The hunt for barn wood

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photo (2)With a completed painting above the fireplace and a Superbowl party around the corner – this week will be a push to finish these lingering projects.  It was an amazingly beautiful day today – at the end of January; on the anniversary of my engagement – how better to spend the afternoon with the one you love but cutting wood to build a frame?  My husband came home and I had already mitred the corners of the second quality knotty pine 1″ by 3″ boards he had picked up for me the day before at Home Depot.  I wanted barn wood, but of course the hunt for barn wood would have taken way too long and past the weekend at least before I could track it down – not to mention how long it would sit in the garage until I finished it.  The next best thing to authentic barn wood is faux barn wood.

As I mentioned, I pre-cut the wood before putting the finish on it.  In hindsight, I wish I had photographed this during the process because it actually turned out much better than I thought it would.  However, the after pictures explain the result well and it was so simple I think anyone could do it.  I lightly sanded the boards, but not too much to preserve the rustic finish of the natural wood.  I used Minwax stain in a walnut color and coated the wood in one layer, keeping it dry and avoiding any puddles of stain or drips.  I did not wait for the stain to dry before I used a flat head screwdriver to make long irregular cuts going lengthwise down the boards to create a damaged finish.  Also at irregular intervals, I gouged the wood with the screwdriver knowing that the second coat of a whitewash would settle nicely in the cuts and gouges to create the weathered look.  I painted white acrylic paint in thick layers on top of the stain, wiped it off with a paper towel as I worked, and immediately sanded the white off until it was barely visible on the surface, but rested in the indentations I had made.

After the finish was complete, I nailed the four pieces in place around the frame and put it back on the fireplace to be hung sometime later on.  This project was so quick and easy – literally from cutting the wood, to having the stain finished, and the painting back in position on the mantle took all of an hour’s worth of time.  Below is a close up of the finished


2 thoughts on “The hunt for barn wood

    Katie Johnson said:
    2014/07/06 at 7:18 am

    I LOVE real barn wood and I used to live next to an awesome couple who together have created a business of making barn wood frames, bird houses, etc. I was certainly sad when we moved to a different city, but not surprised to hear he had quit his high pressure, traveling job with ebay to become an entrepreneur and to be so successful. They custom built ALL my frames for my new home, they buy old sheds and use old door knobs for the bird houses and tin they find all over Utah in collapsed barns and fences. Love my red and white authentic barn wood.
    Give their website a look,
    Owners: Jerem and Tiffany Pickett.
    I.Enjoy following your blog and can tell you LOVE barn wood.
    I would love to hear from you, I actually am down sizing and have several of their frames I am willing to sell. Hope to hear from you.

      threadsandpaint responded:
      2014/07/06 at 1:27 pm

      Your frames sound absolutely beautiful. What a fun profession and exciting to pursue what they love. I’m such a ‘do it yourselfer’ that I’m stuck to my own crafts – plus I do not have a place that’s free to add artwork but thank you – I’m sure you will have no problem selling.

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