Our Reclaimed Barn Wood Floors

posted by Andrea | 08/8/2011

Dave, my dad, and I have been working hard to finish “round one” of our renovation projects before Dave starts school and before our two international students arrive {in about 3 weeks!}

And one of the main projects we HAD to finish was our new hardwood floors — but they aren’t just any hardwood floors; they are reclaimed barn wood — which basically means the wood we used for our floors was taken out of old barns and milled down into 3/4″ tounge-and-groove hardwood floor planks.

This is what it looked like when they delivered it to our house a few months ago!

We purchased our reclaimed barn wood from Creation Woodwork, which is mill right here in Michigan. The mill is owned by a husband and wife team and they have all their mills, buildings, and equiptment right on their own property. So when I went to pick out my wood, I got to see all the gorgeous reclaimed barn wood in their house too! {You can read more about my trip to their saw mill here.}

We used yellow pine from a barn over 100 years old {so it fits the period of our 120 year old house} and we got it in varied widths — 4″, 5″, and 7″ wide planks — which gives the floors a really cool look.

This is what the floors looked like before any stain or polyurethane.

After LOTS of debate, we chose Minwax stain in “Special Walnut” 224 — and I am absolutely THRILLED with the color results.

It’s dark, but not too dark, and there really aren’t any strong “black” or “red” tones either.

You can see the amazing color transformation in our hallway after just one coat of stain!

Even though my doctor said it would be fine for me to do the staining, Dave actually had some extra time — and after he started, we realized how intense the smell really was!

He had a really heavy-duty mask on the whole time and made me stay upstairs or out of the house!

Here’s a close-up shot of the floors after Dave finished the stain — just waiting for a few coats of polyurethane now.

For the polyurethane, we used Varathane brand Floor Finish in “satin” because we didn’t want super shinny floors, just a nice sheen. We also used water based because the smell of of the oil based Varathane was out of control — and it took way longer to dry between coats.

The photo below is after FIVE coats of polyurethane! {thanks Dave!} You can see the subtle “sheen” of the floors — and they are actually pretty slippery!  You can also see the detail of the thresholds my dad put between each room. I just LOVE the look of a threshold. I feel like it creates a grand entrance to a room and it makes it easier to lay the floors because you can stop and start with each different room.


I think the dark floors nicely compliment the rest of my very neutrally colored house! They are definitely a focal point.


Here’s a peek into our master bedroom — which isn’t totally finished yet, but at least you can see how the floor looks with some of our furniture.  Very “Farmhouse” I think!

It was a pretty long process and lots of hard work, but we are so happy with the results — and it looks much better than any hardwood floor we could have purchased from a big-box store.

Our floors are filled with 100 years of character, imperfections, and flaws… they honestly look like they could have been the original floors of our 120  year old farm house.

And that’s exactly the look we were going for!


What do you think? Have you ever worked with reclaimed wood before? Do you have any tips for keeping hardwood clean?


Filed under: HomeInspirationOur FarmhouseRenovations

Leave a comment


  1. Meghan


    So beautiful! We are looking at doing a similar project but we found the wood purchased it and we are now searching for a mill to finish it for us. Do you know what percentage of each width you used? Also how did you lay them did you follow a pattern or go for a more random look?

    Thank you!!


  2. Leslee


    Was wonder how the Varathane finish is holding up? We are considering using this product but are having a hard time finding reviews. Also, have you had any issues with the reclaimed floor splintering in any spots or feet hurt on any of the character holes in the wood? We purchased character grade hardwood floors and noticed many uneven spots and also some splintering happening. Didn’t know if you filled any?


  3. Miranda


    Your floors turned out so stunning. I absolutely love the stain color and the character of the wood. I really like the way you changed the wood direction in the door frames. It’s interesting and I think it would probably make things a little easier when transitioning into the room. GORGEOUS work!


  4. Kelly


    Oh wow, your floors are gorgeous! I was just showing my hubby, and we’re both impressed. I would love to do this to our home. Thank you for sharing this!


  5. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles


    Gorgeous, Andrea! You guys are really pushing through your projects list. Amazing!!


  6. Krissa


    Love them! I just use a steam mop on mine…no chemicals. 🙂


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Krissa, a few others have mentioned a steam mop — so I might have to look into buying one of those!


  7. Dawn w


    Love wood floors,and love that you used reclaimed wood.Your house isn’t finished yet but it’s already beautiful! And what a sweet husband who didn’t let you near the wood stain 🙂


  8. Ashli


    They look fantastic! Can’t wait to see more!


  9. Julie


    Holy Crap -o- la! Those are absolutely beautiful!!!! We are getting close to tearing up all of our carpeting and flooring etc. My son and I have allergies and some kind of “hard” wood is the way to go!! I am going to look into the reclaimed wood! I absolutely love old worn wood floors. They such a warmth and cozy feel to a house. They really talk to me!
    Job well done! You all should be very proud of yourselves!!


  10. Tammy


    beautiful! this is what recycling is all about to me 🙂


  11. Cassie


    Oh my gosh!! The floors look amazing!!