.

3. Staining over wet paint or Painting over Wet stain

This method is similar to the wet wash with one key difference.  You’re not using water but instead you’re using stain (or paint) as the moisture.

I have found that this method is best used on unfinished wood surfaces.  You can really get an amazing wood grain look simply by choosing to complementary colors.

I like to start with stain first as you tend to have a longer working time.  If you choose to start with the paint just be sure to work fast so that it doesn’t dry out before mixing.

First, apply a heavy coat of wood stain to the surface almost so that it is puddling in areas.  Next using a paint brush, brush a few random lines of paint on top of the wet stain.  While everything is still wet use a rag to blend all the colors together.  Moving with the grain will give you the best results.

After you have blended the colors together try to remove all the puddling.  You will need to check the piece a few times as it is drying to make sure it looks the way you want it to.

If there are areas that need to be touched up simple rework the smaller areas using the same process.

Interested in seeing this process? Check out a video I made on mixing stains and blending colors to get a cool effect!

4. Painting in layers with different colors

Have you ever saw a really old piece of furniture that looks like it has been repainted 100 times?  Well that’s what painting in layers is except we want to choose colors that all work together.

Start by applying a base coat of paint to the entire piece.  I like to start with a dark color and work through the lighter colors but you can do this either way.

After the base coat has dried add the next color to the piece but this time not the entire piece.  As we work through the colors the sections we paint will be smaller and smaller.  Your last coat (lightest color) will just be areas that you want to highlight such as edges or small cracks and creases.

After all layers are dry go over the piece to check for areas that need darkened or lightened.  You can choose to add more paint as needed or use a sander to remove paint.

5. White Vinegar & Steel Wool

Have you ever wondered how to make your own wood stain?  Well there are a few ways to do so.  One common method that has been around for a while is using white vinegar & steel wool.

What you will need to do is fill a container up with the vinegar and add some steel wool to it.  Tear the steel wool into smaller pieces to speed up the process.  The vinegar will breakdown the steel wool and create a rust colored stain.  This takes a few days to do but this can be a cool effect when it’s all done.

How to make wood look old with white paint

6. Stain & White paint

This is probably one of the most popular methods of really adding that distressed look to any furniture.  When working with a newly built piece you will want to completely stain the piece.  Use a dark colored stain for a bold distressed look.  The darker the base stain the more prominent it will be after distressed.

Let the stain dry completely.  This is important as you do not want the colors to blend.  Also the dryer the stain the less it will bleed through the coat of paint.

First consider how distressed you want the final piece to be.  If you’re looking for a lightly distressed piece you will want to completely paint the piece white after the stain has dried.  If you want a heavily distressed piece you can simple dry brush white over the stained piece.

After the piece is painted and dried simply sand the edges that you want to distress.  This will show the stain that was left underneath.  Stain soaks into the wood and tends to stay behind during the sanding.  Dark stains really stand out under white paint and give you a great looking piece.

Make sure to highlight areas using these techniques

7. Layer different paint colors in spots

As I mentioned previously layering different colored painted is a great way to distress a piece of furniture and make it look old.   When layering paints it is important to make sure and highlight areas that typically are abused and show wear.

 Make sure to go back and check the edges of your piece.   You may tend to find more wear around doors and handles.   If your piece has fine details in it you may want to add darker spots down into grooves and crevices.

 In the end just have fun with it, take your time and think outside the box.

8. Sand down edges

After you’re done painting or finishing your piece be sure to go back over the entire piece and look for places that you can highlight.   Going back over the edges of your piece with an orbital sander really make your piece shine.  

This is really simple to do and can really make it pop.  If you want a more heavily distressed piece try going over some of the flat surfaces with a sander as well.  Adding bare stops to the top or side can add a really aged look.

Finishing techniques you can use to achieve a rustic look

9. Antique Waxing

Antique waxing is another technique that you can use. This is really easy to do and from what I have learned it works great over top of white paints. If you’re working with more detailed pieces this can be an easier option than sanding edges down.

 Antique waxing comes in a few different colors. Choosing a darker color over top of white paints can really make the fine details stand out.

 After the paint has dried on piece that you’re trying to antique you can simply apply the antiquing wax with a dry rag to any details you want to distress.  

Before and the wax dries you’re going to want to wipe it away from areas you do not want distressed with a clean rag.  The longer you leave the wax on the surface the darker and more difficult it will be to remove.

 

How to make wood distressed with texture

Sometimes when you’re working on a piece you may really want to add a textured distressed look. There are many ways to accomplish this and I will just mention a few of the more popular methods that I have used.

