I made a handful of frames from some wood from my great-grandparents' barn in Oklahoma. Barn wood is unique looking. Over the many years it sits in the beating sun, exposed to windswept dust, and rain. Exposed to the elements like this, the bright tan color of wood weathers to a gray. Different parts of the wood fibers wear away, winter and summer growth rings have different density so they wear unevenly. This combines to create the unique appearance of barn wood.
Tiny problem though: when you cut barn wood to the size of whatever you're using it for, you're stripping away those years of weathering and exposing fresh wood to the surface. After the jump is info about how I tried to counteract this problem.
I used General Finishes Weathered Grey Wood Stain. In my experience, General Finishes gel stains work well and have extra thick consistency; they do not seem very penetrative, but this stain didn't seem to either.)
|That's... a bit of a contrast.|
|I'll just go ahead and say that it's aptly named|
|It's not perfect, but hey, it came out of a can rather than a century or so of exposure to Mother Earth's fury... So I'll take it.|
|Another shot to compare the coloration|
Actual barnwood comes with complications. This stuff is brittle, weak, and frankly unfit for almost any load-bearing application. Picture frame? It can handle that. Actual stresses? It laughs at your feeble efforts from its place shattered in pieces on the floor. Recreating the visual effects of weathering, without the structural effects of weathering is a valuable trick to keep up the sleeve.