Black beam advice

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hatonon
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Joined: Wed 16th Aug, 2017 1:46 pm

Black beam advice

Post by hatonon » Mon 4th Jan, 2021 2:10 pm

Hi there, some advice, please. We have a small number of internal timbers, some of which have been plastered smooth, some seemingly painted in a thick semi-shiny goop. I had a pick at one timber as attached with a scraper, nd the over-plastered parts came away easily with the paint, however I am now stuck.

I have got some Peelaway 7 test patches on the go, they have been on 24 hours and have removed a layer or so but they're not back to the wood yet. I've read it can take up to 72 hours so am not entirely giving up yet...but am also aware that it may not be totally effective on pre 60's paint. Our property was renovated and listed in the early 50s. I understand Peelaway 1 can darken and stain oak so am steering clear.

So my question is, if the Peelaway doesn't work, what is my next option? I do not want to go down the blasting route. We only have 3 or 4 timbers on our landing so I don't mind if it's hard work/slow going. Is gentle sanding acceptable? I think I will need to sand anyway as the exposed timber is very rough.

I also wondered about Klingstrip - if Peelaway doesn't work does that mean Kstrip won't either? I have also read that it can stain/darken, which is why I'm avoiding Peelaway 1.

All advice gratefully received....
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YorkshireCottage
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun 22nd Nov, 2020 4:04 pm

Re: Black beam advice

Post by YorkshireCottage » Mon 4th Jan, 2021 9:14 pm

I've seen recommendations for soda "blasting", rather than sand blasting. Seems to remove the crud but leaves the wood intact (including things like carpenters marks) as long as the operator knows what they are doing. If you can bear Facebook, there's a group called Listed Building - Owner's Group whose members could probably recommend someone in your area.
I wouldn't sand, as you'll strip any features and leave the wood too smooth (my friend did their beams, badly).

hatonon
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed 16th Aug, 2017 1:46 pm

Re: Black beam advice

Post by hatonon » Tue 5th Jan, 2021 8:57 am

Thanks. I was really hoping to avoid blasting as I know how much mess and disruption it can cause.

Am not worried about a long laborious manual process, just wondering how best to tackle it.

Will definitely check out the soda blasting just incase it can be done silently and without spreading any dust....what are the chances? :wink:

fallschirmjager
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun 14th Jul, 2019 6:14 pm
Location: South Norfolk

Re: Black beam advice

Post by fallschirmjager » Fri 8th Jan, 2021 3:59 pm

Get the beams ice blasted then. Nowhere near as much mess.

a twig
Posts: 666
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Black beam advice

Post by a twig » Fri 8th Jan, 2021 6:27 pm

Box them in with some nice laminated MDF :twisted:

Cubist
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Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Cubist » Fri 8th Jan, 2021 6:51 pm

No matter what, get rid of the paint. It contributes to the decay of the timber and can cause major problems.

I would try to avoid basting, with any material, as this can and will remove the more delicate fibres of the wood from the surface grain structure and can leave surprisingly large grooves in the timber - think of a piece of driftwood you might find on a beach.. It can also do serious damage to the surrounding plasterwork. Its a pain in the rear by the best way I have found is to abraid the paint surface using a very coarse sand-paper and then to use a steam cleaner to dampen the wood surface below the paint. Having moistened the wood in this way the paint will be easier to remove with a scraper and if necessary a wire brush. You will need to be carful though as the wire brush can also strip out the softer wood fibres.

plasticpigeon
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Location: Birmingham

Re: Black beam advice

Post by plasticpigeon » Fri 8th Jan, 2021 7:52 pm

What about using a heat gun? Peelaway 1 is very effective, but is caustic. It certainly discoloured a sapele window sill and make it very dark so not to be recommended on oak. Good on pine though. Also old paint might have lead in it so avoid making too much dust.

Roger440
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri 7th Feb, 2014 1:48 pm

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Roger440 » Sun 10th Jan, 2021 9:01 pm

fallschirmjager wrote:
Fri 8th Jan, 2021 3:59 pm
Get the beams ice blasted then. Nowhere near as much mess.
This^^^^^.

minimal if any damage. And not much mess either.

Toby Newell
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu 11th May, 2006 2:02 am
Location: London

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Toby Newell » Thu 11th Feb, 2021 2:49 pm

Do a search with my name and read previous threads on the subject, I cannot go through that again!

