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cieling and beams

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Joined: Dec 26 2003

Hello again,

I have grey redwood ceiling planks and white painted beams.
The beams are flaking and I wanted to strip them and stain them a dark color, any ideas? has anyone done this? any pics?
also in Design for living pg 90-91 I notice that the redwood planks seem to be a natural color, to me this is attractive, is there any way to achieve this look with what I currently have? or what else is possibly (I do not want to paint the cieling). Let me know of any ideas or pics. At the least I would want to restain the celing the same color, how would I do it? just recoat? thanks in advance.
also if anyone has the original color pallette for the interior ceilings and also the exterior colors used, that would be great.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hi Alex:

I can only help on one front. Our walls are Navaho White and we painted the beams Lom (Kelly-Moore, dark brown). The ceiling is Frost semi-gloss. We happen to love the look and contrast of the light walls and dark beams. Provide an e-mail address and I will send you a couple of pics.

Lucky you if you still have the original stained ceiling. That can look fabulous.

Also, just FYI, the next issue of the Newsletter will contain some information regarding exterior painting and will talk about some of the original colors (and current sources) for exterior paint.

Cathye

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

For my 2 cents, I'd say definitely *do not* paint the ceiling. There are very few homes which still have the stained ceilings and it really is very rare to have redwood ceilings in modern homes. Once painted they are almost impossible to reverse (we did strip some of ours but I don't want to tell you how nasty the chemical stripper, multiple sandings, and resultant debris was to deal with).

I remember someone posting some time ago that they wanted to refresh their stained ceilings. They hired a painter/stainer who sanded the ceilings (the original stain coat is very thin) then reapplied the stain. You might consider having someone do the same.

If you are new to your home, I also might suggest you wait a while until you've seen a few more ideas than just the Ditto book (though it's a fine start) before changing major items like ceilings and beams. We repainted our already painted ceilings to ivory and white beams to black (based on a picture in the Ditto book) when we first moved in. 3 years later we stripped the ceilings and stained them grey and are now scuffing/priming/painting the beams back to off-white (both stain and beam are close to house's original colors).

Good luck. If you think I can be of any help, you can email me at eichfan at rawbw dot com

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Hello again Alex,
We completed a Eichler ceiling restoration last year, (along with a whole house remodel to correct a funky rustic modification of the entire house).
The fastest way to strip that ceiling is to sandblast; however you still have a lot of finishing, prep (not to mention the massive mess caused) to do after the grey is stripped (the owners had us remove the white ceiling paint, patch holes, and restore the Cabot grey blend that my finish guy spend a little time in the drawing room matching). Other tactics that may work well are:
A. Faux finish; if done well it will take a ridiculously anal retentive person to tell the difference 2-4 feet away.
B. I have had success with re-coloring stain with a Cabot or similiar opaque product. It really does require a lot of experience to ensure even application and there are some prepartory steps involved. But red can be restored with entirely stripping everything; best to try this one room at a a time; or move out while the work is being done. Email me and I know a local artist/ faux finisher (Portrero Hill) who does really amazing work.
renmancon@rcn.com

renman

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Hi renman,

I'm curious about your experience with sandblasting wood. I had the paint sandblasted off my fireplace (heat and chemical stripping was not making a dent). However, because of the latex paint involved on the interior house side, the result was less than acceptable. In hindsight, I would know to remove the top latex layers from the entire surface (even though additional oilbase layers remain) before doing the sandblasting.

I also had a gentleman who is very experienced with sandblasting wood come take a look at doing the ceilings. While it could be done, he brought a sample of sandblasted redwood to show us. The wood showed a reverse grain--where soft matter between striations are removed. The look was not smooth enough that we felt it acceptable for our Eichler. It would have been fine in a ranch-style or something similar.

