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Reclaimed Barn Wood Siding

Weathered grey hardwood barn siding with shiplapped milled profiles give this home's siding a tight fitting authentic barn wood look.
Weathered grey hardwood barn siding with shiplapped milled profiles give this home's siding a tight fitting authentic barn wood look.
Last updated: November 18, 2017

We specialize in only the highest quality barn siding that can be custom milled to complement the interiors and exteriors of high-end architecture.

Weathered Grey. Weathered Grey boards come in two varieties—pine or hardwoods. They have never been painted and were exposed to the elements, leaving shades ranging in color from silver to dark grey.


Mixed Hardwoods. A palette of weathered grey and brown barn boards suited to your project needs. Boards come in a mixture of species, including maple, oak, elm, ash, beach.

This palette of mixed hardwoods shows how unique each barn siding board can be while creating an overall look of cohesiveness customized to homeowner needs.
This palette of mixed hardwoods shows how unique each barn siding board can be while creating an overall look of cohesiveness customized to homeowner needs.

Brown Options. Light gold to deep chocolate in hue, brown barn siding varieties include mixed oak, rough sawn brown pine, brown mixed hardwoods, brown smooth pine, naily brown roof boards, and grey-brown pine.

This house combines modern design ideas with rustic textures  such as this 50% Original surface texture flooring.
This house combines modern design ideas with rustic textures, such as this 50% Original surface texture flooring.

Red Options. Red options include different percentages of red based on when and how much the exterior of the boards were painted. Varieties include faded red or red on red:

Garage in the tradition of a dutch style barn clad with faded red and weathered grey barn wood
Garage in the tradition of a dutch style barn clad with faded red and weathered grey barn wood

Elm. Elm is a popular choice for interior paneling and exterior siding. When it is lightly surface planed down to the original wood coloration, it creates beautiful light tan/beige to red-brown ceilings and walls with a modern aesthetic. Mixed hardwoods also include elm but many prefer it as their standalone species of choice for coloration and durability.


Douglas Fir. Barn siding can be milled from either Douglas fir dimensional lumber or timbers. Options include leaving the original rough sawn patina as the face of the new boards or surfacing 4 sides of the boards (S4S) for a clean, freshly milled look.


Hand Hewn Slab Siding. The best face of a hand hewn beam is cut at 2-3” thick and then mounted to a framed wall. Chinking material is then added between the slabs for an elegant traditional hand hewn log construction:

This home uses hand hewn hammer beams along with a very durable and lightly stained 100% clean mixed oak floor. The walls are composed of hand hewn slab siding to give the authentic look and feel of a hand hewn cabin.
This home uses hand hewn hammer beams along with a very durable and lightly stained 100% clean mixed oak floor. The walls are composed of hand hewn slab siding to give the authentic look and feel of a hand hewn cabin.

Reclaimed Rusty Metal Siding. The roof of the barn that developed a color-rich, texturally pleasing patina as it was exposed to the elements over the years. It will have different levels of rust throughout each piece. We offer corrugated and v-notch rusty metals:

Weathered grey hardwoods and rusty metal siding work together in this residence  along with rough sawn heavy timber framing.
Weathered grey hardwoods and rusty metal siding work together in this residence, along with rough sawn heavy timber framing.

Milling and Kiln Drying Services





Our state of the art facility offers in-house milling and molding services for your specific applications. We offer tongue and groove, shiplap, straight-line rip, or rabbeted joints. We can also provide butt, board on board, and board and batten for your siding project.

Most customers prefer to preserve original barn board surface textures; these simply receive wire brush applications to remove splinters. However, we can also plane boards to 50% or 25% of their original surface, or plane to a 100% clean finish.

All milled materials are first thoroughly de-nailed and then kiln dried to ensure cooperation with our machines. Kiln drying sterilizes the wood and kills all insects while bringing moisture content down to 6% - 8%; this prevents shrinkage after installation.

Read more about reclaimed barn wood siding and our product offerings below >>

Weathered Grey Pine and Grey Hardwoods


These boards were never painted, therefore surface hues matured while being exposed to the elements, resulting in shades ranging from silver to dark grey. When installed, the contrast of lighter versus darker hues creates a stylish and timeless look. These boards are rare and among our most popular options.

