Make your own barn board Shelf

March 25, 2014

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This is a fun one today, sort of a project within a project. First — I wanted barn board. Only one problem — I had no barn board. But that’s no reason to change plans right? I decided to make my own… somehow.

Want to make your own barn board? I hear it’s actually pretty easy…

SUPPLIES:

Grab some white vinegar, put it in a bucket, add steel wool to that bucket and let it sit a while. For me a while meant about an hour, because I’m impatient like that. But — I’ve heard you should let it sit overnight.

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The steel wool reacts with the vinegar and creates a stain of sorts to apply an aged patina to your wood. I was using Pine, 1 x 6’s, fresh from the hardware store. Nothing rare or exotic there.

My one mistake? I used a bowl I had no plans on throwing away after. Mmmm, I wrecked my bowl. I threw it away. Boo. So, I recommend finding an old plastic bucket instead. Whoops.

Grab some rubber gloves, and use the steel wool directly against the wood to apply the “stain”. I used the steel wool for at least the first coat, then moved onto a paintbrush.

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Here is my naked Pine ready to go…

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And, here is my steel wool / vinegar concoction…

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Now here is where opinions seem to differ. To tea or not to tea. I’ve heard if you make strong tea, and apply it to the bare boards as a first step — the tannins in the wood react with the tea, improving the “aged effect”.

I decided to do it, (applied it with a paintbrush) however, I’m not convinced it made a difference. But I think it may depend which kind of wood you are using.

Here it is, about 15 minutes after my first vinegar/steel wool application:

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And a few hours later and 4 coats later, I had this:

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Looking pretty good, but if you plan to stop here, don’t apply any spot applications, you can see that it leaves a noticeable difference in those areas. Luckily I had a few more steps in my future, so it was A-OK.

On to the next step. I wanted my barn board to look like I had actually ripped it off a broken down farmhouse. One that had possibly seen a few different paint applications.

So I took some white latex paint and added a few swipes to the boards.

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Then, I took a fun turquoise latex paint colour and added a few more swipes. Then I was forced to be patient. It was important everything was nice and dry. I left it overnight.

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The next step was the fun part. I grabbed my hand sander and gave the boards a good workout, giving them a nice worn out look. And they looked perfect. I couldn’t be more happy with them, and even though the process takes some time, each step is so easy. This is truly something anyone can do. No experience necessary!

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Cool right? Ok, so now I have my super fun boards. It was time for part two of my project within a project… my front door shelf / landing strip.

Two boards, about 3 feet long, were the perfect size for corralling all the keys, and mail, and other junk that manages to make it through the door with us each day.

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I connected the two boards together on the underside with a smaller piece of particle board, and screwed it in from the bottom — so everything stays tidy and hidden.

One small shelf bracket for support, and a few tiny “L” brackets, anchored, and attached to both walls, holds the shelf in place. Everything is lightweight and the perfect scale for the front foyer.

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The turquoise paint ties in perfectly to the fabric I’m using on the bench on the other side of the room (I’ll show you soon I promise!).

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Simple. Easy. Clean. Functional. Annnnd, it never looks this tidy! … but we try.

 

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