Pickled wood origins came from the early attempts to remove old paints from furniture that left residues on the wood pieces.  This look is in demand today.

Pictures courtesy of "The Encyclopedia of Decorative Paint Techniques" by Simon Cavelle. Published by Running Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rights held by Quarto Publishing PLC, London, England

Start with fresh wood that has no oils or grease on it. Stain first if you desire a darker than natural finish. Seal wood with a sanding sealer
Brush on a flat white latex paint.
Wipe off with a rag leaving the surface relatively clean, except for low spots as shown. Work on only a big enough area that the paint stays wet during this process.
After paint is dry, sand smooth.
Apply two coats of gloss or satin varnish.
Your finished product looks like a million dollars, and so simple!
Pictures courtesy of "The Encyclopedia of Decorative Paint Techniques" by Simon Cavelle. Published by Running Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rights held by Quarto Publishing PLC, London, England