tutorial on barn finish-a gel varnish remover to strip off most of the varnish. The contrasty barnwood look comes from not getting all of the varnish off, whatever is left behind will appear lighter when you apply the dark stain
I HATE when pins go nowhere! But, see that black and white picture of the couple behind the window pane? That might be what you need to do to make one of your wedding pictures worthy to hang on the wall.