Redoing Your Kitchen with Reclaimed Wood Countertops

Using wood material for your furniture and decor stuff never gets out of a style. Even though nowadays, a lot of furniture is manufactured from materials such as steel, aluminum, glass, and plastic. Using woods somehow can lend a sense of historicity and culture to your home. Especially when we talk about reclaimed wood.

What’s the difference between reclaimed wood and other woods? Basically, reclaimed wood has a past and has been used for buildings and structures from the 18th to the early 20th century. It’s the wood that finds a second life as a variety of other uses after reclaimed from a barn, factory, warehouse.

So which type of woods can be reclaimed? Surprisingly, any types of wood can be reclaimed. Using reclaimed wood in the house has been popular since the 1980s. But recently reclaimed wood is becoming a home décor trend. A lot of people use reclaimed wood for their flooring, furniture, wall art, cabinetry, and more. Reclaimed wood is a stylish and popular choice to decorate your house. Also, using reclaimed wood can protect our world because it’s been recycled. When you choose reclaimed wood for your furniture, you do more than help the environment by keeping the wood out of the waste stream.

Most popular home decor that uses reclaimed wood is countertops. Reclaimed wood countertops have been popular because wood’s easy to get ahold of. It’s a very stylish product that can be made to look appropriate in almost any and every space.

The good thing is you can build it yourself! You can redo your kitchen or any other area in your house with this material. Reclaimed wood countertops DIY that we talk about here is for the kitchen.

Reclaimed wood butcher block counters have been a part of kitchens forever. Up until the 1880s, butchers worked on thick rounds of sycamore, which were prone to splitting. In the early 1900s, it was discovered that pieces of hard maple glued together in big blocks provided a stronger force. It’s a more durable surface that better stood up to meat cutter’ cleavers.

Finding The Right Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Countertops

raw wood to make reclaimed wood countertops
raw wood to make reclaimed wood countertops. Source

There are a lot of reclaimed wood countertops for sale on the market. But it’s kind of confusing about what quality we look for in reclaimed wood. So these tips might help you when finding the right reclaimed kitchen wood countertops.

This natural material is found in a wide variety of grades. It’s all from different time periods and backgrounds. Here are the three things that you should keep in mind when choosing reclaimed wood for your countertops.

  • Wood
    Infestation, chemical contamination, and durability of the wood are all factors to take seriously.
  • Quantity
    When ordering reclaimed wood it’s essential to check the quantity that is available for the delivery date. A different batch of delivery probably will contain different wood.
  • Age
    Reclaimed wood can range in age, from 1 to over 400 years old. The specification is important – where it comes from and how old it is.

Reclaimed Barn Wood Countertops DIY

diy remodel your kitchen with wooden
diy remodel your kitchen with wooden. Source

If you’re thinking what kind of reclaimed wood that’s suitable for your kitchen countertops, the answer is barn wood. Barn wood countertops will give the warm look to your kitchen. The process of remodeling your kitchen with reclaimed barn wood countertops is quite simple. Follow the steps below.

  • First, you need to find your wood. Find a wood with straight boards without nails.
  • Plan boards to your desired thickness with a planer.
  • Cut slats to your desired widths. Place all boards in a jig that keeps it square. Glue each slat with tight Bond wood glue. Next, clamp pieces together.
  • Place weight at least 200 lbs, on top of the countertop to keep boards from pushing up. Wait at least a few days for the glue to cure. Then attach the backsplash.
  • Sand to desired smoothness and to sand out any glue that has pushed out through the seams.
  • Install the woods to your kitchen counter. When all the boards were installed, sanded until everything was smooth and level. Next, cut boards for the edges.
  • Fill the knot holes & gaps between the boards. You can cover up all the cool imperfections or change the color of the wood if you want to. Or you can just leave it as it is.
  • The last thing is to apply a sealer or clear coat. So the reclaimed wood counter will leave a shiny fresh look.

Reclaim Wood Countertops Inspiration

We put together some inspiration from different kinds of reclaimed wood for your countertops. We hope it can give you some insight to choose and to style the reclaimed wood for the countertops.

reclaimed wood combined with white cabinet
reclaimed wood combined with white cabinet. Source

If you want the reclaimed wood to stand out like we show in this picture, add contrast color to the cabinet. Because all the cabinets are white, our attention instantly draws to the countertops. To balance the white color, add hardwares with silver material. Place a greenery piece in the middle so it will match the wood material perfectly.

country style kitchen with reclaimed barn wood countertops
country style kitchen with reclaimed barn wood countertops. Source

Here is what the reclaimed barn wood countertops look like. Semi dark countertop mix with grey cabinets really sparks the country style kitchen! If your kitchen countertop is not placed in the middle of the room, just like this one. You can add a string light between the cabinets and the wood countertops. So that it will show the dimension of the counter more.

reclaimed wood butcher block countertop at kitchen island
reclaimed wood butcher block countertop at kitchen island. Source

This reclaimed wood butcher block countertop really stands out on its own. Because of all the patterns that are already given by the reclaimed wood, you don’t need to do much with it.

Decorating with a Reclaimed Wood Countertop

If you are done with your reclaimed wood countertops DIY, it’s time to do the exciting part. What is it? Decorating the Reclaimed Wood Countertop!

