DIY Home Garden


4 Ways You Can Repurpose Unused Wood

What’s the first thought that comes to your mind when you find yourself with unused wood? Whether you’ve got leftovers from a home improvement project or you’ve been giving your garden a makeover, wood is one of the most common materials homeowners have. Typically, two things would happen to the unexpected wood. It could either end up in a forgotten pile in the garage or the basement, where it is likely to be forgotten and rot. The second more frequent fate that wood meets is the trash bin or the recycling center – depending on your preference. Things we don’t know how to use are typically binned away. 

Four Fantastic Ways to Repurpose Unused Wood

But how about looking for new ways of repurposing your wood chunks and pieces? There’s so much you could do with it. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

1 – Can I reuse that?

The first question you want to ask if you’ve got leftovers or trimmed bits is: can I use it safely? Indeed, if you’re buying wood for home projects, it’s worth discussing potential extra uses with a professional contractor. For instance, treated or varnished wood may not be suitable to use in the fireplace. It could release harmful chemicals that are unsafe for breathing. 

Similarly, if your wood comes from a landscaping project, you can discuss your need with a tree removal service before making a decision. More often than not, tree cutting teams can help identify wood trimmings that are suitable for a variety of uses, such as DIY decoration, etc. 

2 – Is it safe to burn?

Maybe, maybe not. Wood intended for exterior use usually receives a chemical treatment to repel moisture and pests. You don’t want to cook over it. 

But old wood that you know to be chemical-free can be kindling for your next camping trip or light wood for your fireplace.

Homeowners who have a wood burner or a pizza oven need to arrange for a safe storage spot. Ideally, you want a dry place that is not exposed to pest invasions or chemical damage. It might sound silly, but keeping your wood inside the garage next to your used paint pots and other DIY products could lead to spillage. Spoilt wood may not be safe to use in your fire. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to also organize your wood by “age”, so that green wood has time to dry properly. This will avoid excessive smoke. 

Finally, you can also bag small bits and trimmings together to take on camping trips or start an open-air bbq. 

3 – Can I upcycle it?

We all have old items of furniture that we barely remember buying. They clutter spare bedrooms, attics, basements until we’re ready to get rid of them. However, you can inject a new life into unused furniture if you are a creative upcycler. An old wooden ladder can become a rustic set of shelves that adds some personality to your interior. The old chest of drawers can be revived after a fresh coat of paint. There is more to your things than what meets the eye if you’re willing to put the work in. 

4 – Back into the garden

Not everyone wants to transform or destroy their wood. How about giving to nature what was always hers? You can turn a log into a cozy insect home, for example. Small bits of wood can come together to create a hedgehog hotel. Trimmings make the best protective layer for your soil in winter. These are only some ideas to make the most of your wood to preserve wildlife in your garden. 

upcycled end table
Here’s a before and after of my upcycled end table. The left side is the original condition of the piece. The right side, inset, is the end table completed and in my home.

The Takeaway: Don’t Trash It; Repurpose Unused Wood

Unused wood is a source of inspiration in all your day-to-day activities and DIY projects. Whether you use it to fire up your pizza oven or to repurpose the old baby cot, it’s a primary resource that is naturally hard-working. It’s no surprise our ancestors valued and cherished wood so much. 

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