Reclaimed wood finish

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Forum topic by Rustic_Rehab posted 01-18-2017 03:25 PM 791 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1775 days

01-18-2017 03:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish reclaimed

I am trying to build a table with reclaimed barn wood. I love the blue gray coloring, but the wood is slightly rough and needs to be sanded or planed. I don’t want to lose the coloring through processing the wood. What suggestions can y’all offer? Thanks in advance for the help.

4 replies so far

View TObenhuber's profile


185 posts in 2873 days

#1 posted 01-18-2017 04:11 PM

I sell several of these to a buddy in MD. He mounts European Deer Mounts on them. They end up looking awesome!!!

Here is the before, after milling.

This is the after, with finish.

What I recommend is mill the wood a little bit. If the wood is truly old and weathered. It will be weathered underneath all the gray. If you go to far and make it look fresh again, which I always end up doing, use the vinegar and steel wool method of aging on the fresh edges. Turns out great results for me and I have made probably 50-100 of these now using old barn wood. Then once the lacquer, poly or shellac hits the wood, it pops the barn wood characteristics. As far as finish, use a matte finish. It will leave a poly coat it but help prevent future splinters better.

-- Travis, Virginia,

View TObenhuber's profile


185 posts in 2873 days

#2 posted 01-18-2017 04:16 PM

Also, I will generally plane one side close to the thickness needed and then do light passes on the show side. This leaves the original barn wood mostly intact on one side. Then then the bottom will be flat for the building process. Also removes most of the splinters on at least one of the sides saving time getting the fragments out of your hands later.

-- Travis, Virginia,

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4278 days

#3 posted 01-19-2017 12:07 AM

These are finished with vinegar -steel wool solution only.
I lightly sand by hand , then apply solution.
Some woods reaact differently than others. 3 pic is proof of that. Darker blotch on it.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View EngineerChic's profile


34 posts in 1785 days

#4 posted 01-19-2017 01:55 AM

I had this same question recently and all answers pointed me to Dead Flat Varnish. I ordered a quart from A-Zon (also sold online at wally world, and locally at inconveniently located paint specialty shops). It will arrive in another 5 days or so, I have not tried it yet but reviewers say it works well on super flat faux finishes and has the faintest of faint coloration.

Time will tell. But it’s one option to consider if you want to keep the dry, nonshiny look but still offer some protection from stains.

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