Rough-hewn wood can give any room a cabin-in-the-woods atmosphere, but it looks best when it’s new. Dirt build-up can provide blonde hardwood an unattractive pallor, and it may earn a dark-toned timber even darker. You can lighten any timber by cleaning it, but in some cases, it may take more drastic measures to lighten the shadow in your “cabin.” One of the most extreme measures is to provide the wood a coat of stain to simulate whitewashing. Stain changes the timber shade, though, so before you do this, you may want to try out some choices.
Mix a solution of 2 oz of trisodium phosphate crystals per gallon of warm water. Wear rubber gloves and goggles when using this solution, because it’s caustic. If the walls are greasy, add two ounces of liquid ammonia to this mixture.
Use a sponge along with a long-handled sponge mop to clean the walls. Be sure to lay plastic sheeting on the ground Redding to move the furniture out of the way before you begin cleaning. After washing with the TSP solution, rub on the walls by washing them again with clear water, then allow them to dry.
Change the window coverings to blinds or a kind of covering that admits more light. Your insulating material may keep the room warm, but in addition they maintain it dark. Replace them with translucent curtains, or, in least, tie them back so that they don’t create shade.
Put one or two mirrors in the room to reveal the light in the windows and distribute it throughout the room. Angle them to reflect sunlight onto the walls. Set a light carpet in the room and transfer your lighter furniture from different rooms to this one.
Bleach the walls with oxalic acid to soften the timber without altering its natural tones, even if the walls are still too dark. This step only works on unfinished wood. Mix 11 to 16 ounces of oxalic acid crystals — available at hardware stores — per gallon of water and clean the walls in precisely the same manner you washed them with TSP, using gloves and goggles. Allow the bleach dry, then then wash again in the event the shade is not light enough.
Neutralize the oxalic acid by washing the walls with a solution of 3 ounces of borax per gallon of water, then washing again with clear water.
Lighten the walls with stain if no additional procedures serve to make them light enough. Paint a whitened semi-transparent stain onto the timber with a paintbrush and wipe off the surplus with a rag, with the grain of the timber. Let the stain dry, then protect it with a coat of clear polyurethane finish, if desired.