Art Ideas for Reclaimed Wood Planks


Reclaimed wood planks are salvaged from old buildings such as barns, factories and warehouses. The weathered appearance of reclaimed wood planks make them prime material to use in pieces of art. Because they were once used architecturally, reclaimed wood planks often look worn and have character. Reclaimed wood is more affordable than new wood, making it an economical choice for wooden artwork.

Minimalist Art Piece

  • Create a piece of art that complements any minimalist decor. Cut reclaimed wood planks to matching lengths. Connect the edges together to form a solid rectangle and screw flat brackets onto the seams to hold the pieces in place. Flip the wood piece over. With a dry paint brush, lightly brush on white paint that has been diluted with water. The diluted paint allows the natural wood to show through. Don't paint all the way to the edges; leave about 1 inch unpainted all the way around. Allow the paint to dry. With a small paintbrush and black paint, create a thin image of a bare tree on the white background. Allow the painting to dry. Install mounting hardware and mount the painting on the wall.

Shabby Chic Display

  • Use the natural beauty of reclaimed wood planks to create a simple shabby chic display. Use three pieces of varying lengths (e.g., 3 feet, 2 feet and 1 foot). If the pieces are not yet distressed, hit them with a sturdy chain to distress the edges. Choose three different colors of paint, such as cream, pale blue and pale apricot. Paint each piece a different color with a dry brush. Use only a little paint at a time so the natural wood color shows through. Leave about 1 inch unpainted all the way around each piece. Install mounting hardware on the back of each piece and hang them about 6 inches apart over a fireplace or in another desired location.

Hanging Sculpted Art

  • Use reclaimed planks to create unique sculpted art. First, form a basic rectangle by connecting two planks with flat brackets and screws. Surround the rectangle with a frame cut from more wood planks. Attach the frame so that it extends about 2 or 3 inches above the rectangle, creating the look of a shadow box. Use a jigsaw to cut any desired shape (e.g., a bird) out of another wood plank. Paint the shape, the rectangle and the frame. Spread a layer of wood glue over the back of the shape and stick it to the rectangle. Turn the art piece over and drill screws in from behind, securing the shape to the piece. Turn it back over. To create even more dimension, chisel notches out from the edge of the frame, chiseling about 1 per inch. Install mounting hardware and hang the art piece on a wall.

Wall Ladder Art

  • Make a decorative hanging wall ladder that brings attention to the reclaimed wood. Cut about 6 pieces of wood, each piece measuring about 4 inches wide and 2 feet long. Sand the wood down and coat it with sealant. Drill one hole in the center of each side of every piece, about 1 inch in from the edges. Loop twine through the holes and tie a knot beneath each hole, securing the wood pieces in place. Space the wood pieces about 6 inches apart. Install mounting hardware to the top piece of wood and attach it to a wall.

Word Art

  • Use a jigsaw to cut the shape of a word (e.g., your last name, "home," "smile") from a wood plank. Paint the word any desired color or dry-brush the paint on, allowing the natural wood to show through. Allow the piece to dry and set the finished piece on a mantel.

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