Beam colour - what would you do?

7 months ago

Hi again!

We are renovating our cottage and discovering all sorts of unexpected problems that make me regret starting this!

When enlarging a door opening, the builder was shocked to find the main beam in the boot room completely rotten at one of the ends. As you can see, he replaced the lintel and put a new support in place using this lovely oak timber.

My problem is that the rest of the beam was painted black by previous owners, and I feel the new oak is just too beautiful to paint and I'd rather keep it as it is now. However, I think the contrast is just too noticeable and I don't know how to balance it. Even if we agree to strip the old beam (which will be rather difficult), the colours won't match and I'm afraid we won't be able to do a good job staining them to look the same and the end result would be even worse.

What would you do? I just don't seem to see a solution unless I just leave them as is and learn to live with it... Also, we are rebuilding the large fireplace in the room in stone with a similar new oak mantel, so whatever we decide about the beam should apply to the mantel as well.

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