Our house was built in 1944, and nearly all the walls and ceilings are done in knotty pine, which was a common treatment for mountain cabins of that era. The wood was stained and varnished at the time and has not been touched since. The varnish has yellowed, and the stain is darkish and not an especially pretty color--it's sort of a "moose lodge" look. As a result, the rooms are dark even when the sun is shining in, and they are not very inviting. I don't even like to sit in the living room.
My husband is opposed to painting this wood because he likes the natural look. He also feels that stripping off the old varnish, sanding, and restaining in a lighter color, such as a whitish wash, will be prohibitively expensive. I've lived with these dark rooms for 20 years, and despite their "rustic charm," I'm tired of them.
If these were your walls and ceilings, what would you do?