Wood stains from previous owners can make structural oak beams darker and change the overall aura. Sometimes, these pieces are also previously painted, and it can be challenging to change the colors. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fix it or improve how it looks.
Always Test A Small Area First
One of the essential things to do when deciding to “lighten” a beam is to test for the ESP undercoat as well as check for the casein distemper. Before you go and do the procedure on the entirety of the wood, opt to test on a small, unnoticed area.
Choose A Soft, Pale Distemper
If you want the easiest and quickest way to lighten the oak beams, you may choose a distemper coating that can instantly change the wood’s appearance in seconds. These coats are water-based and can be 100% washed off with warm water in the future. It gives off a matte finish when painted over dark beams.
Never Use Sandblasting And Other Similar Procedures
Sandblasting can cause damage to any wood because of the harshness it brings to the material. This type of procedure should never be part of the process, no matter how much people endorse it. Another method to avoid is using a wire brush to strip off the topcoat. While it does the job in seconds, wire brushes strip off the coat and small portions of the wooden beam. It can make the structure weaker and easier to break.
Use A Bristle Brush And Scraper Instead
The key to properly cleaning wooden beams is overall gentleness and the right knowledge about the allowed tools. Although scrapers are generally made from metallic materials, the way, you apply pressure when cleaning determines the outcome. When scraping off excess paint or coating, always do it gradually. Since the wood is old, you can be 100% sure that pressure should not be applied.
The next step is to use a bristle brush instead of the steel type. The hair-like texture is gentle on the wooden surface, minimizing the chances of damaging the surface. While brushing, make sure to prepare warm water and soap to ensure the coat or paint removal.
Never Dry The Beams Using Heat
Once you’re done washing and scrubbing the wooden pieces, make sure you use a dry cloth to remove excess water. If you want to make the drying process quicker, you may use an old t-shirt to mop up the water on the wood’s surface. Open the windows and doors to let the air in, too. The interior of a room can influence the mood and aura of the house. Spruce up your home by changing and improving your structural oak beams!