Barn Wood Installation Questions and Answers
Q: My wall is 80x40 (inches). How many boxes would I need?
A: You will need 3 boxes. 80’’x 40’’ = 3,200 square inches, divided by 144 = 22.5 sq ft x 1.15 (assuming a 15% loss for end trimming) = 25.5 sq ft. You will even have a small amount left over!
Any measurement should be done with length in inches x width in inches, divided by 144. This gives you your square footage. Our DIY kits are 10.0 square feet.
Q: Can I apply a polyurethane clear coat, or would that remove the color?
A: Yes, you can apply a clear finish. We would then recommend lightly sanding the barn wood planks prior to applying the finish with a lighter grit sandpaper if you want to preserve the look of the wood. Moderate to heavy sanding will remove the natural weathered look and leave the wood lighter. The more you sand, the lighter the wood will be. If you sand gently and then apply the polyurethane, you will be left with darker boards.
Q: Can I use an air brad gun to secure these to drywall? Should I use 1.5-inch brads?
A: We recommend the use of a brad air nailer on drywall with the majority of the nails penetrating the studs. Planks are 3/8” thick and drywall varies in thickness but is most commonly ½”. 1.5-inch length brad nails would work perfectly for most situations.
Q: Do you have to install the reclaimed wood with a backing board?
A: No. There is no need to install an additional backing board for the reclaimed wood. Most studs are 16" on center, so there is no need for a backing board. Simply mark your vertical studs and ensure you nail twice at every stud when applying the boards - it's that simple!
Q: Do you recommend painting the wall behind the barn wood installation, and if so, what color?
A: Painting the wall behind your barn wood installation in a black or dark brown color is recommended. This way, any nail holes, knots, or cracks are not visible behind the wood.
Q: Do you have to use an adhesive? Can you just use brad nails and nail those onto the studs?
A: The 3/8-inch panels are thin and light enough to be held with only nails into the stud as long as the nail length is appropriately selected to fully penetrate the plank, drywall, and the stud.
Q: Everyone has been suggesting to use brad nails or finishing nails to mount these boards. Will it still work with screws?
A: Yes, it will, but we do suggest using a smaller head trim screw in this case. It may also be helpful to pre-drill the holes in your barn wood planks.
Q: How many steps are involved in installing barn wood when using these to cover an accent wall. I'm not very handy, so I don't want something too involved.
A: Our barn wood is very DIY-friendly. All you have to do is paint the wall (which is optional), mark the studs, and start applying planks to the wall. You can do it!
Q: Should we coat the reclaimed wood boards with polyurethane? We are doing an accent wall, but we were thinking it would be good to avoid stains and spills and still be able to wash it.
A: Yes, many people use water- or oil-based satin sealer to seal the wood. This also makes for easy cleanup and increased durability on the wood.
Q: Do I need actual nails or could I exclusively use Liquid Nails?
A: We suggest you use nails of some sort. While we are confident that Liquid Nails would hold the wood to your surface in the long-term, you would still need to secure the plank to the wall while it dries.
Q: Can I use finishing nails for this project?
A: Yes, finishing nails will work as long as they are long enough to reach the studs under the boards.
Q: Will you need to pull the trim or door frame off the wall before applying these?
A: Most people leave the trim in place and butt right up to it. The planks are thin enough that, in most cases, it is near flush.
Questions About Color and Texture of the Barn Wood
Q: If I bought this product would the colors be as diverse and varied as compared to what is advertised in these pictures of completed walls?
A: Each box has a wide range of colors including brown and grey. Reclaimed wood products, like many antiques that have been subjected to weathering, have natural variations in color and tone, and that's part of what makes reclaimed wood charming and unique.
Q: Is this product smooth, or does it have a rough surface?
A: It is barn wood, so it will be a bit rougher; however, most surfaces have been cleaned. You can sand it to make it smoother, which gives it a little more modern, less rustic look. The more you sand, the lighter and more uniform the reclaimed wood will look.
Q: Are the pieces already finished or will I have to finish them?
A: These are authentic barn wood planks and have been surface brushed, but no other treatment has been done. If you are looking for a more finished look, we would suggest adding a clear, polyurethane coat after a light sanding.
