How Do I Know if my Barn Door is Authentic?

If you know anything about us, we are all about authenticity

When we first started this business six years ago, artificially distressing new material to look like barn wood was just simply not a thing.  As the years have gone on and ‘reclaimed everything’ has increased in popularity, so has the amount of fake barn wood. That’s not to say we can’t appreciate a “distressed” or fabricated door, but there’s nothing like the real deal.  Here’s a few tips to help you identify whether a barn door is REAL or FAKE!

Sliding Barn Door
1) Natural Staining

Natural staining is oh-so-beautiful. From water to tar paper to shingles, decades of exposure have left their mark on the wood.  These are generally surface stains, and don’t affect the structural integrity of the material.

Sliding Barn Door
2) Nail holes

You can’t have a barn door without nail holes. Depending on where the nail holes are located, you can identify what part of the barn it came out of. Example: If there are tons of teeny nail holes, it came from the roof. If the nail holes are on edge, it was a floor rafter.

Sliding Barn Door
3) Inconsistent Texture

Inconsistency isn’t always a bad thing! When it comes to barn doors- the more variety the better.  Surprisingly, this is one of the hardest elements to fake because it requires each piece to ‘feel’ different.

Sliding Barn Door
4) Circular Saw marks

Circular saw mark or rough sawn marks are a very common characteristic in reclaimed material.  They are often accentuated when they are sanded down a little bit.  

Sliding Barn Door
5) Gouges, Knots, and Blemishes

All the things we would be appalled to have on our new doors, we embrace in the reclaimed ones!  Look for a variety of character marks- distressed doors often have distinctly similar character marks throughout, consistent with the tools they are using to try to beat it up.  

Don’t be fooled! 

All reclaimed mateiral is unique in it’s own way but in all of our years of working with it, we have yet to find any piece that didn’t simultaneously exhibit at least three of the characteristics listed above.  With this information, you can feel free to give any barn door a close look and determine for yourself- is is REAL or FAKE?! Which tell-tale characteristic most surprised you?  Let us know in the comments below!

The REAL Deal

Signature Woods is proud to be the first company in the USA to offer customizable barn doors made of 100% authentic reclaimed material.  We don’t cut corners. And we love preserving history. 

Click here for real barn doors
Natural Reclaimed Sliding Barn Door Arrow Pattern Black Hardware