It only took me about a year to get this project done. I acquired some reclaimed wood from my kind brother when he tore down the 30-something year old shed in his backyard. It sat in my backyard for a while, then my husband moved it into the garage and gave me a time limit to finish it. I guess that's what I needed, and I was glad for it.
But I finally tackled it. I loved reclaimed wood for it's color and texture variations, and this wood is good and worn, let me tell you. Some of it was a little warped too. I read up on doing this and brushed it to death, sanded lightly, started to spray it with a clear coat (but didn't like the result so I quit), and so on. I finally decided, this wood is so old and worn, I can't imagine there are any chemicals left in it at all. And the spraying didn't seem to reduce the likelihood of splinters at all, but it's not too bad that way. It's full of old nail holes and cracks and character and I just love it.
I couldn't find quite the right screws I wanted, so I bought black ones and lightly coated them with some bronze/gold spray paint and they turned out the perfect color. On the lighter wood they show a little more, on the darker wood they almost disappear. It's nice. And look at those old rusty nail holes.
Below you can see some of the weathered variations. As for the ends, I haven't treated them yet, but let me tell you what worked fabulously on my mirror frame. I read all about soaking steel wool in vinegar, etc. but that didn't give me as much as I wanted. So I grabbed a gold Sharpie marker that was on my desk and threw that into the mix. It was perfect! a little of the vinegar solution, a little marker, a little more vinegar, and the result matched perfectly the ends that were naturally weathered. So that's what I will do here as well.
Now to get some nightstands...