There are really two main kinds of boards, most old barns were sided in pine, these boards come in 12 inches widths, and are usually 12 feet long or longer. Then there is fence boards which are mostly cedar and are 6 inches wide and vary in length from 6 to 8 feet long, They both make wonderful material to create one of a kind projects. Now you might be asking where in the world do I find old boards? Old fence boards are more common as most of the old barns have collapsed or have been torn down. The best way to find old boards is to place a wanted ad on Craigslist or call your local fence company and tell them that you would like some old cedar fence boards.
I have made several projects out old fence boards, outside planters, framed mirrors with a western theme, and an old bench that my wife has in the catchall room. I even have an uncle that made all of his kitchen cabinets out old weathered barn wood. In my first house, I created a design on one wall with old boards. The possibilities are endless if you let your imagination run wild.
By John from Haysville, KS
I make barn wood picture frames and when I cut the wood, I have raw natural wood showing. What can I do to turn the wood to a matching color so it isn't so noticeable? I have heard of using vinegar and something else? I haven't had any luck with stains. Thanks for any help you can give me.
By Duane from Rapid City SD
I took an old wooden pallet and made a birdhouse, but I also had parts of the wood I had to cut and it didn't match the rest of the wood. Here's what I did and it turned out really well. I took a handful of potting soil and rubbed it into the section that was cut, it aged and matched it up to the rest of the wood.
Hope this idea helped.
Where can I get these items? I am willing to take an old barn and or picket fence down if needed. I will pick it up if I just knew where to go!
Basically you are either going to have to advertise for what you want or by word of mouth. However, it wouldn't hurt to drive around in areas that are being renovated, and out in the country looking for things that might be ready to be demolished. If you find something that looks promising you will have to ask around to find out if you can have the wood in exchange for tearing it down.
I want to make picture frames and things from old barn (pine?) wood. I have collected the wood, and with age, it's obviously very dilapidated. How do I prepare it to use it?
Lily from Virginia.
Good Luck. (05/09/2005)
By Kathy in Illinois
Any wood that has not been used for a long time will get very hard. If you nail into it, it will split very easily. Therefore I would recommend pre-drilling for connectors (nails or screws), when you put together the picture frame. Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the width of the connector. Screws are better to use because you can take them out, and there is less trauma to the old wood when screwing vs. hammering.
Also, as mentioned by someone else, be very suspect of any old paint, as it may contain lead. There was a lawsuit recently against several large pigment/paint manufacturers because they continued to put lead in pigment after it was banned. So be careful. I would suggest sealing any old paint so that it can't continue to flake off. (03/27/2006)
By Maggie from Bloomington, MN