Looking to buy barn wood for your next home improvement project? Here’s where to find reclaimed lumber for sale near you and maybe even score some for free!
Photo Credit: Diana Petrillo
Where to Find Barn Wood For Sale
There’s just something appealing about old barn wood. Maybe it’s that barn wood weathers to warm shades of silver and rich shades of brown. Or maybe it’s that the layers of paint peel to create an incredible chippy effect. Whatever the reason, many DIYers want to include this beautiful patina in their home’s decor. Reclaimed lumber can add a timeless look to accent walls, doors, frames, furniture, crafts, and more.
Today, I’m sharing where to find reclaimed barn wood for sale (and free) both online and where to look for old barn wood that you can buy near you.
You may also enjoy Beginner’s Guide to Buying Used Woodworking Tools
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Table of Contents
What is Barn Wood?
Barn wood is lumber that has been reclaimed from old barns. Old barns often fall into disrepair or are leveled to make way for new buildings. Rather than sending the timber to a landfill it’s repurposed and given a new life.
Exposure to the elements gives this old lumber a beautiful patina. Barn wood weathers to warm shades of silver and rich shades of brown. Rain, snow, and sun peel away layers of paint to create an incredible chippy effect.
Many people want to include this beautiful patina in their home’s decor. Some DIYers may use the barn wood as is. More recently, businesses are turning the lumber into reclaimed wall planks, flooring, doors, and more.
Photo Credit: Diana Petrillo
What You Need to Know Before Buying Barn Wood
There are a few things to consider before we bring old barn wood into our homes. Exposure to the elements can cause old lumber to rot. We can’t build projects with rotten wood.
The lumber may also be moldy or it could be saturated with chemicals or pesticides. The paint on barn lumber may be lead-based paint. Milling and cutting this lumber could cause these contaminants to become airborne which may be harmful to our lungs.
Photo Credit: Diana Petrillo
Years ago, my aunt bought a piece of property with a barn. Inside, she found the complete parts of another old, dismantled barn. What a find! The problem was the dismantled barn was soaked with years of mouse droppings and mouse urine. According to this Mayo Clinic article, rodent droppings can contain viruses that are dangerous to humans.
There were two problems with reclaiming this wood. First, we would need to remove the lumber without getting sick. Next, how would we work with these materials? Cutting and milling might cause any possible diseases to become airborne. For me, it wasn’t worth the risk of getting sick.
Old timber may contain insects. Insects like termites can damage our homes.
Old wood can twist and warp. Does the look of twisted wood add to the charm of our project, or will we need to mill the old timber into straight boards? Milling the timber into straight boards requires woodworking tools like a jointer and planer.
Businesses that turn the lumber into reclaimed wall planks, flooring, doors, etc. clean the wood and ensure it’s insect-free before making it available for sale.
Wood needs to acclimate to the humidity levels of our workshop before we start building. The moisture level of the reclaimed wood will likely be different than the humidity level of our shop. The wood may absorb or release moisture while it’s in our shop. This means the wood could shrink or swell as we are building. Shrinking and swelling could cause our project to split or crack.
What Can You Make with Reclaimed Wood?
- Accent Walls
- Picture Frames
- Wood Signs
Where to Buy Barn Wood
Here’s where to look for barn wood for sale both online and near you. You may even be able to score some for free!
Let’s get started!
What could be easier than going online and buying old barn wood? Here are some beautiful options you can have shipped to your home. Many of them include free shipping!
Architectural Salvage Stores
Local architectural salvage stores are a great source for historic building parts like fixtures, bathtubs, doorknobs, mantles, windows, and more. They can also be a source of old barn wood. To get started, search “architectural salvage store” in your area.
Buying and selling apps like Letgo and OfferUp are mobile classifieds that connect buyers and sellers. They’re similar to newspaper classified ads or Craigslist. To get started, download the app and start searching for barn wood.
eBay is a shopping platform where you can buy and sell items like electronics, cars, and collectibles. It’s is also a great place to buy reclaimed planks, beams, and more. They offer traditional style auctions, and “buy it now” options. It’s free for buyers to use (sellers pay fees for selling items).
Etsy is a shopping platform where buyers can find handmade, vintage, and craft supply items from sellers. We may also see reclaimed barn wood planks for walls or finished items like signs, shelves, and furniture.
Craigslist is like the modern version of the newspaper classifieds. We can search for everything from cars to baby clothes and even barn wood. Craigslist is a great place to search for free barn wood.
We can also set up an alert, so we never miss when a new listing has been added. It’s easy to set up an alert. Just click on “save search” to the right of the search bar and follow the instructions.
Facebook Garage Sale Groups
Many towns and neighborhoods have a Facebook group for online garage sales. To find one near you, search Facebook for your town and “garage sale” or “yard sale”. Then request to join the group and start searching.
The Facebook Marketplace is hosted on Facebook. It’s a place for users to buy and sell items. To get to the marketplace, start by going to Facebook and searching “Facebook Marketplace”. Once at the marketplace, you can search for terms like “barn wood”, etc. Then refine your search by entering a price range, changing location, and more.
Freecycle says “It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.”
This is a great place to search for free barn lumber!
Habitat for Humanity Restore
The Habitat ReStore sells donated home improvement items. Items can be both new and used. Items often include building materials, furniture, appliances, lighting fixtures, and more. Sometimes they also have barn wood. Search for your local Habitat Restore here.
Home Improvement Stores
Home Depot and Lowe’s offer a variety of barn wood products like planks for wall projects and reclaimed doors. The wood has been prepared, so it’s ready for installation. Buy at the store or shop online and have it shipped to your home.
Lumber Dealers (Online)
We can buy barn wood online from lumber dealers that specialize in reclaimed lumber. Here are a few to check out:
This is an easy one. If you see an old barn stop and ask the owner if they would be willing to part with some wood. I’m all about restoration, so let’s reserve this option for collapsed barns that are too far gone to be repaired. We don’t want to start tearing apart a barn that can be restored!
A note about safety. We should wear safety glasses, dust mask, gloves, and appropriate footwear (no flip flops!). And we may need some tools like a hammer, pry bar, etc.
A lumber mill or sawmill is where logs are made into lumber. Many sawmills only work with new wood but sometimes they also have old reclaimed wood. It’s worth a call to your local lumber mill to see if they have any barn wood available.
Still Can’t Find Barn Wood?
We can use wood that looks like barn wood if we’re having trouble locating authentic barn lumber. Old fence parts like slats, rails, and gates have a similar look to old barn wood. The best thing is fence parts are not sought after like barn wood. This means many times we can find fence parts for free on Craigslist, Facebook groups, etc.
Buying Safety Tips
Craigslist, Facebook, eBay, etc are great places to search for barn wood. But we need to watch for scams. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. The thought of saving a little money is not worth losing more money or getting injured.
Please proceed with caution when meeting with a seller. I’m sure you have all heard the stories of people meeting to check out an item and being robbed or worse. When possible, it’s a good idea to meet in a neutral, public location with people around.
I recently sent a message for an item I found on craigslist. The responses I got were vague and the seller kept saying “come here and check it out.” It gave me an uneasy feeling and I stopped contacting the seller. The bottom line is don’t go if you feel uneasy or don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s not worth the risk.
When going to check out an item, let someone know where you’re going and bring a buddy with you. It’s good to have an extra set of eyes anyway!
There are many places to find barn wood for sale (and even free) both online and locally. Start your search today!
Thank you for stopping by. If you found this information helpful, would you please pin it to Pinterest? Other DIYers would appreciate it and I would too! Thank you – Scott
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