Beautiful furniture made from old boat wood is a growing trend you’ve probably seen online and in exclusive shops. The wood comes from afar – Africa, Bali – from boats that are no longer useful. Talented artisans craft unique pieces of furniture that are all the more lovely for the faded or banged-up layers of paint that often show many previous colors underneath.
When we decided to enclose our outdoor shower, having done some research and not finding any nearby source of salvaged wood we could use, we created our own “old boat wood.” * It is so simple, and the result is fun and eclectic.
There is one easy trick to creating your own “old boat wood.” You pour the paint onto a plate, and using a thick, hand-sized block of wood, you just dip into the paint and drag it along your plank of wood. Wait for that layer to dry, and then repeat with a different color. SO simple, and fun!
We used up multiple half-full cans of paint in all different colors we had lying around in the garage. This made CH a happy guy, as that is one of his pet peeves; old cans of paint stacking up and never getting hauled away. Who ever feels like making a run to the Disposal Facility? Not us.
Side note: Every year in the U.S. homeowners throw away 64 million gallons of paint – that’s enough to fill 128 Olympic sized swimming pools! So, either reuse, call your local Habitat for Humanity and see if they could use your excess paint, or, yes, make that trip to the Disposal Facility.
It’s much more fun to reuse the paint for an old boat wood shower enclosure!
The wood we used was cedar plank fencing. Inexpensive to buy and easy to paint, and of course , is durable and withstands harsh weather.
The process took some time – doing the first coat, leaning the boards against the house to dry. After awhile we got into the rhythm of it; by the time we finished the first coat on the last of the boards, the first coat on the first of the boards was dry so we could start the second coat on those. We set up sawhorses to lay the boards across, three or four boards at a time.
Using CH’s bluetooth speaker, we piped in some Jack Johnson and some reggae, cracked open the Beach House signature house beer – Corona Light, with a lime from our own tree (I know, how cool that we don’t have to pay ridiculous grocery store lime prices!) and painted away, happy as Larry. (Who is Larry? I picture him as being a little hefty, the kind of guy who laughs loudly, volunteers at the homeless shelter, loves his mom, kids, and dogs.)
And we don’t like to brag, but we are so happy with the results. Our outdoor shower is a conversation piece, a bright offbeat box of art that almost glows at us from behind the hibiscus. CH said “Is it maybe too weird?” Maybe! And that makes me smile.
Let us know if you’ve created something cool and perhaps eccentric with “old boat wood.” And if you haven’t, go for it my friends, now that you’ve seen how easy and fun it is!
* We certainly realize that our “old boat wood” does not compare to and absolutely cannot replace the hard work and years of experience that go into creating actual old boat wood furniture. Just the history behind the wood, and how they acquire it is fascinating; we are in awe of all the people involved, from the long-laboring fishermen to the imaginative craftsmen, and their passion and commitment to authenticity, fair trade, and art. You can read more about this amazing craft on the following sites that also sell true old boat wood furniture:
Our local source of inspiration is Island Inspiration in the Sun Harbor Nursery, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.