'Weathering' wood technique?

I have a fair amount of exposed beams in a house that aren't that old but I'd like to lighten them and 'weather' the appearance at the same time. Would some sort of sand blasting work?
Any guidance appreciated.
Regards, Ken
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Ken,
What kind of wood are the beams? Do they have any type of finish on them now? It might be possible to lighten the color by sanding or stripping off any finish/sealer and then bleaching the wood with wood bleach (oxalic acid). Test first on an inconspicuous area. The type of wood will somewhat dictate what type of stain/paint/dye/chemical/technique to use to achieve a "weathered" patina on the wood. For example: you could take paint and apply it then wipe most of it off with a rag leaving just residue in the pores. Then there is the whole possibility of "distressing" the wood. Try a Google search and you will find many techniques for beating, gouging, pummeling, etc. the wood to give it "character". Woods with a high tannic acid content can be colored using chemicals such as lye, ammonia, iron acetate, or potassium dichromate. Pine can be aged with nitric acid. Some of these chemicals are DANGEROUS to work with so use caution and common sense. I'd Google around and look for books in the library on finishing wood and also on decorative painting. You will find lots of information that you can use to start experimenting with your particular project. To be honest I've never sandblasted wood but it seems to be that this could get quite messy very quickly and would involve a lot of masking to protect other surfaces in the room from the blasting. You might have better luck with a belt sander and/or a grinder with a wire wheel. Good luck on your project.
Dale
snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com (Ken Doerr) wrote in message

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Dale) wrote:

The Oxalic Acid and Dichromate are poisons! The oxalic is bad. Use good quality rubber gloves that go up to your elbows and have a cuff so it doesn't run down and get inside on your skin.
As for sandblasting, wood has grain. The rings are harder than the surrounding wood, so when you sandblast, the softer wood inbetween the rings goes first and you get humps and valley's so to speak if you're not careful. Especially if its a soft wood like fir, pine etc. and if the growth rings are far apart as in fast growth wood.
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Jim Polaski
"The measure of a man is what he will do
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