This sitting room lets in lots of daylight to showcase the weathered grey hardwood paneling and trim along with the heavy timbers.
This sitting room lets in lots of daylight to showcase the weathered grey hardwood paneling and trim along with the heavy timbers.
Weathered grey pine barn siding complements a twist of modern and historic architecture on this gambrel-style roof.
Weathered grey pine barn siding complements a twist of modern and historic architecture on this gambrel-style roof.

Weathered Grey Pine


As a softwood, grey pine is less dense and much lighter than grey hardwoods. Its weathering is slightly rough with shallow grooves and furrowing. Grain patterns are generally straight, giving it a rustic and modern appearance. Coloring tends to be lighter hues of greys and silvers when compared to hardwoods, although many pine boards range to dark grey. Pine comes in 8"-12" widths.

Ship-lapped weathered grey pine barn siding with its shallow natural grooves  tight knots  and small nail holes lays down tightly together with the edges merging into each other.
Ship-lapped weathered grey pine barn siding with its shallow natural grooves, tight knots, and small nail holes lays down tightly together with the edges merging into each other.
Weathered grey pine ceiling panels  weathered grey hardwoods wall panels  and 50% original surface texture flooring complement heavy stone work in this expansive mountain residence.
Weathered grey pine ceiling panels, weathered grey hardwoods wall panels, and 50% original surface texture flooring complement heavy stone work in this expansive mountain residence.
This horizontal weathered grey pine siding has slightly planed corners to give it a notched look that goes great with the perpendicular brick wall.
This horizontal weathered grey pine siding has slightly planed corners to give it a notched look that goes great with the perpendicular brick wall.

Weathered Grey Hardwoods


Grey hardwoods are prized as a denser and heavier option with distinct grooves that are smooth to the touch. The natural hardness of these boards leads to weathering that brings out the natural spirals and waves of the grain patterns. Our ash, oak, elm, beech or maple are weathered with distinct groves, and may have darker shades of faded black paint from previous lives on a tobacco plantation. Tobacco drying houses were typically painted black to absorb as much heat from the sun as possible during the curing process. Boards are available in 4"-12" widths.

Grey hardwoods with original sides  weathered grooves  and circle saw marks are loved for their aesthetic appeal and dense  durable usability.
Grey hardwoods with original sides, weathered grooves, and circle saw marks are loved for their aesthetic appeal and dense, durable usability.
This large equestrian center uses weathered grey hardwoods on all of its many buildings  along with rusty metal siding for every roof.
This large equestrian center uses weathered grey hardwoods on all of its many buildings, along with rusty metal siding for every roof.
Weathered grey interior paneling works great in this recreation room and mini-bar.
Weathered grey interior paneling works great in this recreation room and mini-bar.

Mixed Hardwoods


There were times when a barn was built directly from the trees that grew on its foundation. Different species of trees were cut down, milled, and then used for its siding. When wood from these historic structures is reclaimed, it generally contains a mix of elm, ash, beech, and maple, which are rich with varying colors and grain patterns.

This kitchen uses a creative mixture of grey and brown mixed hardwood barn wood.
This kitchen uses a creative mixture of grey and brown mixed hardwood barn wood.
This great room uses mixed hardwood barn siding for wall and ceiling paneling which surrounds the natural stone fireplace. A long hand hewn ridge beam with hand hewn rafters tower over a 25% original surface finish mixed oak barn wood floor.
This great room uses mixed hardwood barn siding for wall and ceiling paneling which surrounds the natural stone fireplace. A long hand hewn ridge beam with hand hewn rafters tower over a 25% original surface finish mixed oak barn wood floor.

