I used wacman's idea for faux reclaimed lumber to make this headboard by using a saw to score lines in the long boards to make it appear to be smaller pieces ( http://www.ana-white.com/2017/01/DIY_furniture/farmhouse-faux-reclaimed… )
I played with different stains, mixing some, overlaying others. I darkened the "seams" in the boards with some java glaze
The 1x3s and 1x4s were from the bottom of the stacks at HD, so they had lots of gouges, nicks, and imperfections that were perfect for the "rustic" look. Had to do a bit of sanding, but overall the "ugly" lumber ended up looking great.
One change to the plans I'll make next time. the top & bottom 1x4 boards end up getting covered by the final trim 1x4s. Next time I'll use 1x3s for the trim pieces so that a bit of the top/bottom 1x4s show.