Tie beams

Tie beams

The colour scheme for this room was "yellow". All walls, ceiling paneling, tie beams, window trim is painted yellow at the start. All but two of the seven low voltage spot light fittings wired into the beams were not working. The bulbs were not the problem, so I've bought replacements that I will install after the beams are finished.

My father taught me how to strip paint using a butane gas torch and scraper when I was 10 or 11 years old. This time I used an electric heat gun but it was still hard work. I'm aware there will be lead-based paint there as well.

To get the residue off I used an eco-friendly water-based chemical stripper (Dumond "Smart Strip"). The product is a foam that can be left on for hours and will not dry out completely. Before scraping the stripper and paint residue off I sprayed with a water bottle to soften it. Finally, I went back over the beam again, wetting it again in sections and scrubbing with steel wool. I alternated wads of steel wool that I kept soaking in a bucket of water. All up, with three passes from start to finish, it took between 6 and 8 hours per beam.

With the colour of the timber that has emerged (photo 6 below), I'm considering a sky blue/teal colour for the vaulted ceiling. I want the walls to be a white colour.

1. Starting with yellow painted tie beams. One of the new spot lights installed to test

2. One half of one tie beam heat-stripped. There is still a lot of residue but I can see the timber is a light colour with a slight pink tinge. I think it will look good natural

3. Three tie beams heat-stripped. It's a little precarious on the trestle and a bit more height would make the job easier. Decided to leave the old carpet down until the heat-stripping was completed, because the hot paint was soft and sticky and I did not want to tread it into the bare floor boards

4. Decided to invest in a scaffold. This one was just AU$200 new at Bunnings and does the job. No guard rails around the platform but the tie beams are now at shoulder height. I believe the design allows a second scaffold to be stacked on top, which would provide a guard rail if wanted

5. Completed. All sides heat-stripped then the residue was chemically stripped, applied according to directions then removed by scraping, followed by scrubbing down with water and steel wool