Brown Options


Our customer's use rough sawn brown boards to create interior design features such as this custom kitchen table
Our customer's use rough sawn brown boards to create interior design features such as this custom kitchen table
The shades of brown barn siding boards range from gray-brown to rich chocolate. Coloration is the timeless result of natural wood tones acquiring agrarian patina over many decades spent protected from the elements on the interiors of historic barns. Wood species include pine and hardwoods such as oak, ash, elm, beech, and maple. Aside from color variation and wood species, the main difference between brown varieties is their surface texture, or whether they were originally rough sawn or smooth-planed. Rough sawn boards retain their original unweathered surface textures, which showcase well-preserved circular sawn, sash sawn, or band sawn marks. Smooth boards, such as our smooth brown pine option, were planed before their original installation. Boards such as the naily brown roof boards, with their nail patterns, have unique character that reflects their first life in the construction of historical barns.

Rough Sawn Brown Pine


Varying between hues of rich to light brown, with elegant patina, these pine boards come from the interior of historic barns. They’re often accented by unique circle saw marks that accent original unweathered surface textures.

We have worked with several Whole Foods Market locations to meet their goal of using local  sustainable barn wood to clad their walls  counters  and architectural features. This coffee counter is wrapped with rough sawn brown boards.
We have worked with several Whole Foods Market locations to meet their goal of using local, sustainable barn wood to clad their walls, counters, and architectural features. This coffee counter is wrapped with rough sawn brown boards.

Brown Smooth Pine


Originally a barn's interior surface, brown smooth siding boards were planed at an historic mill. These boards are aged with beautiful patina, and colors range between light to rich brown, with variations in each piece.

Smooth brown pine wall and ceiling paneling are featured in this frozen yogurt and smoothie store.
Smooth brown pine wall and ceiling paneling are featured in this frozen yogurt and smoothie store.

Brown Mixed Hardwoods


Generally rough in nature, these boards are the backside of weathered gray hardwood siding. Colors vary depending on species.

Mixed hardwood barn siding ranges from light grey to chocolate brown for this custom home
Mixed hardwood barn siding ranges from light grey to chocolate brown for this custom home

Naily Brown Roof Boards


These sheathing boards were hidden under metal roofs for decades and are characterized by distinct nail holes from periodic roof repairs and replacements during the course of the barn’s life. Rich chocolate patina adds additional sophistication to these unique boards that were never exposed to the elements.
Naily brown roof board barn siding
Naily brown roof board barn siding

Grey-Brown Pine


These boards come from the interior of barns that stayed erect after their roofs were blown off. Originally brown and never exposed to the elements, grey-brown pine has been weathered more recently to include rich variations of brown and gray.
Grey/Brown Barn Wood Siding Complements Hand Hewn Posts
Grey/Brown Barn Wood Siding Complements Hand Hewn Posts

Mixed Oak


A mixture of reclaimed red and white oak barn siding that maintains a classic look over time, with similar grain patterns throughout and very tight growth rings. Most mixed oak boards naturally range from tan and gold to chocolate brown patina with accented handsome grain patterns. Widths range from 2" to 8".
This oak wall paneling was surface planed to leave 50% of its original surface patina. Reclaiming oak is an excellent way to add the durable and beautiful old growth characteristics of oak to your home.
This oak wall paneling was surface planed to leave 50% of its original surface patina. Reclaiming oak is an excellent way to add the durable and beautiful old growth characteristics of oak to your home.

Red Options


The tradition of painting barns red began as farmers sought ways to seal their structures from moss and fungal decay. Without the convenience of ready-made paint, farmers discovered that a blend of linseed oil, skimmed milk, lime, and rust would effectively protect their barns for many years. The color red comes from the key ingredient, rust (ferrous oxide).

A mixture of red on red and faded red barn wood siding
A mixture of red on red and faded red barn wood siding

Faded Red


These boards are especially rich in character. They come from barns that were painted red in the past and then naturally faded over time. We have predominantly gray boards with red highlight, 50/50 gray-red blends, and mostly red boards with hints of grey. The hue mix depends on when the barn was painted last and also depends on the area of the barn where the board was positioned; areas of the barn that received high sun exposure faded quicker, whereas boards shaded by eaves maintained their red hues longer. Please include your preferences when you request a quote.

Credit: H. Wilson Photography

Red on Red


This material comes from the sides of historic barns that were painted relatively recently. Signs of weathering, color variances, and cracked paint give these boards timeless character. Available in 8” – 12” widths.


