Successful chippy white barn wood pickin’ day

Chippy white barn wood harvest
I love phone messages like these.

“Hey! Are you aware that ‘the barn’ is coming down? If you want any wood, come NOW!”

Thank-you Rosie!

I couldn’t burst out the door fast enough!



Barn wood harvest day! An old aqua barn comes down.

I’ve had my eye on this barn forever, wishing it were mine. The barn was due to be pushed over in two days time, so a few neighbours were harvesting what they could.

Gord on his roof pickin' machine during a barn demolition
I’d say Gord looks pretty happy, since he and crew managed to rip the entire roof off, thanks to the right tools of the trade.

Boys with their toys… please bring this over next time I need to paint my house trim?

Tall woodsy rafters inside an old barn bound for demolition

Grabbing my own much smaller tools, I wandered inside the barn and wished I could have it ALL!

Boy, this view took me back to my childhood farm days. Dad use to have big ropes hung for swings. 

HERE is a post of the old farmhouse coming down, and shots of the red barn.

Stacks of wooden pallets inside a barn deemed for demolition
Being that the barn was empty, it was pretty easy to spec out what to even attempt.

Problem was, most of the wood was very strongly attached.

Chippy white barn ceiling during a barn demolition
Like this GORGEOUS white chippy ceiling. Could you imagine having the entire lot?!

Well, this is what I ended up staring at for quite some time, until Paul graciously offered to take some down for me.


Giddy at the prospect of bringing some of that gold home, we all spread out and let those tools fly. Banging, sawing, that poor barn didn’t stand a chance. 🙂

While I made my barn rounds, I was dying to see what was in a little loft of sorts. Scooting the ladder closer to the wall, I climbed up and couldn’t really make out what was all piled in there. But some of it looked interesting.

But no worries there either. Paul flew up that ladder and started bringing the stuff down.

Vintage round table found in a barn

This super cool pedestal table was pretty wobbly, but still great for outdoor displays.

Vintage berry picking tray stand found in a barn

Recognize what this is? If you ever had to pick berries in the summer as a kid, you may have put your flat on one of these.

Vintage white doors found in a barn

Two gorgeous doors! Perfect colours as is too.

While all that was cool, I really only had room for wood. So….

wood planks and a thick rope found in an old barn

For my first grab, this new wood came home with me. Along with a big fat rope!

wood planks and a thick rope found in an old barn

Gasp… that rope is to die for! And there were pretty thick pieces of wood too. Perfect for some hand made cutting boards…

chippy white barn wood harvested from a ceiling in an old barn bound for demolition

But thanks to buddy Paul, the next day I got to bring my very fav home.

chippy white barn wood harvested from a ceiling in an old barn bound for demolition

Isn’t this gorgeous? Chippy white perfection right there! The planks are fairly wide too, so that will be really cool for… something!

chippy white barn wood harvested from a ceiling in an old barn bound for demolition

I managed to harvest this shorter plank on the left. Made me think of an old fashioned swing seat. I mean, I sure have the rope for it!

I’m still banging out all the nails, so my neighbours aren’t forced to stare at all this for too long. But you can be sure I’m dreaming up what in the world to do with it all.

But I’d certainly say this was one very successful chippy white barn wood pickin’ day!

Thank-you Peter and Hailey for sharing your barn, Rosie for calling me in the first place and for coffee (and stolen cookies), Paul for doing all my hard labour, and Dan for sawing up the boards that were too long to get into my truck.

Aren’t friends that know you love junk just the BEST?!

Here’s some other wood pickin’ kinda posts you are likely to salivate over…

Wooden fence lottery win!

When an entire white fence landed on my driveway.

Weathered barn wood pallets for the taking.

What would you make with all that amazing wood or rope?

Cheater barn wood barn door headboard for a bedroom |
UPDATE: HERE is what I made with the wood! 

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Shopping

36 thoughts on “Successful chippy white barn wood pickin’ day

  1. Oh my word! Our dream to have someone call us to tell us the ol’ barn is coming down! That doesn’t happen here in FL but if someone contacted us up north, we would drive!

    Can’t wait to see your projects you make with all the chippy barnwood. If there is any extra let us know, haha.

  2. Oh my word what a dream!!! So jealous and yes I also picked strawberries back in the day – 3 seasons for the Sakuma brothers in Skagit County. Can hardly wait to see what you come up with and man I’m sitting here thinking…. wouldn’t it be fun to build a barn. Something for my dream sheet..

  3. How fun that must’ve been to pick out some pieces to take home, I would have wanted it all too! love the chippy wood planks, have fun with those!

