Barnboard and Twig Siding

For a Rustic Garden Shed

When I designed and built the Eggporeum it was meant to be a chicken house, and it's gradually evolved into a museum of sorts; everything bird-o-belia is found here.


I had some very weathered and split barn boards that I really wanted to use somewhere; what better way to showcase them but on my little shed where they don't need to be strong enough to stand on their own? Using them as a strictly decorative piece, they don't need to be completely sound.

Although I didn't have enough to cut the batten part out of them too, I decided to go ahead and use them to be the board part of the siding. 

Some were over a foot wide, not something that you find often.

There has to be a way to use these authentic barn boards for something that respects their age and patina! On some of them, the saw marks are still visible, with a distinctive curving pattern on a diagonal across the board - more proof of their age.

Barnboards spaced a couple of inches apart

I nailed the pieces onto the OSB (Oriented Strand Board) that made up the basic wall of the shed. I painted the OSB brown, to make a good backdrop for the twigs and boards which were cut to fit around the frame of the window. 

Each board was spaced to leave a couple of inches, which was randomly filled with small diameter Douglas Fir poles, salvaged from where they had died out, deprived of light among other larger trees.

In some places, this is known as 'dog hair'.  They seed so closely together that you can't get through, and they struggle so much to reach the light that they're straight and upright.  Perfect for this kind of use plus it thins them so the strongest will survive.

Barnboard alternates with Douglas Fir twigs

If you know anything about Douglas Fir, it is extremely dense and hard wood.  I screwed these into place after drilling pilot holes completely through them.  Nailing them didn't work, the nails bent and couldn't be hammered through the poles.

The final look is something I really like; it's very rustic and unusual.

Interested in more ways to side your rustic shed? See how we finished off Bliss with Rustic Fish Scale Shingles.

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