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Curse be upon those who paint over knotty pine walls!

Some beef I have against modernists

By Amber KelliherPublished 4 years ago 3 min read
...with the right decor, you can make knotty pine work wonderfully.

Curse be unto those who paint over knotty pine walls, cabinets, and furniture! Honestly, how can anyone want to cover up such beautiful wood? Such a setting, I would think, would make any room feel more like... well, home. But these days, I guess people have a different interpretation of what they would call “home.”

Now I’m not against painting drywall if it’s already plain. Also, keep in mind when I say “paint over knotty wood,” I don’t mean glazing the wood with a dark glossy finish. In fact, I actually like the look up touched up wood over unfurnished wood. That being said, you shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken (I’m looking at you, Disney!) My grandparents’ den was covered in knotty wood walls, and we loved it. I get it, some people think that the look would cramp their style. I also understand that sometimes too much knotty wood can be a bit overwhelming... but with the right decor, you can make knotty pine work wonderfully.

For instance, the stuff my grandparents brought back from Germany really gives the den an old home-like quality. With the addition of the organ, it almost feels like the inside of the cottage of the seven dwarves. I mean, if you really have such an issue with knotty wood covering the entire walls, you can always do what our neighbors did, and cut the top half of the wood to expose the wall behind while keeping the knotty wood at the bottom half (as seen in the picture taken in our downstairs bathroom).

Another way you can make use of a wooden walled room (or half wooden at the least) is with some retro styled furniture. It’s great especially for those going for a 60’s or 70’s style. Of course, if your really outdoorsey, you can add some fake (or real) deer heads on the walls of your cabin styled living room to compliment the log furnishings you’ve got. (Just be sure to keep the beavers out, ha ha!)

So why cover such a lovely wall with an opaque coat of paint, especially white paint? After all, there’s a chance you won’t be keeping that house, and all you’ll do by painting over the pine is just decrease the value of the house. Who knows? Someone else might move in and dislike the paint job you did, and that could be hard to get rid of. Sure, painting a room white can brighten up the place, but for anyone who has light sensitivity issues, it can be nothing more than an eyesore. I would wonder if people ever take that into consideration when painting over wood? It’s honestly better just to trim half of the wood walls even though that’s technically damaging a huge chunk of it. It still looks more natural than painting over it, (not that anyone truly cares about a natural look anymore).

It’s not just knotty pine they ruin, either. People will paint over brick, and anything else they deem as something in need of a “makeover.” (Don’t even think about painting over mahogany! You might cover up its nice aroma.) People won’t hesitate to tear off carpets, too, even though that won’t make any stained floors beneath it look any better. I swear, people have such bland taste these days, and here I’m a millennial! Modernization has taken over not just architecture, but everything else in between, from fashion to media. Now I’m not saying all forms of modernization are bad. A lot of new technology is more helpful than many things that came before it. It’s no wonder everybody’s shifting towards a more futuristic setting. It seems all best things of old will soon be left in the dust, and that makes me sad.

Again, stylistically speaking, modernism doesn’t suit everyone and everything. Generic has taken on a whole new meaning. Whether you think of modern in terms of futuristic or urban, either thought can be just as bland. We’ve gone from natural looks to bright colors to whitewashing (in a literal sense) in just a matter of decades. Some may think of the new look as timeless, but I see it as nothing short of generic.

I do hope there are still some people out there who can appreciate old-fashioned treasures, even as simple as knotty pine walls and furniture. In many cases, it is already too late. Any new city-goers can keep their modern homes, (and postmodern for that matter). As for myself, give me a good classic home with trees all around! I hope this article made you rethink your decision to paint over that wooden wardrobe you have. You may learn to appreciate it as it is years from now.


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    Amber KelliherWritten by Amber Kelliher

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