Reclaimed vs. Salvaged Wood

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Reclaimed and salvaged are terms that are often used interchangeably when referring to reusing wood.  The truth is they are not the same thing but they do serve a similar purpose.  Reclaimed wood is wood that has been used previously in the construction of buildings. Old barns are a common source of reclaimed wood as are old warehouses, docks, homes and municipal buildings. These structures must be carefully dismantled when intended for reuse.  The wood is then cut up or re-shaped to be used in a new way.  Old flooring becomes a coffee table.  An old support beam becomes a fireplace mantel.  The simple act of re-using the wood is what defines it as ‘reclaimed. There are several reasons for choosing reclaimed wood as a building material.  Often hundreds of years old and exposed to the elements, reclaimed wood has a beautiful unique weathered patina.  It is an extremely stable wood having been air-dried for many years.  People also often like the stories behind reclaimed wood.  Knowing it came from a family barn or a historic building only makes it more interesting.

shutterstock_72186736Unlike reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has not been previously cut into lumber or used for construction. The wood is typically found in its natural state. It could be from trees that are dead, have fallen or need to be removed for some reason.  Trees are often removed to build a highway or new housing. Like reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has a lot of character. The color is often much deeper.  It may have intricate grain patterns, knots and worm tracks.  Centuries of aging causes a wide range of beautiful qualities that just cannot be found in younger tree growth.

In both cases, reclaimed and salvaged wood is ‘old growth’. Since the wood came from old growth forests it is harder, denser and has more character than new growth wood.  They also share the same benefits. Both are extremely durable and will can last for generations.  The wood can be re-finished, converted and re-used in many different ways. Best of all, both prevent new trees from being cut down.

Today there is much interest in using reclaimed and salvaged wood in home renovations and decor.  It is being used as hardwood floors, to make furniture, create feature walls and art. pallet-coffee-tableThe costs for each varies considerably. Reclaimed wood is often less expensive traditional lumber.  Salvaged wood, however can be more expensive.  It must be collected, transported, milled, and is often re-finished before it’s re-sold.  There is also a lot of waste that doesn’t happen with younger woods. Up to 75% of a tree that was fallen or salvaged is often unusable.

Although different, it really doesn’t matter whether you use reclaimed or salvaged wood. Each offers a one-of-a-kind building material.  Both benefit the environment and reduce what goes in a landfill.  The next time you shop for furniture or plan a woodworking project, consider using reclaimed or salvaged wood. Reusing and recycling are trends that are here to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

Breadbox Gets an Updo

Breadbox Before   Breadbox_afterThrift Store: Goodwill  in Lafayette , CO.  Did you know Goodwill Industries “diverts more than two billion pounds of clothing and household goods every year from landfills by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods.” That’s pretty impressive. 

Breadbox appearance: decent condition, didn’t need much work.

Reality of the box condition: highly built up gunk, hardware was very worn, wood itself dry and dull, missing the center piece. 

First I had to use Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner & Preservative to restore the wood. This wood was highly receptive to Liquid Gold, it was a hard wood that has been around for a very long time. This also removed all the gunk the breadbox had acquired. Inside the bread box

Gunk noun: unpleasant sticky or messy substance that can be removed using Liquid Gold.
Breadbox_B4_After

The Updo

Light sanding on the front in preparation for paint. A new and fun knob found at Hobby Lobby. Spray painted the hinges copper to add a shimmer. Very fancy scrapbook paper & cardboard were used to fill in the center open space for the final touch.

Breadbox is prepared for it’s date with Bread!

Breadbox Finished   Bread Loaf

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Recreating French Vintage

Hello fellow country vintage lovers! I’m here today to share some wonderful resources and ideas for recreating a French, country, and vintage piece for your home. Read

First, find something old, ugly or boring to work with! I came across this hideous magazine rack with a leopard print-like design at Goodwill, immediately knowing it was the perfect piece.

