We've all seen those adorable wooden and metal letters at every retail store in America and all across social media for that matter. But did you know that reclaimed wooden and regular letters (not to mention those rusty metal letters with the sharp edges) can carry fumes, chemicals, toxins, and microscopic pests?
There's a process called "Kiln Drying" which uses high heat under controlled conditions to kill off mold, microscopic pests, bacteria, etc., but it's a costly process that not many lumber mills do-- let alone salvage yards, really old barns (lead paint anyone?), and anywhere else someone may find reclaimed wood at. While it sounds super cool, I'm not sure the potential hazards are worth it. I haven't even mentioned the weight of the letters! Some letters weight in at 2 pounds each depending on sizing. With most babies being born being between 6-9 pounds-- um, yeah, I'm not sure about putting that over my baby's head while they sleep.
With the increasing nursery related injuries rising in the United States, its more important that we make conscious decisions about what we decide to put inside our nursery. While nothing can beat the look of real, authentic, decades old lumber, we can at least make educated decisions on what, where, and who we buy from. We can still benefit from repurposing reclaimed lumber--let's just minimize the risks.
Below are some helpful articles that will help you navigate the world of reclaimed lumber but here are some easy to remember guides to help you in your journey if you insist on using wood:
Any other alternatives you ask? Why yes! House of Crazi uses all non-toxic paints and recyclable materials for their decorative letters. We create a safer alternative to wooden and metal letters. Our letters look like real wood and metal but aren't! It's about as close as you can get to the wooden and metal look without it being actual wood and metal. You can find our products here.
Here are some articles that I promised you but a simple search on Google, will provide you with a TON of informative articles:
Using gorgeous reclaimed wood with stories etched into every grain is stuff of Pinterest dreams. Just be safe about it and do not use it in nurseries or around areas where members of your family eat.
Photo byAlexandre Godreau