Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>mahogany beams, paneling and ceiling maintainance
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
rhiannonandcat
mahogany beams, paneling and ceiling maintainance
rhiannonandcat

When we bought our house, we were told to use linseed oil and turpentine to oil the walls, ceiling, beams....

It's a messy difficult job.

Does anyone have a better suggestion?

I already know we don't like Howard's feed and wax.... it attracts dust and looks dull.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: mahogany beams, paneling and ceiling maintainance
Sombreuil_mongrel

What's the original finish, and how many years have they been getting the linseed oil treatment?
If the oiling has been going on for decades, there is no going back, short of stripping it all down.
The thing about linseed oil on wood is that it eventually gets dark and I mean nearly black. I mean on bare wood as the sole finish, you can never get it all out, and it gets darker and darker, IOW irreversible.
If the oiling is recent, and there is some kind of varnish on the wood, it may not be too late to break the cycle. You need to clean off all the oil and dirt that will have become embedded in it. Perhaps fine steel wool and paint thinner (mineral spirits). And plenty of rags to wipe off the crud. Then a colored paste wax to match whatever wood tone you find, because you will have pores and corners still filled with a haze of crud, the colored wax disguises that. As a final step "spit polish" with a slightly damp cotton or linen towel to bring up the gloss.
Casey

ed21
Re: mahogany beams, paneling and ceiling maintainance
ed21

Be careful with any rags you may use with linseed oil. I know of one house that burned down that was blamed on spontaneous combustion from linseed oil soaked rags.
Ps. Boiled linseed oil will harden to an almost varnish like finish after a few coats. I don't see why it needs reapplying. I wouldn't want to stink up my house with turpentine and raw linseed oil.

Mastercarpentry
Re: mahogany beams, paneling and ceiling maintainance
Mastercarpentry

Boiled linseed oil with 25-35% Tung oil mixed in will dry fast and give you a durable finish after enough coats. You'll need to cut raised grain and scuff between coats. After that you shouldn't need to do anything more than cleaning for a decade or more. Then another very thin coat gets you back to new again. Damage can be touched up invisibly with this finish where many others will require refinishing the entire area pr piece to make invisible repairs. This is my favorite gunstock finish, but with oily woods you have to 'degrease' them first and apply the finish before the oils rise to the wood surface again. Once the finish dries these oils won't do anything to it while they can soften other finishes making them gummy. I am patient but I don't have the patience for uncut Linseed oil finishes, and till they dry they will catch every bit of dust they can like a magnet. More than about 1/3 Tung oil will lead to gloppy finishes, cracking (gatoring), hazing, and may set faster than you can work.

This is more of a furniture type finish; it's too labor intensive for woodwork in a home. And yes, either burn the rags within a day or so, or store them in an airtight container till you can- they are very likely to self-ignite otherwise!

Phil

rhiannonandcat
Re: mahogany beams, paneling and ceiling maintainance
rhiannonandcat

Thank you so much for the replies.

The room was built in the 70's...
I don't know how many times it may have been coated but I don't think it's gotten darker.

My husband wants to try using this amish wood milk product that has recently surfaced.
He's tested it on a spot that needs work and it's really helped.

My question is what product would be good to use.
Shouldn't the wood have some kind of oiling/conditioning after cleaning it? Or is that just old school thinking?
We think it looks dry in places.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.