How to Reclaim Barn Wood

An old, dilapidated barn is a source of unique historic home decor as the old barn wood can be reclaimed and re-purposed as flooring and other architectural detailing.
An old barn might seem useless, but can yield some unique wood for other purposes.An old barn might seem useless, but can yield some unique wood for other purposes.
Salvaging wood beams from old barns requires a little bit of elbow grease, but the reward could yield a one-of-a-kind addition to your home. It also provides a good excuse to take down an old barn that may be becoming an eyesore on your property.

Step 1

Pry loose the planks surrounding the barn with your crowbar, taking care to keep the boards as intact as possible. It will be difficult to reuse the wood if it comes off splintered and damaged.

Step 2

Examine the removed boards for any lingering nails or screws. Use your hammer or crowbar to pry them loose in order to make the boards as clean as possible.

Step 3

Brush the boards clean of dust and cobwebs with your brush. You can also use this opportunity to give each board a closer look, keeping an eye out for any rotting or damaged pieces that need to be thrown out.

Step 4

Clean the boards with the pressure washer. This will help restore some of the original quality of the boards, and reduce the impact of years spent in harsh weather.

Step 5

Set the boards aside to dry. Let them sit for several days to ensure that they are completely dry before finishing them.

Step 6

Apply several coats of your preferred varnish to the boards as a final finishing touch. Once that is dried, the boards should be ready to be put to use in a new home.

Things You Will Need

  • Crowbar
  • Hammer
  • Brush
  • Pressure washer
  • Varnish

About the Author

Pete Campbell has written professionally since 2006. He has covered culture, sports, literature, business and politics. He has been published in a wide range of publications, including the "Wall Street Journal." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame.