Tag Archives: old wine barrels

Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel – Finished

Sneak peak on a special order – Part 5

As you may recall, the product that we started with was almost unrepairable.  One end of the old wine barrel had been sitting in dirt for a time and that included mud at some junctures, which in-turn started rotting the wood on the end of the staves.  The owner was willing to go along with whatever was needed so we went to work.

We decided early on that the one bad head or cap would have to be the bottom of the barrel and we would add an extra layer of wood to beef up the barrel.  We struggled a bit getting the old stain off because it’s a bit sticky and gooey when being sanded.  Another issue with the sanding was the uneven surface caused in part by the staves being rotten, which didn’t allow each stave to have equal strength or hold together very well.

By the way, when we say ‘we’ we’re mostly talking about Ron who did a vast majority of the work on this project barrel.

We overcame the extra work and now the staining and sealing we’re next.  Of course prepping is in order first and as we stated, one of the more tedious jobs to do.  The owner of the barrel asked for a darker look which we’ve done before and call leather.  Then it was onto the hoops, which would be painted burgundy.  Everything went well until we decided there was too much pitting and redid one band.

That led us to now, where we cleaned up the barrel by giving the bands a quick buffing.  We looked over the barrel and touched up anything we thought wasn’t right but the owner thought it looked great so we were done.  We should add, the weather was cold and wet at the end of this project making conditions, well, let’s just say a bit of a pain.

Two barrels

BLOG STORY SPECIAL – Ask for these two barrels and receive $100 off the sale. (see below for more info)

Although this was someone else’s cask that we worked on along with being a barrel we wouldn’t normally recraft – hopefully this little five part story offers some insight into what we do to each product we work on and the lengths we will go to make it right.

In the future, Paso Wine Barrels will offer other stories of our work and business as we move along.  If you ever have any questions about wine barrels whether they’re ours or not, ask us and we will try to tender an answer.

As they say in wine country, ‘Saluti’ – or as we say Salootie Patootie!

Ron and Daryle Hier




BLOG STORY SPECIAL – Ask for the two barrels shown in the story above and receive $100 off the sale.  Click here to email for details.


Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel – Painting … And More Painting?

Sneak peak on a special order – Part 4

Our special project barrel has been a lot of work including the simple sounding prepping – but most everything has gone rather smoothly … until now.


More trees were chopped down to aid us in redoing one of the bands after initially painting the entire barrel’s hoops.

We may or may not have mentioned it but if you had looked closely at the head bands in the pictures – those hoops that were at the far top and bottom – they weren’t in good shape.  We sanded and prepped them for primer and paint but didn’t like the way they came out with one particular hoop.  The primer had covered some of the pits and it’s not unusual for paint to take care of any other very minor pits.  However, we didn’t like the way it appeared after drying, so we striped it again – we use dark grey primer as seen in the picture.

Note: we know that some of these imperfections come with dealing with an old wine barrel and sometimes we let these blemishes go but in this instance, they were pronounced and it was our artistic impression that we should do this one band over again.

Regardless, the one band was once again primered, sanded, prepped and then painted one more time.  The overall look was better and we were happy with the end result.  The barrels owner inspected what we had done and couldn’t wait to get his renewed barrel back.

We will buff it out and give it one final cleaning.  Looks like one last installment is necessary as we unveil the final product.

By the way, we need you to vote in our band color poll.  It’s quick with just one question.  Go here: https://pasowinebarrels.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/wine-barrel-bands-what-color-looks-best/

Salootie Patootie!

Ron and Daryle Hier





Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel – Stain And Prep

Sneak peak on a special order – Part 3

Taking a dilapidated old wine barrel and making it look better than new is a challenge when it has an end of it that is rotten – as we stated when we started this project.  Plus the wine barrel had previously been stained and painted which made the work all that more tedious.


There are at least two bands left on a barrel at all times while staining and sealing.

Now we take the barrel and remove some of the hoops off so we can stain and seal using a darker stain than we normally apply.  We call this color leather because it gives the wine barrel the look that it is encased in leather.  As we go along, we move some of the hoops (or bands) off and replace them with others to keep the barrel together, waiting between times to let the stain and sealer on the barrel dry.

