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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A builder bud texted me pics and asked if I could fix. Recently
track lighting was removed leaving the discoloration lines.
Info received:
White pine, installed 30 yrs ago, "some kind" of flat sealer

Would love to hear possible solutions.

Water Blue Fixture Shade Wood
Brown Building Fixture Rectangle Wood
Brown Beige Wood Flooring Floor
Brown Wood Flooring Floor Plank
My background is executing decorative paint finishes/ mixing a ton of colors/glazes by eye over the years. The max height is 16' and I know the farther from the eye, the more forgiving.
I haven't committed to trying other than this post. Thx Happy Sat
 

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My first instinct would be some kind of cleaner or brightener, if that didn't work I would try a light sand with maybe 220 or so. My guess is whatever you do to mitigate those spots would probably have to be done to the entire length of each board for matching. Interested to hear what some of the other folks might say.
 

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If you can brighten the dark lines to match, as Northwest mentioned, you may be able to use/make a wiping varnish (and feather the edges out). If you can match the sheen, you shouldn't need to varnish the entire board length. even if you cant match the sheen perfectly, you can likely wet sand it to a close sheen with some high grit paper.

It is fortunate that the wood looks to be just a clear coat (no stain). That should simplify what you need to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you can brighten the dark lines to match, as Northwest mentioned, you may be able to use/make a wiping varnish (and feather the edges out). If you can match the sheen, you shouldn't need to varnish the entire board length. even if you cant match the sheen perfectly, you can likely wet sand it to a close sheen with some high grit paper.

It is fortunate that the wood looks to be just a clear coat (no stain). That should simplify what you need to do.
Are you thinking the brightener should be applied "clean as possible"...just on discoloring yes? Or is that not a biggie?
This is where I lack experience.

The clear/sheen matching, not too worried about.

Also, is the BM brightener what you were thinking about when saying brightener? Another product?
Thx H
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you thinking the brightener should be applied "clean as possible"...just on discoloring yes? Or is that not a biggie?
This is where I lack experience.

The clear/sheen matching, not too worried about.

Also, is the BM brightener what you were thinking about when saying brightener? Another product?
Thx H
Or have two or three differing brighteners and just see which works best?
 

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What is causing the discoloration?

If the clear coat is intact? Is the discoloration sitting on top of the clear, or is it under the clear (ie., in the wood)?

Why does it appear "shinier" in those areas?

*I was thinking oxalic acid as well. You can mix it into a paste with distilled water in small quantities, and use it almost dry (more controlled that way, rather than making a very wet dilution) and rub it into a test area. rinse with clean water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is causing the discoloration?

If the clear coat is intact? Is the discoloration sitting on top of the clear, or is it under the clear (ie., in the wood)?

Why does it appear "shinier" in those areas?

*I was thinking oxalic acid as well. You can mix it into a paste with distilled water in small quantities, and use it almost dry (more controlled that way, rather than making a very wet dilution) and rub it into a test area. rinse with clean water.
The discoloring revealed itself when track lighting was removed.

I haven't looked in person yet, so not sure if discoloration is on top or under clear. My bud said he had someone try (hasn't told what was tried yet) something that didn't work/wasn't happy with...

Re: oxalic process...thx!
 

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I would assume the discoloration is on top of clear..who would hang track lighting then clear? But one never knows...lol
whats causing the discoloration?

If the clear is intact there shouldn’t be any water stains, and whatever the stain may be on top of the clear? Did the wood darken from lack of sunlight? What’s going on there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
whats causing the discoloration?

If the clear is intact there shouldn’t be any water stains, and whatever the stain may be on top of the clear? Did the wood darken from lack of sunlight? What’s going on there?
That's what I'm thinking, but haven't even schedule a time to go look yet.

Good things to consider
 

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Lots of good suggestions.
If it were me, I’d be concerned about any cleaners possibly leaving a dirty halo. Maybe just try that on one board.
As you already know, a straight line like that is pretty tough to disguise. Kind of like trying to touch up a strie. Ugh.
If it were my job, I’d sand each area being real careful not to go beyond the ‘stripe’. Then I’d hand paint each board, clear coat everything at the end.
By the time you experiment with all this other stuff, you might find you have to do a little hand painting anyway.
 

