Reclaimed wood furniture has a unique story to tell. It makes use of wood salvaged from old barns and turns it into one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture rich with history. Full of warmth and purpose, reclaimed wood invites you right in. Reclaimed barnwood is used to create furniture for every room in the house. It is a popular wood type for farmhouse, industrial and rustic styles, but can also be used for contemporary looks.

Take a look and you shall see,
A little bit of history,
In every nail hole, sun mark and unique knot,
From recycled wood given a second shot.

What Does Reclaimed Wood Look Like?

Reclaimed wood is not smooth and shiny like cherry. It has age and experience to it that are reflected in its rustic character. Reclaimed wood will have nail holes, worm holes, sun spots and knots. All these details have developed over time, aging like a fine wine in the sun. No two pieces of reclaimed barnwood are the same. The look is rugged and imperfect.

Recycling Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is wood that’s been previously used and is salvaged and repurposed. It comes from old buildings and structures, including wood barns, factories, warehouses and bridges. Most popularly, it is salvaged from old barns. No trees are cut down to make reclaimed barn wood furniture, making it an appealing choice due to its eco-friendly nature. Once the wood is gathered, all the nails must be removed first. Then the wood is kiln dried to eliminate any pests in the wood.  The process of salvaging, cleaning and building something new with reclaimed wood all add to the intent of the Slow Furniture Movement that takes time and care with every detail to produce the best quality product.

Is Reclaimed Barnwood Strong?

Reclaimed barnwood can be from different wood species but is typically oak wood that’s extremely strong and durable. Decades long exposure to outdoor elements adds to its stability. Some recycled barnwood is a century old or even older! Lots of the wood used to build barns ages ago came from mature trees that grew in old-growth forests. Old growth forests contain trees that have matured fully and reached great age with no disturbances. This oak wood from barns can be even stronger than today’s oak since the trees it came from grew to maturity in air that was less polluted.

Unique Characteristics of Reclaimed Wood

In addition to the look, the history and the rustic appeal, reclaimed wood is also eco-friendly. It doesn’t use as many resources as harvested wood since it’s recycled wood. It prevents wood from ending up in landfills when a barn or building is taken down, instead appreciating its beauty and putting it to good use. Reclaimed wood is treasured for its age. It spends years as a barn or building, sometimes a century or longer, aging and adapting with its time on the land reflected in the wood. Its age has earned its story with unique characteristics like:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Rustic nature
  • Worn aged authentic look
  • Imperfections like nail holes, worm holes and sun spots
  • Each piece is one of a kind
  • Represents a piece of history

What Is Reclaimed Wood Used For?

Reclaimed wood is salvaged, cleaned and repurposed to build beautiful wood furniture for every room in the house. In addition to wood furniture, reclaimed wood is used to create unique accent walls, cabinets, buildings and other structures.

Should You Stain or Paint Reclaimed Wood?

You can stain or paint reclaimed wood furniture. You also have the option to fill nail holes with epoxy for a smoother look, or leave them open for a more rustic one.

Cost of Reclaimed Barnwood

The cost of reclaimed wood depends on the age of the wood, wood species, availability, and how it is sourced. There’s a good deal of work involved in collecting, cleaning, and building with reclaimed wood, which are all reflected in the price.

Caring for Reclaimed Wood Furniture

For tips on maintaining your hardwood furniture, please visit our Caring for Wood Furniture Page for more information.


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