Weldex — an authentic decorative finish for vintage homes
We first learned about Eichler Siding from readers Marty and Flip, who have original Weldtex ceilings in their 1950 home. They wanted to add more Weldtex ceilings in other rooms in their home and after some searching, came upon Eichler Siding, which now has a second website, VintagePlywood.com to showcase their Weldtex-style paneling product.
We purchased the house my parents built in 1950 and have been working hard on the renovation. Wanted to share the ceiling story and a supplier website that we found in California. Can’t wait to get the new ceiling up downstairs.We have some pics of the original striated ply ceilings from upstairs that we are going to continue with through more of the house.
We are so pleased to hear you’re doing a story on the striated plywood and Eichler Siding. Jeff and his wife provide a quality product and are fellow small business folks. They were easy to work with and it was a coast to coast shipment that arrived in good shape to us in Florida from San Fran! Attached are some photos of the original ceiling in our house and we found a huge bonus surprise behind some junky wall paneling, pickwick pine paneling!!!! Our ceiling project is still a work in progress so we don’t have any of the new stuff up yet but we can tell it will be a fantastic match.
I researched the history of the striated plywood and it is a very interesting story. The old advertisments for it are awesome, gave us some cool ideas.
Looking forward to your article and as always I will continue to ‘renovate safely’ 🙂
Coinkindinkly, we also just spotted Weldtex ceilings in a 1960 time capsule in Tulsa, Oklahoma — see it here — this time with a natural wood finish. Stunning!
Where to find Weldtex wood panels today
Eichler Siding got its start in 1987 after owners Jeff and Annette Nichols noticed a niche they could fill in the market. At the time, homeowners looking to repair and restore the original grooved siding on their Eichlerand other midcentury homes couldn’t find a source for the specialty grooved plywood they needed to get the job done. Eichler Siding came to the rescue — manufacturing several popular siding patterns as well as taking custom orders.
In 2012, the company began producing Weldtex striated plywood again — the first time this style of plywood had been produced since the 1970s.
From their website:
PRODUCERS OF MID CENTURY MODERN PANELS EICHLER, STRENG BROS., CUSTOM SIDING
And Now Weldtex, Combed, Striated Plywood
For over 25 years we have produced Eichler style siding for San Francisco Bay area homes and beyond. We deliver locally, and we ship nationwide via common carrier. We also can produce a variety of custom grooved interior and exterior plywood panels for both mid-century modern homes in the Eichler style or replicate plywood groove patterns that are no longer available.
Additionally, as far as we know, we are the only producers of “Weldtex” also commonly known as “Combed or Striated Plywood.” Invented in the 40’s, Weldtex is a very unique panel that was used as accent walls, wainscot, or even an entire room. We have shipped Weldtex to New York, New Jersey and Southern California.
Weldtex, Combed Plywood
Available in plywood panels and solid stock lumber (oak, birch, ash, etc.) for door panels or milled into clear cedar or redwood for tongue and groove exterior siding.
Weldtex Panel Weldtex, which was originally manufactured by U.S. Plywood, has not been made since the 1970′s until now!
Sizes available in 3/8″ thick panels:
- 15 7/8″ x 96″
- 23 7/8″ x 96″
Note: Though we do not produce a 48″ wide panel, due to the nature of the unique Weldtex, or combed pattern, when you join two long edges together the joint appears to be seamless. So in reality you could cover an entire wall with the panels and never know that there were narrower than 48″
“Weldtex panels let you arrange horizontal or vertical stripes: checkerboard, diamond, and even herringbone patterns. You’ll discover countless decorating schemes!” (from Life Magazine ad, circa 1957)
Edge view of 3/4″ solid stock walnut showing the depth of the Weldtex pattern.
Edge view of 3/8″ plywood, these are available in 23 7/8″ x 96″ sheets.
Here’s a sample of 1×6 tongue and groove clear “A” grade redwood with the Weldtex texture milled into the face. We also added a V-groove at each joint to match the existing pattern a customer in Tulsa, OK has. The same material can be milled without the V-groove for a more continuous look. We can also mill this out of clear western red cedar, or pine for an interior application, like a wainscot installation.
History of Weldtex:
- Read this history of Weldtex in a paper written by Mary Ottoson, M.S. Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
I can think of about a hundred ways you could use Weldtex — from building furniture, to using it as siding or wall treatments. Heck, I bet it would even look good in a tiki bar. It is so exciting to have this vintage material with such an interesting history available to buy again.
Mega thanks to readers Marty and Flip for sharing their photos and tipping us to this interesting product!
- Weldtex plywood for sale from VintagePlywood.com
- Paper on the history of Weldtex written by Mary Ottoson, M.S. Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Weldtex Striated Plywood For Walls Which Grow Old Gracefully from Archive.org