 Always consider the type of material that you are using before choosing the method that you use.  Softer woods such as pine distress very easily while hardwoods such as oak take a lot more effort and force to distress.

10. Chains

Using chains to distress a piece has one of the most popular methods. Basically all you’re doing is whipping the piece of wood with a chain.

I know it sounds violent but it does leave some ice textured two-piece after you’re done. I actually have a chain attached to a small piece of wood that acts as a handle.

11. Sea shells

Using seashells may not be the best option if you’re not close to the beach. Fortunately for me the beach is right down the road. What you need to do here is find some seashells that have a nice texture on them with very prominent lines.

 You can either do this one shell at a time or use a whole handful. Place the shells with the textured side down on the piece of wood you’re trying to distress.

Lay a flat piece of wood over the shells and strike it with a hammer creating indents in the wood below. What you’re trying to do here is create a manmade fossil.  When the piece finished the stain or paint will soak into the textures creating dark spots.

12. Screws

If you’re going for that farmhouse look you may want to consider using screws to distress your piece of furniture. You can use either a single screw or a handful at a time.

I like to use one screw at time randomly creating divots and textures throughout the piece.   Move to screw around and use a hammer to lightly tap in the screw texture.

13. Gravel

Using gravel can give your piece a lot of texture very quick.  Similar to using shells you will want to place some gravel onto the surface, place a piece of wood over it and hit or step on it creating small indents in the surface.

14. Hammer

If you’re looking for the easiest method well look no further.  Using a hammer is your ticket.  Simply give your piece of furniture a few swift smacks with a hammer and you’re sure to add some nice texture.

15. Belt Sander

I know we have talked about using a sander to distress the edges but this can also be used to add texture.  This is one of my favorite methods for adding texture to farmhouse tables.

Using 50 or 60 grit on a belt sander will leave behind some cool looking texture.  If you’re looking for a lighter texture I would suggest running the sander in the direction of the wood grain.

To create a rough cut lumber look run the belt sander against the wood grain.  I like to make an X pattern to really add to the look after it is stained.

How to make new wood look like barn wood

There is something special about barn wood.  Old wood had that texture that is difficult to recreate.  Here are a few methods that you can try to make a new piece of wood look and feel like barn wood.

16. Wire brush

Use a stiff wire brush or maybe a wire brush similar to the type that is used for clean a grill.  Treat the wood like your combing your hair.  Try to create a lined texture to the surface.

Any texture that you create in wood will take stain differently making your finished piece of furniture look older than it is.

17. Wire grinder for drill

Have you ever seen the old steel brushes that are made to fit a drill?  This can be a faster way to add the lines to wood giving you that old barn wood look and feel.

How to make authentic looking worm holes in new wood

Now this is probably something that you didn’t think of recreating.   Let’s dive into how we can recreate wormholes.   With our method though we can leave out all the bugs and worms.

18. Nails

Pretty simple! Get a hammer and some large common nails or spikes.  Drive the nails into the wood to create a random hole pattern.  Be sure not to drive them in so far that they can’t be removed but far enough to make it appear deep.

19. Drill

Similar yet easier than using nails.  Grab your cordless drill with a ¼” drill bill.  Start drilling holes into the wood in random locations.  You can also drill holes at angles to create a real looking worm hole

20. Cork Screw

A little more difficult but totally possible.  Grab a cork screw and start hand drilling some holes. 

Thanks for stopping by

So there it is folks, that’s my 20 methods for making wood furniture look old. Lots of these methods I have personally tried with great success. When learning how to make wood furniture look old it is always a good idea to test any of these methods on scrap wood first. 

Don’t be afraid to test different colors and combinations of colors to get the look that you’re going for.  The right color combination will go a long way in your woodworking project.

 I hope that you have found this information helpful in any way.  If you’d like to check out some of my projects visit me on Facebook @homebuiltwoodworking

ABOUT ME

Home Built Woodworking Logo

MY STORY

I am a seasoned woodworker with many years’ experience creating custom furniture among other projects. In 2015 my family and I relocated from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania to sunny Saint Johns, FL. It is here that I refined my skills into fine woodworking & home decor. I currently specialize in rustic home decor & furnishings. This has given me the opportunity to explore the creative side of woodworking to a different level.

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How to treat reclaimed wood for bugs

Reclaimed Wood is Eco-friendly

How to treat reclaimed wood for bugs

You should
be aware that though reclaimed wood is eco-friendly and is very appealing to
the eyes, however, there may be a real threat for no one knows what they house.
This is due to the fact that planks are normally sourced from old structures. Pieces
of old and unmaintained wood may be housing some unwanted organisms such as
insects and you would not like to have that in your house.

