How to Find Vintage Wood

Panels of weathered wood.

Many creative DIY projects require wood to build and create household items. Especially if you're going for a vintage or rustic look, the more antique the wood appears to be, the better. Finding used wood that's still in good enough shape to be used can be a difficult task, as old wood is typically thrown in the garbage because people don't know what to do with it. Be resourceful and find the wood your need for your rustic projects by looking into the following sources. Then reuse it by sanding, resealing, and re-purposing it for new projects.

1. Shops and Stores

Many secondhand stores have used wood available, whether it's wood planks or old furniture parts that could be repurposed. Check around your local thrift stores and antique shops. Get in contact with the management and let them know what you’re looking for. Many times small shops don’t know what to do with these wood items besides throw them away, especially when they have been dropped off as local donations.

2. Lumberyard

As the obvious place with the most wood to be found, the lumberyard can actually be a great resource for repurposed wood. While the wood they sell on the sales floor is all brand new, some bundles of wood do not pass specific inspections and have to be discarded. If the lumberyard managers don’t have any wood like this, they can also be a great resource for other places and people who might have some of the old, rustic wood you’re looking for.

3. Social Networking

We use social networks for everything else these days, so why not for your vintage wood search? Create a general post on your own private social pages such as Facebook or Instagram, asking if anyone has old wood or furniture in their backyard they’re looking to get rid of. Other sites such as Craigslist can also be helpful if you’re looking for a large quantity of used wood. Try searching your local posts for someone looking to sell or give away old lumber, or create a brief post yourself to let others know what you’re looking for.

4. Your Neighborhood

There is no better place to start looking for antique wood that’s waiting to be reused than right in your own backyard. Especially in neighborhoods where homes are being remodeled, there are lots of construction materials that typically end up in the garbage. Talk to your neighbors and let them know what kind of wood you’re looking for, and you might have wood dropped off right on your doorstep, quite literally.

5. Upcycle Search

Do an internet search for local businesses that participate in “upcycling,” which is the repurposing of old materials. Upcycling can include almost any material that would regularly be discarded, but instead is taken and turned into something new and useful. This includes old furniture, building materials, and items that are made out of wood that could be reused.