Restoring Redwood Walls

Cyndi Wilkins asked 10 years ago

Hi, We are restoring an 1880-1910 Victorian cottage. The walls are the original redwood beading board. The are pretty good condition, however, they seem very dried out. The house is located in Bolinas, CA, up the coast, north of San Fran. What do you recommend to restore that wood?

4 Answers
Crowder Painting answered.

It really depends on what is on the redwood right now. If there is a film forming finish, like varnish, then you will need to stick with that kind if wood finish. A spar varnish is a good choice as it will stick to almost everything and look good doing it.

If the redwood doesn't have a film type of finish then you could use Tung Oil. Tung Oil is very nice and easy to maintain, just apply more.


1) If there is already a film finish on the wood then you will need to apply a spar varnish, 2 coats for the best look.

2) If the wood raw then using Tung Oil is a great option. Plan on 2-3 thin coats with ample dry time between each coat.

Anonymous answered.

There is definitely no varnish on the redwood. So tung oil, it is! Thank you for your expertise.

Crowder Painting answered.

Test a small area to make sure you like it. Tung oil can be brushed but make sure you have some clean white rags handy and watch out for runs. The first and second coats will soak in, a small build up on the surface could happen with the second coat. It usually take 2-3 coats with Tung oil for an even appearance on raw wood.

thomasleovogel answered.

I would like to do the same thing to my walls -Redwood interior walls – very similar to Cindi's. How did it turn out? Did it work. Are there other options or is this the best one?

Thanking you in advance for your answers