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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 11' reclaimed cabin log beam that I want to finish for a floating wood mantel. The beam is very weathered and gray and has not been touched at all.

I have no idea how to proceed. I am not certain if I want to sand the rough, gray finish down... if so, how to go about doing that... or just clean up the beam and figure out how to seal it in its current form.

I am reading about washing, brushing, sanding, sealing, but there is little information and no specific directions.

I am guessing that beam is pine, but I am not certain of that.

Any advice, guidance or referrals to other resources would be greatly appreciated.
 

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It would help if you could post a picture. From your description if you want it to look rustic I would just use laundry detergent and a scrub brush and rinse it off with your garden hose and let dry for a couple of days before proceeding. Do you have any thoughts about what type of finish you want on it when you get it clean?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Photos

Thank you so much for your response. I have attached some pictures.

I am really on the fence regarding whether or not to try to preserve the finish the way it is... the challenge of which would be to seal it up enough to make sure it wouldn't sliver off and that it could be dusted/kept clean.

...or to sand it down to a new, flat surface.

In either case, I'd appreciate any guidance.

Thanks again!
 

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As rough as it is I think I would leave it as it is. If you have an application that is rustic it would fit in nicely. You could never sand it to a point where it could be dusted. I think to do that you would have to run it through a planer and surface a considerable amount of wood off three sides. If you were to do that you might as well use new wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finish

I am leaning towards cleaning it up and leaving it as is too. Would you recommend sealing, oiling, waxing, etc. with anything?
 

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I'm with Steve, soap and water and a soft scrub brush...then let it dry. Looks like there's enough there for 2....I'd hand wash one and pressure wash the other.....pressure washing has a different character, some like it , others don't....BUT you've got a choice from the same log (IF long enough)
 

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The beautiful, soft, silver cover of the wood is due to weathering and the air in the surface wood cells.
Any finish will turn that iridescence into mud. I have tried for decades to keep that. Repeated light sprays of acrylic will trap the air if you have the patience to go 5 coats.

Will there be a working surface for bric-a-brac, food or drinks? Plane that, seal that, it's gotta be armour-plated. The rest of it? Leave it as you found it.

I'm making some simple picture frames from some skinny lengths of homestead wood (Maybe Dougfir).
So far, I have done absolutely nothing to the frames and they are very well liked.
 

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I am leaning towards cleaning it up and leaving it as is too. Would you recommend sealing, oiling, waxing, etc. with anything?
I wouldn't use wax. If you get the wax in the crevasses it will look like dirt and will attract dirt. The most I would do is put a natural Watco oil finish on it. Before you do though, the side that faces the wall try some on it and see if you like it. It will darken it a little. Personally I would put nothing on it. Nothing you can put on it would preserve it or help it, it would just alter the appearance a little.
 
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