In a world where railway sleepers, wheelbarrows, drinking troughs and milk churns are considered the height of shabby, eco-friendly chic, it comes as no surprise that scaffold boards have joined this re-purposing and recycling trend. You have only to search on Pinterest to find a host of cost-effective and attractive projects, from shelving and bookcases, to tables and worktops.
Some of Gilray Plant’s boards have ended up being used very creatively: this beautiful pergola was built out of our rejects, giving a sheltered outdoor living space and creating visual interest, as well as a habitat for creeping plants, such as vines. And the bathroom & garden doors pictured above were also made with Gilray boards.
When used outdoors, scaffold boards can be left untreated, or stained and coated, to add weatherproofing. Typically made out of untreated spruce, the natural colour of reject or used scaffold boards tends toward a light brown which weathers to grey over time. The typical life of an untreated board, left outside in all weathers might be as much as ten years if not treated with a proper wood preservative.
But left untreated, they also make great organic planters or raised beds for vegetables or herbs. I don’t think this user intended them to be employed as a kennel but can anyone say sandpit for the kids? Why not? And how about a tree house or a nice outdoor sofa? The rugged nature of the boards makes for a durable piece of furniture, and far more stylish than metal, plastic or rattan.
Judging by the amount of forums, Q&A pages and pinterest shots of home-grown projects, the use of scaffold boards is more of a grassroots movement, rather than a standard option from the green construction industry. So where do you source the wood you need for these projects, and how do you get started with your own project? For ideas Pinterest is definitely a great place, along with the ubiquitous YouTube tutorials. Your local hardware store will be able to advise on stains and finishes, and you can purchase the boards from us, of course!