Out of the box thought.
Try this stuff instead of either a dark stain or white paint.
Its a penetrating hardened when dry oil type finish I've used to great effect with several pieces of light colored wood. Get the pair (usually at Home Despot/Lowes), start with the light on a scrap test & add a little dark (in a separate container so you don't mess up the original "light") until you get just the degree of color you want.
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?
Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”