So here’s the nitty gritty:
We tried a pickling stain, but found too much yellow from the wood still showed through even after two coats. Then we tried brushing on regular white wall paint, then rubbing off the excess, but that proved too thick and had a tinge of blue.
So finally we settled on deck stain. After trying out several different application methods on scrap boards, we found the best solution: 1 cup of deck stain to 1/2 cup of water. After mixing, we applied with a paint brush.
The problem we ran into with all of the above methods was demarcation lines. That’s why painting board by board was the only way we could figure to do it.
Since we thinned the stain with water, we didn’t have to worry about it drying too quickly before finishing each board. But brushing even two boards at a time, we ran into it drying, showing those irritating lines.
When the stain for the whole room was finally completed, we followed it up by sponging on three coats of polyurethane in satin. That part was a breeze comparatively.
We like the end result. In fact, it’s exactly the look we were after. But. “Never again!”
Although… those are the very same words I uttered after a very hard labor with my first baby. And we all know how that worked out in the end. Which probably means a lot more whitewashing in our future. ;)