One significant component of rustic design style is the use of wood and metal. This style also makes use of recycled and repurposed items whenever possible. If you are handy with tools and interested in rustic DIY projects, you can look for reclaimed wood and metal at yard or barn sales and through websites online.

Yard sales are a great place to find items that you can use when decorating in the rustic style. Keep an eye out for decorative items such as metal floor lamps, metal candle holders, and interesting hardware for hanging window treatments. Bookcase and shelves are another great yard sale find. These items are incredibly versatile since a little sanding, and a fresh coat of paint can transform them into something perfect.

However, there are some caveats to keep in mind when shopping for repurposed wood and metal. This article will go over some things to look out for and some tips on how to make sure you get the most for your money. Let’s jump right in.

Reclaimed Barn Wood

Reclaimed barn wood is perfect for rustic design. This is wood that has been lovingly used and is ready to be transformed. The beauty of this wood is in its wear and imperfections. Just remember that you need to check out a few things first before purchasing that wood.

Look for dry wood

This is important. You need to inspect the wood for signs of water or rot visually. In some cases, you may be able to tell immediately because the pile of wood is sitting in a puddle or on a damp lawn space.

Wet wood can rot. Not only will the wood breakdown, but it can also be dangerous. You should never use rotten or damp lumber for projects that need or provide support. Some of these projects might be chairs, fences or trellis, arbor, or bookcases.

Depending on your geographical location, wet wood can be a real concern. Examine any wood that you are considering purchasing for soft spots or areas that are a different color than the rest of the wood.

Check for cracks

Naturally, wood will have cracks and splits. You do need to check recycled wood for an excessive amount of them, though.

Take a careful look at the wood. Make sure to examine all parts of it. It is better if the cracks are small. You might even want to fill the cracks with an epoxy or wood filler to add to the wood’s strength. The wood must be as healthy and as intact as possible.

Be careful of painted wood

There is nothing wrong with painted wood if it matches your decor. You do need to be mindful of the possibility of lead paint, which can be dangerous.

Recycled Metal

Another critical component of rustic design style is the use of metal. This is also another material that you can recycle and repurpose. When looking to purchase recycled metal, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Check for rust

This may seem obvious. Not only are rust spots prone to flaking and cracking, but they are also going to be weak spots. Think about how you will be using the metal and decide how crucial it will be to have soft spots or not.

Look for jagged edges

This may or may not be an issue for you if you have the right tools. Jagged metal edges are dangerous and will need to be smoothed out. You will need 220 grit sandpaper to start. A rotary tool or small belt sander will help you out. Make sure that you have these tools in case you need to smooth edges.

How To Purchase Reclaimed Wood and Metal

  • Before heading out to yard sales, barn sale and scrap metal shops, you need to keep a couple of things in mind. First, be sure that you have your rustic design plan firmly in place. It is advantageous to know the exact measurements. It is also helpful to understand how you want to use the materials and what tools you may need to work with them.
  • It is a good idea to have a budget in mind before you head out the door. This helps with two things. The first, you will not be tempted to overspend when you see your first batch of wood or metal. A budget helps you to reign in the emotion. And secondly, a budget will help you negotiate with sellers. Once you have a starting price in mend, you can then have the price you are willing to pay in mind.
  • It is also helpful to know the going rate for these items before you start shopping. These prices can be found by looking at scrap metal prices at scrap metal yards, and you can check websites for rates on reclaimed wood. This information will let you k ow if the asking prices are reasonable or not. This info also gives you bargaining power.
  • Map out your route ahead of time. If you plan on visiting multiple garage or yard sales, make a list of them. Then decide if you want to visit them in geographical order or perhaps. You can also list your yard sales in order of importance if they list the items they have for sale.

How To Bargain For The Best Price

  • The main point of a yard sale is to get an item you want at a great price. When buying wood or metal from a yard sale, know what the local going rate is for these items. This allows you to make a counteroffer to the owner. It is perfectly acceptable to under offer. This will force the owner to come back with another price that is lower than the original asking offer. What ultimately happens is that you can pay a price that is more in line with local rates, or lower, than what the owner was initially asking.
  • Another tactic is to wait until the end of the sale and hope the wood or metal is still for sale. At this point, you can offer to take it away for free. This strategy relies on the owner to be grateful to have someone take an unsold item off his hands, saving him the trip to the junkyard.
  • If you are feeling lucky, wait until after the sale is over. Then you can drive by the location and see if anything is put out to the curb for trash pickup. The advantage here is that the items will be free, but only if they haven’t been sold.

Final Thoughts

Finding usable reclaimed wood and metal at yard sales can be a gratifying experience. Negotiating for a great price or finding the items for free is definitely keeping in the rustic style. And ultimately, your self-satisfaction in your finished project will be priceless.