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Reclaimed Wood Barn Door

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This past weekend we built a barn door.  It took a little less than four hours and cost us zero dollars.

Don’t believe me?  Well here is the story:  we have a barn door in our hallway.  It is stunning.  The wood is from a hundred year old barn on my husband’s family farm.   We collected the wood before the farm sold and all of the buildings were torn down.  When we decided to sell our suburban house, the hubby made it clear that the door was coming with us to Providence Acres.  I knew that the door makes a statement in our house and will attract buyers.  The only solution for us both to be happy was  to make a replacement door.

We decided to dig into the wood pile hoard and make it.  The wood is cedar fencing that we actually picked up a block from the suburban house when the homeowners had it replaced.  We snagged it off the road before heavy trash pick up could ad it has been in a pile outside for the last three years just getting cooler, more weathered, and ancient looking.

reclaimed fencing washed

When I am using reclaimed cedar fencing here is what I do.

  1. Wash the wood with a jet washer setting on the hose sprayer.  Use a brush if there are dirt dobbers (for those of you who don’t live in the south they are a wasp-like bug that builds mud nests on wood), muddy spots, or anything that needs extra attention.  Clean both sides.
  2. Leave the cleaned wood to dry in the sun.  I usually lean them against a fence.  The wood has to dry several days in the sun.
  3. After it is dry, sort the wood and pick out the best pieces. What I consider the best is wood that is not split, and relatively straight.
  4. Cut off the dog-eared  top of each board and the ragged bottom of them to see what you have to work with.

I knew we would need 19 boards cut to 40 inches in order to get what I wanted.  We would also need 9 foot long trim board and a few boards for the connecting boards.

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The boards on the left are my 40 inch boards, the rest went back into the hoard for another use.

We still have a few precious 12 inch wide long cedar boards from replacing our lake house siding but our stash is dwindling.  One board was sacrifed for this project.  Hubby cut the wood into three inch widths.  That gave us four boards to use as the long side boards.

We laid out the boards on the shop floor then glued and air nailed the long boards to them. We added cut down cedar for the top and bottom sections.  I decided to use the same pattern as the gate Hubby found in one of the barns on our new place.

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The gate on the wall was inspiration for the barn door design.

The diagonal section adds strength and stability to the door.

Our method for cutting the corners was to lay the board down diagonally in the center of the corner then draw the corner on the board.  Very unscientific but it worked.

Once the front was done, we added trim boards to the back side.

There were a few places that needed a little sanding where it felt rough.  Here it is all put together.  Nine feet is tall, folks.

img_1251img_1252img_1259img_1254img_1258-1The edge of the boards were left raw.  I wanted it to look just like it would have on a barn.

It took three coats of satin polyurethane on each side to turn the wood into this beautiful color.


I love how rich it looks.

Here it is hung up in the hallway.


  
  
I love how it looks in our house.

I really do like hearing from you.

I hope your week is wonderful.

Blessings,

Karen

 

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The Almost Finished Mudroom Bench

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I have to wonder, am I ever going to be able to show you a FINISHED project?  I mean one that is completely done with nothing left to do kind of done.  I think as long as we are weekenders that may not happen.  It takes an hour to drive to our closest Home Depot or Lowe’s, as long we are quick with our shopping and scurry back. That never happens so it really takes at least three hours to go to town and back.  Often when we don’t have what we need we move on to another project just to use our time wisely.

Our latest chapter in the almost done saga is our mudroom bench.  It is functional now but not finished.  I would say we are about 80 % done.  Grrr.

Here is the lowdown on the progress:

The beautiful two inch thick cedar slab is installed.  It is gorgeous. 

   

We installed a ledger board around the perimeter that we glued to the drywall and screwed into the studs.

  

It is stunning.

  
 

What more can I say about this slab?  It is something we will have forever.
In order to make the mudroom functional, we installed stock cabinets that we painted white above the bench.  I am not in love with how big they are (30 inches tall), but we have such a shortage of storage in the house that aesthetics had to take a back seat to practicality.  They will proved Mr. Math with closed storage right inside the door for his treasures.   They are missing hardware because I completely forgot to pick it up at the store.  We are going to have black hardware all around.  The cabinets are not “built in” yet on the edges because they still need to be adjusted a little to fix gaps but we didn’t have the washers and shims needed to get it done.

       
The board and battens are in, but need paint touch ups, caulk, and we didn’t have enough quarter round to finish the moulding under the bench.  Once the touch up paint is done, we will be getting the coat hooks up.   I remembered to get them but couldn’t get them up because the other things didn’t get done.

   
 

I really am going to love this space.  It will be a functional space that has the bonus of being a pretty place to stop and hang out.

