Not quite true. The trees haven't changed - what we are willing to
settle for has. As long as they send the good lumber overseas to people
who won't settle for crap, we'll continue to get the leftovers here.
Back in the 50,s my father built a cottage on lake Puckaway in Wisconsin. I
remember the beautiful knotty pine walls(t&g) with the varnish finish. Lots
of knots and a reddish yellow tint. It was something I have never seen
again. It was truly some of the most beautiful wood I have ever seen.
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More true than not true. The cheap and easy old-growth stuff has been
largely cut down here in the lower 48, and you now have to haul it from
Canada, and eventually, Siberia, once they get their act together. The
old-growth that is left is largely in areas that aren't easily loggable,
and/or protected from logging. Try buying clear-grain pine for trim
sometime. (Forget about redwood). All you'll find is finger-joint, unless
cash is no object. I could cry thinking about all the 3-4 foot scraps that I
threw on the burn pile as a kid. Who knew? Any more, I would squirrel those
away for window and cabinet trim repairs. Increased durability isn't the
only reason that faux wood made from sawdust and pop bottles has caught on
for trim work- real wood good enough to not warp in a year has gotten damn
I visited northern Europe last year, on the edge of the former USSR, and
positively drooled over the truckloads of lumber I saw heading into the
pallet and crate plants. Due to lack of a functioning market system, a lot
of their forests basically have lain fallow for 50+ years, and weren't
heavily logged before that. Their equivilant of a 2x10, a little thicker and
wider because of metric, is some damn nice looking lumber. I'd love to get a
couple seatrain boxes worth over here for household projects. T&G interior
paneling is dirt-common, and has almost no knots. They usually let it go
naked, or at most, put a clear sealer on it.
1) You can cut the knots out with a hole saw and glue in a piece of
non-knotty pine. Sort of like a dutchman or those 'footballs'
they use to replace knots on the 'B' side of B-C plywood.
2) You can seal the knots well with shellac and then paint them
with some sort of opaque paint that is closer to the color of
the surrounding wood. Artist's oil paints would give you the
latittude to blend what you need. If you want to get really fancy
and spend the time doing it you can match the grain too.
3) You can veneer over the underlying wood. But the knots may
bulge under the veneer.
It sounds like the cabinets are unfinished. The gnots (g is silent)
will stand out more against the whiter wood. Once the cabinets are
finished with something a little darker, like the honey pine color, you
may find the knots (k is also silent for some reason) less obtrusive.
Only one way to find out.
Post a link to some pictures and let's see what we're talking about.
Here is a suggestion! One that goes to your question, does not involve
starting over, cutting out the knots, nots or gnots or painting.
You could wash a glaze or a thinned out paint over them. This look is in
right now. The kilz thinned may actually do it. You could even tint it a
bit. Wash down the cabinets with the glaze, waterd down paint or thinned
kilz. Not too much or you will mask the wood grain. Remember, you can
easily add more glaze, removing will be a bitch. Try some scraps first
to find what you like. Once done varnish over the glaze and you are done.
Here is a link to a company that puts different finishes on knotty pine
cabinets. They use glaze or stain or both with probably a lacquer top
The one in the link above I was thinking about before I found the link
is what they called finish natural, glaze white.
good luck and post some before and after pictures on a website.
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The most practical solution is to paint them to blend with the rest of
the wood. How many doors are there? How many have too many knots? You
might be more pleased, in the long run, to put laminate on the doors.
Not horribly expensive.
I'm gonna have to get back to read all posts, but before I do: I sand/poly a
pic table every year. Last year before I polied I wiped Lacquer thinner over
the bare pine where there was blackening from water exposure. Maybe it was
the sun, but it definetely bleached it white. It was like a full makeover!
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