See hideous!Magazine Holder

After much sanding, it was still very “spotted” I chose a dark stain to re-stain two areas on the rack that I had intentions for a reverse stencil (find great instructions here). I didn’t want the spotting coming through but rather a nice, clean dark wood. This worked out well, the wood took to the stain great!

R-purposed

Placing vinyl letters “READ” over the newly stained spots (I gave the stain 2-3hrs before placing vinyl letters and it needed more time but still worked for me), I then sprayed the rest with an off white spray paint.Read

Notice here – there’s nothing vintage about it, I wasn’t pleased. It looks nice and could have stayed as is. But I wanted vintage! This is when I found It’s Just Me Blog and followed her amazing guidelines for re-creating a French vintage appeal rather easily.

I created the rustic look (localized sanding and sporadic hammer marks) before creating the vintage “print” idea found on the blog. I would suggest doing this the other way around. If you make a mistake while doing the “print” it will be much easier to cover during the “create rustic” process.

Read

I also chose to create the French appeal in two locations, both being fairly small. I wouldn’t recommend this technique of “French vintage print” on anything smaller than this project here, the technique is amazing but indeed somewhat tedious with the smaller writings and lines. 

French Vintage

I chose to make the finished product a place for books rather than magazines. I love how the vintage and rustic turned out as well as the French lettering! The description on It’s Just Me Blog is fabulous and easy to follow. When you’re first reading through – it may sound lengthy but it’s quite simple once you get started.

Don’t forget the Liquid Gold once your project is complete and fully dry! Liquid Gold will ensure the preservative of your beautiful masterpiece!

Read

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10 Unusual Ways to Use Liquid Gold

Wood has been and always will be Liquid Gold’s first born – but we can’t leave the rest of the kids in the closet! Scott’s Liquid Gold can be used in a variety of weird ways and we’d love to share them with you!

Bike Chain

1. Bike chains! Use Liquid Gold as a lubricant for all your pesky chains.

2. Metal hand tools for gardening and carpentry – Liquid Gold will prevent rusting, while cleaning and restoring your tools. 

3. Have you ever thought to use Liquid Gold in the bathroom for porcelain and chrome? To prevent soap scrum build up and leave the “just cleaned” look for longer use  Liquid Gold after your normal clean and rinse. Great for the toilet, sink, and (chrome, brass, porcelain) hardware. 

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4. Are your sliding door tracks always stuck? Stick no more with Liquid Gold – simply clean them out to aid in better movement.

5. Squeaky hinges! No way, you can now take care of those obnoxious doors and chairs with your everyday cleaner! Use Liquid Gold as a lubricant on squeaky hinges.

6. Most stainless steel appliances in the kitchen are waiting for some Liquid Gold love! However, avoid places that are exposed to high heat. Again, wash first as normal then top with Liquid Gold for the beautiful shine you want from your stainless steel.glove

7. Clean and soften leather! Believe it! Liquid Gold is great to clean and restore your leather luggage, boots, baseball mitts, and everything else!

8. Liquid Gold acts as a dust repellent on window screens!  Rinse them with water, let them dry and then use Liquid Gold as you normally would. The neighbors will think you hired a professional to clean your screens year-round!

9. Removing stickers from bumpers, windows, and appliances! Who knew – don’t spend tons of money purchasing a cleaner to only use once or twice when you can use what you already have under the sink!

Stained Glass

10. Clean and restore stained glass windows and decor! Stained glass can attract dust rather quickly and in abundance! Liquid Gold will scare the dust away! Boooo dust!

There you have it, 10 unique ways to use Liquid Gold! Hopefully you are surprised and inspired by more than one use! As always, feel free to contact us with questions about using Liquid Gold! Don’t miss us on Pinterest and YouTube!