   
    

  


It is very rewarding to see the progress we are making and I really need to cut myself some slack about what we get done.  One day I will learn to do that.  One day.

Thank you for following our progress.  I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen
  
  

Making a Coffee Bar

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My kids love coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea.  I like it all too, but I really love the idea of having everything that our guests need set up away from the kitchen when breakfast/ evening meal prep is underway.

We have just the spot in our home for a coffee bar and we have just the materials to make a rustic coffee bar based on inspiration from The Summery Umbrella.  I purchased windows last winter at an epic garage sale for $2.00 each.  I brought our stash of reclaimed cedar planks and the storage buildings contain more random wood.

reclaimed fencing

We used the windows as the basis for the front of the cabinet.  When we laid out the windows it was obvious that they would have to go into the cabinet horizontal instead of vertical like My Summery Umbrella was able to do.  The vintage windows  are large and heavy and with them hung horizontally, the cabinet will still be slightly taller than counter height.  The length of the bar is 90 inches.  It is 12 inches wide and made from cedar we took off our old lake house, Star Hill that we have stored and moved.  We really do like our reclaimed wood.

The next step was building the skeleton.  We had enough reclaimed wood but a mistake meant we needed two new 2×4’s.

We got a new toy recently…a planer.  Oh my goodness, Mr. Math got a good deal on Craig’s List but I was skeptical.  I did not know how much I would love it.  It makes all my mismatched thicknesses of reclaimed wood play nice with each other and knocks the sanding down to just finish sanding in minutes.  We planed two 12 inch wide planks for the top and sides.

Any time you work with reclaimed wood and supplies it means you have to do a lot of trial and error.  It feels sort of like we are playing a game of Tetris.

We used outdoor gate hinges and black iron handles for a couple of reasons;  the windows are stinkin’ heavy and I liked how the black looked against the white and reclaimed cedar.

The display area will be filled with my pitchers, milk glass, and vintage cookware.  I didn’t have everything  up at the house but I put what I had in for you to get an idea.

We already used it as a serving counter on New Year’s Eve.

The coffee bar is going to serve a lot of purposes when we have a crowd.  Having 90 inches of serving space away from the kitchen counters will be great.

Let’s face it, most of the time it is going to be a drink station.

Left overs from New Year’s Eve.

An all sorts of drinks station. (You have no idea how hard I had to look to scrounge up the drinks above!)

Mainly it will be a coffee/ tea bar, because that is who we are.

  


Here it is in our daily life.  It will be a cluttered mess so my kitchen doesn’t have to be full of stuff.   I am going to love this piece.  It is narrow and provides room for the front door to open, it provides me 7 and a half feet of additional counter surface, and it looks like it belongs in our house.  Be still my heart.

The house is coming along.  I am proud of the progress we are making as we make Providence Acres our forever home.

Mr. Math and I are both thrilled to share our journey with you as we go.  Thank you for the kind words you share. 

Blessings,

Karen

Scrap Wood Accent Wall

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This past weekend I was sick.  I mean seriously, down for the count, don’t want to move, kind of sick.  Even though I was sick my sweet husband did get one of my projects done.

We had a bunch of leftover bits and pieces of v groove pine that was left over from our still not finished whitewashed mudroom wall. (No pictures yet because it is going to be stinkin awesome.)

It was my plan to get all the trim primed and painted on the wall and get the bathroom walls painted, but no such luck.

Mr. Math had planned to replace the toilet already.  We are seriously tall folks and that was one low potty.  While it was out, I wanted to put in an accent wall from those leftovers.  

He cut the 27 rows to length based on the scraps and installed them.

He was a champ, because that really wasn’t his plan for the day.

   
 
It all got a good coat of walnut stain.  No pictures of that. I would have had to crawl.

The wall tuned out great.  For those, like me,who think that the potty space is nasty, you will note that shine on the boards.  The wall got three coats of satin polyurethane.  I want to be able to clean that wall.

   
 
The trim is a 1X2.  

Here it is with the new toilet installed.

   
   
The walls are going to be painted Behr Pacific Mist which is a light bluish green.

Doesn’t the floor look awesome in there?  A little better than carpet…

I plan on adding white shelves to the wall once the paining is all done.  

Progress is progress, even if it isn’t what I thought we would get done.

Mid Century Chair Makeover

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We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter.  They were rough.  They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.

  

       I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame.  Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed.  The third is going to The Southern Belle.  She will have a project on her hands.

I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t.  He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house.  The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century.  I cannot wait to get started on this project.  I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.  

  
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over.  After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded.  I’m not whining.  I promise.  I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.

When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice.  The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.

One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain.  I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas.  I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out.  Live and learn.  I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.

  
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled.  Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.