Here are a few things to add for decorating your reclaimed wood countertops:

The most essential part of this process is choosing the tone of your reclaimed wood. Wood comes with a variety of tones, some people like it to be dark but some prefer light. So take your time to find the right reclaimed wood that suits your kitchen style.

white kitchen cabinet combined with semi-dark countertops
white kitchen cabinet combined with semi-dark countertops. Source

Add contrast with your cabinetry colors. If you prefer dark reclaimed wood for the countertops, you can paint the cabinetry with a lighter color. You might consider pairing silver or gold hardware with darker or semi-dark countertops. This will be important in helping to bring the project together. The key with this is to provide contrast so that there is good depth in your kitchen.

Don’t ignore your flooring material. Yes, it is important to decide on your flooring material in the kitchen. Be sure that whatever you choose, your flooring offers a good pattern. So it won’t interfere with the pattern wood you use for your countertops.

How to Maintain Reclaim Wood Countertops

If you DIY your reclaimed wood countertops by yourself, you probably want it to last for a long time. Reclaimed wood will perform and look its best with appropriate maintenance. Here are some tips to maintain your reclaimed wood countertops.

maintain your reclaimed wood countertops
maintain your reclaimed wood countertops. Source
  • Wipe the dust on the reclaimed wood countertop with a slightly damp lint-free cloth.
  • Clean food and liquid that spills promptly.
  • Use coasters, placemats, and trivets so there’s no stain left on the countertops. Use protective pads under hot dishes, it will prevent the unwanted stain from your countertop.
  • Do not place reclaimed wood in direct sunlight. Over time, air and sunlight will change the color of natural wood. Watch the lighting of your countertops before you decide to use reclaimed wood.

The Pros of Using Reclaimed Wood Countertops

Here are the pros and cons if you’re using reclaimed wood countertops.

  • Sustainable
    Reclaimed wood is well known as an environmentally sustainable resource because the wood is renewable. It’s even more sustainable because it’s recycling an old furniture to a new form that you actually need. It means that you double the use of that old wood.If you’re about to get a new kitchen countertops, using reclaimed wood is the way to go. It’s sustainable choice, and you can contributes towards the green building industry too.
Reclaimed wood gives traditional or historical style to your kitchen countertops
Reclaimed wood gives traditional or historical style to your kitchen countertops. Source
  • It has unique appearance
    Reclaimed wood gives a different look, because it has been existed for a long time. All the imperfection and texture is a unique point of the wood itself. It looks aged and charming, offering a traditional or historical style to your kitchen countertops.
  • Reclaimed wood’s sturdy
    Reclaimed wood has spent quite a time. It has went through changes in humidity for countless times. Because of that. reclaimed wood is stronger, stable and durable. It can easily stand up to the hardships of kitchen life.
  • Many different wood species are included
    Reclaimed wood used a number of different wood species. And a lot of the wood species is no longer existed. It means that some types of wood are no longer cannot be purchased new. So the only way to purchase it is through the reclaimed wood. So reclaimed wood provides a more unique look for your kitchen countertops.

The Cons of Using Reclaimed Wood Countertops

Here’s a potential downside that might happen if you use reclaimed wood countertops

  • Scarcity
    Reclaimed wood has become so popular for use in homes in recent years that it has become less available. It is an infinite supply because there are only so many old barns and warehouses with usable materials in the country. Eventually, the supply will run out. So it’s not so great for homeowners hoping to get some of that for their kitchens.
  • Expensive
    Reclaimed wood is more expensive than a new wood. It’s because people have to sort and prepare the reclaimed wood to use inside homes. So the additional cost comes from the time people spend to sort and prepare the wood. Also, reclaimed wood’s popularity is making it scarcer, which makes existing supplies more valuable.
  • Legitimacy
    A lot of the time people have to make sure that they’re actually purchasing reclaimed wood. They have to check that it’s the real reclaimed wood, not a blend of old and new woods passed off by less than reputable retailers.
pile of reclaimed wood at warehouse
pile of reclaimed wood at warehouse. Source
  • Previous wood treatments
    Wood that has been reclaimed from old barns might have been treated with chemicals that are now recognized as being toxic. There’s almost no way of knowing which pieces have been treated and with what. Substances such as lead paint and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be present in the reclaimed wood. You have to ask your supplier about the risks associated with reclaimed wood origins.


Overall conclusion is that reclaimed wood countertops make a bold statement in your kitchen. Besides the beautifully rustic character reclaimed wood lends, it has a lot of environmental benefits. The environmental impact of mass forestation throughout the world has heightened our awareness of how using reclaimed wood can help protect our future. Reclaimed wood prevents the need for further trees to be cut down. Just like what we said above, reclaimed wood is basically recycling an old wood to a new purpose.

Unfortunately, finding the right reclaimed wood table top can take time, especially because each piece can vary so much from one another. Also, because it’s so popular recently it has become less available. If you really want to make an environmental impact, you have to make sure the authenticity of the wood. It’s to avoid reputable retailers who’re only looking to fill a void in the market and make a quick buck.

Throughout the decorating process of reclaimed wood countertops, you’ll want to maintain a sense of contrast. Consider using different elements that help make the wood pop out. So it becomes the staple point of your kitchen.

Already imagine what your new kitchen will look like with reclaimed wood countertops? Let’s start your search for the perfect reclaimed wood!

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