Warm Oak

Warm Oak Finish

The original black beam renovation specialists

Whether you have just purchased a period property with exposed beams and structural timbers or been living with black beams for some time, undertaking their renovation to strip away the black paint and return them to their natural aesthetic can feel like a herculean task. Black beams can make rooms feel heavy and dark, especially when combined with low ceilings, another feature of many period properties.

Your first forays into researching the various options open to you will most probably give you the impression that you will need to empty rooms entirely, pull up flooring, put up with dust, mess and noise for days on end or even leave you thinking about moving out for the period of the works.

This was exactly the situation Penelope Penny was presented with in 1997 when a client asked her if there was anything she could do with the black beams in her 17th century cottage. The local conservation officer was against the use of sand blasting as it was a listed building. Chemical / hand stripping was further deemed to be too messy, would take too long and from a conservation perspective still risked the integrity of the century’s old beams.

Penelope, mother of Nick Sinclair (Back from Black MD) came up with a unique new process in response. A process which avoids all the mess, dust and noise and which, most importantly, removed any risk to the beams integrity or the archaeological evidence.

Aged Oak Finish

Aged Oak Finish

Beams and Conservation in Period Properties

Rather than stripping back layers which may contain archaeological evidence of the building’s construction and development, we apply an additional cosmetic layer that helps to highlight the original features of the timber, whilst also lightening the look and feel.

Our solution enhances what is already present and allows you to balance aesthetics with conservation. We simply create another step in the long timeline already associated with your property.

Detailed view of a beam rennovated with the Back from black process

Treated beam

Painted Beams

Rather than stripping back layers which create the rich history of the building’s construction and development, we apply an additional cosmetic layer that helps to highlight the original features of the timber, whilst also lightening the look and feel.

Our solution enhances what is already present and allows you to balance aesthetics with conservation. We simply create another step in the long timeline already associated with your property.

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treated beams

Renovated Beams

Beam Stripping

If you have just purchased or already live in a period property with black exposed timbers or structural beams and you are considering mechanical or chemical stripping to restore their natural aesthetic, STOP!

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treated beams

Renovated Beams

Beam Cleaning

Dirty, painted, fire or water damaged and black beams can make rooms feel heavy and dark, especially when combined with low ceilings, another feature of many period properties. If you are living with exposed beams or structural timbers that are in need of a little TLC, you may be considering a range of traditional solutions to the problem.

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treated beams

Renovated Beams

Beam Renovation

If your property has exposed beams or structural timbers, the likelihood is these have been there for as long as the property has existed and, being wood, actually existed for many years before that too – so they have had quite a life! Being exposed, they will have been subjected to dirt and dust, knocks and bumps and potentially numerous layers of decorative treatments as looks and styles have changed over the decades/centuries.

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treated beams

Renovated Beams

Oak Beam Conservation

Oak beam conservation involves a careful process of matching the original colour, the age and style of the property or the most prevalent tone within the beams and then sympathetically harmonising all the beams to create a clean, consistent and refreshed feel.

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Please take a look at our case studies to learn more about the process or you can download our guide here:

Back From Black – A Guide to Our Process

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