How to Seal Heavy Wooden Beams

Written by ryan lawrence
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Large wood beams contain relatively high amounts of moisture. Over time, the escaping moisture causes large cracks to form in the beams as the wood dehydrates. Prevent this occurrence by sealing the beams with the appropriate coatings. For best results, choose a particular type of sealer based on the location of the beams. Learn the proper application methods or you could end up with an undesirable outcome.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sanding sealer
  • 3-inch china-bristled paintbrush
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • White spirit
  • Canvas dust sheets
  • Step ladder
  • Tack cloths
  • Gel stain
  • Rags

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    Exterior Beams

  1. 1

    Apply sanding sealer to the heavy wooden beam, using a china brush. Sanding sealer is prone to heavy runs and you combat this by applying only a thin amount. Let the beam dry for two hours.

  2. 2

    Sand the wooden beam until it feels smooth. Be careful not to sand through the dry sealer and expose the bare wood.

  3. 3

    Apply two more coats of sealer. Be sure to sand between coats.

  4. 4

    Wash the three-inch china-bristled paintbrush with pure white spirit.

    Interior Beams

  1. 1

    Place canvas dust sheets beneath the beams.

  2. 2

    Access the wooden beams, using a step ladder if necessary. Wipe dust from the beams, using tack cloths.

  3. 3

    Apply gel stain to the wood beams, using a 3-inch china-bristled paintbrush. Wipe the wet stain from the beams, using rags. Let the beams dry for two hours.

  4. 4

    Wash the 3-inch china-bristled paintbrush with pure white spirit.

Tips and warnings

  • You may use a sanding sealer on interior beams if you desire a clear finish.

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