Is Reclaimed Pine Really What They Claim It Is?
There is a lot of reclaimed pine furniture around now, but is it really reclaimed pine or just pine that is made to look aged?
Anything that features the word 'reclaimed' gets a lot of attention these days and furniture that is claimed to be made from reclaimed pine seems to be available at a high asking price. Why does reclaimed pine furniture cost 6 times more than normal pine? Is it more expensive to buy reclaimed pine timber than it is to buy new? Where are they finding all this reclaimed pine? These are just a few of the questions I ask myself when I come across a TV unit that retails over R10,000 just because it is made using reclaimed pine.
My dining table is a good example of this so-called reclaimed pine. The top of the table has been given the treatment to make it look aged but when you look underneath the table it is a completely different story. So, is my dining table really made of reclaimed pine or is it normal pine in disguise?
I purchased my dining table with the understanding it was manufactured using reclaimed pine but when I looked underneath the table it was a different story.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not bad-mouthing anyone who manufactures furniture and accessories using reclaimed pine, just stating the obvious. I remember a time when driftwood furniture was huge, and everyone wanted a piece in their home. Imagine the surprise when they found out it wasn't even driftwood but wood that had been through a washing and bleaching cycle in a drum washer! And now there are all types of techniques that can be used to make any wood look like driftwood.
How To Make Pine Look Like Reclaimed Pine?
Anyhoo, I wanted to share a quick project with you where I made a sofa table for my new lounge and finished if off to look like reclaimed pine. It didn't take very long; it wasn't difficult, and it was inexpensive to do it. I am very happy with my sofa table, and you will find DIY instructions below if you want to make one for yourself.
I didn't want a fancy table - just something basic to sit at the back of the sofa. Making it myself allowed me to make the perfect length and height to fit nicely behind the sofa.
YOU WILL NEED:
Black craft paint
Tools to age (see Step 1 below)
Make The Table
The sofa table is easy to make, and you can customise the length, width and height for your needs. The entire frame is made using PAR SAP 44 x 44 x 1800mm (@ R129 each), the slats are 32 x 32 x 1800mm (@ R79 each), and the top is made using  144 x 1800mm (@ R209 each) - all timber available at Builders and can be cut to the sizes you need.
The cost for the finished sofa table came in well under R2000 to make and a similar style table using reclaimed pine costs R8 440.00. You do the math and decide for yourself if you want to pay R6000 for a made table or make it yourself for under R2000.
Before doing any assembly, the pieces for the top of the sofa table were banged around a bit. I used an angle grinder with grinding disk to rough up the surface of the wood and then replaced this with a 120-grit flap disk to gouge details into the top. After that, I used a hammer and nails, wood chisel and assorted tools just to bang the top planks around even more. No sanding was done after that.
Squeeze black paint into a container and then add 60% water. You want a very watery mixture that will be quickly absorbed into the wood but still leave behind a trace of black. Don't mix all the black paint into the water, you want to leave some paint still sitting on the bottom of the container that you can get to with the foam applicator.
As you can see below, I applied the watery black paint with a paintbrush and then used the foam applicator to dip into the paint at the bottom of the container to darken detailed areas. Go over these areas again with the watery paint to tone down the amount of black and make it look more natural.
Once the painted finish was dry, I used my Festool Rotex Sander with Dust Extraction system to sand over the painted surface. The idea is to remove a lot of the black paint but still leave the paint in gouges and dings.
Below is the sanded table ready for staining.
Next it is time to apply the wood stain. You don't have to stain the wood if you prefer a more natural look, but I used a Cherrywood stain to add warmth to the finished table.
Wanting the sofa table to look as natural (raw) as possible, rather than apply a sealer or varnish I applied several coats of Howard SunShield Conditioner and Protectant. This will nourish the wood and keep it looking good with regular application. I always use Howard Feed N Wax on my wood furniture and apply this as I would Mr Min or Mr Sheen furniture polish, which by the way, does nothing for wood other than clean the surface.
You can purchase the Howard range of products at Makro, Leroy Merlin, Takealot of select hardware stores.