House Restoration: Fixing Faux Beams House Restoration: Fixing Faux Beams

What You'll Need
Rag
Cleaner
Adhesive (anything construction grade, such as liquid nails or Gorilla glue, should work)
Caulking gun
Spackle knife
Paint stirrer, scrap wood, or tongue depressors (to form a splint)

Although replacing and repairing beams is an important part of any house restoration process, many homeowners find themselves at a loss when it comes to this step in their restoration regime. Many homeowners admire the look of real wood, but either can't afford the wood itself or can't manage the upkeep. For those who want the look, but not the cost, faux beams are a lifesaver. In addition, faux wood beams are much lighter than natural wood. The problems of repairing beams become magnified when dealing with faux beams. Although most individuals know what to do when wood needs repairs, repairing a faux beam seems like an impossibility. However, it is not necessary to discard broken faux beams. In fact, they are quite simple and inexpensive to repair.

Process

Step 1 - Preparation

Turn over the beam and use your clean rag to wipe the inside of it. This is in order to remove any jetsam, and to help the glue bond with the beam later on.

Do the same for your splint material, especially if you're using a piece of scrap wood. If necessary, cut your piece of scrap wood so that it will fit on the inside of the beam.

Step 2 - Adding the Glue

Apply your adhesive agent to the underside of your beam--the part you just cleaned out. Take your spackel knife and use it to spread around your adhesive until it evenly coats the inside of the beam.

Step 3 - Splinting

Take your splint and press it into the glue. Be sure to apply adequate pressure so that the glue adheres to both surfaces. If you're using tongue depressors, be sure that you do not run them parallel to the crack. They must be perpendicular to do their job properly.

Step 4 - Finishing

Place the beam in a place where it will not be disturbed. The glue must be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours, to ensure that it has adhered properly to the splint and has set up completely.

Step 5 - Final Touches

Depending on the beam and the size and nature of the crack, you may have to retouch the crack and the area surrounding the crack with a stain that matches with the color of your wood. However, if the appearance of the crack does not bother you, not re-staining the area around it will not compromise the integrity of the beam.

As you can see, the process is quite simple. And, as long as you correctly repair the beam, it will be about as good as new. This process can be applied to cracks that are small, or even cracks that run the entire length of the beam. If your beam is extremely damaged, this process may not work for you. In the case that your beam is shattered or otherwise cataclysmically  destroyed, you may need to buy or build a new beam. However, for most problems, this process is quite effective.

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