Best Ways to Make Wood Ceiling Beams Shine


Wood ceiling beams are artistic, architectural features that add character to a room's highest point. The exposed beams give a hint of the room's integrity and strength through the open display of these structural supports. The ceiling is further enhanced by a break in the monotony of its color and surface, as the wood ceiling beams give the ceiling depth and dimension.

Check Existing Finish

  • Perhaps your wood beams already have a shiny finish, but are just in need of a good cleaning. Layers of dust will dull any shine. Use a tall ladder to reach the wood ceiling beams. Apply a wood cleaning and polishing solution onto the beams, then wipe it away and buff to a shine. Clean and polish one small section at a time.

Apply Polyurethane

  • If your wood ceiling beams are dull when the dust is removed, apply a coating of high-gloss polyurethane. Ventilate the room well, and prepare the wood according to the instructions to make sure the surface is clean and sanded. Once you are done, clean away the dust in the room before applying the polyurethane. Consider changing the stain of the wood beam at this point; sand the beams well, apply the stain and let it dry.

    Use a natural-bristle paintbrush to apply the first coat of polyurethane. Paint it on in the same direction of the wood grain so that your paintbrush marks blend into the flow of the wood. Allow this first coat time to dry before lightly sanding and applying a second coat of polyurethane. Once the second coat is dry, sand again and apply a third coat, if desired.


  • Another way to highlight the shine of your wood ceiling beams is with accent lighting. Lighting brightens spaces and draws the eyes towards the features it is used to highlight. Strategically place lights to shine onto the beams and highlight their glossy finish. Accent or spot lighting will add a touch of drama to your ceilings, drawing the eye up to the wood ceiling beams.

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