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August 6, 2010

MCM Home Improvement: Interior Plywood Paneling

By Sablemable aka Jan

Last winter I bought a book on Ebay called Home Owners’ Catalogs that has a load of manufacturers products from Pittsburgh Paints, Youngstown and Crane, just to mention a few.  The book, published in 1952, was designed to aid owners building “custom” homes.

Interior paneling has been around for a while and although it’s been used in MCM homes, I have been a bit reluctant to use it outside of basements and sunrooms.  Then I looked at the pictures in the section featuring Weldwood Plywood.   Take a look and see if these don’t inspire you to panel!

I adore this gray color paneling in walnut and birch combinations!


For Colonial decor, paneling is used in the dining room.

Look at this basement!  Love the red accents with the blonde paneling!  Those are playing cards added to the paneling.

This kitchen takes 1st Prize with me!

Here’s another combination of paneling that I think looks fantastic.

I noticed that the panel colors were mainly the gray and blonde finishes, but, hey!  That’s what was in vogue back in the early Fifties and I my personal preference is blonde or natural wood colors.

Weldwood is apparently out of business or was bought out by another company, but Georgia-Pacific has some nice paneling, real and manufactured which you can see at www.gp.com.  Murphy Woods was another site found during a search and they have a beautiful selection of panels.  Visit their site at www.murphyplywood.com.    I’m certain Lowe’s and Home Depot has plenty of  paneling, but not on their websites. 

After reading up on interior paneling, I am considering using some in my kitchen.  Do you currently have any interior paneling in your MCM home or are you thinking of adding it, readers?

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8 Responses to MCM Home Improvement: Interior Plywood Paneling

  1. Andrea Reply

    August 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

    We have paneling in our basement, however previous owners painted over it, it may just remain painted unless if we come up with a better idea. However, we also have the most interesting wood paneling on the stairs going down to the basement. I don’t know how to describe it well, but it’s got a really interesting texture to it, and something about it just screams out “Tiki!” to me. I utterly love it, and wouldn’t ever change it.

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm


    I really like paneling too, and think the effect can be quite nice – sort of warm and homey feeling. I prefer the blonde/natural paneling like you Sable! I don’t have any in my current house, but I’m hoping to find a house with some in it! 🙂 You should totally use paneling in your kitchen girl!!!

  3. sablemable Reply

    August 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Andreaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should send us a photo of the paneling!

    Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! I was just over at the house looking over the kitchen walls and visualizing paneling.

  4. RetroRuth Reply

    August 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Umm…Sable, there had better be some more scans coming from that book! I am totally excited to see all of that stuff!!!

    We had light-colored paneling in our library, but it was painted over by the previous owner. We painted over it again with a light “wood” color and it looks cute now. We also have really dark paneling in our three season porch. Love both spaces, and wouldn’t change them at all!! Great post, Sable!

  5. Miri Reply

    August 7, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I grew up with paneling in our den (TV room) and I hate to say it but I’m not a fan. I think it made the room feel even smaller than it was so I’d suggest only think paneling in a large space.

  6. sablemable Reply

    August 7, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuth! I promise you will see more from the book! And why people paint over paneling I’ll never know.

    Miri! In my current home there is dark paneling in the family room that makes the room look smaller. The basement is done in a light finish which looks good.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      August 7, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      I agree that dark paneling can make a space look smaller, but I actually like the dark in our three season porch. It is balanced out by a lot of windows, a bright white ceiling and a white accent wall. I think moderation is the key with dark paneling.

  7. Judy Reply

    September 10, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I know this is a really old post so you may not even see it but we have a 1949 MCM home with the original wood paneling by Weldwood in some of the rooms. We’re in the process of tearing off the plaster put over some of the other walls (in 1971) to reveal more of the wood. We’re pleasantly surprised what good shape it’s under the plaster although we will need to plug the nail holes and do some refinishing. I love the look of the wood. I say go for it!

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