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Non-toxic ceiling finish to make it easier to clean

 
Posts: 22
Location: California, Redwood forest valley, 8mi from ocean, elev 1500ft, zone 9a
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I'm working on a building, and trying to keep us from using toxic stuff.

We have a ceiling of redwood planks, and we want to put some kind of finish on it that will help prevent dust from clinging to it and make it easier to clean.  The ceiling is a work of art, mostly done by the redwoods but we're trying to help them show off the beauty.  We're not worried about rotting or anything like that since it's interior.

Personally I was inclined to just not put a finish on it at all, thinking not that much dust is going to cling upward to the bottom of the ceiling and I don't mind some dust myself, but I'm not the one making that decision, so I have to try to find something.  :)

I'd like to find something benign that at least won't make the wood *harder* to keep clean.  Some of the planks have roughness, it's milled redwood that we planed ourselves.  We'll have a woodburning stove in there (I'm pushing for a RMH but we'll see) and so I guess there will be ash and smoke from that blowing around at least a little that could collect on it.

Has anyone put a finish on their wood ceiling?  Opinions?  I was looking at something like Heritage Natural Finish.  But maybe since it won't have any wear on it, there's a more appropriate option for this case?  I know that stuff says non-toxic, but I never quite believe that without knowing the full ingredients list.  

We also have to find something to use on the interior trim which is the made from the same redwood lumber.  That finish can be different than what we use for the ceiling, and we won't need as much of it.
Screen-Shot-2019-04-03-at-7.24.45-PM.png
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our redwood ceiling
 
Posts: 33
Location: Inland Northwest/Eastern Washington
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I've been looking into products for similar interior application and it must be non-toxic, non-smelly, etc. I came across Rubio Monocoat as a possible option...no VOCs, plant based. Might be one to look into.

https://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/All-Products/Paints-Coatings-Wood-Stains-Sealers/Rubio-Oil-Plus-2C-Kit
 
Philip McGarvey
Posts: 22
Location: California, Redwood forest valley, 8mi from ocean, elev 1500ft, zone 9a
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Thanks Carrie, will look at that.

I should mention, we want the ceiling to just require one coat, since it's going to be awkward putting the finish on now that the wood is already up.  
 
master steward
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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For a natural finish, I would look at tung oil or linseed oil.  I have not had any experience with natural wood ceilings. My pantry has sliding doors that are about 8' x 10' made of unfinished cedar.  I have had no problem with dust.  Here are some threads that might be useful:

https://permies.com/t/74067/oil-treat-lumber

https://permies.com/t/43637/Breathable-Walls
 
Posts: 537
Location: Abkhazia · Cfa (humid subtropical) - temperate · clay soil
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Raw linseed oil will work, however it does take a while to dry and it the smell of linseed oil will be there during drying. Adding Titanium oxide pigment will make it brighter.
IMG_0021_s.JPG
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Wooden ceiling with clay fillings and linseed oil finish.
 
pollinator
Posts: 464
Location: San Diego, California
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Here's two that I'm currently looking into (haven't used either yet though):


Furniture/indoor (the science checks out on this and I want to use it)
Tried & True

Outdoor(sounds like snake-oil/untested, unverified product)
Lifetime
 
Philip McGarvey
Posts: 22
Location: California, Redwood forest valley, 8mi from ocean, elev 1500ft, zone 9a
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It seems we were in more of a hurry than I thought, and someone's picking up this today:
https://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/All-Products/Paints-Coatings-Wood-Stains-Sealers/AFM-SafeCoat-Naturals-Oil-Wax-Finish

Ingredients: polymerized linseed oil, organic safflower oil, china wood oil, sunflower oil, hemp oil, modified soybean oil, carnauba wax, microcrystalline wax and carboxylate metallic salts

So it's a linseed oil / wax combo.  Not sure which of those ingredients is used as the solvent, or maybe they just don't use one.  Maybe the other oils help it soak in better.

I'll update the thread with our experience.  From reading amazon reviews, you want to make a very thin coat, using a rag rather than brush probably, and be sure to remove all excess.  I'm guessing we'll do one coat on the ceiling and maybe several coats on the trim especially windowsills that will have wear.  
 
gardener
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I would think a rubbing with beeswax would work
 
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