Dry Ice Blasting Oak Beams

Optimum have recently seen a massive surge for paint/stain removal of oak beams.

Optimum Dry Ice Blasting have recently been inundated with requests for Oak Beam cleaning, stain and paint removal.

As peoples tastes change, home owners are moving away from the white walls/black oak beam effect that was most popular during the 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s. People are looking for a more natural/rustic look and hence the up surge in bookings. It is getting so popular that we have now trained a crew and dedicated a machine solely for this purpose.

We have now blasted everything from brand new beams, in order to get them all at a uniform colour for the customer. We have removed black tar from beams in a pub. We have removed black stain from 450 year old beams, which have an English Heritage preservation order, as the wood has been traced back to the scuttled ships of the Spanish Armada! All different types of coatings and a wide range of ages make each job a very unique challenge.

Dry Ice Blasting is, by far, the best solution for this type of removal. After recent works with a developer, they commented on the lack mess created compared to the grit blasting process that they previously used. The finish of the beam was also commented on with the arris, in particular, remaining sharp and not ‘smoothing’ as they do with bead/sand/grit/soda blasting.

Training for this type of work is vital. The biggest challenge is to stop plaster from ‘blowing out’ where beams have been sunk into the walls. Optimum have developed a ‘reactive’ template system where we can adapt plastic trim/sheet to fit around delicate areas. We deployed this system two years ago whilst aggressively blast removing paint from around delicate electrical cables and have since improved upon the design. It is now used, more or less, on every job we do.

Another of the many versatile uses dry ice blasting is becoming recognised for.

By Ian Reynolds