The Story Behind "Naily" Board Reclaimed Wood Accent Wall

I Used To Burn These Gnarly Naily Roof Boards!

When I think of naily board for a barnwood walls, It always makes me smile.  Why?  When I first started out taking down barns, I used to burn these boards because they had so many nails in them.  I couldn't imagine spending the time and energy to pull all of  the nails from these boards.  It would be enough to drive you nuts!


As my passion grew for the reclaimed wood, I was looking for every possible way to utilize every board from a barn.  So I had my crew de-nail enough to make up a sample.  I thought this would be super cool for a reclaimed wood accent wall.

After we got the sample done, we hung it and the next week I had a couple come in and order 2,000 sq ft!  While I was immediately happy (because it was a BIG order!), I was also was a little sick thinking about the thousands of feet of these naily boards that we turned into ashes, dang!

Why Do You Call It Naily Board?

As you can likely guess, "Naily" board has A LOT of nails in it and when I say A LOT, I mean A LOT! Our naily board planks typically have 50-100 nails in each and every board.  You can imagine how big of a bucket you need just to keep the nails that we pull out.

Why So Many Nails?

Naily boards are the roof boards.  These are boards that run horizontally across the roof of the barn. Sometimes they are stacked one next the the other, but most that we run into have space in between each.


When barns were originally built, they had wood shake shingles.  Barns are BIG so it took a lot of nails to hold each and every one of those shingles in place.  reclaimed-wood-wall-naily-board-cedar-shakes-gladwin-barn-jimmy-barnwood.jpg

So when we take all the old shake shingles off, we end up with boards that have thousands of nails in them.  They stay in the roof boards because the old shake shingles are so flimsy, they pull off before the nail will pull from the roof board. In this picture you can see there are spaces between each one of the boards.

They are also under metal roofs.  Here is an example of a barn that got an updated metal roof sometime in its history. The boards under metal are usually in even better shape because the metal did a better job of keeping out the moisture. Can you see all of the different brown tones in the wood?


So Jimmy, How Would I Use This Naily Board For My Barnwood Wall?

We don't sell you the boards with nails sticking out of them, but if you really want I guess we could!

We pull as many nails as we can so that we don't dull our blades.  These boards make our metal detector sound like a wild guitar solo at a heavy metal concert! 

When you get them, they are pretty much without nails.

How Do You Get All The Nails Out?

Manpower, nail pullers and LOTS of patience.  Dennis who works in our shop actually LOVES pulling nails if you can imagine that.  We never knew why until recently when he told the story about when he was growing up.  His Dad used to salvage wood all the time.  Salvaged boards have a lot of nails.  Dennis remembers growing up spending many hours de-nailing boards so his Dad could re-use them.  He likes pulling nails because it reminds him of the times with his Dad who is no longer with us.  Pretty cool story, right?

What Makes These Boards Special?

Nail Patterns

When considering barnwood for walls, you want to have interesting contrasts and colors. When we de-nail these boards, what is left behind are these wild patterns of holes. 

They are typically just a little darker setting of a beautiful contrast of browns.  The old nails create patterns that make each one of these boards unique and can create a killer reclaimed wood wall.


Brown Tones

Something about these boards being up in the roof for a century or so, the brown tones are different.  More contrasts, darker tones just something a little different than what you usually see. 


I Love The Naily Board, But I Don't Want All Brown

No worries, you can mix naily board with other combinations.  One of my favorite barn wood walls is naily board and grey siding mix, really nice!


Naily Board Reclaimed Wood Accent Wall Specifications


Naily board ranges from 1/2" thick to 1" thick boards.  The material is only available in its natural thickness because we cannot plane the backs due to the likelihood that no matter how many nails we pull, there is more than likely some metal left in the wood.  Saw blades tend to handle the occasional nail, but planer blades, not so much.


Naily board is typically 2" wide to 8" wide.  Sometimes we have wider material available.


Naily board is available in random lengths of 18" up to 12' lengths.  But the lengths that are available to you will vary dependent on whether you are close enough to pick up here at our shop in Clare, MI. If you are picking the material up here at our shop in you can specify longer lengths if we happen to have them.

If we are shipping the lengths would range from 18"-60" which is more than sufficient for most accent walls.

Click Here For A Free Sample Of Naily Board Accent Wall


Some Other Related Reclaimed Wood Accent Wall Articles

12 Different Types and Colors Of Barnwood Accent Walls

How To Prepare For A Reclaimed Barn Siding Accent Wall

Why Is Processed Barn Siding Better For Interior Accent Walls

How Many Reclaimed Wood Walls Can You Have In Your House?




Jimmy Hovey, MBA
Written by Jimmy Hovey, MBA

I started my first business when I was 14 years old and have been working in my own businesses or family businesses ever since then. My parents placed a high value on education and instilled a strong work ethic. We fixed and built our own stuff including homes while I was growing up. I love to write and author both this blog and a blog on energy efficient lighting. I have 4 kids and live in Michigan. You can contact me below.



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