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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6

    Exclamation HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    Hi-

    I am new here and need some help. I think my wood ceilings should be oiled. I am not sure. They for sure need to be washed. I bought this gem 5 yrs ago. Never washed them, its a task! I have attached a photo. I am pretty sure they are oak, the floors and trim are all oak.
    I am not sure what to use. I have washed a panel with Murphys and used Pure Lemon Oil. I don't really care for the look. Seems to soak in faster in certain sections and leave others shiny.

    I need help. Should I be using lemon oil? Is there something else I should be using? I don't need a shine. I just want to do what I need to to make sure these ceilings are getting the care they need.
    Is there any easier way to do this? I am using ladders on the outer parts but will need scaffolding for the middle.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    -Jen

    More pictures:

    http://absolutetechservices.com/P1080577.JPG

    http://absolutetechservices.com/P1080569.JPG

    http://absolutetechservices.com/P1080574.JPG

    http://absolutetechservices.com/P1080576.JPG
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    Your ceiling looks like it has veneered plywood panels. Is that the part you are concerned about. The photo makes it look pretty dried out. I have a little experience with wood panels on a vertical surface but not over my head. If the panels are a plywood veneer you may want to consider a simple paste wax. I don't have a recommendation for you but be careful not do anything that would cause a veneer to de-laminate. Test small areas to see if the look you get is one you want. Petroleum based products could cause de-lamination.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    I don't think it's veneer. That is fake wood correct? Did they make that 80 yrs ago? EVERYTHING in the house is custom. It was quite the showplace in it's time, I highly doubt they would have gone cheap or less than the best. The ceiling matches all the trim in the house, the dining room has this amazing curved molding that is like 12 inches. All oak. Floors too.

    It also is not super dried out, most likely the photos. Plus it is filthy.
    What is de-lamination?

    Thanks for you input.

    Quote Originally Posted by logdoc View Post
    Your ceiling looks like it has veneered plywood panels. Is that the part you are concerned about. The photo makes it look pretty dried out. I have a little experience with wood panels on a vertical surface but not over my head. If the panels are a plywood veneer you may want to consider a simple paste wax. I don't have a recommendation for you but be careful not do anything that would cause a veneer to de-laminate. Test small areas to see if the look you get is one you want. Petroleum based products could cause de-lamination.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    veneer dates back thousands of years so your ceiling could very well be made of veneer panels. It is not refered to as fake wood by any means, in fact craftsmen prefered to use it on certain pieces of furniture because they could get a uniformity to the wood grain. They could also make patterns of the grain to give an inlaid look....delaminating occurs when the thin veneer layer separates from the solid wood below. this would be due to long exposure to moisture or standing water. my guess is this has not happened to your ceiling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    Ok so how do I know if it is veneer? How do I know what oil to use?



    Quote Originally Posted by atmoore View Post
    veneer dates back thousands of years so your ceiling could very well be made of veneer panels. It is not refered to as fake wood by any means, in fact craftsmen prefered to use it on certain pieces of furniture because they could get a uniformity to the wood grain. They could also make patterns of the grain to give an inlaid look....delaminating occurs when the thin veneer layer separates from the solid wood below. this would be due to long exposure to moisture or standing water. my guess is this has not happened to your ceiling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    doesn't make a difference whether it's veneer or not, washing it with murphy's oil soap or similar cleaner will not hurt it....hard to tell if its veneer, unless you can find a place on the ceiling or wood work where, due to expanding & contrating over time, you are able to find a slight separation or protruding edge where you can see the veneer layer.....lemon oil tends to give a very shiney glare to the surface so I'm not a big fan and avoid using it, besides the wood doesn't really need to be oiled, just hve the finish cleaned up. One product I would try is Howards Restore-a Finish. it will bring back a nice tone to the wood. very simple to use, just wipe on about a 2ft sq area and then immediately wipe off. will also hide any scrathes. can then put on coat of polish if you want. warning: product has a strong odor, not harmful but may want to do when you can have windows open. will be back if I think of anything else to use

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    Thank you!!!
    Well if it doesn't need to be oiled then I am thinking just continue with the washing with Murphy's. Finish is fine.
    Thanks again!






    Quote Originally Posted by atmoore View Post
    doesn't make a difference whether it's veneer or not, washing it with murphy's oil soap or similar cleaner will not hurt it....hard to tell if its veneer, unless you can find a place on the ceiling or wood work where, due to expanding & contrating over time, you are able to find a slight separation or protruding edge where you can see the veneer layer.....lemon oil tends to give a very shiney glare to the surface so I'm not a big fan and avoid using it, besides the wood doesn't really need to be oiled, just hve the finish cleaned up. One product I would try is Howards Restore-a Finish. it will bring back a nice tone to the wood. very simple to use, just wipe on about a 2ft sq area and then immediately wipe off. will also hide any scrathes. can then put on coat of polish if you want. warning: product has a strong odor, not harmful but may want to do when you can have windows open. will be back if I think of anything else to use

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: HELP! Oiling 80 yr old oak ceiling.

    It looks like you got good advice. I suggested you had a veneer because your photos show large panels with no seams in them suggesting that they were plywood with a veneer of high quality wood applied to the surface and then stained, painted, shellacked or what ever. You can see the same thing at some home stores.It would be worth taking a look at a full sheet so you know what you have.The only reason to put a hint of a gloss on the panels would be that they are in a high ceiling and dusting may be easier (dust cloth on stick) with a bit of a gloss applied to the surface.

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