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!
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!
So while our friend used stain to create his version of barn board, I had just started playing with milk paint and 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!
Surprisingly, 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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
Pin for Later
Pinning is always welcome and apprecated!
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? If you love planters as much as we do, check out these 10 outside the box planter ideas.