ASK DANNY: How Should I Lighten My Wood Paneling?
What’s the fastest and easiest way to lighten up tongue-and-groove wood paneling that’s been stained and [polyurethaned]?
I’d like more of a driftwood or whitewashed look to it without losing the integrity of the wood.
One suggestion would be to use liquid sandpaper to eliminate any gloss and create a surface that paint or stain will adhere to.
Then, in an out-of-the-way place, such as a closet, try using a white stain to create a whitewash look. Test this in an inconspicuous area first, to ensure it matches the desired effect.
This should give you a much lighter, brighter appearance while still being able to enjoy the beauty of the wood.
After staining it, you’ll want to apply at least one coat of clear polyurethane.