refinishing unpainted beam ceilings
I live in a house from 1865. We are in the (slow) process of renovating out kitchen. Our sheetrocked ceiling was extremely uneven, so we took it down to find unpainted beams (They actually hold up the second floor) in perfect condition. I have no idea what kind of wood it is, but it is walnut colored from age. I tested a piece with my small furniture sander, and it brings it down to a nice light wood color. In theory, this could be done with my furniture sander (ha!) but the room is 520 sq feet, so this is not ideal.
Does anyone have any ideas? I am this close to half-ass sanding and painting antique white!