What Does Brush Sanding Do to Barnwood?

Mar 5, 2014

Much that was said in our blog post about sanded barnwood could also be said about brush sanded barnwood.  No two pieces of brush sanded barnwood will be exactly alike.  What a brush sanded piece of barnwood will look like depends on various factors, including what the board was like before it was brush sanded and how it was brush sanded.

To provide a visual feel for what brush sanding can do to barnwood, Trestlewood brush sanded 4 pieces each of Antique Brown Rough Barnwood, Antique Gray Rough Barnwood and NatureAged Gray Circle-Sawn Barnwood.  In each case, we hit the pieces quickly with a 6" brush sander with a 100 grit nylon brush.  Check out the results below (and then look for a few "lessons learned" under the photos (many of which reinforce lessons learned with sanded barnwood)):


Antique Brown Rough Barnwood - Before Brush Sanding


Antique Brown Barnwood - After Brush Sanding


Antique Gray Barnwood - Before Brush Sanding


Antique Gray Barnwood - After Brush Sanding


NatureAged Gray Circle-Sawn Barnwood - Before Brush Sanding


NatureAged Gray Circle-Sawn Barnwood - After Brush Sanding


Some Lessons Learned

  • Different boards respond to brush sanding somewhat differently;
  • Brush sanding can often be quite effective in reducing the sliver factor, although it generally results in a somewhat rougher texture than boards that have been sanded;
  • The bristles of the brush sander tend to follow the contours of the board surface better than the sander does, resulting in more impact to the low spots (especially applicable to boards with coarse/rough textures);
  • Perhaps most importantly, when brush sanding barnwood lumber to tweak its smoothness and/or other characteristics, be patient and don't try to accomplish too much too fast (it is easier to brush sand a little more than to reverse the effects of over brush sanding.)




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