Most of the wood projects that are worth noticing have one thing in common-the colour and texture of wood really stands out. Now, you might think the only way to produce this type of effect would be getting your hands on some particular type of barn wood. Aged enough and in some specific way that after applying your varnish will make those effects of mill marks that are so pleasing to the eyes.
That is not necessarily true. It is possible to recreate this effect with some techniques of ageing wood and also by applying layers of paint on UNSANDED wood, BEFORE you start going mad with your sander. Why this is so important? If you apply black spray paint-I always use chalkboard paint that dries within minutes-on bare and unsanded wood, paint will soak in in those grooves deeply. If you start sanding then-you will get rid of all splinters and roughness but the paint will stay in-exposing all saw marks that look really awesome. Then go ahead with your choice of stain, or varnish to add another payer to the finish and viola! Done and dusted.
It is always helpful to have wood that is rough, dry and ready to work with, but if you do have some scraps lying around your shop-use them in that manner, some rough looking wood can make awesome projects.