Monday, January 7, 2019

0 Revealing & Refurbishing Hidden Barn Beams

One of the things we love about this house is the wide open floorplan on the main floor. It's clearly supported by two large "beams" in the middle of the house, but it was always unknown what those beams actually were, as they were covered by drywall. I'd always wanted to figure it out, and the universe gave me the answer without having to even dig first.

When we bought the house, I wanted to know the history of it, so I did some Facebook stalking and found one of the people who grew up in the house. After agreeing to meet with me, he told me a whole lot about the history of the house - but that's for another post. His meeting with me made its way to his brother and sister, and recently his brother reached out to me. He put the same boiler in his house that's in ours, and didn't want it anymore, so he wanted to bring it to us to use for parts. It was an extremely generous offer that I couldn't pass up, especially since he's the older brother and had even more insight into the building of the house.

He stopped by the house to drop off the boiler and reminisced about installing insulation in the middle of summer, the beginnings of the house, and most importantly, what was behind that drywall - BARN BEAMS. I had my answer, and it couldn't have been more exciting. That weekend I started the process of revealing them.

I started by trying to dig a screwdriver in to start prying the drywall, but quickly discovered it was not drywall at all - it was 3/4" plywood, mitered at the corners to create a perfect box, and simply tacked in with brad nails and painted over. This made the removal SO much easier. Within minutes, I had both beams revealed.

Much like the floors in my last house, little care was given to protect the beams. At first I thought this was paint, but it turned out to be just drywall mud, so sanding it off was very easy. I attached my orbital sander to the shop vac and got to work.

The raw color/finish of the wood didn't thrill Becky, so I had some poly left from another project and slapped a coat on and instantly they popped a lot more.

I'm so happy with the result. It has absolutely transformed that part of the house, and with such minimal effort. Crazy that these were just hidden right below the surface.

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