Faux Barn Board Phone Booth Shelf

Try saying the title 3 times fast; it’s a tongue twister! Reclaimed wood in our area costs a fortune so we worked hard to develop a DIY technique for faux barn board that was just as beautiful but a fraction of the price.

Remember this phone booth that we picked up at the Aberfoyle Antique Market? We’re back with another version! I wasn’t totally happy with with faux barn board we created for version 1.0, so we rolled up our sleeves again and perfected it!

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Watch the video to see how it all comes together!

The Inspiration Behind this Project

A friend of ours has been working on his cottage and built a faux barn board wall feature for his northern retreat. He recently paid us a visit and came bearing samples of the faux barn board he made.  His samples had texture that looked similar to real barn board – as you can see below!

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I had just started playing with milk paint on some other projects, so while our friend used stain to create his version of barn board, I had an epiphany! I wouldn’t have even thought of using milk paint were it not for the timing of our friend’s visit! After weeks of experimentation, we created our own version of faux barn board I’m so proud of! Serendipity? I think so!

Choosing Wood

I was surprised to learn that our friend had used just plain ‘ol white wood (I think he used Poplar). We headed to Home Depot to see what they had.

We found a six foot piece of 1 x 8 piece knotty pine. Knotty pine is a bit more expensive than regular pine, but it adds a lot more character to the finished shelf.

Hubs wasn’t going to take a chance on warping so he dug through the pile and found the straightest board he could.

As we were heading down the aisle with our board to purchase it…..

…we came across this section of barn boards of all things!

Why Settle for Bland?

On closer inspection I found it quite unappealing; very bland and so rough that it could scrape the skin off your hand if you touched it (which of course I couldn’t resist doing)!

Although our technique takes a number steps to achieve a beautiful finish, when compared to the big box examples above, I think it’s worth the effort to get exactly what you want!

The next day, Hubs cut the board into 14″ lengths.

To create the texture, you’ll need these items. You’ll find the full list in this faux barnboard technique post.

Comparing Real to Faux

Just for fun, here’s a picture of a piece of real barn board with the two paint samples I completed. My faux barn boad has all the texture, depth of colour and interest as the real deal – without the price tag of the upscale stuff!! Furthermore, the extra steps of applying the tea stain and pickling solution to the bare wood really do matter as you can see. If you like the look of the real barn board and wanted to replicate it exactly, you can probably achieve that too with milk paint and a little experimentation.

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

Faux Barnboard Technique

If you’re interested in making your own, you can find all the details about how to create these faux barnboard shelves here.

Faux Barn Board Reveal

With a few nick nacks, this phone booth is now ready for its ‘shelfie’! We would have hung this on a wall for for the final reveal, but we got started on our other idea! I’d actually like to find a place for it where it could be used as a charging station. I guess what goes around, comes around; although phone booths are all but defunct, there’s still a good reason to use this for phones!

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

Hubs came up with a brilliant idea to support the barn board shelves using home-made tension rods (you can see a peek of it under the first shelf).

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

Mounting the Shelves

Since I had two very different ideas for the phone booth, I didn’t want to drill any holes into the original metal to mount supports for the shelves for two reasons: to keep the integrity of the phone receivers on the sides, and to be able to adjust the shelf height. You’ll find the full details and step-by-steps on how the shelves were supported with those requirements in mind if you jump to Mounting the Shelves.

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

I like the cool tones of the barn board combined with the warmer tones of the other wooden objects. The phone booth shelf would also look great displaying a collection of like objects – all vintage cameras for instance.

The texture and colour of our faux barn board is so much nicer that what you can buy at the big box store, as we showed you earlier! I know it’s extra work, but it’s so satisfying to do it yourself to get exactly what you want! We couldn’t be happier with the way the faux barn board shelves turned out.

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

Pin for Later

Pinning is always welcome and apprecated!

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

Milk paint is so versatile that we’ve used it on several projects. First and foremost, check out our alternate version of the phone booth. We’ve turned it into a planter with these milk painted pots!

Do  you have a favourite version?

Repurpose a retro phone booth enclosure into a planter |Birdz of a Feather | Phone booth | phone booth vintage | upcycle | repurposed items | faux barn board | barn board projects | |planter | planter ideas | planters | planters diy | planter upcycle | planter upcycle repurposed | planter update | planter upcycle ideas | upcycling | upcycling ideas | upcycled | #upcycle #upcycling

Follow our blog here to get tutorials on other DIY projects, in and around the home. You can also follow us on PinterestFacebookYouTube and Instagram.

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11 thoughts on “Faux Barn Board Phone Booth Shelf

  1. By the way you had it worded I didn’t catch that the shape of the phone booth is birdhouse I thought you were making a faux barn wood bird house which also would be very awesome for that phone booth to

    • There are so many awesome uses for this piece. A bird house would’ve fit right in with our blog (after all, we are ‘Birdz of a Feather’). Maybe we’ll have to upcycle this piece for a third time – lol.

  2. These turned out really well! What a process. When we visited Hobbiton they were describing ways in which they aged the fences to look like they were hundreds of years old. They used flecks of blue paint, yogurt, and some sort of soaking solution. Fun stuff! You two are amazing.

    • Thanks so much Alys! It was a busy few weeks perfecting the technique until I was happy with it. Thankfully, hubs has just as much patience. Have you see the price of the real stuff? Definitely worth the effort!

      Haven’t seen a post from you lately; looking forward to your next one (I have to admit that I’m suffering some withdrawal)!

      • I adore you, Sara. Thank you! It’s been over a month since I’ve posted. I’ve never gone this long in 7 years. I’ve been busy, but also feeling a bit stale. Sometimes you just have to jump back in I guess. xo

        • I know that feeling; I’m feeling a bit burned out myself these days and can sense my craft mojo slipping away. I’d like to step away for a month too and enjoy what little summer we have left but I also like having the option of working outdoors while the weather is nice. Such a catch 22 when you don’t live in a mild climate! I think time away is great to get the creative juices flowing again; you’ll know when you’re ready 🙂

          • Thank you, Sara. Your summers are so short, that it makes sense that you want to enjoy as much of those gardening/outdoor/antique fairs as possible. I agree that breaks are good. My focus has been on volunteering at Lifted Spirits, getting my son ready for college, helping my sister as needed and of course life with one husband, two sons and three cats is never dull. 🙂

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