A few years ago, my parents surprised me with some old fencing they had saved from my childhood home, Loblolly Manor. I knew they were going to tear the fence down but I didn’t know if any of the boards would be salvageable or not. My dad warned me that most of the boards were in pretty rough shape but that didn’t bother me at all. I knew we could find a way to repurpose them into something special for our home.
I picked up the boards from my parents a few days later and as previously warned they were definitely in rough shape. Of the entire lot, there were only 4 perfectly straight boards and every board we were able to salvage was in desperate need of a good cleaning.
At first, I wasn’t sure at first how I wanted to use the old fence boards. I wound up making a towel rack for my parent’s bathroom at Loblolly with the 4 straight boards and the rest sat in our garage waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, one day I started moving things around in the dining room and decided those old fence boards would make the perfect surface for an industrial shelving unit we also had taking up space in the garage.
I knew I needed to find a way to marry all the pieces and finally decided to plank the industrial shelves with the old fence boards. Here’s a look at that process and how we created a farmhouse style buffet from an industrial shelving unit… (Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Given the fencing was decades old, I gave the boards a bleach bath and allowed them to dry in the sun for several days. This caused some of the boards to curl a bit but I would rather the curling than the tiny bugs that can sometimes lurk inside of old wood.
Once the boards were dry, my dad cut the fence boards to size (approximately 42 inches long) with a table saw. He also helped to match the boards together since a few of them were a different width after the edges of the wood had curled from the bleaching process.
We used a generous amount of Gorilla Glue on the back of each board
as well as on the pressed board shelves of the industrial unit.
Next, we placed heavy items on each shelf to make sure the fence boards were properly adhered to the pressed board shelves. You can find a similar shelving unit here.
I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White to give each board a whitewash. If you’ve never done a whitewash technique before you can find out about that process here.
I painted the steel frame of the shelving unit with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.
And once the chalk paint was dry I added a bit of dark wax to the frame of the shelving unit.
As you guys probably already know even though we live on an island, my heart is definitely on the farm. I was excited to find this old tobacco basket at an estate sale several years ago which we hung above the industrial shelving turned planked farmhouse buffet in the dining room.
My mom is totally fantastic at styling shelves so I knew she would be the perfect person to help style and organize our growing collection of brown and white transferware.
Most of these pieces were given to me as gifts over the years but I’m always on the lookout for more.
They’re getting really hard to find now especially at reasonable prices.
The plates on the left in the basket are Windsor Ware and the other pattern in the basket is by Johnson Brothers called Royal Mail.
and after. I’m sure there are many ways to repurpose old fencing but this easy buffet hack will always be extra special to us.
I hope you guys all have a safe and happy weekend. We have a great week coming up next week as we’re teaming up with some of our favorite bloggers for a brand new series called Back to Basics. We’ve also started putting up the board and batten in our guest bathroom and we’ve been working on a folding station makeover for the laundry room in Bliss Barracks too. I can’t wait to share our progress with you! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.