How can I brighten up pine walls?

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We moved into my husbands parents farm house! It has pine walls that have details in it. The house was built in the early 70s or late 60s. Would like to do something to them since it makes the kitchen and dining room look so dark but he doesn’t want them painted. Any ideas?

q pine walls
  6 answers
  • Brenda Bucco Brenda Bucco on Nov 13, 2018

    Give them a coat of varnish, it will make a big difference and get rid of all of the scratches.

  • Ahhh... I bet you live in the East! We live in the Midwest, but have spent a lot of time in New England and see this type of wood paneling a lot! It's called pickwick and is my favorite! In fact during the renovation of our midwest home I couldn't find it anywhere by me so had to actually order it from a mill out in Rhode Island and have it shipped all the way to Wisconsin! Here is a post I wrote showing the finish I put on it in our dining room. In New England it is more common to find it with a painted finish than in the dark pine finish. If it were my kitchen, I'd paint it... or at least white wash it in a thinned out paint finish to lighten it but still see the knots and grain through. For that type of finish, you'd need to sand the varnish off and then basically do a watered down paint on it.

  • Linda kelley Linda kelley on Nov 13, 2018

    Have you tried Murphys Soap? It really cleans well and shines.

  • I think as someone said above, varnish. It will give them a shine :-)

  • Kate Kate on Nov 14, 2018

    looks like my old kitchen walls. they were varnished and there was a smoker that just made the color go a dark yellow. I painted over the whole thing with Kilz. Soooo much brighter now. But you don't want to paint. Sand the heck out of them and seal with a clear finish. Varnish goes yellow over time even without nicotine help. (think old museum paintings)

    • See 3 previous
    • Linda Linda on Mar 23, 2019

      I could just kilz the walls and not paint them

  • Kate Kate on Mar 24, 2019

    Mine have held up, but talk with a paint guy, just to keep your hubs happy.