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.

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. Molly says:

    This brings back sweet memories of my parents’ cottage at the Jersey Shore. My dad sold the house shortly before Hurricane Sandy. After the storm, the new owners had to remove all the damaged knotty pine but otherwise the house is intact. So glad that Gerry was able to rescue this treasure!

  2. Michaela says:

    I love to see others who appreciate the Knottypine! When I first bought my cabin 3 1/2 years ago I wrote into the site because I was so confused about how to decorate and fix it up. Many people were telling me to remove the pine or white wash it. I’m so glad I left it alone! All I did was oil oil oil. I hope to send in photos soon!

  3. Nikki says:

    So sad the original house got torn down, it was lovely! But I’m so glad you saved the knotty pine Gerry! It will look super in your room. Please send us pictures so we can admire your handiwork!

  4. Linda says:

    My home is full of paneling and i will never replace it. The middle of our home was originally built in 1930. In 1959 it was remodeled and three rooms contain paneling of cherry, Burch, and walnut. It is beautiful. I have the original tile baths with peach and mint green and one bath still has the original sink with metal legs. All the tubs and toilets are the mint green and peach. Don’t think I will ever remodel the baths as everyone loves seeing the original. Our home was actually on a Christmas tour of homes last year in our small town. Thanks for posting so many wonderful things on your site. Oh and yes, I have the original therm-adore cook top and oven. Love it! AND IT WORKS!!

  5. Mary Anne S says:

    I grew up in a modest ranch house in Eastern Oregon in the 50’s. The kitchen was knotty pine and the bedroom I shared with my sister had knotty pine wainscoting half way up the walls. When laying in bed at night before going to sleep I would look at the boards and tell myself stories about the designs I saw there. My family sold the house and it later burned to the ground, nothing left but our memories. I like knotty pine and think that people who have it in their homes are very lucky!

  6. PnutLaf says:

    Great Save! But, the funniest part about this post is all the Jersey Shore TV Series DVDs that pop-up next to the story. Snooki-Pine!

  7. Donna says:

    I have a knotty pine den in SC, and I laugh when i walk into the kitchen, because I have a “scream” knot face at the edge of the den into the kitchen. Two eyes, a nose, and a long “0” mouth. I can see the kids living here in the 60s, staying home from school, sick and lying on the couch in the den, being terrified of the face in the wall!!!

    seriously, though, great job in salvaging georgeous wood!

  8. Chris says:

    Our entire basement is finished in knotty pine. We have been painstakingly refinishing it, one area at a time, using old reclaimed boards torn out during other peoples’ remodels or, in one case, as part of the remodel of a big grange hall. I bought a planer and a set of router bits to re-cut the V-tongue and groove edges. It’s a lot of work but well worth it.

  9. Chris says:

    It’s such a breath of fresh air to see there are people like Gerry who recognize the value in old panelling and go to great lengths to save it (and who don’t want to paint it white!)
    Good luck with your project Gerry

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