How to Remodel With Barn Siding


Installing siding reclaimed from an old barn is an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly and unique way to decorate or remodel your home. It can be used on walls for a paneled or wainscot-like effect, attached to the ceiling to add some rustic character to a room or laid on the floor to create an inviting farmhouse plank look.

Things You'll Need

  • Old barn boards
  • Measuring tape
  • Miter saw
  • Construction or paneling adhesive
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Eye protection
  • Nail set
  • Polyurethane or oil finish

Install the Barn Siding

  • Check the barn boards for uniform thickness. This is especially important when using the them as flooring. If you plan to attach the boards to your wall, a slight variation of thickness between the pieces is acceptable.

  • Measure your walls, ceiling or floor, and determine how you will position the boards, taking into consideration coloration of the wood, length of the boards and the wood grain. Cut the boards to the proper length with a miter saw before affixing them to the desired surface.

  • Apply construction or paneling adhesive to the back (or flat side) of the boards according to the manufacturer's directions, and install them in the desired location. Begin at one end or corner. They may be arranged vertically, horizontally or even diagonally.

  • Use finishing nails to make sure the wood remains permanently attached, placing the nails eight to ten inches apart along the length of each board. Strategically place the nails at points where the color and grain of the wood make them less noticeable. Allow the adhesive to dry completely.

  • Recess the nails slightly into the surface of the wood by tapping them with a hammer and nail set so that they don’t snag or tear anything that comes into contact with the wood surface, such as people's feet as they walk across the floor. If you plan to seal the surface with a finish such as polyurethane, first cover the nail holes with a wood filler that is close to the color of the barn siding.

  • Add several coats of polyurethane or an oil finish to protect the wood and make it easier to clean if the surface will be subjected to a high degree of foot traffic or require frequent cleaning.

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  • Photo Credit Barn Wood Background image by ryasick from
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