Refurbishing Knotty Pine

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Topic by PJA posted 07-07-2008 11:17 PM 10546 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 5445 days

07-07-2008 11:17 PM

I’m looking for ideas on refinishing 45 year old Knotty Pine.

Currently I have a 700 sq. ft. cottage on a small lake in Northern Michigan. Over the next year and a half I hope to turn it into a 1500 sq. ft. home. I would like to save some of the Knotty Pine walls. I’m not looking for a Rustic look, still I want it to look like it belongs in “The Great White North”.

The original structure is 1 1/2 inch thick Knotty Pine. It was put out buy a local mill up there, I don’t think they sold many. The walls were never smooth planed and probably not as dry as they could have been. The boards are a little rough and sap continued to come out of some of the knots for years. Now it is dry but there are bubbles and runs of sap in places. I believe the wood was coated with Linseed Oil. It has dried out and in a few spots is even starting to gray slightly.

Over the weekend I took of one of the interior doors and started sanding. The paper clogged up real quick and it took over two hours to sand one side. I can’t imagine sanding several walls. Also as I sanded I ended up with old finsih in the planer marks which meant I need to sand it quite smooth to get it consistent. If I do that I lose all the color “patina”, which would be a shame.

I am thinking about trying a solvent to remove the finish and probably use steel wool in hopes of smothing the walls somewhat as I go along. If that doesn’t work it would seem my only alternative would be to sand and refinish.

I know a contractor would just cover the walls, the labor cost for what I want done would be ridicloulous. Well I want to save some of the look and I have more time than money (and not much time).

I would appreciate any suggestions.

What would a good solvent be to try striioping off the finish?

Am I missing any other options?

Suggestions on Finish.

View PaBull's profile


694 posts in 5487 days

07-11-2008 03:48 AM

Do you have any pictures to share and show?

I would choose a corner, out of the way and do a trial. First thing I would try is a stripper. With a stripper you might be able to keep the mill marks. Is there a local refinisher in town, who could help you?

For refinishing I would be interested to see how two coats tung oil sealer/finisher with two coats of oil base polyurithane would look. Maybe you have some old pine to try it on.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

121 posts in 5550 days

07-11-2008 04:41 PM

After your done with the sanding, I’d recommend sealing it with shellac, to prevent further bleeding of the sap.

-- ** Dick, & Barb Cain *************** http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/Chipncut

View AntonioL's profile


2 posts in 5139 days

05-20-2009 08:33 AM

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10 posts in 4615 days

11-03-2010 08:52 PM

By the way, is there a local refinisher in town?

-- aluminum decorative fences

View apsara's profile


2 posts in 3517 days

10-17-2013 10:34 AM

A simpler solution to update this problem is painting the surface. It will give you a new look and save you a lot of money in the end.

View homemquerajuda's profile


1 post in 2387 days

11-20-2016 01:15 PM

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20 posts in 1589 days

10-04-2020 11:38 AM

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1 post in 683 days

07-21-2021 01:55 AM

Knotty pine can be difficult to finish, I’d recommend clear pine to be able to finish like these floating shelves here:


View gtrboy77's profile


2 posts in 665 days

08-08-2021 02:43 AM

I’d hate if you had to use a chemical stripper to strip all of the knotty pine versus sanding, but that’s another option. I would refinish with either shellac or an oil just to keep it both natural and minimal chemicals.

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