Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing home, you’ve probably heard of the idea of using reclaimed wood for flooring, cabinetry, feature walls, furniture etc… You may have rejected the idea with the thought that reclaimed wood is too “weathered” for use in a high-end project such as yours. You may have seen barn wood, corral wood, or fence wood that has stood outdoors for decades and dismissed the rough, silver appearance as unsuited to your tastes.

What you may not know is that the silvered surface can be removed with different machining techniques to reveal a smooth, rich patina that new lumber just doesn’t have.

The variation in density and color of early wood and late wood as a tree goes through its annual growth cycle is what produces the grain pattern in wood. Similarly, lumber influenced by sun, rain, and snow takes on enhanced colors that even staining new wood cannot achieve. Like a fine wine, good lumber improves with age.

Worried about nail holes or insect damage? For decades wormy chestnut was a highly prized commodity for building fine furniture because of the minor alterations in the wood created by the chestnut borer. This added character is suitable in many woods, especially in “rustic” applications like a ski lodge or vacation cabin. But even for a boardroom table that needs a smooth surface, filling character marks like worm or nail holes with a colored wood putty before finishing can produce a high-end finish while retaining the character of the reclaimed wood. And don’t worry, insects are long gone before the wood leaves our dock!

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