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.
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.
email@example.com (Ken Doerr) wrote in message
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.
"The measure of a man is what he will do
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