Thursday, March 25, 2021

Refurnishing Old Fence Boards

Barb and I have worked on a lot of projects over the past couple years building our house. Building and raising our tall sidewalls ranks right up there as one of our most satisfying accomplishments. It was challenging as well as significant in bringing our dreams to fruition. 

Hard to believe that this was two years ago!

Although not as challenging, over the past few weeks we have been working on another project that ranked right up there in the satisfaction department. When we bought our property in '17 there was a wooden cattle corral that straddles our property and our neighbors property. One of our first projects was taking it down so would could put our high tension fence up. 

This is a section that is still standing

We saved the wood, not knowing what we were going to do with it but knew it would be good for something.... Fast forward 3+ years when Kevin said we should use the fence boards as an accent wall in our kitchen. At first we were skeptical and were wondering if he had gotten a bad batch of mushrooms at the grocery store but with open minds we finished a few boards and liked the look enough to move forward and finish them to the point where we could actually do the wall.

It involved a lot more time and steps than I had originally thought. One just does not varnish them and throw them up on the wall!

The first step was for Barb to lightly sand each board, enough to take the roughness out of the face but not too much where we remove the old character.

She then varnished them to bring out the grain. This may seem a little backwards as there was still a lot of work to do to them but we wanted to see what each board was going to look like finished and only let the best of them move forward to the next step     


Since they were rough cut boards and had been in the elements for decades the edges were anything but straight. They were both warped from side to side and cupped in the center. If we wanted them to fit tightly side by side on the wall we needed straight edges. So for the next step I clamped an 8' level to each of the boards and ripped a straight edge on one side. Some boards were pretty good, while others were quite warped and required more to be taken off to get a straight edge.
Once I had a straight edge on one side of each board I could run them through the table saw cutting them to a consistent width and giving the other side a straight edge. We now had finished boards that were the same widths and had straight edges on both sides!

Done? Nope, if we wanted them to lay flat on the wall and butt up end to end we needed to take the cupping out of the boards. This meant running them through a planer to get them to a consistent width and make the back side totally flat. There were varying width of boards so some of them we had to run through 5-6 times taking them down 1/64 of an inch each time.

Now we had boards that were ready to put up on the wall! But even with all that work, not all the boards butted up tightly side to side and end to end so we painted the wall black so if there was any gaps you would not see the white wall behind the boards.
Since this project was an afterthought we did not put any nailers up so we ended up putting construction adhesive on each board when we put them up and used 2" finish nails anywhere we could hit solid wood behind the sheetrock. Each board had to be hand picked for each spot as we wanted them to fit as tightly as possible. Barb also stained the ends and sides of each board in case any tiny edges were exposed as we put them up. Board by board we worked our way across the wall. 3 days later we finally reached the other side!

This look may not be for everyone but we love it! The aging and old nail holes of the board has a lot of character and really adds to the overall look of the wall. 

Other accomplishments include getting the rest of the railing and trim boards up....


And no, that is not a fawn hide on the railing, that is an Axis deer I got while visiting our dear/deer friends Red and Pam in Texas a few years ago. You may have noticed another big difference in that picture from the one I posted last week....We got our fridge! Yes, after ordering it 6 months ago it finally arrived! That was the last appliance we were waiting for.

Those were our only house projects we did this week. We did clean the garage some more. We had stored all of our leftover steel roofing under the camper and we had to move it, getting ready for our upcoming adventures!

Barb has been busy getting ready for the arrival of the new puppy. Amazon packages seem to be arriving daily and the breeder sends pictures and videos almost daily. Here is the latest video....

If you listened to the video carefully, you heard the breeder calling the puppy Zoey. That is because we decided to change her name from Lyra to Zoey. Three more weeks and she will be in our house!

With the coming of spring, the turkeys are getting ready for their mating season which is just a few weeks ago. A few days ago we were greeted with this when we walked out of the bedroom to start our day! Turkey season for archery opens on April 3rd, my guess is that they are just taunting us and we will not see a feather come the first weekend of April. 
The highlight of our week however was when we took a day to get out trout fishing at our favorite creek! 


We caught a couple of small trout but overall they were not very cooperative. I don't think we have been there since the spring of '19 when we fished there with the McCormack's when the men out fished the women in both quantity and size by like 3:1. At least that is how I remember it! 


30 comments:

  1. I got this email from Contessa whose blog is: 5C's Que Pasa (contessajewall.com) She recently got two new pups of her own and has her hands full! For some reason she cannot comment on the blog itself so I thought I would include it here....