The seats originally had leather strapping.  One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross.  The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess.  After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather.  Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it.  I really do like him being off in summer!

  
 The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math.  He ordered them online for me.  The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines.  They look like they could have been original to the chairs.  He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each.  Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!  

  

All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.

The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.

  
      

The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful.  We were lucky to have found them.

Blessings,

Karen

Reclaimed Wood Table

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We are getting ready for a trip across the country to see our kids in the Carolinas.  About a month ago I got an email from my daughter asking if we could make a table and media console for two of her buddies.  It just so happened that we had a pile of reclaimed wood hanging out in our garage and even more in a burn pile that I was itching to save.  (Mr. Math made me get rid of a lot of wood as part of the big move😟.  It was awesome to go down to the burn pile and drag some back out!)


I was excited because what my daughter’s buddies wanted could be done with our wood. 

Today, I get to show you the reclaimed wood entry hall table.

The only instructions I got from The Southern Belle’s buddy were in this email:   ”  I’ve been dreaming of a long, narrow table for in our front hallway for a while now. I don’t have anything super particular in mind but it needs to be pretty skinny (maybe ballpark 8″ deep?) and long (4′ – could go longer but not too much shorter) and I like the open style (no cabinets).”

She also shared photos of her Atlanta home so we could see where it would be located.

Corey's House

Corey's hallway

After sharing some Pinterest pictures with her of tables I could see that she likes reclaimed wood and a little industrial.  Mr. Math and I drew up a plan to make a table that looked like it had been used in a warehouse or workspace. I wanted the wood to be irregular, gouged, warped and darkened with age. The used cedar boards were perfect for the project.

It took us some trial and error.  The first redition was too tall and narrow.  It had to come all apart again and get cut down four inches.  We also added a ten inch board to the top of the eight inch board.  I stained the cedar with a mix of walnut and a lighter color called natural.  The color unified the wood, and aged the wood. 

  

Sanded but I stained 

 

Stain on the wood. 

       

The stain did not eliminate the wood grain and knots from the wood.  I was worried. 
We glued the top down then attached it with screws.  Clamps held it all in place while the glue dried.   We used a satin poly on the piece. 

  
   I love the nail holes and irregular thickness of the wood.   

   
  

I will post pictures when this is delivered.  

Thanks for following along with us.

Have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen   

Reclaimed Wood Media Center

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Well hello there!  I am feeling accomplished for us today because we have actually finished three projects this past week.  By far my favorite is a reclaimed wood media cabinet.  This is a project for my daughter’s coworker and friend.  The fact that Mr. Math is driving out to Charlotte next week really helped with the whole get it finished process.   My daughter’s friend sent me a link to this amazing piece from Pottery Barn and said she wanted something like this.   I had to be honest with her.  We are working off our suburban back porch right now with most of our tool stored until the big move in less than a month. No way could we make beveled cabinet doors.  She was fine with a more rustic look.  I also told her we would be using reclaimed cedar so the color would be different. She was fine with that.  Finally, I told her that we would be carrying it in the back of our truck so the length had to be no more than 60 inches.  Unbelievably, she was fine with that, too.   

Her  timing was perfect.  There was a pile of reclaimed cedar that Mr. Math Had decreed was too nasty to store then move to our new digs.  It was making me crazy(er) to see this burn pile.   Mr. Math tried to burn it but our recent rains meant he couldn’t get the pile to light.  (Yay!)

reclaimed wood burn pile

I was very, very excited to be able to go save some of it for this project.  A few of the boards even had scorch marks from the attempted fire.  I put those boards in strategic locations so they could be most visible.

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The plan was fairly simple.  Mr. Math built a skeleton for the project out of new 2X4’s.  I sanded, and sanded, then sanded some more on the boards.  Many of these boards had been painted when they were on our lake house or my friend’s who gave me a load of the wood when they added on to their house.  I sanded through the layers of paint but did not remove it all.  I love how the layers of paint provide a sense of history and rustic charm to the wood.  We laid out the wood for the top, figured out what cuts needed to be made and which boards needed to be ripped down.  After the top was figured out, we got the sides and front done.  For the back we added hardboard.  The weight of this piece was a deciding factor.  Even though we had enough reclaimed wood for the back, it will never be seen and would add unnecessary weight to the piece. After the front and sides were done, we added plywood shelves inside.  The doors were the last part built once we had exact measurements of the openings.                  I love the look of the wood.    When you polyurethane the wood, the color depens and it become richer.  We      The interior is painted a light cream color.  Mr. Math picked the color because he said it would be easier to find things in the cabinet. reclaimed wood media console reclaimed wood cedar reclaimed wood reclaimed wood cabinet rustic hardware

We love the look and are excited to get it to the new owners.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

Blessings,

Karen

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