Most of our
beautiful furniture’s at home are made of wood. This includes cupboards, tables
and other pieces that we have in our houses. However, it is important to know
that this furniture may be housing insects that can prove to be a nuisance.

Reclaimed wood

What kind of
bugs live in wood?

You should
be aware that many types of bugs can actually live in the wood that you have
reclaimed and you need to be extra cautious. Here are some of the common types
of bugs that can be in your wood and how you can detect them.

Termites

Termites

These are
the most prevalent insects that are responsible for damaging the wood. Termites
can bring down a wooden house if not properly watched and eliminated. There are
more than two thousand different types of termites and the unique thing about
them is that each type has a unique appetite on what it wants to feed on. The
good thing is that there is a sign you can look at on your reclaimed wood and
identify the presence of termites in them.

  • Mud tubes on the wood that is the size of a pencil, then it is definite the wood host termites and then you will be required to ensure you completely eliminate them.
  • Discarded wings around the wood that have been actually shed by some of the worker’s termites
  • If you find some insects on your wood that look like white ants, you should know that these are actually living termites. You should therefore immediately find the right means to eliminate them and save your piece of reclaimed wood.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant

The damage
that is normally caused by carpenter ants usually is similar to what termites
do. For you to identify if the wood is infested by these insects you should
look if you can find wings present on the wood. Additionally, you will identify
that these ants have created tunnels within the wood to travel. This is because
they normally prefer the moist part of the wood especially if there is mold
growing in it. If you notice any of the characteristics here then you should be
aware that you are facing a wood infested with carpenter ants. You should
therefore quickly use the appropriate method to eliminate them from your
reclaimed wood and ensure they do not escape for they can spread to other
furniture in your home and start destroying them too.

Beetles

Beetle

Beetles may
also be found in reclaimed wood. There are several types of beetles and each of
them is attracted to a specific type of wood. To be specific some are attracted
to the sapwood of hardwood lumbers. One thing that is unique about beetles and
is worth noting is that they can remain on the inside of your wood for a
prolonged period of time. You should, therefore, use the best methods available
to eliminate beetles from you reclaimed wood to avoid further destruction.

The methods used to reclaim wood against bugs?

One thing we
should be aware of is that our furniture may house many insects and yet go
unnoticed. A greater disappointment is that even if you try and sand your
pieces of furniture you may still fail to reclaim it too. Here are the methods
one can use to treat reclaimed wood for bugs.

You should
wrap the wooden item

Whether it’s
a shoe bench or a coffee table you can wrap it in heavy plastic and place it
outside in the sun on a hot day. Certainly, the temperature inside the plastic
will gradually rise and force all the bugs to try and come out of the wood.
Some will die inside the plastic while others will lay exposed and you can
easily terminate them.

Freezing the wood

You can then
move forward and freeze the wood for some time which will ensure that the
insects in the wood succumb to death. You can do this by placing the wood on a
commercial freezer or a chest freezer and leaving the reclaimed wood for
approximately 72 hours. When necessary you can thaw the item and repeat the
freezing to kill bugs that may be resistant to this procedure. By so doing
these bugs will be terminated on the wood.

Fumigating the wood

Another
procedure for treating reclaimed wood for bugs is fumigating the wood. You will
cover the wood in plastic and introduce a “fogger” or “bug bomb” that sprays
the insecticide. Containing it in the plastic will actually hinder the insects
from spreading into the air. In addition, the insecticide will only work on the
bugs that are on the wood and ultimately kill them.

Spray or sprinkle the insecticide

This is done
for insects that are wood-eating or wood-boring on the reclaimed wood. For
instance, precise foam or Tim-bor normally penetrates into the wood surfaces
and gets at any bug that may be hiding inside the wood. You can also inject an
insecticide known as Termidor into the wood and it will kill bugs.

You can also
heat the reclaimed wood to around 140 degrees Celsius. This kind of extreme
temperature will kill all sorts of insects and bugs in your piece of wood. Any
insect even those hiding inside the wood will be forced to try and escape and
will be terminated in the process. You can then remove the remnants of these
insects by scrubbing the wood. You can then go ahead and sand the wood
continuously and vacuum it to remove any sort of debris and dust.

The above
discussion clearly shows the appropriate methods of reclaiming wood that is
infested with bags. One should not let precious pieces of wood go into waste
just because one fears they may be hosting bugs. These pieces of wood can be
used for various purposes in our homes and therefore reclaiming them is
important.