  4. Oh Donna!! Can you say “BOX TRUCK!!” Seriously awesome and I would want everything too! Oh joy, to have all those fun finds. I’m seriously excited for you!

  5. Oh man! What a score! I am SO jealous!! I can only imagine the cool stuff you’re going to come up with to make out of all these treasures! I snagged some old white chippy fence posts but I’m not sure how to treat them in order to keep them chippy but not flaky. Any recommendations?

    • Maybe a coat of polyurethane or a polycrylic? Some sort of clear-coat, I would think. They do come in matte finishes. I’d worry about lead paint otherwise, if the wood is old.

    • Miss Mustard Seed sells a really good finish called Top Coat. Used on her milk paint but good for varied projects!

  6. I’m thinking the wood would be awesome on the walls of my living room….I’m a not so gorgeous shade of green right now LOL. I’m excited to see what you do with your haul!!! Have fun!!

  7. I would be in Heaven with a find like that. With your talent and skills I’m looking forward to see the amazing ways you put that treasure trove to use. WOW you just made my day with this post. This is the stuff I dream of.dont keep us in suspense too long on what projects you’re doing with it all.

  8. What a haul! I too love the look of that while chippy paint boards.
    Could be an accent wall in a small bathroom or laundry room. Can’t wait to see what you make of it all. Enjoy.

  9. Wow, what a beautiful old barn. Good for you to get some of that wood. I would of cried to see her coming down. Just love old barns. Can’t wait to see what you do. Those dooors!!!!!!?

  10. You lucky girl. My mouth is watering. There is a barn about 60 miles from me that is falling down but the people wont let you get any of it.. So sad, it is just rotting. Cant wait to see what you do with it.

  11. Wow – that’s great! I could see that wood being the ceiling in a rustic style bathroom. Can’t wait to see what you create with it!

  12. Wow, how lucky you are. What is happening with your family farmhouse? I went back and read your adventures about visiting and what the new owners were doing. Have they finished?

    • Oh, good question! I never did update that post!

      They finished the house to look brand new, so it lost lots of old world charm. But I’m still grateful it was saved.

      The main house turned into one bedroom, and a large extension was built behind it.

      The barn still stands as is though! I should pay them a visit to capture their vision on that one. I’d love to get ahold of some of that red barn wood if it disappears! Would certainly hold a great deal of meaning.

  13. what beautiful wood! Oh, to just move the whole barn onto my place! Was there some barn door track? I bet some things were spoken for already…what fun you must have had that day!

    • I didn’t even think to look for barn door tracks! GAH!! But they would have been too big for me anyway. Most everything good was totally saved and will be used to build something new… to look old. 🙂 We were awesome looters!

  14. Wowzers!! What did you have to pay for that barn? Here in the Midwest the price would run from $3-$10k. YOU do the tear down and any found goodies like you did are extra.

  15. WOW, Donna! How awesome! Can’t wait to see what you do with all that goodness! I’d be like Speedy González (aging myself :)) to get to that too! And loved revisiting your post about your old farmhouse!

  16. While I’m honestly happy for you, Donna, I’m also sad because that was a lovely barn, and the wood is probably very valuable. The wood you buy today isn’t near the quality of older wood.

    Today’s trees for lumber are grown as quickly as possible and are far weaker and more prone to decay than old growth wood. New wood contains more starch. Also, the lumber was cut thicker years ago. When I re-sided my 1902 Victorian, I paid a premium for old growth long leaf pine milled from the beams of a turn-of-the century warehouse. Originally, I was going to use redwood siding until the VERY honest millwork guy (at a different company than where I bought my old wood) told me today’s redwood isn’t yesterday’s redwood, and it would only last 25 years whereas the old long-leaf pine with its tight grain might last another 100 years.

    You did indeed score with that wood. Sorry for the long comment. This is just something I’m passionate about.

    • Most of the wood was harvested, Laura, so it will get some great use! The barn wasn’t really in great shape so it would have eventually pushed over. Now we all get a chunk of it! Sharing is caring, right? haha

  17. Wow beautiful barnwood Donna! Just curious if/how you treat your harvested wood for powderpost beetles or other nasty critters before you store the wood?

    I have access to a gorgeous old barn and was giddy with excitement to harvest boards…until I cut a few and discovered that they were reduced to powder inside. I would love to hear any tips you have to treat infected wood so the pests don’t spread to other wood in my “stash”

    • Hi Hanna!

      We on the west coast of BC don’t have to worry about termites and such, so I don’t do anything special. I just clean well, allow to dry, then use.

      I’d do a google search on it on how to deal with said critters and wood. When I created in Hawaii, they suggested I only use new treated lumber or driftwood for these very reasons. Every region will indeed be different!

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