Cedar Planks Bright Under Removed Pictures: How to Fix

We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell and have removed personal pictures of our family and children from our walls and are in a dilemma. In our front living room (12ft x 24ft with vaulted ceiling and skylights) we have a rustic look on all 4 wall and both sides of the vaulted ceiling covered 100% with 1/4 tongue and groove knotty cedar planks installed in 2002. As we have removed the pictures (16) we have noticed the sun has darkened the rest of the cedar leaving the outline of the frames in the original bright cedar color underneath. I have tried light sanding to fade it out and it barely works. Does anyone have a suggestion if there is a chemical or a process to get rid of this problem? I went to Home Depot and bought a new bundle and the problem is they are of course much lighter like the pictures so if I replaced the panels then they would stick out like a sore thumb. I was hoping there was a chemical that would naturally speed the ageing process to make it darker. My only solution was to tape off the entire room except the picture area and wait 12 years for the pictures areas to darken then peel the tape…just kidding… the tape would break down first 🙂

The Money Pit Answer

This is an interesting problem!  Nothing short of sanding the entire wall (or repainting!) will deliver a short term fix. However, it probably won't take another 9 years for the light spots to even out.  I had this same problem when i repaired an old douglas fir floor in my house.  The new wood was "white" and the old wood was a golden brown. It was pretty obvious for a few months but after one summer, the difference was a lot less obvious.

Of course, you could also always replace those old family photos with some strategically placed art work for the enjoyment of the new owners!