And we should note ever so importantly that we can’t take all the bands off or the barrel would come apart and that isn’t a pretty thing to have happen – think of the funniest comedy scene you’ve ever saw.  Yes, we’ve been there and don’t want to do it again.

Now that we have the barrel stained, we will need to prep the barrel with the hoop bands on it and ready the bands for paint.  Again, we will use burgundy on this one which makes it meld into the barrel for a more subtle look.  The owner of the barrel wanted that particular kind of appearance.  By the way, go to our poll and give your opinion of what color you think would look the best.


The bands are in place and prepped with paper and tape used to keep the band paint off the wood.

Having had a classic restoration business, we know all too well how much time and effort goes into prepping, which is one of the most unrewarding jobs to do.  We use the county rag (San Luis Obispo Tribune) for cover – it has to be good for something.

We will paint next and then let dry before buffing and shining it up a bit.  You can see how that goes with what should be our last installment of ‘Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel’.

Salootie Patootie!

Ron and Daryle Hier





Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel – Stripping Stain

Sneak peak on a special order – Part 2

When we started this project (go here), one end (or head as it’s called) of the wine barrel was rotten in places due to sitting in mud on and off through the years.  It wasn’t repairable beyond placing another piece of wood over it while sanding and grinding most of chime off – the chime is the end of a stave beyond the head.


Ron points to the uneven surface that made sanding more difficult. And note the rotten area at top filled in with new wood.

Sometimes you receive a barrel that has already been worked on and might have paint or some other stain on them.  Such was the case with this barrel.  It had paint on the hoops (bands) and the wood had been stained.

Subsequently, the next process was to strip the paint and stain off the barrel so we can have a decent surface to sand, restain in this case, seal and paint on both the hoops and the wood.

More work than usual

The hoops took quite a bit of sanding on to strip off all the old paint.  Note that the stain clogs up our sandpaper more than usual, bogging down the process; plus, sealer isn’t easy to sand off – it’s sticky.  Additionally, the wood was harder than normal to sand because it was uneven because the deteriorated ends of the staves made it difficult to bring back to a flush surface.

We prevailed for the most part but if the barrel wasn’t perfectly even, that was okay since it added character – common with any of these unique pieces – which the owner of the barrel was more than fine with.


Barrel sanded

Next up after the sanding, will be prepping – a tedious chore – and then application of the stain and sealer.  We will stain the wood surface with a darker than normal color, add sealer and then paint the hoop bands burgundy.

Stay with us as we show you additional progress on this special order dealing with a very old and decrepit wine barrel.

Salootie Patootie!

Ron and Daryle Hier





Old Is New

Sometimes we get asked, why would we take an old barrel that has some character and make it into a new decorative recycled barrel that doesn’t reflect its history.

That’s a fair question and for some folks, the old wine barrels have an attraction all to themselves, steeped in a rich history that you can visually see.  However, the battered wood is splintered, decaying and in some instances moldy along with literally falling apart.

Barrels - old and new

What’s old is new again.

That’s where we come in.  We don’t necessarily alter the barrel as much as we enhance its textures, look and structure so it can be a piece of art furniture that you can enjoy for decades.

They are sanded and stained, then sanded again and stained and then if needed, sanded once more with a couple more layers of stain and sealed.  We add some coats of varathane (urethane) to bring out the luster plus it makes it last much longer.

As you can see by the comparison picture, the difference between an old used barrel’s finish and the new recreated barrel are night and day.  We don’t really remove anything like imperfections as much as we smooth them out and then enhance their individual beauty.

When compared with the old barrel, well, there isn’t a true comparison.  The recycled and recrafted wine barrel is impressive with a classy yet unique appearance that is viewed with stunned gasps and wows by others when they see them.

If you would like pictures of some of the wine barrels we have finished, just let us know and we’d be happy to send them to you.  You can go here for an upclose on the old barrel finish – and go here for an upclose of the new barrel finish.


Daryle W. Hier