sunroom w/knotty pine ceiling-to stain or not?

MommyquilterApril 13, 2008

I'm in the process of building a 3 season room with a vaulted ceiling made out of tongue in groove knotty pine. The contractor said that if I didn't want to stain the ceiling I could just use linseed oil every few years. I've been reading that shellac might be a better option. I'm not sure what to use. My hubby and I really like the look of natural wood. Would you use linseed oil, shellac or other product to preserve the wood or just stain it? Why? Thanks in advance.


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I use pre-stained TG pieces on my screen room vaulted ceiling. They seem to hold up best. I'm not sure about a varnished look. I've seen them but am not crazy about them in all applications.
Thats the decision you'll have to make.

Good Luck,

The PorchGuy

Here is a link that might be useful: My Album

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Thanks for the info PorchGuy,but we can't use the pre-stained TG, b/c the ceiling is already up. I'm really trying to figure out the pros and cons for each finish type. Will linseed oil be sufficient to protect the wood without causing other problems (i.e., mildew) Or would shellac be/look better? If we use a stain I want it to be environmentally friendly and most of them seem so "chemically".


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:44AM
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Its always best to test a sample piece cut-off to see for yourself what you like.
If you don't have any cut-offs, go out and get a 8' lenght.

Divide into say three equal sections and try three different techniques.

I like polyurethane (water-base) - two coats satin, no stain.

Try a shellac section and see the yellowish tint.

If you like to stain. I suggest a gel stain as it will be easier to work with. Since pine is both soft and hard it is best to condition the wood one or two coats before for a more even stain.

Now choose a sealer - poly or an oil base. Go over the stain and see which top finish you like.

These are just various ways to finish knotty pine.

Good Luck

The PorchGuy

Here is a link that might be useful: My Album

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:50PM
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Linseed oil/shellac are total old school finish,used in the days when there was nothing else like hmmmmmm 80 years ago. They were replaced because they dont work long term. there is a concept....nope cant deal with that one. Now environmentlally friendly I can take on lets see shellac an insect sceretion harvested from bark in thailand mixed and puirfied with a lot of chemicals not to mention the transportation cost and the energy used to process it,stock it, and the Customer energy use and the land fill costs for the used up container. Linseed oil the flax seed harvest costs about the same, crushed,processed with high heat, a lot of non douctmented workers involved, same dump fees and polution with the unused material that dries out befor use along with the rags contaminated that should be disposed of under goverment control.

Nope cant have any of that too many chemically involved hazards. J.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 10:14PM
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Your point is taken...Maybe I should have said I would like something less carcinogenic with low VOC's. I understand that they all contain chemicals in some form, but I'm trying to expose my 2 year old to the least amount of respiratory hazards and still have a nice looking porch. Thanks for the lecture anyway.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:37AM
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I forgot to mention the lacca insect is in danger because when its pulled off that mass of sticky stuff it spent a mounth or so building up it gets pinched to death.

Any clear or natural finish will do twp makes a 500 series extorted by the green mafia that has a very low voc count. Keep in mind if you put even water on those boards they will darken up same with any clear finish.

Natural wood means different things to different people most of the time when Folks say this it means they want the wood to stay exactley how it looks when newley installed thats not going to happen installed exposed to the weather. sounds like your ceiling is not geting any direct weather expousure you could just leave it alone,thats what I did with mine same kinda T%G knoty pine.
The down side is its rough so when cobwebs/dust get on it cleaning is a bit involved. Thats where the finish come in it smooths out the stuff.

Anything you put on is going to have a a smell for a while,linseed oil takes forever to set up, Sooooooo Pick out a finish you like after its on set up a couple of big fans with one faced to a door way and one straight up on the pine. Close off all other exits and take your Youngen to the zoo that day. John

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 11:58AM
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