    Congratulations on your new baby. How very specialšŸ˜ How old will she be when you pick her up? Loved that blog post. You are very creative in your writing. Ha once you get her home you won’t have a spare moment - trust me!

    No the madness will NEVER end. I assigned Colin the food research and he spent two weeks on it and then we changed our minds as their was too much protein in it. We have settled on Blue Buffalo Puppy Life Protection, Chicken and Rice. Our vet told us to not feed grain free as there are new studies coming out.


    You home is looking wonderful.

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  2. I too like the new wall look in the kitchen. Amazing what one can do with old wood. Looking great.

    Showed the video to Indy and she wanted to watch it over and over and over...

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    1. Daisy used to love watching TV. Dakota just ignores it. Glad we could keep Indy entertained for a few minutes!

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  3. Will you be using more of the Fence Wood for the door and window trim or more modern trim to highlight it. (Scrap Pieces will help you gauge that properly.)
    Looking forward to the new Pup.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the fishing hole and turkey hunt.

    It's about time.

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    1. The jam extensions and trim will be finished pine to match the other doors and windows.

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  4. What a great idea for the old fence boards. Certainly a lot of work but boy is the wall beautiful. The old boards have so much character. Great job! Your kitchen looks wonderful. Zoey is adorable. Hope Dakota enjoys his new friend.

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    1. It took Dakota and Daisy a couple of weeks to bond, we are hoping for something similar with Zoey. Although Dakota was 2 when we got her while Zoey is going to be an annoying puppy. Should be interesting!

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  5. Wow...it won’t be too long and it will be time for flooring! Looks good, Jim and Barb!

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    1. We have one more project we need to complete before we can seriously think about putting the flooring in. But....we hope to get that project done this week!

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  6. Saving old wood is always a good idea. You certainly did a lot more work getting them ready for the wall than I would have! Of course I don't have all that equipment to make them look that good. The results are gorgeous!!!
    I like Zoey better ... what a cutie she is going to be!!!

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    1. We have no idea how old the boards are, I guess I could go onto Google Earth and look at time line photos to see then they first appeared!

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  7. Love the new/old wall, great job. You're going to have your hands full soon with Zoey!!

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    1. We will be at the farm for our first month with her so it will be interesting raising her in a pickup camper!

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  8. You sure are handy with old wood. You have our accolades. The house is all coming together.

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  9. Your wall looks fabulous. Definitely fits in with the theme you have decided on in your barndominium. Your puppy is very, very cute. Hard to wait for it's arrival, I bet. :)

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    1. The colors and tones really blend together. Now, on to the next project!

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  10. I totally love the look of the reclaimed fence boards on the kitchen wall. You know that if you had to purchase them you'd be out a lot of $$.. Personally I would have changed the color of the outlets and covers to match the grey, but that is just my personal taste. You two are a fantastic team and your work is exceptional!

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    1. Funny you should mention the outlets and covers. Barb took a piece of that wood to the store today to see what color she wanted to change them to!

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  11. Repurposing that wood was a great idea...looks fantastic! Zoey will love her new digs.

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    1. I wish we could claim the credit for the idea but we can reap the rewards!

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  12. The kitchen wall is incredible!! We love it! Your whole home is just beautiful!

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    1. Thank you! We know there are people out there who think it is way too much wood and way too many mounts but we love it!

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  13. I sure love the idea of the wood wall. Save that history and incorporate it into your home! The color and texture of the different woods make is so beautiful! How nice to have the new fridge. The Axis hide looks great too. Puppy is so cute! And I think you've been sniffing too much construction adhesive if you remember the GUYS catching the most and the biggest trout! We are so ready to get our poles out again at some point this year!

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  14. I love that wall! I think it looks great and adds a lot of character to the space. Definitely a good call to hold onto that old wood. And I also love the name Zoey for your new pup. Good choice!

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    1. Thanks! Barb wrote down a list of 8 names and we each put them in order of which names we liked the best. Our top 3 were the in different orders but the same names and we decided on Zoey!

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  15. Insurance save the turkey feathers so you can tie the greatest trout flies around I hope you saved a little bit of the deer hide here and there that works great for time flies also but it's the wing feathers are most important on the turkey and the body feathers because of the trance lucid power. First they look greenish and then if it's bounced on the bottom they'll look bluish and then a combination again the flies will look so real you should be able to win the rematch with no problem

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    1. That's a great idea! We broke out the fly tying kit and light the other day and put it up by the desk in the loft. We have not tied any yet but wanted to get it up there so it would be handy when we have time.

      Turkey season opened yesterday but I have yet to get out. Maybe tomorrow!

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