Old barn wood is a highly sought after construction and crafting material because the wood is already weathered. This provides a rustic look, rich in American history. An old abandoned barn could be a gold mine in old lumber, depending on the type of wood used in its construction. American chestnut wood is particularly prized because it is a rare species. Reclaimed barn wood can be used to create decorative items for use around the home. Both a rotary tool and an oscillating tool with accessories will allow you to cut and shape patterns and decorative designs into any type of barn wood.
A wide variety of furniture pieces are made from old barn wood. Although a piece of furniture may be considered more functional than decorative, a single piece of furniture can set the tone for the entire design scheme. Decorative outdoor furniture pieces include garden benches, stools, garden cabinets, Adirondack chairs, porch swings and tables. Indoor decorative pieces include hallway benches, bookshelves, cabinets, gun racks, end tables, beds, nightstands, antique-looking dry sinks and fireplace mantles.
Rustic barn wood picture frames can be made from old interior or exterior barn wood. The wood for these frames can be refinished, but leaving the weathered appearance makes the frames ideal for matching with a country theme. Imperfections such as worm holes, nail holes, knots and color variations increase the appeal of these frames. Choose this type of frame for antique photographs, old postcards, antique letters or old advertisement signs.
The design possibilities for an old barn wood birdhouse are virtually endless. A birdhouse could even match the design of the barn from which the barn wood was reclaimed. Using old barn wood to make a new home for a bird family results in a charming backyard decoration that also serves a function. Leaving an old barn wood birdhouse outside for birds to use leaves it open to wear from the elements, and the birdhouse would eventually deteriorate or require repair. The birdhouse instead can be displayed as a decoration inside the home.
Old barns are a rich part of American farming history, making old barn wood ideal for making Americana country decorations. One simple idea is to make an American flag using several narrow planks of barn wood painted red and white. Paint the upper left-hand corner blue, and add white stars to complete the flag. The old wood could also be used to make signs with the same red, white and blue paint scheme. Sand down the painted surface to "antique" the new finish, making the paint job match the rustic appearance of the reclaimed wood.
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