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Gerry salvages a house full of gorgeous vintage knotty pine — pickwick pine even!

Don’t want your knotty pine, America? We have readers who do! Gerry writes:

Hello. I just finished salvaging a truckload of beautiful Pickwick style Knotty Pine paneling from a 1950s beach cottage that was being torn down. I was really excited to find the information contained on your site regarding the history of this product. I am going to re-purpose it in the sun porch of my own beach bungalow . It has a beautiful original amber finish on it, and I hope to cherry pick the nicest boards so I can install it just as found without any refinishing.

Nom nom, Knotty is Nice! I write back to Gerry tout suit. He quickly responds:

Hi Pam. I am a big fan of your site, I have referenced it many times over the years, so I should not have been surprised you had all the info on knotty pine paneling. It certainly was a popular choice for the homes built along the Jersey coast as far back as the 1930s and well into the 1960’s.

Above: Here are some of the photos of the paneling still in the original house before it was torn down. Notice the random board widths ranging from 4″ to 10″…

Above: Loaded up in the bed of my truck…

Above: Potlatch Lumber (Washington State) was founded in 1903 and is still in business, although I think the company has been sold a couple times. Might still be a good source for knotty pine.

These photos shows a nice view of the Pickwick profile milled into the tongue and groove boards:

Laying out the boards in my garage to “cherry pick” the nicest ones for my project:

Has a nice vintage “amber glow” to it that is just right. Not too dark or light. Great character in the “knots” too and lots of them! It’s also almost twice as thick as the 5/16″ thick panels commonly found in the big box stores now. I think it would be hard to duplicate this paneling using today’s materials. Plan is to use it “as-is, as found” without any sanding or re-finishing.

Can’t wait to install it and rub it down with it’s first coat of Liquid Gold polish. I love the smell of that stuff !

Hope you like the pictures.

Regards, 
Gerry C. from the Jersey Shore

I don’t like the pictures, Gerry — I love them! Thanks for sharing! And of course, we’d love to see photos of the paneling reinstalled when you are ready for prime time. Thanks so much for sharing!

Categoriesknotty pine
  1. Mary Porter says:

    I am having this installed in my soon to be sunroom of my 1955 ranch. Memories of the living room in my parents old house. My father put this up at some point in 1970. It aged to that rich dark honey. 2012 my mom passed. My sister donated the house to Habitat for Humanity. They gutted it. Offered me the boards. I couldn’t use them at that time. I now want to kick myself. This stuff needs to age. It needs love. Adore it…

  2. Alexander J McCartney says:

    Love to meet up with you Gary. I live in Cherry Hill and my Revco built-in refrigerator with pw-14 paneling that was severly damaged by a repairman. So I move to the basement so I can work on it later. I’m looking for the wiring diagram so I can find out what the fusable links amperage was. Anyways that not why I’m commenting. I picked up a Sub Zero to put in its place, but I can’t find the knotty pine to match for the doors. You have a picture with the wp-14 pattern. I would love if you still have it to get some boards from you or point me to a local that I can get them.

    Alexander McCartney

      1. Alexander McCartney says:

        Pam,
        I’ve used your article looking for the the correct pattern. IN fact your site was why I know my pattern number. Also learned that I have panels that are almost impossible to find. I love the look of the knotty pine kitchen. Also two walls in my dining/living room have them painted, it looks great. I just wish I can find some boards to make my kitchen look like it did.

        1. Pam Kueber says:

          I am not an expert, but think a wood-making company should be able to make you the profile you want if you have a sample they could work with… ?

            1. Tucker says:

              A mill shop can have a cutter made to match the profile either from a drawing or a wood sample. It is run on a
              wood shaper or a molding machine. The cost is having the cutter made and machine set up which would be a few hundred dollars depending on the type of machine. Then the cost of materials and running the machine
              Check around shops have cutters from previous jobs. I have a similar profile from years ago when I probably ran under 500 feet. Larger shops might have multiple similar profiles of this type
              Getting the proper wood depending on area if not paint grade could be another matter. I will look in my cutter cabinet to see what I have.

              1. Alexander McCartney says:

                I looked into milling, the place tlod me no problem then to make the blade by measuring the cabinet door without damaging it. Then I get a call 3 hours later, they wanted to cut one of my cabinet doors in half. Well that made me go get the door. The other issue is the white pine looks different now and would not match well, my best bet is to find old stock

    1. Christi Furth says:

      I have the same exact paneling in my basement in Roebling NJ. My house was built in 1959. I love it. It’s beautiful.

  3. Wendellyn says:

    When Mom and Dad built their house in 1959 they had knotty pine put in the kitchen and adjoining family room. My Mom was so upset the knotty pine was white she cried. The builder assured her that over time the wood change color. Boy did it! Over the next 40 years it became a wonderful honey color. Mom and Dad sold the farm in 1999 and I only hope the family kept the knotty pine.

  4. Barth says:

    Pickwick lives on! So glad to have this resource. I ordered a few sample boards from the resources list last year. Seemed odd to have to import boards from across the country. But all were, shall I say, a “spot on” match for the planking I had in my 1939 California house (random planking just like Gerry’s).. Now new features can be added seamlessly to match the original. Thank you all.

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