I love recycling, reusing, and upcycling so when I wanted to put a new shelf up in the living room I popped to the bottom of the garden and grabbed an old scaffold plank section that had been left by the previous owners. I don’t like throwing wood away and it’s at times like this that I’m glad of my thrifty nature!
Why scaffold planks? You won’t find that much character in new wood, scaffold planks have been bashed, nailed, painted, worn, and are lovely and chunky! As I said I had some in the garden but you can actually buy them online too or head to a local reclamation yard but prices will vary wildly.
Check out the plank I started with:
Prepping the plank
I used my electric planer for this job and as you can see it came out pretty well! I used the planer on the edges too so that it still looked worn. I then sanded the edges with a light sandpaper just to smooth it over. I didn’t want to take all the character out of the wood so I planed at various levels by adjusting the depth on the electric planer and even left some sections as they were.
Treating the wood
There were some signs of woodworm, which I treated even though I’m sure were historic and long gone.
Next up was staining the wood, and I chose Indian Rosewood as this is what our other furniture is made of. You’ll need to do several coats to get the colour you want can then varnish if you want. The finish really is up to you and I opted not to varnish (as I was lazy!) I particularly like it that the scrapes, stains, and varying colours still come through.
The finished product
So here is the finished scaffold plank shelf. I’m rather happy with it, although I did have to buy the brackets which weren’t free! Hopefully this may give you some inspiration for upcycling some old wood you have lying around.
If you want to see what else you can make from scaffold planks then check out my board on Pinterest.