Creating a faux oak beam effect

A few years back I was given the task of making some dark brown, almost black, beams look a lot lighter, to fit in with the rest of the woodwork, which was oak.

The customer went away while the job was done expecting me to just paint them an oak type brown colour, but I went a step further. I wasn't happy just painting them brown. Here's how I did it. Its really very simple to do: