How To Clean Barn Wood

How to Clean Barn Wood


Once you will look at a barn wood the then they can get dirty and worn from years of wear and tear. If you want to use these barn wood then you need to see to it that you will have them cleaned first. Cleaning and preparing your barn wood is into actually a hard thing to do. These barn woods can be reused by you in creating walls, furniture, and even floorings.

The work that you will be putting in will depend on the resources that you have as well as the final look that you want to achieve. And it is in this article that we will be talking about the many different ways on how you are able to clean your barn wood.

Materials needed:

  • A pair of nippers or pliers
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Water
  • Pressure washer
  • Wire brush
  • Air compressor

Different ways to clean barn wood

1) Hand washing barn wood

Hand Washing Barn Wood

Image credit: Living Vintage

If you choose to do this process then the very first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you will check for any nails or tacks that can be attached to it. Once you find some, then make sure that you will remove them. A pair of nippers or pliers will be able to do the trick. Another thing that you also need to make sure of is to do this on a warm, sunny day as this can make the drying process much easier.

The first thing that you need to do is to mix 1/2 cup of dishwashing detergent with water in a 5-gallon bucket. One of the best ways on how are able to clean barn wood is to spray it with water to loosen the dirt and grime away. Dip your brush into the mixture and start scrubbing the wood.

You need to see to it that you will be scrubbing all the sides of the wood. Are you have scrubbed them, see to it that you will rinse them thoroughly. It can help once you are able to rinse them several times to ensure that there is no soapy residue left on the wood. Once you are done, place the boards on your drying rack to dry.

2) Pressure Washing Barn wood

Pressure Washing Barn Wood

Image credit: EcoChic Lifestyles

Another way for you to clean barn wood is by using a pressure washer. The pressure that the pressure washer is able to provide will remove any grime and dirt away. That is why you don’t need to have a mixture of soap and water for this one. This is best if you are into real concern about the look of the board and will use it for flooring planks.

The first thing that you need to do is to lay the planks on the lawn. You need to make one pass on the board using the lowest pressure available. Make sure that you will keep the nozzle of the washer about 12 inches above the planks. If you are able to do this then you are able to maintain the color of the wood. Flip the board over and do the same process on the other side.

You also need to go through the sides of each plank. You also need to step on the planks to avoid it from moving. Once you are done with the process then you need to place them on the sawhorse or a drying rack. Once the planks are dry, sand them down using a palm sander. Store them in a dry area until you are ready to start your project.

3) Using a wire brush

Using A Wire Brush

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One of the best methods that you are able to use to prevent losing the colors of the wood is to use a wire brush. The wire brush will be the ones that will remove the dirt but will not be removing the color. This can be done on board such as a reclaimed wood plank. Since you will be making a lot of dust doing this process then you will need to do it outdoors or in the garage.

You can start the process by lightly brushing the surface to remove heavy dirt. Blow the dirt off using an air compressor. Do the four corners of the board until you are able to remove all the dirt away. Once you are done, you can store the planks first in a dry area.


Cleaning barn wood is not actually a hard thing to do. It is a simple and straightforward process that anyone can do. If you have projects involving barn wood then cleaning first will remove unwanted dirt and grime. This will also give you the best results no matter where you will be applying them.