The Practical vs. The Beautiful. What to do?
We spent almost a week in demolition mode. Many thanks to my bro-in-law and dear friend Bibi for all the help. It wasn’t fun, but it was kind of funny. The dust was just insane.
After pulling down the false ceiling (5), we now have a better idea of what we’re working with:
(1). The beams: These are the large supporting beams. (1*) shows the natural wood color while (1) in the forefront has paint and plaster residue. Aside from a lot of nail holes they are in excellent condition.
(2). The joists: The joists run in between the beams. They are covered in paint and plaster residue. They are in fairly good condition but with lots and lots of nail holes.
(3). The space in between the joists have been covered with a light clay like plaster. It is covering an old insulation mix of hay and straw (4). The insulation is supposedly in good condition and we have been advised to keep it intact. However, the plaster (3) covering the insulation is very fragile.
So here are our options:
(A). Show off all the beams and joists (1 & 2). However, as the plaster layer (3) in between the joists is too fragile to simply paint over, we would have to find a way to either cover it up with drywall, wood or a new layer of plaster.
(B). Show off just the beams (1). We could drywall the entire space between the beams (1) meaning that the joists (2) would be hidden.
While option (A) could be stunning, it’s a lot of work. We would have to strip all of the joists (or less time-consuming just paint the joists) and then specially cut and fit the drywall in the space between the joists which are very closely set together. Maybe we could add a new layer of plaster in between the joists instead. I am really not sure what is the best way to go about this if we want apparent joists.
Option (B) seems more practical and would give us better heat/sound insulation as well. We can also pass a new layer of insulation and electrical work above the drywall. But as this is a very special project for us, I would be kinda sad to cover up the joists.
In all cases we want to strip or sand blast the beams to expose the natural wood. We have also heard of using oxalic acid to treat the wood in order to remove age and rust stains and to refreshen and lighten up the color. After stripping and treatment, we’ve been told to rub in Linseed oil. However, after some recent research on the net, I’m not sure if Linseed oil is the best suited for our wood beams.
So…any advice here? We could really use it. Apparent beams and joists, or just the beams?
Also, to see some beautiful esthetic examples of apparent joists and beams plus lots of links, check out my previous post: EXPOSED BEAMS AND JOISTS.