Barn Wood. Why.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Gilley23 posted 01-30-2018 09:23 PM 3335 views 0 times favorited 97 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1234 days

01-30-2018 09:23 PM

I’m just not understanding this fascination with “reclaimed barn wood”. Not trying to be curmudgeonly but I just don’t get it. Who cares if it’s from a 100 year old barn….It’s gray and looks like it’s rotted worse than Sussie Jane’s meth-mouth.

People are paying through the nose for the stuff , often times more than black walnut. Maybe it’s just a feel-good thing that they get when can proclaim to their vegan-feminazi-solar power using-#2 in a bucket to compost their own crap-save the Wisconsin pink rhinoceros-friends.

Rotten 100 year old gray wood that once contained purchased and owned farm hands, $43/bf, come and get it!

97 replies so far

View Brodeln311's profile


1 post in 969 days

#1 posted 01-30-2018 09:35 PM

How I feel about pallet wood as well.

-- I was told there'd be punch and pie

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16905 posts in 3470 days

#2 posted 01-30-2018 09:44 PM

You know the answer: it’s a style, or a fad, that won’t last forever. I hated disco, and that lasted years. Paneling, ceiling tile and indoor/outdoor carpet lasted for more than a decade. In a few years, people all over the country will be busting up their granite countertops for something different as well. Stainless steel appliances will be ‘so 2000s’ before too long. It doesn’t have to make sense, does it?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2681 posts in 1015 days

#3 posted 01-30-2018 10:17 PM

it’s a Millennial thing. . . . yes, fads come and go. (I’m glad I still have my green paisley shirt).

but – how about taking perfectly good bass wood and carving it up to “look like” 100 year old barn wood ??


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4480 days

#4 posted 01-30-2018 10:30 PM

With all due respect, I just finished two projects with ‘barn wood’. It was red oak and white oak. It wasn’t rotten, gray or 100 years old. I bought it because my client wanted it. The wood was milled on a circular saw mill. It was heavy, solid and it came right out of a barn. I paid less than $1 a board foot for it. All I had to do was pressure wash the boards to get rid of the abundance of red sand that had made a home on it. Made a few Benjamins along the way too.

I guess my point is that it was what my client asked for and as long as it’s not illegal, immoral or against Scout law, I’ll do it for them. If they wanted it planed smooth as a baby’s back end, I would have obliged them but they didn’t.

I’m with Smitty….. it’s a fad. But I prefer to swim with the tide as opposed to swimming against it. This fad will fade like avocado green refrigerators and pink tiled bathrooms. In the meantime, I’ll ride the horse as far as she’ll carry me. Then I’ll be glad to take it all back in to my shop and plane way. Just keep those card$ and letter$ coming.

Thanks for making it this far in my ramblin’.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View runswithscissors's profile


3113 posts in 2877 days

#5 posted 01-30-2018 11:05 PM

Awfulest stuff I ever saw was in the bathroom I redid for a friend. Tub, toilet, and sink were all a dark chocolate brown. It even hurt my eyes to tear it out. The dump refused it on the grounds that they only accepted decent looking crap.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Kribbz's profile


13 posts in 1598 days

#6 posted 01-30-2018 11:13 PM

You know the answer: it s a style, or a fad, that won t last forever. I hated disco, and that lasted years. Paneling, ceiling tile and indoor/outdoor carpet lasted for more than a decade. In a few years, people all over the country will be busting up their granite countertops for something different as well. Stainless steel appliances will be so 2000s before too long. It doesn t have to make sense, does it?

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

Stainless is on its way out. The new fad is “Black Stainless” as it doesn’t show the fingerprints. But I’m with most here, just a fad, it will pass. Hell my wife has me putting fake Ship lap all over my house. You know how long it is going to take to remove all these brad nails and spackle each one! But you know what they say, Happy wife, Happy life.

