Barnwood is an excellent material for bringing a vintage or primitive look to wood projects. Almost any wood craft looks nice with barn board because of its unique characteristics. It often has a weathered appearance on the inside and outside due to a lack of insulation in most barns. The outside is typically painted red, so you can choose to take advantage of the coloring or sand it down to start with a clean canvas.
You have a couple of options for the preparation of barnwood. You can leave it the way it was when you retrieved it or sand it down for a cleaner look. Understand that when you sand it down on either side, you might expose less weathered wood which often appears as a different color than the outer surface. Sanding is an excellent way to reduce the rough texture, but sand lightly if you want to maintain an old wood look.
If you want to incorporate a primitive or vintage characteristic in your project, leave the barn board the way you found it. Although the paint may be chipped or peeling, it's part of the charm. You can also sand down the red coating or turn it inside out to make it less visible.
Barnwood is an exceptional choice for constructing birdhouses. If you keep the traditional red paint, consider placing it on the outside of the birdhouse to emulate a small house. Because the barnboard already shows signs of aging, you do not have to worry about it progressing to a much worse state. The best way to create a birdhouse if you keep the paint on the outside is to build a box shape with the top open and extend a triangle shape up from the front and back. This method creates a support for the roof. Use two flat pieces for the roof so it does not leak on rainy days and cause the seeds inside to mold. If you attach a long piece directly underneath the opening, you can watch birds enjoy their barnwood house.
Just the sight of a fireplace brings warmth to a room or outdoor space, even if it's not a working fireplace. Barnwood is a superb choice for this crafting project. Because the wood is weathered, you can paint it any color and it will maintain the rough texture. The advantage of a faux fireplace is that you can move it from one to space to the next to constantly update your décor.