Elm


Mature American elm are very rare in North America today due to the devastating effects of Dutch Elm Disease, which eliminated most of the elm population by the 1970s. For this reason, reclaimed structures, such as historic barns remain one of the few sources of old growth elm lumber. Many prefer elm for its long, straight grain patters, light tan/beige to light to medium reddish-brown coloration, and resistance to splitting. It is often compared to oak and makes for excellent interior paneling, siding, or flooring

The freshly surface planed elm used in this ceiling paneling adds a unique beige coloration that complements this modern design with dark timbers. Shiplap milled profiles and thickness planing allow for the boards to lay tightly and evenly.
The freshly surface planed elm used in this ceiling paneling adds a unique beige coloration that complements this modern design with dark timbers. Shiplap milled profiles and thickness planing allow for the boards to lay tightly and evenly.

Douglas Fir


We mill siding and interior paneling from Douglas fir dimensional lumber (generally 3X material) or timbers. Most customers prefer to leave the untouched original rough sawn patina, but we also offer the option to surface plane the Douglas fir boards on all 4 sides (S4S). An S4S finish makes the boards look as if they were new, with the exception of any remaining nail or bolt holes from the lumber/timber's first life in an historic structure. The notable advantage to freshly milling reclaimed Douglas fir is that it clearly reveals the desirable old growth characteristics under the acquired patina.

This Patagonia retail display uses reclaimed Douglas fir paneling with a shiplap milled profile and S4S finish for a clean  tight-fitting look.
This Patagonia retail display uses reclaimed Douglas fir paneling with a shiplap milled profile and S4S finish for a clean, tight-fitting look.

Hand Hewn Slab Siding


Are you looking for the look of a log cabin without actually building a log cabin? Hand hewn slab siding will provide you the appearance of a log home and is a very economical option compared to building an actual log home. The best face of a hand hewn beam is cut at 2-3” thick and then mounted to a framed wall. Chinking material is then added between the slabs giving the appearance of historic hand hewn squared log construction. From a building standpoint, it is much easier and cheaper to install utilities through a framed wall with hand hewn slab siding than through traditional log construction.

This mountain home has the authenticity log cabin with its reclaimed hand hewn slab siding and hand hewn timber-framing.
This mountain home has the authenticity log cabin with its reclaimed hand hewn slab siding and hand hewn timber-framing.

Reclaimed Rusty Metal Siding


Corrugated and v-notch patterned metal panels from the roofs of historic barns. Each section is aged with varying levels of rusty patina for a vibrant and unique palette for your project. For some fascinating information on how different kinds of chemical reactions created diverse coloring in our rusty metal siding, see this article on the meaning of varying levels of rust.

Unique fence design with v-notch and corrugated rusty metal siding
Unique fence design with v-notch and corrugated rusty metal siding
Newly designed dutch style barn clad in vertical and horizontal weathered grey barn wood and a rusty metal corrugated roof
Newly designed dutch style barn clad in vertical and horizontal weathered grey barn wood and a rusty metal corrugated roof

Mixed Oak for Furniture Building


High quality barn siding that runs straight and has very little or zero knot holes, that has been set aside specifically for making furniture.


Uses


With its rustic aesthetics and charm, reclaimed barn wood siding provides a timeless look to a diverse range of applications. Naturally weathered barn siding boards come in a variety of color and texture. A board’s age can generally be determined by the amount of furrowing and the style of original saw marks These features give reclaimed barn wood siding rich character while telling the story of America’s agrarian heritage. Average widths range from 4"-12" with thicknesses of 1/2" to 4/4". The most popular uses for reclaimed barn boards include:

Whole Foods olive bar clad in barn wood paneling
Whole Foods olive bar clad in barn wood paneling
  • Exterior Siding
  • Interior Paneling

Other uses include:
  • Accent Paneling
    Barn wood wall panels with Douglas fir ceiling panels
    Barn wood wall panels with Douglas fir ceiling panels
  • Fence Construction
  • Wainscot
  • Fascia
  • Retail Display Walls
  • Trim
  • Accent Features

Combination of mixed hardwoods barn wood siding  rusty metal siding  and hand hewn timbers
Combination of mixed hardwoods barn wood siding, rusty metal siding, and hand hewn timbers
Credit: H. Wilson Photography

Tips for Installing


Each piece of reclaimed barn siding has endured a unique journey through time. Color variations, hand saw marks, nail holes, knots, and insect trails speak to each board’s earlier life. Because of the individual character of each board, certain pieces may not seem to meet order specifications. However, collectively they will create a deliberate and distinctive look and feel.

