Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weathering Wood: The Barnwood Look

I am working on two top secret projects that involve barn wood.  Okay anyone who knows me knows I get too excited to keep a secret – especially this fun!!  So here goes -  am making a big mirror and a box for my new light fixtures.  This top secret series of projects may sound like a jumble now, but it will be made clear as my posts evolve!  Anyhoo too bad my search for barn wood has yielded absolutely no results.  Like none.  I have put away my pride and begged but to no avail…. So like a true Iron Ranger I made the best out of what I had.  Which totally transfers into “I made it myself”.  Which really means I bought some brand new wood and made it look old.  For my two projects I needed 3 1x8 boards, 2 1x4 boards, and 1 1x12 board – all pine. 

After much internet research I gathered up the usual suspects for weathering: a hammer, nails, chain, crowbar, screws, and a hook with a big textured screw.  I searched the internet and racked my brain and then started workin’ it! The “weathering” is so important because it makes the wood look like it has character rather than you just bought it out of the store.  And everyone knows I love me some character!

I first started by putting three nails across the width of the board in even intervals (1-2 feet).  I didn’t come across this technique on the internet, I came up with it through reason.  If a board is ripped off a barn it is held up by nails.  Typically carpentry puts 2-3 nails across the width of the board to make sure it stays on the barn and does its job.  Nobody is going to believe my creation is authentic without nail holes. 

Secondly I used the chain, which quite frankly I just dropped on the board many times. I would have liked to make a whipping motion with it and some crude jokes but that beast was heeeavvy.  I really liked the pattern it made on the board!

Next I just simply dropped the crowbar on the wood as well several times throughout the length.  This made a straight simple line as if something had bumped up against my board….like hard. 

After that I used the screw part of the hook and dragged it across the board.  To be honest I was aiight with how this turned out but I wouldn’t recommend it.  It was hard to get this tool to look authentic and it came out a little too fake-ish.  If you decide to use this method I would maybe put it on one or two spots top on your boards.  I used mine several times throughout the length and it looked a little too staged. 

The next technique involves throwing a bag of screws at your wood.  This was one of my favorite techniques….pretty much tied with the chain.  The indents made from the screws created a perfect chaotic pattern that looked haphazard and random.  I threw the nails the length of each board.  If you choose this method watch out for your bag breaking and the screws going everywhere.  I went through about two bags, but I found it you double bag it you still get the indentation marks with less mess. 

Last but not least was making sure all the boot prints, dirt, and ink marks were mostly off the wood.  If there was an ink mark I lightly sanded it off.  I kept some of the dirt to hopefully create some variation in color of the stain.  The most anxiety producing part about the project is that you don’t know what it will look like until the stain gets on.  Depending on the grooves, natural variations in the wood, and roughness the stain makes everything look different!!  Fingers crossed!! 

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