Re: Refinish Walnut Walls
What kind of finish was on the wood originally and how id you go about removing it?
American walnut is kind of dark grayish chocolate color in it's natural state. European walnut is usually a lot more light ****en-toned.
If the wood is just generally too dark, it could be bleached, and then you could add a color of stain that you wanted to warm it up.
If the color as it stands is all right, but the varnish is causing unwanted darkening, probably the best finish is danish oil. It won't darken the wood, and it is very low-key; looks like no finish at all.
There are non-darkening varnishes (I think one is called crystal-clear), and there's always Ultra-Blond shellac. But they will be more or less shiny. Shellac can be worked, rubbed-out and waxed following application to a fine furniture-like finish. Perhaps this walnut paneled dining room is worthy of such attention.
Another possibility is a light-tinted glaze. Glazes really bring out details of moldings, and the tint (it has pigment in it) would be able to lighten the color a little to a whole lot. It would be brushed on and worked (wiped off, left in crevices, etc.). The amount of tint will determine the opacity.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.