Enduring a lifetime of cold winter winds, rain soaked springs and falls and hot summer suns gives authentic antique barn wood and barn siding its unique character but this material also has a story to tell that begins hundreds of years ago!
When colonists first settled in the United States, the landscape was covered with forests from coast to coast. The trees in these forests were already hundreds of years old and had grown to their biggest possible sizes, with only the forces of Nature to disturb them. Today, these forests are referred to as “old-growth” forests. Very few old growth forests exist today and those that do are protected so that we can preserve their beauty for generations to come.
Back then, settlers used this abundant and valuable raw material to build their agricultural and industrial buildings. Agricultural structures were immensely important, as they were necessary for successful farming. Barns were so critical to survival that their construction often took precedence over the building of homes.
When farmers built barns, they would clear a plot of land and use whatever trees were there as a resource. They used the biggest, strongest, and straightest trees for structural elements (like posts and beams for framing) and the smaller and softer trees for other purposes, such as floor boards and siding. For this reason, Barn Siding normally consists of a mixture of different species that offers a variety of characteristics. Its characteristics can also depend on where and how the boards were used.
Barn wood siding that was on the exterior of the building is normally weathered and gray, since it was exposed to the elements. You will also see differences in the appearance of barn siding depending on which side of the barn it was on. Southern walls were exposed to more sunlight resulting in a more even gray look while walls on the West and North sides of barns tended to get more wind and rain creating a more textured and checked board.
On the other hand, barn wood from the interior of the barn which was sheltered from the elements has a more consistent color and is less weathered. These boards usually have a rich brown patina.
Besides variations in color, Barn Siding characteristics sometimes includes nail holes, deep grain texture, and weathered knots.
We are huge fans of reclaimed barn wood siding and believe that it works well with any type of project. Whether you want to add some warmth or contrast to a modern design or reinforce a rustic look, it’s years spent outside makes it durable and virtually maintenance-free. Barn wood siding is the perfect product for exterior siding, accent walls, custom cabinetry, and much more!