Barn boards usually have different finishes on each side. The side that was on the exterior is weathered and contains a variety of grays, reds, browns, and blacks. The interior side is usually brown with either a smooth or saw-mark texture.

Working with reclaimed wood is different than working with new lumber. Encourage your contractor or installer to contact us if it’s their first time working with reclaimed wood.

Specialized tools are not required, but special care is needed for successful installation:
  • For painted boards, remove loose dirt and paint with a stiff brush.
  • Confirm that you are working with nail-free boards. Remove or note the location of metal pieces if they exist.
  • If the wood has not been kiln dried or milled, place black backing paper under the intended application area to make any gaps or inconsistencies in the wood less obvious in case of shrinkage.
  • Cut nails can give the boards an authentic appearance, whereas trim screws create a tighter fit against the installation wall, especially if warps exist.
  • Be careful not to damage the weathered patina with fastening tools. Be aware that sanding and sawing the boards will reveal the natural color of the wood, which may clash with the project's aesthetics.

Green Building with Reclaimed Barn Wood Siding


Distinguished Boards + Beams believes that old growth wood should be re-used not just for its durability and aesthetics, but also for sustainability reasons. Our products come from old growth trees that grew slowly over hundreds of years in dense virgin forests during times when there were relatively few environmental pollutants in the air. This slow yet epic competition for sunlight led to only the strongest trees surviving and the production of very tight growth rings. The pristine environmental conditions of historic times have also been show to significantly increase the health and therefore integrity of reclaimed old growth wood. The tight growth rings and health of these ancient giants makes their lumber much more robust than the conventional fast-grown lumber of our current era. Natural air-drying during their first lives in an historic barn also ensure less chance for movement and shrinkage.

We have conducted chemical tests on the wood in our inventory and have confirmed that our products have far less impurities than conventionally milled and treated lumber. As mentioned in the Red Options section, the paint used in most varieties is made up of natural ingredients like skimmed milk, linseed oil, rust, and lime. You can be confident that your project will not only be aesthetically pleasing and durable, but also safe and sustainable.

*Many of our products, including reclaimed siding, are eligible for LEED points.


Our Procurement Strategy


Our customers value aesthetics and durability, and we only source premium siding materials. Identifying high quality barn wood takes a trained eye, plus knowledge of barn history and architecture. We’ve consistently sourced high volumes of top quality barn wood during the past 15 years and these are a few key factors we consider:
  • An intact roof: The most important factor in identifying the condition of the wood in a barn is almost always the state of the roof. Chances are that if the roof does not leak then the wood will be in good shape. Even if the existing roof is intact, it is still important to learn the history of each barn and examine them for signs of rot, since the original could have been replaced after neglect.
  • Age: Age is an important factor in determining both the craftsmanship and quality of wood used in the original barn construction. Barns in early America were built to last for centuries with their large, locally sourced hand-crafted boards and beams. By the late 1800s, the availability of old growth timber began to decline. This coincided with higher production sawmills of the industrial revolution and a shift away from hand-craftmanship. Saw mills preferred smaller timbers because it was easier to transport and cut, which resulted in less robust barns.
  • Joinery: One way to determine age and quality of craftsmanship is to examine the joinery of an historic barn. If the mortise and tenon joints were well carved from long and heavy timber, then chances are that the work was done by an experienced craftsman and built to last. Joinery skills required experience and training and began to fade away as traditional timber-framing joinery was replaced with industrial fasteners and milled dimensional lumber.
  • Insect infestation: We choose barn wood with minimal or no signs of insect infestation and kiln dry all wood to ensure that all insects have been completely eliminated.

