I mentioned yesterday that Sunshine wanted reclaimed wood walls instead of sheet rock, and that I chose not to fight that battle because I’m saving my arsenal for the kitchen cabinetry battle. I don’t mind letting him win that one since he is giving me a lot of control over the way the boards are arranged on all the surfaces that are getting them. I also like that reclaimed wood is reducing waste and all that hippy-dippy-trippy crunchy stuff, because it’s important to me and I have to be the change in wish to see in the world.
Before I get into pictures of the wood and such, let me give you the back story on the reclaimed wood. Sunshine searched craigslist for reclaimed wood, and came across The Tired Lumber Company just north of Dallas, offering reclaimed pallet wood for sale. He set up an appointment with them and took off without me to go get some wood. When he got back, he told me a story that made me wish I had ridden along.
The Tired Lumber Company is two young, minority teen-age boys who’s dad wanted them to learn the value of money and work and all those important life lessons.
Side note: I mention that the boys were minority because supporting woman & minority owned businesses is one of those things I really like to do. These are populations that have been disadvantaged for centuries, and the only way it stops being that way is if people start to step up and seek out these businesses and support them; so I have to be the change I wish to see in the world.
Apparently, the ad hadn’t been on Craigslist for long, because Sunshine said that he was their first sale. He cleaned them out. Sunshine bought every single board these two kids had reclaimed from palettes their father brought home from work.
When he got home with this wood, I was delighted to see that some of it had interesting markings on it. I was a bit disappointed that much of the wood was really new looking. Sunshine donated some wood stain that was left over from the window framing project and took me to the local hardware store for some supplies. We picked up 2 gallons of goof paint (white and light blue) and a can of stain so we could add some variety to these boards. We also grabbed a few random objects from the barn to use to distress some boards and give them a bit of character. The carpenter got into the spirit of things and made me a special tool to distress the boards.
It was really just a stick with a bunch of little metal objects attached that I used to beat some dings and dents into the boards. Then the carpenter got even more into it, and he started cutting remnants of cedar from the window frame project so they’d be a thickness that worked with the thickness of the palette boards. Then the carpenter went batshit crazy and drove to his house and loaded up a trailer with old fence panels and baseboards and such he had in a pile after he made some repairs to his home.
Sunshine and I stained and painted boards for several hours. Not all of the boards got painted or stained. Some were delightfully weathered already, and some showed several years of paint colors from the carpenter’s house. Some boards got both paint and stain to give them a cerused effect, which is a technique that uses paint to highlight the grain in the wood and then stains the wood the desired color.
Mr B got into the spirit of things, too. He broke out his torch and burned some of the boards.
I wasn’t around when he did that, so I gave him creative freedom. I was intending to have the boards feel more “collected”, and giving up control over Sunshine’s staining and Mr B”s burning was a way to achieve that feeling.
We’ve already put some of these boards to use. The bedroom will have a sliding barn style door leading into the bathroom, and the carpenter already has the door mostly assembled!
Sunshine and I will be putting the vast majority of these boards in the bathroom, on the outside of the bathroom wall in the living room, and on the bedroom side of the wall the sliding door goes on. We are also going to be using these boards on the living room side of my kitchen island. By doing it ourselves, we save the carpenter from having to deal with me and we save some money too. The money we save by doing the walls ourselves can be spent letting the carpenter do more specialty stuff, like building me a couple of spice cabinets to inset in the kitchen walls on either side of my stove.
We’re now getting into the fun parts of building a house. While I am absolutely the girl who thinks the hidden stuff is the sexy part, I do still like the process of making this house my very own with all of the lipstick and mascara stuff. And yes, I think it’s sexy to talk about things like structure and proper plumbing and safe electrical systems. Having a house fall apart because it was poorly built is not sexy; there’s definitely an appeal to having a solidly built home that protects me when I’m inside it.
We’re also about to slow down the progress a bit, so Sunshine doesn’t have to work so hard. I’m hoping we can find a refrigerator and and dishwasher at the ReStore or at the used appliance shop near us. It will save us some money while helping the planet, and that’s definitely a win-win.