Barn Board Ideas


That dilapidated barn -- the one that's covered in weeds on the edge of town -- is a gold mine of decorating possibilities. Some people have made a business of dismantling old barns in exchange for the wood, which can be refinished and sold for quite a profit. Today, many consumers prefer recycled materials, and a plain old barn board plank can live a second life as anything from flooring to artwork.

Repurposed Lumber

  • Refinished barn board has become a coveted building material. It's green, it's durable and it's versatile. It can be used inside a house for ceiling beams, panels, flooring, wainscoting, posts or doors. Its weathered, knotty wood automatically bestows an antique, lived-in look to new furniture, floors and panelling. There's also a kind of intangible value to this material: the sense that it has a story -- a previous life.

Framing and Crafts

  • Barn board is a natural choice for framing and crafts, especially for a cabin or rustic home. Barn board frames are often used to display mirrors, nature photography or western prints, and may be plain or adorned with vines or small branches, antlers, stencils or carvings. Barn board can be used for almost any craft that requires wood. Popular barn board crafts include bird or pet house projects, wooden toys, house signs or interior plaques that need a weathered or antique look.

Fencing and Landscaping

  • Barn board is often used for landscaping to give a new garden the look of age. It can be used as a garden border or for fencing or yard signs. It can be used to make a tool shed, swing, or lawn furniture. Plant containers, decking, stairs or steps may be made of barn board, and it makes a lovely, weathered-looking gazebo or garden trellis.


  • Barn board is sometimes used as artwork. The wood can be used as a canvas; some artists, particularly folk artists, paint directly onto its surface. Others use barn board to create large sculptures. Large pieces can be carved with panoramic scenes, and smaller pieces can be made into tabletop-sized statues. Even the scraps can be used to create hand-made buttons or jewellery.

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