Oil oak before decorator is in, or after?

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goldeneyedmonkey

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Hello all,

Quick query... We've installed some oak beams in a barn conversion we are on. Uprights holding up the horizontals and then gallows brackets to complete the look.

Using hard wax oil on it all.

Question is, is it best to finish them before the decorator is in then get him to stick some low tack masking tape over to stop any paint ruining said oak, or is it best to leave them as they are (covered in thin plastic, as they were when the plasterer came in) and then finish after all the paint has gone off?

Any advice would be welcomed, cheers. _Dan
 

MikeG.

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Ooooh are you sure? Do you really want them oiled? Traditionally, and best (IMHO), they're left bare. Oil can send them very dark, and very stale-urine coloured.

Oil is no protection against paint, plaster, cement, lime, water, or any other building material. I would definitely tape them up, bare, then clean up or repair after the decorator has finished. Then stand back and enjoy them, and save yourself the trouble of oiling them ;).....

Oh, and mask with duck tape, not masking tape. It's well worth the extra £5. Masking tape is all but useless on oak.
 

goldeneyedmonkey

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Thanks for your reply. Client wants them oiled yeah, to match the stairs and doors etc. So gotta go with that finish either way.

I meant frog tape, it's usually pretty good with stuff like this. Duct tape often leaves a residue on things I find.

Cheers _Dan
 

goldeneyedmonkey

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I'll see what they say, they are very particular :shock:

They aren't old beams though, just for context. They are new timber, fairly square, very good grade as some pieces have lots of rays visible.

Cheers _Dan
 

MikeG.

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My whole house is full of new oak, from open stud walls through herringbone infill panels to a triple (octagonal) kingpost roof with big arched braces and exposed ridge purlin. I made the mistake in my last house of oiling 3 tie beams, and I would never, ever do it again. It looked terrible after about 6 or 9 months. Many of my projects for clients have oak framing on show, and they are all left bare as well.

Duck tape leaves no residue on oak. It's the only thing I've found which will prevent that tannin-reaction stain which spoils your work quicker than anything.
 

The Bear

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I agree with the others who say to leave them bare. Ihave a green oak extension on my house and definitely wont be oiling them. I just accept it looks different to other bits of oak in my house like the doors and window boards which need protection .

I have found green frog (which is for bare wood, not the yellow or arange) tape sticks to bare oak plenty long enough to decorate etc.

Mark
 

MARK.B.

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Duct tape on oak Mike G ,interesting- never tried that due to perceived ideas of sticky residue,does it work ok with a plained or sanded finish or just green oak ?
 
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