How Antique Barn Boards were Originally Made


Before sawmills, locally sourced trees were hand-hewn and hand-sawn for the construction of barns. The earliest barns were constructed of hand-hewn logs stacked horizontally, but this laborious method called for more efficient means of barn construction which led to the most common saw styles found at Distinguished Boards and Beams.

Pit Sawn Barn Boards


Pit-saw marks
Pit-saw marks
The need for more efficient and less labor intensive ways of producing lumber called for sawn planks, and later milled planks. The first barn siding boards were often pit-sawn, a process that involved one “top-sawyer” above and one “pit man,” or “bottom-sawyer,” below. The pit-man would stand in a dug pit with supports above holding the top-sawyer and log in place. Top-sawyers had to be especially strong because they were the ones that both guided the saw and pulled upward.

Pit Saw
Pit Saw
Sawyers took great pride in their ability to produce quality boards. Pit-sawn lumber was traditionally used in shipbuilding and a common trade in Europe. The process, however, was slow and exhausting, producing only six to eight boards per hour, or 100 linear feet on a good day. Pit-sawn boards can be identified by their straight, irregular saw marks.

Sash-Style Sawn Barn Boards


In areas where there was ready access to water, water powered sawmills were one of the first additions to new American settlements. Vast forests, a growing country, and a shortage of labor made sawmills an integral part of local economies.
Sash-type Sawmill
Sash-type Sawmill
Credit: Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill
Sash-style saw marks
Sash-style saw marks
Credit: Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill
For this reason, most barn planks produced before the 1850s were made with sash-style blades. Sash Blade barn boards are distinguished by their ragged yet straight saw marks created by the up and down reciprocal motion of the blades. The blades used were similar to pit-saw blades but powered by a water-wheel connected to a "pit-man" crank. Single-blade sash-style watermills could produce roughly 500 linear feet of barn board per day.

Circular Sawn Boards


Large circular saw marks
Large circular saw marks
Circular saw blades began replacing sash-style blades around 1830, and by the 1900s nearly all mills had replaced their reciprocal sash blades with circular blades. The improved efficiency of the 4'-6' diameter circular saws caused the price of barn construction to drop and made it easier for farmers to operate their own small mills. Circular rough sawn boards show the arcs created by the round blade. Large Circular saws are still commonly used for rough-sawn lumber in small New England mills.
Circular Saw Mill
Circular Saw Mill
Credit: Grimshaw on Saws, 1880

Band-Sawn Barn Boards


By the late 1800s, band-saws were milling much of the lumber found in farm structures. Their thin band blades rested and rotated on two large pulleys, a system that required much innovation before making its way into larger mills. Since band-saw blades are designed to be hard yet flexible they require high quality steel that was not available in the United States until the 1870s. Slack and tension within the pulley system caused early designs to make snaked cuts at the ends of boards, a problem which frustrated and encouraged engineers. By the 1890s, band-saw designs were able to cut straight enough to make their way into high production mills.
Early band-saw design
Early band-saw design
Credit: Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill
Band-saw marks with their characteristic waviness
Band-saw marks with their characteristic waviness
Credit: Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill
Band-saws were appreciated by commercial mills for two reasons: they were more accurate than gang sash-saws, and their thin blades create a narrower cut, or kerf, in the logs which led to less waste. Less waste coupled with greater cutting accuracy and a reduced number of culled boards led to band-saws becoming popular with mills. The straight Band-saw marks are very similar to sash-saw marks but much closer together. Imperfections in band-saw blades would often create wavy marks in boards as opposed to the consistently straight marks from sash-saws.

Saw Marks and Your Order with Distinguished Boards and Beams


Most of our customers prefer a mixture of original saw marks in their reclaimed siding orders. All of our boards come with the original marks and the option to have them re-sawn in our mill shop. We also offer the option to hand pick specific saw mark styles in our yard.
Mix of pit  sash  and circular saw marks
Mix of pit, sash, and circular saw marks

Colorful display of mixed hardwoods barn wood siding
Colorful display of mixed hardwoods barn wood siding

Distinguished Boards & Beams
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