From a person who strips wood for a living starting in 1986 and who has seen the results of every stripping method possible!

Flyfisher
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Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Flyfisher » Thu 11th Feb, 2021 4:34 pm

There's always the easy option . . . . just paint them [ducks for cover].

I would never paint bare oak beams and we're fortunate to have many of them. However, where they were already painted (mainly bedrooms) I confess to having simply repainted them. Does that make me a bad person?

Toby Newell
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Location: London

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Toby Newell » Thu 11th Feb, 2021 5:04 pm

Probably sound advice for most previously painted timber! And technically the only legal remedy for listed properties without having a chinwag with your CO, which may or may not be a pleasant experience.

But if the paint is flaking and the surface is friable, then one may still desire to prepare a sound base for fresh paint, which necessitates removal of the old paint!

But yes, dobbing over with a large emulsion brush something matt in white and black is slot less hassle, if slightly less aesthetically pleasing.

Toby Newell
Posts: 424
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Location: London

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Toby Newell » Thu 11th Feb, 2021 5:10 pm

And if the OP cannot find archived musings on the subject I have a very detailed multi-page multi-thousand word article on the subject on my website, which is very easy to find using predictable keywords.

I will not be drawn into another bun fight to be pelted by inexperienced and thin skinned people with an endless supply of buns.

Buns may be a viable option if they are stale enough.

But I suggest caution with any more abrasive method that purports to be safe, easy or cheap. I've been stripping for 37 years and have yet to find such a method!

(It is of course entirely possible I'm a part time idiot and have failed to spot the magic answer over the decades, in which case please advise but hurry, I start another strip job on Monday and am not looking forward to buying a fresh gallon of Paramose and organic respirator)

RBailey
Posts: 141
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Location: Rutland

Re: Black beam advice

Post by RBailey » Fri 12th Feb, 2021 9:21 am

Toby Newell wrote:
Thu 11th Feb, 2021 5:10 pm
I have a very detailed multi-page multi-thousand word article on the subject on my website, which is very easy to find using predictable keywords.
Thanks, just googled. Very useful and informative.

Flyfisher
Posts: 9872
Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Flyfisher » Fri 12th Feb, 2021 10:58 am

Toby Newell wrote:
Thu 11th Feb, 2021 5:04 pm
But yes, dobbing over with a large emulsion brush something matt in white and black is slot less hassle, if slightly less aesthetically pleasing.
. . . which is an interesting discussion point in itself. When did bare timber become 'aesthetically pleasing'? I'm pretty sure that, historically, most beams would have been painted with something, probably limewash externally or distemper internally. All our C16 attic room timbers are painted with distemper (which is fortunately fairly easy to remove with nothing more than a wet brush, so far 'kinder' than modern paint). Stripped pine certainly seems to be a relatively modern fashion and I suspect most Victorians would have been horrified to have their 'cheap' pine furniture exposed for what it was by leaving it bare instead of covering it up with paint.

There's a parallel thread running about the merits or otherwise of stripping pine doors by dipping in chemical baths and the damage that can inflict on both the wood and the joinery itself, yet that never seems to be raised as a concern when attacking paintwork on beams, architraves, skirting etc by variously aggressive forms of mechanical and chemical warfare.

I'm not particularly advocating one treatment or another because 'aesthetically pleasing' is obviously in the eye of the beholder and I wouldn't dream of telling anyone how to decorate their own home, but it's interesting to consider how much fashions change over time and influence such things. For contemporary properties it matters not if they seek their own modern style, even if draws on historical periods, but if striving for authenticity in our genuinely period properties then perhaps all this paint stripping is misplaced? Having said that, the same argument could apply to other modern 'fashions' such as indoor sanitation, electric lighting and central heating - and who amongst us would be prepared to be THAT authentic? :wink:

Feltwell
Posts: 5760
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Black beam advice

Post by Feltwell » Fri 12th Feb, 2021 1:51 pm

Flyfisher wrote:
Fri 12th Feb, 2021 10:58 am
who amongst us would be prepared to be THAT authentic? :wink:
Oh I don't know, I'm doing my bit to be authentic to the past right now - I need a haircut so badly I'm starting to resemble a caveman! :D

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