Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

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Danwat
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Joined: Mon 20th Dec, 2021 12:06 am

Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by Danwat » Wed 22nd Dec, 2021 1:45 pm

Afternoon all,

We have just moved into a beautiful 1980s barn conversion (built early 1800s) and moved in recently.

We love the property and will hopefully be here for a long time to come.

The whole house needs updating and we are (slowly) going to be updating/ redoing bits when we get the cash.

One of our main gripes is with the beams that are in the property, they are covered in some sort of horrible mahogany coating which will do for now but I want it gone ASAP. We really hate it!

We have searched online and found lots of different methods - dry ice blasting, sandblasting and chemicals but we don't want to damage the beams and all of the above have very, very cautious posts about them online.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

P.S want to add pictures but saying file too large, any advice here would also be appreciated!

Danwat
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon 20th Dec, 2021 12:06 am

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by Danwat » Fri 24th Dec, 2021 11:17 am

Image

Image

CliffordPope
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Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by CliffordPope » Wed 29th Dec, 2021 10:42 am

I think it's the wrong kind of building to try to "restore". It's a modern creation in the style of an old barn, but happens to use the old timber. It could all have been built in stained dark oak, or light pine, or Swedish style tarred rough timber, or painted satin white, or any other colour scheme.
But it isn't an old farmhouse, and if you'd wanted one it might have been better to start with that. I think it's a beautiful job, and I like the stained mahogany effect in the roof and stairs.

Danwat
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Joined: Mon 20th Dec, 2021 12:06 am

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by Danwat » Wed 29th Dec, 2021 8:25 pm

Hi,

Thanks for getting back to us.

We are not trying to restore as such, as you said its a relatively recent conversion (in the scheme of things) however we would like to update some areas but be sympathetic to what the building has seen through its long history. What we aim to restore are the beams as with as they pre-date it's conversion to a dwelling.

The farmhouse statement in the title was an error, we had just been to our neighbors house who does live in the original farmhouse which was obviously on my mind when I was typing!

Unfortunately we are not a huge fan of the dark colour, just not to our taste I guess. In what we can see these were painted through the conversion in the 80s to the Mahogany colour.

This is why we are looking to change it back to the colour we can see in old pictures of the barn pre- conversion which is significantly more to our taste.

Thanks again!

MatthewC
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Location: Central/South England
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Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by MatthewC » Thu 30th Dec, 2021 10:07 am

Are the beams painted or varnished or stained or something else? In some insiginificant place, could you try to sand or remove the mahogany to see how difficult it is?

I would be tempted to sand and paint over (probably twice), but there's an awful lot of it... Could you do certain bits only to relieve the darkness?

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

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by a twig » Thu 30th Dec, 2021 11:44 am

There’s definitely someone on here who had some good stripping/blasting results, with soda or dry ice maybe? My slightly befuddled Christmas brain is thinking Ivor but I might be wrong?

Alternatively get one of those infrared lamps and a set of good sharp scrapers and get stuck in

LadyArowana
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Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by LadyArowana » Thu 30th Dec, 2021 5:43 pm

If you posted this question on a different forum in “the other place” you would have lots of people no doubt mentioning Frenchic paint and possibly something abominable called “browning wax”. I can see why you aren’t a fan of the mahogany, if they were mine I would paint them the same colour as the ceiling and let them quietly disappear.

malcolm
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Location: Bedford UK

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by malcolm » Fri 31st Dec, 2021 4:24 pm

The roof timbers look a little too straight and too perfect to be very old. Guessing a re-roof in the '80s and from the photo of the big beam it looks a bit like pine. It would probably look nicer without the mahogany varnish but a big job so I would definitely get someone else in to do it. Normally a decent contractor will start with a paid trial so they can see if it works and you can see if it gives you the result you want. Dry ice blasting would probably be the way.

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by Feltwell » Sat 1st Jan, 2022 3:24 pm

I agree with Malcom, early 1800's they are not - it's been completely re-roofed. Too straight and too perfect for a 200 year old agricultural building, those purlins and trusses would never have been planed, perfectly dimensioned timber if they were put up for a barn.

That doesn't mean it's not a nice roof! I can see why you hate the mahogany look, very 1980's. If you really want to try stripping then I'd suggest getting a contractor to do a test piece of dry ice blasting - but - even more so I'd say don't bother, paint them to match the ceiling - they'll still look good.

A building conversion is just that, you have to accept that many replaced or inserted elements will look like new.

88v8
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Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by 88v8 » Sun 2nd Jan, 2022 10:58 am

I agree, no point in stripping them.
New timber, nothing to see here.

And any form of blasting will make an awful mess in that open-plan space.

If you don't like the colour, and I can see why one might not like it, repaint them in a colour you do like.
You might also like to stencil patterns or zigzags on the purlins, if you're going to aim for a more Period look.
Or between the beams https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6f/8c/28 ... 617b9a.jpg it doesn't have to be boring white..... or boring, or white.

Ivor

Danwat
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Joined: Mon 20th Dec, 2021 12:06 am

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by Danwat » Wed 5th Jan, 2022 5:28 pm

Hi All, firstly, thanks for getting back to me.

I managed to take a small family vacation over new years hence the delayed response.
MatthewC wrote:
Thu 30th Dec, 2021 10:07 am
Are the beams painted or varnished or stained or something else? In some insiginificant place, could you try to sand or remove the mahogany to see how difficult it is?

I would be tempted to sand and paint over (probably twice), but there's an awful lot of it... Could you do certain bits only to relieve the darkness?
Ive had a little look online and I think it is probably paint, during the move some of the coating on the stairs was rubbed against furniture - Heavy furniture and complicated stairs = difficult! and it came off in a mahogany strip type thing, so when looking at the differing methods on the dulux website it looks most likely to be paint.

Isabellah
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Joined: Mon 17th Jan, 2022 11:46 am

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by Isabellah » Wed 19th Jan, 2022 8:18 am

Looks like a big and beautiful house! Wish you good luck and I am waiting for the photos of the final result, I really hope the restoration process will be an easy one for you

danjennings1958
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Joined: Mon 14th Sep, 2020 10:32 am

Re: Old farmhouse beam stripping/ restoring

Post by danjennings1958 » Tue 1st Mar, 2022 12:04 pm

We had the same issue - very old house ( 1490 ish ) beams painted dark black paint which we hated. looking into different methods we discovered soda blasting which uses bicarb of soda and dosent pit or damage the beams like sand blasting and is much friendlier than chemicals, we were very pleased with the result but it does make a mess and youll be clearing up for months aferwards.

before and after pictures attached.
Attachments
beams before.JPG
beams before.JPG (31.76 KiB) Viewed 481 times
beams after.jpg
beams after.jpg (33.32 KiB) Viewed 481 times

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