Reclaimed wood is becoming more and more popular as a material for items of furniture. It has a number of selling points – it helps to prevent forests from being irresponsibly turned into lumber, it saves wood from going to waste and – importantly – it’s usually more affordable than fresh lumber. All of these factors mean that many people in and around Toronto are being turned on to reclaimed wood furniture. You can find it all over the internet and there are even stores appearing on the street which are dedicated to it. As with anything, however, there are things to look out for before you start to part with your money.
How Do I Know What’s Good and What’s Not in Reclaimed Wood Furniture?
It’s difficult to choose items of reclaimed wood furniture on the internet and be confident in the quality of your piece. It is much better to be able to see the items in person, touch them, feel them and find out about their history. Even so, especially for first-time buyers and those with little experience with this type of material, there may be some warning signs and indicators of questionable quality that can easily be missed. If you are planning to buy any items of reclaimed wood furniture, here are some things you should look out for in order to avoid making a purchase that you later regret:
- The reclaimed wood is rotting – This should be an obvious red flag, but it’s not always obvious to see small areas of rotting wood. People often don’t check the item of furniture thoroughly enough. If you are buying online, you can only take the vendor’s word for it, but be sure to ask. If you are able to examine the piece yourself, be sure to check it from all angles – rot spreads and what is tiny now, will become obvious later. All reclaimed wood with have small cracks, and these are the areas most at risk.
- It has lost its structural integrity – As just mentioned, all reclaimed wood furniture will have some cracks, but be sure to check for major cracks in less obvious areas. These could have been painted over without being filled. The danger is that the item could become so feeble that it eventually breaks – not so good when you have guests at the dinner table! You can fill these gaps with epoxy and then paint over them, but it obviously takes some time and effort to do so.
- Watch out for lead paint – Even some vendors may be unaware that lead paint can be a serious health hazard. Young children can be particularly at risk, as they may tend to scratch at paint that has begun to peel off, and then put their fingers in their mouths. If you really want the item, be sure to sand the lead paint off completely. Better still, take it to one of Toronto’s professional workshops where it can be sanded off without the risk of inhaling the paint dust.
Aside from these serious concerns, don’t forget that you are buying an item of reclaimed wood furniture which will hopefully come to feel as much a part of your home as the windows and doors. Just because you are doing a good turn for the environment, or saving some pennies in your wallet, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on esthetic value. Don’t buy something that you don’t really love, or find to be beautiful, as it will inevitably go to waste. There will be another home for it, where it will fit in better. Pass it over and keep looking for that special item for you.