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I have knotty pine walls in basement. Any suggestions on how to paint or something to make basement not so dreary.
When my parents built a house in the early 60s knotty pine walls were installed in my room. The builder did a process he called "pickling" (not sure about spelling). He painted the walls white and wyped the paint off before it dried. A coat of varnish or other sealer was then applied. When my mother sold the house in the late 90s the wood looked as new as the day installed. This will work if you want the natural wood to show through. It results in a lighter color than just a coat of poly.
I am assuming that your knotty pine has some kind of varnish type finish on it. My guess is that it was never stained or "pickled" as the other post suggested had been done to his. The result is that with age the pine has darkened and reddened. Since it has a finish on it, it cannot be stained unless it is stripped bare - a LOT of work!
Were this paneling mine, I would consider blanking it out with a white primer and light colored finish coat. To give it more visual interest, I would consider going over the paneling with a light glaze. I would wipe down the paneling with rags allowing the glaze to get caught in the grooves and knotty areas. The glazed paneling could also be slightly striated by dragging a dry brush over the surface. An oil based glazing liquid works better than an acrylic based glaze because it has much greater wet time.
The glaze should then be clear coated with a varnish for protection. Oil based varnishes have a slight amber tone which might affect the final color of the paneling. Water based varnishes dry crystal clear.