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This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Do-It-Yourself Nesting Box

Summer is near, time to enjoy and embrace the natural world! Having a bird house or nesting box is a significant way to create a mutual relationship with nature. bird houseAs we are aware, humans have been increasingly building concrete jungle environments which in turn, is pushing out other species habitats.  By building an alternative and (nearly) natural environment for birds to nest, we are at least making an attempt to co-habitat.

pallet

pallet & pieces

Construction

Construction

Using an old pallet, a little man power, and a few power tools we built this amazing bird house! Once again, pallets are a booger to work with. We were able to get this one apart with a pry-bar and hammer, always use gloves when working with pallets! There is generally an excess of nails, most of which are rusty. After pulling off the best pieces, they were sanded (80 grit) to make the wood slightly safer to work with.

The pieces were cut according to the bird house plan used then glued and nailed appropriately.

I chose not to paint the roof, allowing Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner & Preservative to work its magic.

Before & After

Before & After

Nesting boxes have many positive purposes:

1. Attract natural pollinators to your garden.

2. Think wake up call – sweet chirping or obnoxious alarm clock?

3. Create a mutual relationship & co-habitat with the birds of your community. 

4. And well, birds are just fun to watch! Why do you want a bird house in your yard?

bird house

Nesting boxes generally attract birds like wrens, blue birds, chickadees, titmice, wood ducks and wood peckers. Check out choosing the right bird house for your backyard! Thanks Anthony for great instructions!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Using your Resources

re·source noun ˈrēˌsôrs

“a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life”

wine rack collage

As we organize this spring, it helps to set an ultimate goal. What are you working so hard to achieve? This could be: to de-clutter – truly going through papers and ‘stuff’ to file or donate, having more space – making use of wall space or cabinetry, or simply cleanliness – getting every nook and cranny. Whatever your goal may be, there are tons of resources at your fingertips! We’ve used a few here to create a multi-purpose organizer.

wine rack before

magazine rackBefore heading out to buy new storage or organizing containers watch for items in the garage, at your parents or grandparents house that may be of use. Especially wooden, because we love wood and there is an array of options to fix, clean and refurbish wood items. This old wine rack came from an ARES Thrift Store for $3.99.

I sanded it quite a bit,  using 80 grit. I’ve recently been taught the importance of sanding completely before staining anything wood. It’s important to get all the way down past the previously stained parts so that the new stain will take well. I chose a white wash stain out of pure curiosity. I have seen many people do it and needed to see for myself how it works and looks.  I simply followed the instructions on the can and viola! We now have an elegant and rustic; wine rack, towel rack, magazine holder, or anything else you fit rack!

Of course, I followed up with a Scott’s Liquid Gold Cleaner and Preservative test! liquid gold testThis lighter wood took to Liquid Gold very well so I chose not to finish it with a clear coat.

My challenge for you, is to think outside the box to achieve your spring organizing goals. Below are some additional resources you may want to use to help you get started! towel rack with Liquid Gold

resource definition

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!

Do-it-Yourself this Weekend!

book5With Spring creeping upon us, it is time to begin our annual organizing fiasco! I challenge you all not to throw away but reuse, re-purpose and recycle while you organize!earth heart

I stumbled upon this amazing idea, but realized I was lacking in old, antique looking literature. I had heard of this awesome antique store, Tables to Teacups, decided this was the perfect time to investigate. It was a great success! Grandma’s house is always a good place to begin these projects as well.

The How To: You’ll need a drill, L-brackets, ruler, and screws. booksYou will use 3 L-brackets per ‘book shelf.’ One bracket will need to be slightly smaller than the other two brackets. One set of brackets will be placed below the books, and the other (smaller) bracket will go on top of the book(s). Measure your books and start drilling (two sets of hands makes this much more manageable)! I also used a level at this point for my perfectionist side. Lastly, the smaller bracket is placed on the inside, bottom of the second (top) book – this pressed the books together enough so they didn’t move around.

Shelving

This makes a pretty solid shelf but ultimately, you won’t want to place anything heavy on these. I must say it felt wonderful when my friends made notice of the new addition to my house and they loved it.

I did this differently than the folks from which I found the idea: Thanks Kristin for a fun and easy project!

This post and project were created by our Intern, Amber Lesser. Amber is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Colorado. Thanks Amber!