finish for valuted pine ceiling

sorry for a beginners question but I am about to install a v-groove t&g pine ceiling (approx 300 sq ft) in my bedroom and need advice about how to finish it.
The wood is 1x6 yellow pine that was milled from 100 year old joists removed from my ceiling as part of a remodel. I like to look of the bare wood and want to keep it as natural as possible. Do I _need_ to finish it with a poly or some type of oil? Would it be foolish to leave the wood unfinished?
I am in central NC so there will be wide swings in humidity.
Any and all advice is appreciated.
Thanks
Bill
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IMHO you should finish with something, probably poly. My house has all ceilings and exterior wall of T&G pine. I built the house 20 years ago and did not finish the pine. I wish I had. The wood has all oxidized, picked up stains from water and kitchen vapors. They are hard to clean because they just absorb all the soapy water. I started to finish the walls recently (better late than never) with shellac under water based poly (no vapors) and am happy with the results. I've had to sand everything before finishing. A real PIA.

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Try some Waterlox on a sample. It's a decent compromise between protection and appearance IMO.
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The "classic" finish for pine T&G was shellac, which goes "yellow/amber" after a few years. I would shoot a few coats of water based poly, which is crystal clear if you want to maintain the "look".
SYP is gonna change colors anyway, so give it a little protection from staining.
The poly will act as good seal when you decide to put that coat of latex on it in a few years...
Bill Graves wrote:

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Bill Graves wrote:

I installed about 500 ft^2 of T&G spruce on my ceiling. Humidity swings are wide (wood stove heat in winter, swamp cooler in summer) and no noticeable problems after about 4 years. Finish is sprayed on water based poly. Very poor at being a good moisture barrier (use oil based for that) but easy to apply and clean.
-Bruce
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We installed 1x6 T&G pine boards on the walls of our master suite. For ease of cleaning, we applied a single coat of Olympic oil based satin poly. It still "looks" natural, and the poly really enhanced the look of the pine.
For our ceilings we used 1x6 T&G cedar boards. We were originally going to leave them unfinished, but when I wiped a bit of poly on a scrap it REALLY brought out the color of the cedar. So, we put two coats of poly on the ceilings.
The pine is light colored and looks fine with 1 coat of poly, but the darker cedar looked really splotchy without the second coat.
Anthony
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You have several good suggestions. I would add one thing. If you are going to stain, or use a tinted finish it might splotch. I would be worth your time to wipe it down with a conditioner before finishing.
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My vote is for an amber or blonde shellac. It's very forgiving and really brings the wood to life. Poly would be ok if you were going to be walking on the ceiling, spraying it with a hose, subjecting it to food fights, or some other sort or unspeakable abuse. Shellac is fine for normal use. I am partial to orange shellac for interior trim. You don't have to worry about mixing your own flake for a job like this, buying it premixed in gallon cans is fine.
Good luck,
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Bill Graves) wrote in message
I put about 1000sf of planed pine barn siding in a pizza/tavern ceiling.I used satin oil based poly.To begin with, if at all possible, FINISH IT BEFORE YOU INSTALL IT. The procedure we used was to roll both sides real fast and sloppy that left hundreds of bubbles which we brushed out with a wide dustpan type brush. After that dried, the face side had numerous raised grain, dust and dirt nubs(rolling and brushing pulled junk out of the old cracks and nail holes). THAT was taken care of with eighty grit (80) sandpaper, then the boards were blown off and then vacumed, wiped down with min. spirits and a second coat applied.
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