No one mentioned white paint or brightening. It is in fact a very small pc of moulding along the staircase less than an inch wide, that I want to color as an accent.
It is all very well to renew and preserve, but one must also live one's life in a house. besides not everything that was original to EVERY old house was good to start with. there were cheaply done houses, with cheap unattractive wood that just because it was Wood doesn't mean it should never see a coat of paint.
Anyway one reason I bought this house was the fact so much of the original work was there for instance my nice french doors.