So, I want my beams to look substantial. Also, I am going to open my staircase in my Glencroft so will be using a 3/4 " floor to ceiling beam to hold everything up. I also want this pole to look like a "meaty" piece of wood.
I've stained one ceiling beam with Golden oak minwax stain and then painted over with acrylic "melted chocolate " by Apple barrel. I painted one with a tan color wood filler and will go back and put wood grain in with my exacto knife. Not sure which I like best.