How You Can Properly and Effectively Finish Old Wooden Beams, Especially Oak

There are various reasons why wood continues to be a prime material used for construction, and wooden beams, in particular, are still as popular today as they were centuries ago. But if your property has wooden beams that are old, you may notice that they are not as clean as before – and, more than this, their finish may not be good, especially if they have been painted a ghastly colour that hides their natural appeal. Oak beams are excellent as a material, but if oak beams are old, they would need the proper cleaning, treatment, and finishing as well. If you have already cleaned the beams but would like to ensure that they have the right finish, here’s how you can properly and effectively finish old wooden beams, especially oak.

  • Removing ‘silvering’

Wooden beams such as oak may acquire a silver finish after some time, and this occurs due to age and exposure to the elements if the oak beams are outdoors. You may require a bleaching agent for this, and wood reviver gel may be a good and effective option since it has oxalic acid, and oxalic acid can bleach the wood without any damage. But you must use this with caution and care, because it may end up tarnishing and corroding fittings made of metal. If you are trying to remove silvering from beams indoors, you may need to finish them with varnish or wax so the beams’ colour is preserved. Additionally, for beams outdoors, you may want to use a clear preservative especially made for wood and oil that is UV-resistant.

  • Avoid linseed oil

Although some would say that you can use linseed oil for beam restoration and, in fact, it has been used traditionally, most experts and specialists in wooden beam renovation today will agree that it should be avoided. This is because the wood cannot fully absorb it, and it doesn’t dry out completely – which leaves a surface residue that can attract dust and dirt, rendering all your efforts useless in the end. If you want something safe and traditional, you can go for beeswax polish – you can purchase it, or you can make it yourself by mixing beeswax with turpentine. Take note, however, to apply it as a thin coating and then polish it until it shines. If the coat is too thick, it will simply stay on the surface and not get fully absorbed, giving the wooden beam a dull look.

  • Achieving a ‘limed’ effect

The ‘limed’ effect always looks good on wooden beams, but if you don’t want to use alkaline, caustic lime, you can now purchase lime wax as well. Once you have stripped as well as sanded the wood, you can raise the grain with a copper brush. Just rub the brush on the surface and then massage the lime wax into the grain, allowing it to slightly dry. Afterwards, you can apply clear wax for sealing and to provide more protection to the wood. This results in a rustic and attractive ‘limed’ effect which can emphasise the oak’s natural grain.

  • Getting a ‘whitewashed’ effect

If you want a ‘whitewashed’ effect that can brighten up space, you may use casein distemper, which is a milk-based paint that can dry to a chalky and bright finish that resembles vintage whitewash.




Daisey Bell

I am Daisy Bell and a pro-level blogger with years of experience in writing for multiple industries. I have extensive knowledge of Food, Fitness, Healthcare, business, fashion, and many other popular niches. I have post graduated in arts and have keen interest in traveling.

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