Rustic wood is a term that can apply to either the condition of the wood or the way the wood has been prepared for use. Rustic wood can be harvested from old buildings and other structures such as fences or it can be manufactured using techniques that create a rusticated surface with unique characteristics.
Rustic wood is ideal for use where an antique, worn look is desired to create an “authentic”, unique atmosphere. This style of lumber can feature:
- Faded appearance from exposure to weather
- Knots, burls, wormholes, scars, gum pockets, and other natural anomalies
- Uneven edges and warping
- Rough, feathered textures
Because rustic wood can possess these often highly-unique characteristics, it’s probably not suitable for use in every room. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as “cabin grade” because it conjures up the image of an old-time cabin and is often reclaimed from just such buildings. It’s perfect for anyone looking to create a Western or other rural theme.
The popularity of the rustic look has led some manufacturers and contractors to create it using new lumber. A rustic look can be accomplished by whipping the wood with a chain to cause random small dents. The same thing can be done with a hammer. Another way to make rustic wood is with a belt sander or an oscillating tool fitted with a sanding accessory. This requires applying the sanding tool to the wood surface at a variety of angles so that the tool’s cutting edge makes divots, slashes or even burns on the surface of the wood. This look is used on open-beam ceilings to add ambiance and character to the overhead beams.
Rustic wood is used for a variety of purposes, such as molding or trim inside the home – it’s particularly attractive in recreation rooms or dens. It’s also good for western-themed or rugged landscape picture frames. Hobbyists love rustic wood for small signs and slogan plaques — either routing letters into the wood or painting it. Rustic wood is easy to cut on a table saw or with a handheld cutting tool, but care must be taken when cutting warped wood on a table saw because of the potential for the saw blade to kick back. Of course, always ensure that any rustic wood is free of debris, such as small pebbles or embedded nails or wire, before cutting or using it.
To learn more about rustic wood and how to select and utilize it, give us a call or stop by Bingham Lumber. We’d be happy to tell you all about it!