Questions About Uses and Applications of Vintage Harvest Wood
Q: Can these be installed vertically under a chair rail?
A: Yes, you can even put them at an angle for a unique look. Herringbone or chevron installations of reclaimed wood are very popular.
Q: We’re building a home bar for our garage. Can this be used around the front and side of the bar?
A: Absolutely. The possibilities are limitless when it comes to installing your reclaimed barn wood. We have seen it used on all types of furniture and in nearly every room of a house or commercial building.
Q: Can you use these on a ceiling?
A: Yes. We would recommend using a construction adhesive like liquid nails as an added security feature.
Q: Can these be used outdoors on a fence? It’s the entrance to my main door.
A: This is an untreated wood product that is mainly used for interior purposes, so exterior uses may not last as long, or as successfully, as indoor uses. When used outside and against other walls, it would be best to install with a vapor barrier between the planks and the wall. This prevents moisture and rainwater from being held up against the wall. Many hardware stores sell a wire mesh vapor barrier.
Q: How would this work on a headboard for a queen-size bed?
A: This material can be applied directly to the wall or you could apply the planks on plywood and then install the plywood to the wall. A simple way to hang the plywood on the wall would be to use a French cleat.
Q: Could this product be used to build a sliding barn door?
A: Yes. The process would be very similar to mounting it on a headboard. Simply cut plywood to size and apply the barn wood planks to the plywood. You can also use the excess to trim out the sides.
Q: Would this work well for a toy box or other types of small furniture? Is it safe for children?
A: Yes, furniture applications for vintage barn wood add a beautiful and antique charm to your home. However, prior to installation or use, we strongly recommend sanding and sealing the wood to ensure safety and smoothness for children and anything with frequent use.
Q: Has anyone tried this as a tabletop? I am looking to have a rustic dining room tabletop.
A: Yes. Lightly sand and finish the wood with a durable clear coat. It is 3/8-inch thick so you would need to put it on plywood first.
Q: We are thinking about placing this around our fireplace instead of stone, but we’re wondering if it is safe. Will the wood burn?
A: It does depend on the application. Use the same principles as would be used with any wood near a fireplace. It will ignite or develop burn marks if sparks fly from the fireplace. If it is a gas fireplace without wood sparks a less strict standard is required.
Q: Can these be used on ceilings or around any kind of moisture such as on a bathroom ceiling?
A: The wood is unfinished and should not be exposed to direct moisture or extreme humidity. The pieces can become moisture safe if installed with a vapor barrier between the wall and paneling and a waterproof finish. If you use the barn wood as a backsplash, make sure you seal them so the water does not penetrate and damage the wood and the wall.
Q: If these are coated with polyurethane can they be used as wainscoting in a bathroom?
Q: Can this product be installed on cinder block basement walls or concrete? If so, how?
A: We would recommend you install plywood on the block wall first. Then you can easily install the planks directly to the plywood.
Q: Can this product be used as flooring over a wood subfloor?
A: No, reclaimed barn wood is too thin to be used for flooring; our planks are 3/8-inch thick, which is not enough to create a durable flooring surface.
Q: Can reclaimed wood be used for a ceiling on a covered porch?
A: Yes. On a covered porch, this could make a great accent and won't be subjected to the elements as in other outdoor applications.
Q: If I were to use this for an outdoor project, would it hold up?
A: It does depend on where it is installed. This is a wood product that has not been treated with any chemicals and there can be moisture damage in outdoor applications. However, use of a moisture barrier and treatment with polyurethane could extend the outdoor life of the barn wood.
Q: Can these be used on a textured wall?
Q: Can I use this in a bathroom, or will the moisture from the shower damage the material ?
A: We would not recommend using this type of wood in the shower since it is a natural wood product. However, it can be used in other parts of the bathroom. We recommend sealing it if it is going to be in contact with direct moisture. We also recommend a ceiling fan that will help remove moisture from the room.
Q: I want to put this behind my toilet, on the wall. Will it be a good idea?
A: Yes, this is a safe application for the barn wood since that area should not be getting wet. If you plan on getting it wet, we would recommend sealing it. This is still a wood product and will not hold up to being saturated with water.