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Lots of good suggestions.
If it were me, I’d be concerned about any cleaners possibly leaving a dirty halo. Maybe just try that on one board.
As you already know, a straight line like that is pretty tough to disguise. Kind of like trying to touch up a strie. Ugh.
If it were my job, I’d sand each area being real careful not to go beyond the ‘stripe’. Then I’d hand paint each board, clear coat everything at the end.
By the time you experiment with all this other stuff, you might find you have to do a little hand painting anyway.
Glad to see you’re still kicking.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Are you certain it’s white pine? Although I could be wrong, it looks more like sun bleached WRC due to the cathedral grain being ragged & pointed on almost every board rather than being more oval & rounded. Another tell-tale sign it’s cedar is the grain separation & splintering on the vertical grain edges. If in fact it’s cedar, I think if you were to spot sand, or use OA & try to feather in, you may open up a bigger can of worms by bringing out too much red where sanded or bleached w/OA…but then again, it may work out fine.
 

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I wish you the best of luck should you decide to tackle this - and don’t under estimate luck as a factor in these types of jobs.

Having done a fair amount of wood refinishing (cabinets, trim, window sills, doors, etc) I will say that trying to blend something like this without it looking like it was an attempt at blending, is one of the hardest things to get right. Add to that the extreme visibility of the areas you will be trying to fix and wowzer - tough assignment. And that isn’t even taking into account the fix the other guy attempted. Who knows what he may have done to make things even worse.

Sure, by all means, try some of the suggestions that have been made. But if it were me, before attempting to correct this, I would make it clear that at minimum, the entire two sections MAY have to be sanded out, possibly restained, and then clear coated. And if those sections end up not matching the remaining areas, then even those unaffected by the lines from track lighting may need to be done to facilitate an even look across all of the wood sections of the ceiling. Heck, you may even consider throwing out the word “painting” as a cost saving suggestion - though personally I would opt for staining everything a slightly darker color rather than painting the wood.

Again, not saying you will absolutely have to resort to any of the “worst case scenarios” I’ve described above, only that you might want to have a discussion with the individuals involved before you delve into any of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Are you certain it’s white pine? Although I could be wrong, it looks more like sun bleached WRC due to the cathedral grain being ragged & pointed on almost every board rather than being more oval & rounded. Another tell-tale sign it’s cedar is the grain separation & splintering on the vertical grain edges. If in fact it’s cedar, I think if you were to spot sand, or use OA & try to feather in, you may open up a bigger can of worms by bringing out too much red where sanded or bleached w/OA…but then again, it may work out fine.
I haven't looked at this yet. I was told it was white pine.
Thanks for your input
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wish you the best of luck should you decide to tackle this - and don’t underrate luck as a factor in these types of jobs.

Having done a fair amount of wood refinishing (cabinets, trim, window sills, doors, etc) I will say that trying to blend something like this without it looking like it was an attempt at blending, is one of the hardest things to get right. Add to that the extreme visibility of the areas you will be trying to fix and “wowzer” - tough assignment. And that isn’t even taking into account the fix the other guy attempted. Who knows what he may have done to make things even worse.

Sure, by all means, try some of the suggestions that have been made. But if it were me, before attempting to correct this, I would make it clear that at minimum, the entire two sections MAY have to be sanded out, possibly restained, and then clear coated. And if those sections end up not matching the remaining areas, then even those unaffected by the lines from track lighting may need to be done to facilitate an even look across all of the wood sections of the ceiling. Heck, you may even consider throwing out the word “painting” as a cost saving suggestion - though personally I would opt for staining everything a slightly darker color rather than painting the wood.

Again, not saying you will absolutely have to resort to any of the “worst case scenarios” I’ve described above, only that you might want to have a discussion with the individuals involved before you delve into any of it.
Thanks RH
 

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This is one of those things where all I would do is say something like "I can try some stuff, and it might help, but nothing will make that disappear - short of a full, cleaning/brightening, sanding and refinish of all of it." You just can't smoothly replicate that many years of differential exposure especially with - as @fauxlynn said - those straight lines. A lot of the discoloration does just look like dirt to me. Years of no air circulation and exposure to whatever dusting of the ceiling may have been done. But even if that gets cleaned off it's still years and years of differential exposure.

I'd also agree with @Redux that it looks a lot like WRC. By itself that doesn't change the underlying issue though. But it might change what you try.
 
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