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One of the main reasons reclaimed wood is used among homeowners and designers is because of its rustic and rugged look. Reclaimed wood is so popular because of the messy and barn like look it gives when installed. Reclaimed wood can be used for furniture, flooring, siding, wall cladding and more. Caring for your reclaimed wood is vital to the lifespan of this incredible product. By keeping up with regular maintenance, you can avoid unneeded early repairs! First, let’s touch on reclaimed wood and its history.

Reclaimed wood is lumber that is hundreds of years old and repurposed from another location such as an old factory, barn, cabin and more. This wood is taken from deconstructed buildings that have been abandoned and repurposed to be used for another new project. Old barnwood looks amazing when put in a home with a rustic style surrounding it. Even though this wood is repurposed and reused, it is still old lumber and can sometimes have defects. What makes reclaimed wood so great is if there are any cracks, warps, or splinters in it that’s normal and adds to the look of the wood. However, caring for your reclaimed wood is crucial if you want to take care of this wood along with new lumber to keep it from defecting and keep it looking amazing!

Caring for your Reclaimed Wood

Look at the Finish

Whether you’re reclaimed wood is used for shelving, furniture, counter tops, wall cladding or more your wood needs to be finished properly and kept up to par with the standards. Make sure your reclaimed wood has been treated properly to protect it from any damage that it may endure. When most manufacturers repurpose wood, they will finish it and you won’t have to worry about it. It is always a good idea to check your reclaimed wood before and after you buy it to see if you need to finish it yourself.

Cleaning the Surface

When it comes to cleaning the surface of your reclaimed wood, there are many different options out there and you want to make sure you use the proper cleaners. Especially if you are using your reclaimed wood as a countertop, you will need to clean it daily from crumbs and dust. If your wood has been treated, you can simply use a damp cloth and lightly clean the surface. If your wood is not treated, you have a higher chance of getting bacteria and debris on the surface which is when actual cleaner is necessary. If you don’t want to buy a cleaner from the store or don’t know what kind to get, you can use a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and water for polishing and disinfecting. Do your research and make sure you use the proper cleaner for the surface of your wood.


If you are using reclaimed wood as a furniture or a tabletop you will lightly get watermarks on the surface, but this is not something to worry about because you can clean the watermarks to go away. It is always a good idea to use coasters to prevent watermarks from occurring, but this is how you can get rid of them. Baking soda, salt, water, and toothpaste are all things that if used properly will take the watermark off the surface.


Heat is something that you want to watch out for because with reclaimed wood, if exposed to heat and not treated enough, heat can cause burn marks to occur on the surface. Once these marks appear, there is no good way to get them to go away other than sanding the surface. Heat can also make your boards shrink because of dehydration, so if your boards are exposed to heat keep a humidifier nearby and it will help with shrinking.

While some damage that is light can enhance the look and feel of your reclaimed wood, you still want to keep it to a minimum. By following these few upkeep steps and caring for your reclaimed wood, you are sure to keep your product in good condition and lasting long. Check with your supplier and see if they have any different recommendations on how to take care of the specific wood you bought. Depending on how the wood is treated,  you may have to take care of it a certain way.