In the end we only chemically stripped/sanded/stained the "public areas" of the house--not the outside eaves or the bedrooms (which we repainted in a color we matched as closely as possible to the stain). What can you tell me about your experience with sandblasting a ceiling? Did you have the raised grain pattern I described? If so, was there any issue with the staining given the uneveness of the grain? You're right about it can be tricky as a homeowner applying the stain evenly even with the wood is smooth--what preparatory steps did you notice your chap use?

Thanks in advance for the info. Of course, if you want to correspond directly (and maybe give the name of the sandblaster), I can be reached at eichfan at rawbw dot com

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Alex:

You may also want to check out Palladino Painting, a supporter of this site. The reason I mention this is because they specialize in restorative painting and staining. One thing that they can do, for example, is restore the mahagony wood paneling back to original condition, through a process of sanding and staining that they have developed.

They may be able to help you with your ceiling. At least it is one place you might try for some answers. (I agree with Jake, Don't paint it if you are lucky enough to have the original stained wood!)

Cathye

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Joined: Dec 26 2003

thanks guys,

if people could send me pics of what they have done that would be great.
sid1200@aol.com
also I guess I will touch up my greay stain.
does anyone have the stain color and where cabot stains are sold.

I think I am going to sand down my beams, I want to stain them relatively dark but still want the grain to come through, any color recommendations?

thanks a bunch.

Tod
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Joined: Mar 21 2003

Sunnyvale Paint and Wallpaper on El Camino near Murphy has a set of 3x5 file cards with splotches of color on them and notes about which Eichler colors they were. . . A legacy of when they matched a lot of colors for people when Eichlers were new.

They also carry the current line of Cabot stains (as to many other paint supply stores).

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

For dealers you can also check http://www.cabotstain.com

ajm
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Joined: Mar 24 2003

Having sanded and stained my beams, I'd highly recommend that you use a chemical stripper beforehand to to get rid of most of the paint before sanding. This is a very messy job, but a heavy coat of latex paint is going to gum up the belts on your belt sander and force you to change belts constantly. If you use a good stripper (my current favorite is "Peel Away 7", see http://www.paintremoval.com/Qstore/c000003.htm)
you'll have a surface that can be much more easily sanded to a stainable finish.

I ended up using a dark Danish Oil finish (Watco) on the beams and the result contrasts nicely with the lighter ceiling. I, unfortunately, have painted ceilings courtesy of a previous owner, but I think the dark stained beams would look great with the original grey stained ceiling as well.

-Andrew

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Hello Jake-
Sorry it took a while to reply to your inquiry; Iv'e had the flu and a writing project with a deadline coming up soon.
Anyway; I rented trailer compressor and sandblasting pot, with space helmet type gear, and using a fine #000 silica sand, we did the job ourselves. it goes very fast, and requires alot of sweeping and vacuuming; the result was as your professional sandblasting guy stated (with striations between the grains), so we knocked those down quickly with a dual action sander. After clean up, he applied a pre-stain conditioner (there were areas that he had to plug holes where the old light fixtures and plumbing vent pipes were, so he installed similiar sized redwood pieces as filler, used a redwood wood filler, conditioned the wood, stained the repair area with a redwood stain that closely matched the natural wood, then the repair was colored with a Cabot gray to match the rest of the restoration). We opted not to chemically strip for a few reasons.
1. The house was not occupied, and the sandblasting could be very quickly.
2. Speed waas of the essence as to not delay other sub contractors
3. We were having trouble with the chemical stripping product causing slight discoloration in the finish stain.
We were not being overly fussy intentionally about color restoration; the problem was that we had to color match areas of the house that were still the original stain color, so we had to avoid the chemical method. I personally encourage persons that plan to occupy the areas being restored to use this approach, because you can not really be around during the sandblasting, and all of your belongings should be out of the rooms being worked on as well as thouroughly covering the floors with masonite or plywood, and masking the walls near the ceiling with the same.
Not an overly easy fix to this problem, but the results are really stunning.

renman

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