How I Create Faux Reclaimed Wood Barn Boards

I’m so excited the weekend is here! Our foyer renovation is under way and I think we are going to get a lot done this weekend. I’ve finally started painting the floor and I gotta tell ya, what a difference! Our farmhouse doesn’t receive a lot of natural light so all colour choices need to be fairly light — In fact, the colours we have in our home already I know some people have used as “whites” and trim colours, yet they still look somewhat dark in our home. I may decide to go lighter at some point (But let’s wait until we get this old farmhouse mostly “finished”)

Recently I showed you our kitchen progress. We still have a few more projects underway (like laying down boards and white washing or painting them to brighten the space, and we would also love to have a nice backsplash) but the response so far from all of you was wonderful! Thank you!

A lot of you were asking about our island, and many believed we used reclaimed barn boards to build it. What a compliment! But no, I’m afraid we can’t afford real barn boards. They were merely pine boards from Home Depot I distressed! But no worries, I’m going to tell you how we achieved the look with faux reclaimed wood. ;)

For this project you will need:

  • Minwax stain in SPECIAL WALNUT
  • Pine boards
  • Palm sander
  • Heavy chain
  • Hammer
  • Old Needle Nose Pliers

The wood we used was pine from Home Depot. Pine is a soft wood that scuffs up easily, and each type of wood takes to stain differently so I feel it’s necessary I let you know this before you try this on another kind of wood and get a different result.

When we were choosing our boards, we chose the most scuffed up knotty wood that we could. (Yes, the workers at Home Depot thought I was nuts) But we also made sure the boards were fairly straight for building. A few were a little warped but nothing so extreme it would affect building the island.

When the island was built (expect a tutorial on this soon!) I began to distress the wood. Your best friend during this process is your chain. Just toss, drop, and whip your chain everywhere! Be careful, but have fun! You want to take quite a bit of time using different techniques to drop the chain, focusing on some sections more than others.

After the chain I used the hammer to beat the wood all over, focusing on the corners to wear down the edges. I used every side of the hammer to create different dented shapes, again, focusing on some areas more than others.

I used the old needle nose pliers to scratch, drag, and turn around on parts of the wood to create long thin scratches. In my opinion this really adds the finishing touch… but you can use whatever tools use you have to create a different look and technique. You really can’t make a mistake with this project! ;)

I also recommend if you are using your wood for a table or island to sand down some of the “furry” parts of the wood with a palm sander. These look beautiful, but they are awful to wipe down. Sanding them won’t take away from their appearance, I promise!

The distressing process probably took me about a half an hour to achieve the look I wanted. I then applied one layer of Minwax in Special Walnut with a brush over the wood. I absolutely LOVE this colour and it’s used many times on projects in our home! Used on pine creates a beautiful finish that looks similar to reclaimed wood I’ve seen in the past.

To seal we used a couple of coats of polyurethane. Whether or not you choose to seal is up to you and what your purpose is for the wood.

hen you are finished you should now have beautiful faux “reclaimed” wood! If it’s not quite as “old” as you want it to look, go ahead and grab your tools to continue distressing until you are happy with how it looks!

Let me know if you decide to try this for yourself, I would love to see what you come up with!

Be sure to check out our farmhouse kitchen tour before you leave. ;)

Have a great weekend!

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