View Mike_in_STL's profile


1292 posts in 1386 days

#7 posted 01-30-2018 11:13 PM

My wife works in the design industry and agrees that it is probably a fad. The idea is to bring a bit of the perceived less complicated, slower lifestyle of rural life into today’s tech filled, overstimulated lifestyle. She says the grey wood that is popular at the moment will fade away, but the wood has a ton of character, if you can get through the patina.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a collection of old barn wood in my till, and use it as requested by the wife. Some of this wood is beautiful old growth oak and it was milled with huge water powered saws and the like.

Yeah, it’s probably a feel good thing, and if you use it, take the time to find the metal, or use a blade you don’t care about.

I always try to get her to let me plane the stuff down and bring out the real beauty, but that’s not the thing with this stuff. It’ll pass.

-- Sawdust makes me whole --Mike in STL

View AZWoody's profile


1478 posts in 2076 days

#8 posted 01-30-2018 11:15 PM

Maybe it’s a preference and if it’s not yours, so be it.

View Aj2's profile


3341 posts in 2650 days

#9 posted 01-30-2018 11:43 PM

How about barn wood with mushrooms. You could be sitting in your easy chair and grab a snack right off your coffee table.:^)

-- Aj

View Loren's profile


10594 posts in 4500 days

#10 posted 01-30-2018 11:58 PM

I think it kind of started with architects spec’ing
reclaimed beams for faux (or real) timber frame
homes. Those places showed up in design journals
and 20 years later barnwood anything is all the

Lately a lot of what I’m seeing is basically nailed
panels with plywood backing for headboards and
tables, stuff like that. One place is welding up
frames to hold wood farm crates in lieu of drawers.
Looks like disposable retail furnishings for shops.

I mostly don’t get it myself, and I’ve explained to a few
people that “reclaimed” often means the opposite
of “inexpensive”. I think it depends on where you
are. Here in California I don’t think there are many
old barns within 1000 miles and it’s people with
connections in other states bringing it out.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 2321 days

#11 posted 01-31-2018 12:10 AM

I’ve seen people on complaining about a similar trend of “industrial” styles. “Steampunk” is a ridiculous buzzword that comes to mind. Apparently a lot of the old iron is being bought up by fools hired by idiotic architects and interior designers. They strip out all the wheels, gears, pulleys, etc. and tack them on a piece of “barn wood” and suddenly you have a “steampunk wall art” piece that took 15 minutes to make and it’s being sold for $1000.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Walker's profile


400 posts in 1324 days

#12 posted 01-31-2018 12:57 AM

I think “reclaimed”, “barnwood”, and “rustic” are all terms that are just being re-appropriated to describe a wide range of styles that are different from “modern” or “sleek”, in that they are usually rougher looking and less polished. The terms change over time but the concepts don’t.

A “barnwood” kitchen could mean many things, and it doesn’t really need to come from an actual barn. It could be old gray wood, it could be recently cut wood that’s rough cut, it could be faked using the brillo pad/vinegar method, etc. Heck, it could just be knotty pine that people label it “rustic”.

I do hear what your saying though about the yuppy hipsters who like to pay more for things because they say “Organic” or “small batch”, etc. But just like any other fad, there were legitimate products and consumers before it was trendy, there still are during the fad, and there will still be a market for it after the fad fades.

-- ~Walker

View Knockonit's profile


693 posts in 1054 days

#13 posted 01-31-2018 01:00 AM

quit whining and jump on the band wagon, make a buck, and get ready for the next band wagon, its capitalism isn’t it.

-- Living the dream

View clin's profile


1121 posts in 1848 days

#14 posted 01-31-2018 01:41 AM

I had the impression that some like to use barn wood, not because it looked old, but rather becasue it is higher quality wood than you can typically get today. Maybe not exactly “old growth” but something along those lines.

Same could be said for any wood reclaimed from an old structure.

If someone is actually paying $43/bf, well I guess they have more money than sense. But it’s a good thing when wealthy people spend their money.

-- Clin

View JustplaneJeff's profile


277 posts in 2755 days

#15 posted 01-31-2018 01:55 AM

Hey, remember when paneling was all the rage. Just sayin!!

-- JustplaneJeff

showing 1 through 15 of 97 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics