Good contractors know how to refinish reclaimed box beams for your ceiling perfectly; not only that, but they will also install your beams safely so that you can enjoy them long-term. Becoming familiar with the process will let you know what to look for in a box beam supplier.
Refinishing Box BeamsReclaimed wood box beams come from old lumber sources—think vacant barns, abandoned buildings, and other aged structures. Older wood comes from durable trees and contains fewer VOCs than fresh or faux lumber.
For these reasons, antique box beams are a step above the rest. However, they still need to undergo a refinishing process to get them ready for use. Your reclaimed wood supplier will typically follow these steps to prepare lumber for your home improvement project:
Clean Your LumberAll reclaimed wood has seen a ton of elemental action. You’ll need to clean your lumber before embarking on any project involving this material. Cleaning involves removing organic impurities to keep them from invading your home and degrading your new structures.
There are many ways to treat antique wood to prepare it for installation. Heat treatments help sterilize materials and kill off any lingering pests. Other methods include boric acid cleanses, which disinfect the wood and leave a beautiful finish in its wake.
Remove HardwareHarvesting reclaimed wood means disassembling existing structures. You’ll probably find traces of hardware in your supply, depending on the age of the building. It’s common to find screws, nails, and staples still embedded into antique lumber.
Repurposed wood gets its charm from imperfections, but not from residual metal. Rusty nails are a safety hazard, and protruding metal just looks unsightly. Take the time to remove all metal components before installing box beams to your ceiling.
Sand and PolishNext, your beams need to go through a sanding and polishing phase. This process can feature a wide range of supplies, including industrial sanders, sandpaper, and stiff nylon brushes. You need these tools to create a fresh surface for your box beams.
Jagged edges, questionable stains, and old paint bring the look of your reclaimed wood down. Sanding and polishing will help correct any blemishes and leave you with good-looking lumber. While certain marks make your beams unique, this stage can help create a more uniform appearance.
Protect and SealApplying protective products is the final step to refinishing reclaimed box beams for your ceiling. Sealants and stains will help extend the life of your beams and leave them looking fantastic.
Sealing products protect your lumber from bugs, heat, and water damage. Waxes help restore shine, making your hand-hewn box beams look supple and healthy. You’ll need to reapply these substances every few years to safeguard all of your hard work.
Installing Box Beams on Your CeilingNow that you’ve refinished your box beams, it’s time to install them on your ceiling. Like all renovation projects, it takes a keen eye and steady hand to complete them properly. Whether you install them yourself or hire a professional, you’ll want to follow a few standard steps to get them up the right way.
Clear the AreaFirst, you’ll need to clear the area you’re installing your box beams in. This includes removing all furniture and décor and covering your floors. Doing any kind of ceiling work could produce some fallout, so prepping your space first will help protect your important home elements.
Gather SuppliesNext, you’ll need to gather supplies to complete the installation. Having the right tools will help make the process easy. Make sure your supplies are easily accessible so that you can install your box beams quickly and efficiently. Some common tools you should have on hand include:
- Belt sander
- Drill driver
- Hammer and nails
Mark Your LayoutFreehanding your box beam installation is never a good idea. Take some time to mark your ceiling and create a clear layout to follow. Start by measuring your ceiling dimensions and creating a design with a light pencil.
You should also identify and mark any joists that you can use to help secure your beams. While you’re up there, take a level and find any areas that vary in flatness. You’ll need this information to alter your designs and install even-looking ceiling beams.
Install the BeamsOnce you’ve refinished your reclaimed wood and prepped your ceiling, it’s time to install your new accent pieces. You’ll need to attach cleats to your ceiling joists for a secure installation. Drill pilot holes across your beams and attach them to the cleats with screws. You can use putty, stains, and paint to disguise the new hardware and make your beams look seamless.
Why Should You Consider Reclaimed Box Beams?Your ceiling might not be the first place you think to decorate. With all of this work, you might be wondering, “Why should I add box beams to my ceiling in the first place?” The truth is that reclaimed wood beams offer a variety of benefits that are just too good to pass up.
Box beams add a level of structural support that other home accents don’t. This is especially helpful in open floor plans that lack supportive pillars and walls. You can also use them to hide wires and other lighting system components that look out of place.
Still, the most attractive benefit of reclaimed wood ceiling box beams is their aesthetic contributions. There’s simply no better way to create a rustic interior than with antique lumber. If you aren’t utilizing all of your ceiling space, you’re missing out on unique decorative opportunities that could completely transform your home.