Reclaimed wood projects seem to be all over the internet these days! But not everyone has a ramshackle barn out back they can harvest wood from. How can you get that weathered lumber look without resorting to hacking apart a pallet? I’ve got a few sources and tips to share with you today, and next week I’ll show you lots of super easy reclaimed wood projects to get you started!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please see my disclosures page for more information.
Architectural Salvage Stores
Whenever I’m looking for something aged, unique or just plain cheap for the house, my first stop is the local architectural salvage stores. You may remember the salvaged kitchen cabinet I fixed up and turned into a pull-out garbage and recycling center. Now it’s the most frequently used cabinet in the whole kitchen!
When someone remodels their older home, salvage yards are sometimes invited to scoop up all the usable stuff that’s ripped out. The ones in our area even take drop-off donations to save usable items from ending up in a landfill. If an entire structure is coming down, architectural salvage companies resell the old-growth lumber, with all the original charm intact.
Imagine you just spent an entire weekend tearing out your old, worn cedar fence. Would you rather take the extra time and effort to haul that huge pile of wood to the dump, or just snap a picture and post a free ad on Craigslist?
Search for “free wood” or “fence wood” and I’m sure you’ll find a few people wanting to get rid of their beautifully aged lumber. Just be sure to check each piece for hidden nails, and test for lead if using previously painted wood indoors.
Create Your Own
Sometimes you just can’t find the right reclaimed wood for your project. No problem! Just make your own! Nothing is better than taking out your stress and frustration on a few boards to give them that beat-up look. If you want to go truly authentic, you can use tools like this to add wormholes or texturing hammers for different effects.
All the distressing in the world won’t give your piece that gorgeous patina of painted wood that has been weathered by the elements. Bring out those details and add a bit of color with this easy tutorial from Reality Daydream. These boards look like they came from the site of an old seaside bungalow! Be sure to check out the video on her site demonstrating the complete transformation, too. She makes it look easy!
Fabricated Distressed Wood
Do the above options sound like too much work? There are a variety of brands out there that are catching on to the reclaimed wood trend and creating products that look just like the real thing!
Want Fixer Upper shiplap but can’t find the real deal? Ghost Wood makes an entire line of shiplap and coordinating trim that looks exactly like authentic barn wood. I checked it out my local Home Depot, and the level of detail is spot on!
How about the look of chipped paint without the work of sanding down every piece? I’m thinking of picking up a pack of these white distressed panels for my fireplace makeover!
The weathered hardwood boards in this set from Weaber come in a variety of stain colors that would be perfect for smaller projects like signs. Or put them together to make a fabulous headboard or accent wall!
Where will you begin your hunt for reclaimed wood? I can’t wait to rummage through the inventory of my local salvage yards for inspiration! And don’t forget to stop back here next week for plenty of ideas on what to create with your new treasures!