Barn wood finishes

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Forum topic by americanwoodworker posted 08-05-2012 11:40 PM 2204 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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184 posts in 1460 days

08-05-2012 11:40 PM

I have access to alot of barn wood for some projects but I am confused about the finishes. I have noticed many variances to barn wood. A crackled paint look. A gray almost colorless wood or a deep rich reddish brown color, etc.

The wood I have access to is grey. I cannot stand the look of this color. It is lifeless and almost depressing to me. I love the deep reddish brown color in some barn woods. So I was wondering. Is there something you do to the barn wood to make it that color, or does that particular variance only occur in certain climates?

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

9 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3447 posts in 1438 days

#1 posted 08-06-2012 12:08 AM

It has to do w/ two things, number one the species of wood and number two the climate. In the Pacific NW mostly they use western cedar and it turns grey w/ all of the rain. Where I live in MT the wood is mostly pine and it tends to a golden brown color with streaks of dark brown. Also exposure, plays in southern exposure generally yields lighter color vs Northern exposure more grey.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Clint Searl

1517 posts in 1448 days

#2 posted 08-06-2012 12:27 AM

”Is there something you do to the barn wood to make it that color,”

Stain? Paint?

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Viking's profile


858 posts in 2282 days

#3 posted 08-06-2012 12:31 AM

I make picture frames from “barn wood” and leave them natural and unfinished.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View SASmith               's profile


1809 posts in 2074 days

#4 posted 08-06-2012 12:39 AM

You can pressure wash it to take away the gray color.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8538 posts in 3139 days

#5 posted 08-06-2012 03:19 AM

Milk Paint?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View whitebeast88's profile


3968 posts in 1277 days

#6 posted 08-06-2012 04:56 AM

I planed a piece to see what it looks like and it is a gorgeous piece of oak.This to had turned gray over the years.I’m going to have to cut the length down to make my table so i
I don’t think that gray on top and the natural look on the ends would look good.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 1395 days

#7 posted 08-06-2012 01:33 PM

I’ve built a hall tree and bench to match from barnwood. i planed the inside of it to start the thickness. then i planed the weathered side. I left some of the deapest weathered grain. Finished great and the grey may turn black Gave it a whole new look. It was 1” red oak. Try planeing piece leaveing some of the weathered you’ll know when to stop !

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View waho6o9's profile


6391 posts in 1663 days

#8 posted 08-06-2012 01:39 PM

Run a magnet over the wood to find metal before planning. Nice score on the oak!

View americanwoodworker's profile


184 posts in 1460 days

#9 posted 08-06-2012 10:44 PM

I appreciate all the input. Just as I had figured though the patina I am looking for is not underneath the grey. But I will try and pressure wash or plane it to see whats there. I was not too interested in the paint look as I know how to make the crackled effect with a little paint and elmers glue.

Thx for the input.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

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