Rare Wood News

Guide to Reclaimed Wood Beam Finishes.

New Kent Winery - Old Rustic Support Beams

Reclaimed wood beams offer unparalleled beauty and durability. They can transform an otherwise dull room into something of interest. When selecting the right beams for your project, several finish and style options are available, such as hand hewn and rough sewn.

This guide will help you better understand wood beam finishes and styles and how to pair them with a reclaimed wood beam.

Rustic Wood Beam Styles

Modern sawmills didn’t exist when reclaimed wood was first harvested. Back then, it wasn’t called “reclaimed,” but rather, it was a particular species of wood used as a support beam for a barn or an industrial-era manufacturing plant.

At E.T. Moore, we have one of the widest selections of reclaimed wood beams on the market. There are many style options to choose from, including:

  • Original finish beams—this style of beam looks precisely as it did when in the barn or antique structure. We have not processed it further.
  • Hand-hewn beams—the woodcutter used a hand ax to square the wood. These consist of countless tiny cuts that add character to the beam.
  • Rough sawn beams—these beams were cut using a circular saw. They have a coarse texture characteristic of the large saw used to cut them.
  • S4S planed smooth beam—this smooth beam has received a rip on both edges and surfaced on both faces. The end result is a smooth board with two flat and parallel edges and two flat and parallel faces.

We also carry faux wood beams, such as steel or laminated. They offer a slightly more affordable way of creating the 100-year-old faux ceiling appearance. Choose from a wide range of our finished board stock to wrap your undesirable materials.

Wood Beam Finishes

While reclaimed wood is highly durable, there are only a few approved finish products on the market. At E.T. Moore, we carry the following finish options:

Waterlox Original Sealer / Finish

Waterlox Original Sealer and Finish

This Tung oil finish creates a protective and elastic barrier against moisture, foot traffic, and common household spills. This is Waterlox's oldest interior finish—it was originally formulated in 1910 and provides excellent adhesion to reclaimed wood beams.

Waterlox Original Satin Finish

Waterlox Original – Satin Finish

This low gloss level formulation offers a sturdy and elastic barrier to everyday household spills and foot traffic. There is no preparation needed—you can use this product straight out of the can with applicators such as lambswool.

Waterlox Original High Gloss Finish

Waterlox Original High Gloss Finish

This high gloss finish tung oil is meant to be used in conjunction with Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish. It provides a high 85° gloss level and is very easy to apply.

Waterlox Original Marine Sealer

Waterlox Original Marine Finish

This traditional exterior Tung oil spar varnish offers a high gloss finish and provides excellent protection against moisture, harsh weather, and sun/UV rays.

Reclaimed Wood Design Style Tips

Reclaimed wood beams are known for their stunning allure and rugged durability. However, there are a few design tips that will allow you to match the finish to your room perfectly:

  • Choose a Dominant Tone—Mixing wood tones is perfectly fine. However, be sure to select a dominant tone and allow the other ones to accentuate it.
  • Experiment with Contrast—Contrast can add mystery, intrigue, and make certain pieces stand out even more than usual. For example, let’s say you have an antique wooden chair with dark overtones. Pair it with a light color reclaimed wooden floor to draw more attention.
  • Use Accents to Prevent Blending—If some of your furniture pieces match the color of your wooden beams, there’s a chance they could disappear. Consider using accents such as a wall rug or other pieces to break up the color.
  • Consider the Undertones—Take a look at your dominant wood tone. Is it cool, warm, or neutral? Stay within the same undertones to create continuity and allow everything to blend seamlessly.
  • Wash, Rinse, Repeat—Once you’ve found a style that works for you, continue with it! For example, if you have light-colored beams, consider getting chairs with the same-colored legs. Repeat this pattern twice to ensure your entire room looks well put together.
  • Consider Natural Light Finishes—These types of finishes can create a bit of contrast and brighten the room. Light finishes create an airy and warm look when paired with linen sofas or chairs.

Reclaimed Wood From E.T. Moore

You can transform an otherwise plain and dull room with the right combination of reclaimed wood beam styles and finishes. At E.T. Moore, we have one of the largest selections of reclaimed wood in the Mid-Atlantic area. Click below to learn more.

Reclaimed Wood Beams

Author Taylor Moore III
Date September 6, 2022