Beadboard panels can be used on any wall in your home as wainscoting. One choice of finish is to pickle the beadboard after installation. Similar to staining, pickling beadboard panels allows the grain of the wood to show through very subtle hues of your chosen color. The most common color associated with pickling is white, but there are a variety of color options available.
Step 1 - Prepare Surface
For new beadboard panels, simply wipe the wood to remove any construction dust and debris. For finished beadboard, you must remove all existing finish (paint, shellac, etc.) using 60-grit sandpaper. When finished sanding, wipe the surface clean of all dust with a tack rag.
Step 2 - Pickling Surface
Combine 3 parts paint with 1 part water, to make a pickling stain. Mix well. Apply paint mixture to the beadboards, using either a clean rag or a natural bristle paintbrush. Using a clean rag, remove most of the paint mixture. After completely dry (12 to 24 hours), lightly sand with 100-grit sandpaper. Do NOT remove all the paint. Wipe the surface with tack cloth, to remove dust. Apply a second coat of the paint mixture, in the same manner as the first coat. Repeat until desired saturation has been achieved, being certain to sand lightly between coats.
Step 3 - Protect the Finish
Once the final coat of "whiting" is completely dry, protect the surface with water-based polyurethane, using the natural bristle brush. After allowing the polyurethane to dry (according to instructions), apply a second coat to the beadboard panels.