If you are interested in using reclaimed barn wood to do a home improvement project, you will soon be enjoying the rustic appearance of the finished product. Many people enjoy the appearance of reclaimed barn wood. Taking steps to ensure these pieces of wood are properly cared for will make a difference in the stability and look of the wood in the project you construct. Here are some steps to take to make sure your barn wood is structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Select The Best Pieces For The Project
If you are going to find barn wood in your area on your own, you don't want to take pieces that do not appear intact. Pieces with wood rot, excessive splintering, or mold present on the planks should be left behind. Select pieces where the wood appears solid and intact. Weathering is a part of the charm of these pieces of wood. Push upon discolored portions of the planks with your finger to see if the spots are soft. If so, the wood may be suffering from internal damage.
An alternative to visiting old barns yourself is to purchase reclaimed wood from a lumberyard or hardware store. They will have high-quality pieces that had been evaluated for wear before placing them for sale.
Clean And Dry The Wood Before Using
Before using your wood for a project, it is best to wash it down to remove any potential pests and dirt from the pieces. Use a gentle detergent mixed with water and hand wash each plank with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse down the pieces with a garden hose rather than a pressure washer so there is less risk of breakage to the wood. Remove any nails using the claw end of a hammer. Doing this right after the cleaning process will make these easier to remove.
It is important to allow these pieces to dry in their entirety before using them as building materials. Wood will retain moisture for several weeks. Place the pieces out in a sunny area right after you finish washing them. Move them to a warm, dry area until they are no longer wet to the touch.
Store Pieces Of Wood Appropriately
To reduce the chance of warping, it is best to place your wood pieces horizontally on a flat surface. Wood planks can be placed next to each other on a large table and flipped over every few days so they will not curl or bend if moisture is still present within the interior portions of them. Place a cinder block or brick on the ends of each plank to help keep them from lifting.