Re-using 1970’s Paneling

As I have mentioned in previous posts I live in a home that is about 100 years old.  Although there have been only 4 different owners throughout the homes existence there has been a number of ‘alterations’.  My home still has some of its original 10” baseboards, crown molding and leaded windows but a lot of the homes original features have been changed.  Mind you updated wiring, plumbing, windows and insulation are great changes.  We (hubby and me) have probably done the most changes to the home but a lot of those were necessary.  Every owner wants to put their personal style into the home so sometime in the ‘70’s all the walls on the main and 2nd floor had paneling applied to them.  Not cherry or gumwood but the ‘cheesy’ kind so well-known for the ‘70’s.  In the ‘90’s another owner decided to wallpaper over all the paneling but first had every single groove in the paneling plastered over to give the wallpaper a smooth finish.  Not an easy or inexpensive task.   When we finally became the homeowners we initially painted every single paneled/plastered/wallpapered wall but slowly, room by room we started to tackle the job of gutting the walls.  This allowed us to start putting some insulation into the house, to update the wiring and add new drywall.  Upon removal of the cheesy ‘70’s paneling we discovered that on the back side the paneling was made of mahogany!  Can you imagine, one of the more valuable wood species in the world that has always been associated with fine furnishings was degraded to cheesy paneling?  It seemed such a waste to dispose of this ‘outstanding’ paneling especially since mahogany trees are now endangered.  We kept these sheets of paneling and have since been using them to make items like my built-in desk.  Isn’t it amazing when you scratch beneath the surface what you may find?



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