Renovating an older home can be a daunting task, but if you’ve been blessed with ownership of a house built in the late 19th or early 20th century – such as an old farmhouse or country home – you have the opportunity to update it while reinforcing the charm and old-timey look of wood that is no longer available in the modern lumber industry.
Beautiful old wood detailing such as tongue-and-grove ceilings, wide plank flooring, exposed support beams, and horizontal lapboard siding, can often be restored to its original splendor with just a good cleaning, light sanding, and a transparent finish to bring out the inherent character of the wood or a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up.
Wood that has suffered over the years can be replaced with reclaimed and recycled wood harvested from old buildings slated for demolition. In fact, a lot of reclaimed wood not being used for flooring can often be left pretty much alone, except for the previously-mentioned cleaning, and be used in a variety of new roles, such as cabinetry, wall paneling, and accent pieces. Even mismatched pieces can be used as decorative paneling and kitchen island construction, creating a dramatic, creative statement that complements your home.
Reclaimed wide plank flooring can be refinished and milled to fit modern architectural use, either as new flooring or as rustic open shelving. Cut down to size, wide plank flooring also works well as stair treads and simple but unique fireplace mantels. Highly versatile, wide planking also works beautifully as a mudroom or entry hall wall mounting for coat and bag hooks. Once again, little or no prepping or refinishing is needed. Just give it a good, stiff brushing to remove dirt, debris, and loose chips and mount it to a wall with heavy-duty screws or wall anchors.
Old siding still retaining faded bits of color and old finish makes great paneling for cabinet doors, islands, and hutches. Reclaimed and even mismatched wood can be used to build simple but dramatic bedroom headboards. Old doors can be given new life with a fresh finish and new hardware.
Prefer the look of new but with the hard-to-find charm and rare character of old lumber? Deep sanding and a light or transparent finish on lighter-toned reclaimed wood can provide a unique look while taking on an almost modern appearance. Gray-tinted stains and muted color washes can be used on old wood to lend a more contemporary or even modern industrial look to a kitchen or bath. Old posts and beams can also serve a new purpose when milled to fit modern dimensions and used as non-supportive, decorative features in walls and ceilings.
In short, you can tackle a whole-house renovation project using reclaimed and recycled wood in virtually every room. From restoring old homes to their former glory, or adding a more substantial and historic feel to more contemporary construction, old wood can be used in surprisingly new ways, limited only by your imagination.
To learn more about choosing and purchasing reclaimed and recycled wood for your next home project, talk with the reclaimed wood experts here at Bingham Lumber.