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Old 08-31-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


I recently removed ceiling tiles from the basement ceiling. The former owner nailed the ceiling tiles directly into the basement beams. Except for the many holes caused by the nails, most of the wood in the ceiling looks good. I'm thinking about staining it.

What can I do to clean the beams that need some work? Surprisingly, I'm not getting a lot of help from Google. One result suggests using white vinegar on raw wood, but I'm not entirely certain that's something I should do.

Suggestions?

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Old 08-31-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


Chlorine bleach. That's what I used to clean the walls of my log house before staining them.

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Old 08-31-2011, 09:08 PM   #3
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


Are these decorative beams or ceiling joists? I 've never seen ceiling tiles nailed to the beams. Stapled to furring strips, but not nailed to the beams.
Post some photos.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Are these decorative beams or ceiling joists? I 've never seen ceiling tiles nailed to the beams.
It was a project by the former owner of the house. He nailed 2' x 4' ceiling tiles into the beams, then used lattice strips with finishing nails as trim in order to cover up the seams between the ceiling tiles:



Between every third or fourth set of beams, he nailed pieces of 2x4 in order to have something to nail the ceiling tile into. It was a nice excuse to buy myself a reciprocating saw.

I'm trying to get up the urge to go downstairs and pull the nails from the 2x4 frames out of the last remaining row of beams. This guy was very nail-happy, to say the least.



This is the framework he nailed directly to the studs above the basement bar (again, note all the nails sticking out of the wood all over the freaking place). Thanks to my new investment, it didn't take long to get it all down.

I've got a lot of spots to hit up with wood putty, but I'm certain it'll be worth the effort. I'm considering using a darker, semi-transparent finish on the wood to hide most of the scuffs and dents.

The walls are unfinished in one picture and finished in another because they were taken at two totally different times. Originally, we thought we were going to keep the ceiling. So, we painted the walls and started going from there. There were a few scuff marks on the ceiling tiles, but nothing ridiculous. We wanted to remove the dark brown painted trim and put a lighter color up in its place.

Unfortunately, when I started pulling the trim off, I'd found that the previous owner used finishing nails and glue on the trim! Whenever I pulled a piece of trim off, a lot of ceiling tile surface came off with it. D'oh!

All was not lost: I found that the ceiling beams and the subfloor above them are actually in very good shape. That's why I'm asking how to clean them off so I can add some finish and make it look nice.

Last edited by Jeffreybomb; 09-01-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


Finally finished pulling the rest of the nails from the beams yesterday afternoon. Going to start cleaning up the beams and subfloor and figure out what I want to do for colors. Should make a nice Labor Day Weekend project.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


I also have a log home and I use chlorine bleach as well, about 3 or 4 parts water to 1 part bleach and rinse well. Let dry completely before staining. It will be more difficult to use the bleach inside, instead of spraying it on you may have to sponge it on and be careful and cover what's beneath. They make a product called "spray it and forget it" you could research out and see if it would work for you, it may be a little more user friendly inside. I have not used it yet but have been thinking about trying it. Good luck ! Also I have used caulk to match my stain color to fill with and it is less noticeable than wood putty.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:23 AM   #7
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


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Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post



We wanted to remove the dark brown painted trim and put a lighter color up in its place.
If you wanted a lighter color on the wood, why didn't you just paint it or the whole ceiling?
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


Oh, one more thing, Log home stain co's usually make caulk to match their stains, but not always. The combination I use on my home is Perma Chink's dark honey lifeline stain and Sascho' warm honey caulk, they match perfectly. Just thought I would throw some of the colors at you that I have already learned thru trial and error. Good luck! You can go to perma-chink's website and sascho's website and learn more.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
If you wanted a lighter color on the wood, why didn't you just paint it or the whole ceiling?
Originally, that was the plan. The ceiling tiles were off-color in some parts of the basement (must've been a smoker in the house). I ran a roller with some leftover primer over three or four of the tiles. They looked pretty good. The plan always included replacing the thick trim with thinner strips. Some of the original trim was broken or simply didn't look all that great.

When I pulled more of the trim off the ceiling, I found that the trim had both finishing nails and glue sticking them to the ceiling in a number of spots. It became impossible to pull the trim down without damaging a number of the ceiling tiles.

I decided that the ceiling tiles weren't worth the effort needed to repair. It was actually a blessing in disguise: I'm much happier with the potential of the ceiling now than I was when we were going to keep the tiles up!

Speaking of which, here's the "before and after" photos:

Before:



After:



I have to add more drywall to the space that was left when I took down the drop ceiling.

Last edited by Jeffreybomb; 09-02-2011 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:05 PM   #10
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Cleaning Basement Beams?


While you have access to the rim joists, insulate them if they're not.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
While you have access to the rim joists, insulate them if they're not.
We did that when we replaced the drywall, but I'll definitely put it up there in the spaces we couldn't access before the drop ceiling was in. Thanks for the reminder!

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