Working With Reclaimed Barn Board

If you followed the blog last year, you might recall The Big Reno, which was an HGTV-style down-to-the-studs, open-up-the-walls, live-in-a-construction-zone experience. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the results are worth it. The plan was to have 75% of the work done by our contractor and 25% done by us. The Living Room and Mud Room are examples of our progress so far. Next up on the to-do list was our three-season room. Below is a repost along with comment from the starting point.

Here is the three season room from the outside. The slider will go into one door and I'm responsible for something cool to the left. Maybe barn wood siding?

Here is the three season room from the outside. The slider will go into one door and I’m responsible for something cool to the left. Maybe barn wood siding?

Since May of last year, we’ve been staring at OSB whenever we go out the backdoor (about 10 times per day). The picture below isn’t perfect, but in the background you can see the two-tone OSB. It screams, “FINISH ME,” as evidenced by my lack of a good picture – I must’ve subconsciously tried to black this out of my memory.  We vowed to end that look.

Imagine this background every time you step outside

Imagine this background every time you step outside

Our first stop was to a local guy specializing in reclaimed barn board.  I’ll warn you upfront, this stuff is expensive and it likely comes with nails, lead paint, and in my case, bugs.  The initial delivery delayed things a bit. But, once the boards arrived, I spent an afternoon de-nailing and lightly sanding the wood. You’ll see in the pictures the boards have one painted side and one raw side.

The only Festool purchase I’ve claimed to mildly regret is my Rotex 150 but that’s no longer true. The DIY stuff I’ve accomplished over the past year were made much easier with this tool. It’s not a woodworking tool but it’s a helluva DIY tool so it’s staying in the arsenal. To that end, I used it to just lightly remove the grime and muck without damaging the patina. I went straight to 180 grit paper in Rotex mode and had at it. On the painted side, I just used a wire brush to knock off the loose paint; no need to make more work than necessary. After three hours I had everything done that I could do (more on that later)

It’s been a hot, muggy summer here in Northern Ohio and I felt it that afternoon. But with limited time to do these things, I turned my attention to the remaining siding. I should’ve had the demo crew take this down but we weren’t 100% sure of what we wanted or how things would work out budget-wise. So I channeled my inner Fitzy and started smashing and pry-baring. While I was demoing, I decided to remove some of the other trim in the room so we could wrap the reclaimed wood around the entire space and not just the two walls (I felt my wallet shutter).

The final step with the reclaimed wood was an unexpected detour but a critical one. I noticed on the first board some very, very, very tiny white bugs. I did some googling but couldn’t identify just what they were. They didn’t look like termites or powder post beetles but they had to go. I recalled this recent post from Don Williams and found it quite useful. It put me in touch with a local Cleveland company specializing in this situation. Two days later this powder showed up. I mixed it with water and applied it to the wood with an old paintbrush.

Good-bye bugs

Good-bye bugs

It went on easy and I bought enough for two coats. This might not have been the best move (more on that in follow-on post) but I didn’t want to take any chances. I left it stickered for a few days and checked the wood. There was no sign of critters. Success.

Next up is the roof.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in Home Improvement, The Big Reno, Three Season Room and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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