I have shared a couple times how we wanted to lighten our wood ceiling, but not paint it white. Although I do think white would be really pretty, we really like the warmth and the contrast of the wood….but our 1970’s wood ceiling felt too orange. We tested a lot of different stains and finally found a stain that didn’t go gray, or weird with our wood. It is actually a pickling, which is best on oak. Pickling allows you to brighten wood, without covering up the grain.
Pickled Wood Ceilings- Remove the Orange Tone
Can you see the subtle difference?? I know many liked the before how it was, it is gorgeous wood, it just didn’t work with the look we were going for. We wanted the wood ceiling to be a nice accent to everything we put in the room, rather than compete.
We went with BEHR White Wash Picking B4580
We did NOT sand down our wood before applying the pickling. That was the goal, to find a stain or treatment we didn’t have to sand. Our ceiling didn’t seem to have any type of wood sealer on it. If your wood has been sealed, this treatment might not have the same result for you.
The nice thing about this pickling is you can easily manipulate it. You can see above we tried brushing on two coats of the pickling then wiping it off, then 1 coat and wiping it off. We found the best results was to brush on the pickling then allow it to soak in for 15-30 minutes, then wipe it off with a wet rag. Some areas were still too orange, so we then did a second coat after we had wiped it. I would recommend testing your wood before doing an entire space.
This is a good example why it is important to sample stains. You can see above most every stain turned out really gray. We thought we would love the one I pointed to and wrote “I like what is happening here”. It was Weathered Oak, we even brushed it over the black stain too and it all went gray. And several of you told me it turned out gray for you too. (PS- we are painting this area that we put all the samples white. It is over our kitchen).
We used a paint brush a brushed the pickling on the ceiling. Let it soak in for 30 minutes.
Then we took a wet rag over the wood and wiped the pickling off. On the right you can see where we wiped it. After wiping the pickling off, it took about an hour or so to see it lighten.
The pickling looks lighter depending on the time of day and where we applied it. The wood on our ceiling is so different from piece to piece, which I love the variation.
Me: Help! Ha. Really tho, that was an arm workout! Kevin was the one who wiped it off with the we rag and that was the hardest by far!
Our lovely people showed up to help. Bless. Sister, Dad, Brother-in-law and my mom (she walked the kids to the park). We got pizza and made it a party. Many hands make light work.
Pickling for the win! PS- this opening was were the stairs to the basement used to be. Now we have an opening to the dining room.
If you missed it, you can see how we made over the fireplace on this post. We did bleach our mantle. And we did try bleach on the ceiling, it was just very dull and splotchy on the ceiling. Not good for us, but I know many have used outdoor bleach with success!
Very happy with how it turned out!!! And can’t wait to decorate this room and snuggle up with my family.
Check out the plans we have for this room here.