Working with reclaimed wood has only recently become popular. The rustic farmhouse theme kicked it off and it has just continued to grow from there. As you may know by now reclaimed lumbercomes from a variety of places and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The allure of reclaimed lumber stems from the fact that the wood has sustained decades of natural abuse creating its antiquated look. Although there is faux reclaimed wood the distinct look of this authentic lumber cannot be manufactured.
Since reclaimed wood has a colorful history and has most likely traveled thousands and thousands of miles to make it to your home, there are couple things to consider to make the most of your reclaimed wood experience.
Clean It Your Reclaimed Wood!
Reclaimed wood has been subjected to dirt, grime, debris, the elements, animals, and insects. Not to mention it may have also been exposed to unwanted substances and chemicals. Therefore, before you bring it in your home wash and wipe it down.
You can start by brushing it down with a nylon bristle brush to knock away particles and debris. Then follow this up with a quick hose down of air and/or water.
Metal Scraps in Reclaimed Wood
Because reclaimed wood came from barns, mills, and other buildings it will most likely have screws, nails, and other remnants of metal embedded in it.
Don’t fret, once these are removed, they often leave behind discoloration at the sight of the hole adding additional rustic character to your already beautiful reclaimed wood.
Bugs Love Reclaimed Wood
Over the years many insects large and small found refuge inside your reclaimed lumber. There are many preventative tactics that your reclaimed wood went through to stop these insects, but some can still remain.
For instance, a large amount of reclaimed wood is kiln dried which kills any living organisms inside the wood. This is a process by which the wood is dried out using intense heat for several hours.
Also, once reclaimed wood is salvaged, if it is wrapped and palleted, any new infestation can be prevented.
It is best to use these techniques along with the cleaning tips to tend to the problem instead of using pesticides which can be harmful to you, your children, and pets.
Reclaimed Wood is Rough
It is important to inspect all sides of every piece of your reclaimed lumberbefore you start working with it. Because reclaimed wood was used straight from the forest, it can have sharp edges and large splinters that can cause injury to bare hands.
Since reclaimed wood is so compact and dense you will most likely have to use an electric sander to smooth these down or knock them off. Just do this in moderation though so that you so not disturb any of the rustic attractiveness.
When Building with Reclaimed Wood, Go With The Flow
Although you probably have some pretty specific plans for your reclaimed lumber, it is not going to fit perfectly into its designated space. Reclaimed wood is not manufactured or milled so its size and shape can be very random. Reclaimed wood is warped, crooked, and will most likely not have consistent thickness throughout the same piece of wood.
This can make installation and use challenging but with patience and minor tweaks it can be done.
Taking the time to complete these simple steps you will enhance the outcome of whatever project you are completing!