Making Barn Board Furniture is easy and fun!

My daughter and husband wanted to make barn board furniture. I had fun helping them make distinctive pieces.

My daughter and husband were up for a visit from Toronto. They got some barn boards from my son-in-law’s parents and really wanted to make some furniture for their apartment. So we took took up the project and really had fun putting it all together. I found barn board surprisingly easy to work with. And it yields furniture with lots of character.

The first task is to seal the barn board with multiple coats of clear water-based urethane. It is easier to do with the long boards intact. The urethane smooths out all the rough edges. You can add as many coats as you like to fill in the cracks. It acts as a glue to keep the wood together if there are weaknesses. You can sand down any excess urethane with fine sandpaper or steel wool.

Alaina and Tallis applying clear urethane

We had all the boards ready to go the next morning. It was a matter of selecting the right boards for each piece of furniture. As you can see from the picture, the boards come in various lengths and widths.

The first project was a shelving unit. Alaina chose to have a board with lots of knots be the top board. We also selected a smooth sturdy board to make the sides. Always make sure you cut the ends so that they are flush.

We put the unit together with cement tap screws so that the furniture would be stable. I drilled pilot holes first to ensure that the wood didn’t split.

I think the tap screws add a little post-modern edge to the furniture.

One thing that is unpredictable about barn board furniture – they may have hidden nails. I cut through some during the trimming process. Make sure you have a sharp blade on your saw!

The finished shelving unit was awesome.

And installed….

I’ll write about the fold down leaf table in a separate post.

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