Knotty pine paneling that has turned orange
Restoring knotty pine paneling that has turned orange over the years is a difficult job, but it’s possible.


Linda in Tennessee wants to lighten the knotty pine paneling in her 1960s home. This is because the varnish, over the years, has caused it to turn orange.

She doesn’t want to paint her paneling, but she does want to freshen it up a little bit. There’s just one problem: It looks like the shellac, or varnish, has stained the knotty pine over the years. Linda’s just not sure what to do about it.

Knotty pine paneling has so many grooves, so the orange / yellowish varnish has certainly penetrated deep into the wood. In fact, if you take one of the pictures off the wall, it probably looks much different underneath, compared to the uncovered paneling.

Applying a chemical stripper to all of Linda’s knotty pine paneling, and sanding the surfaces, would help, but it would still be very hard to remove the orange / yellowish varnish from all of the grooves.

A great solution would be to try an environmentally safe, non-toxic citrus stripper called CitriStrip before staining the wood to brighten up the room.

The only other option — that would preserve the knotty pine — is to sand everything down, get down to the bare wood, and bleach the walls.

A popular alternative is to paint the wood. However, that’s only an option for homeowners who want a simple fix, and don’t mind covering up the paneling’s character.

But if you like the look of unfinished knotty pine, there’s just one thing to do: start stripping and sanding!

Listen to the embedded audio clip above for the full answer!

Read the blog from the Feb. 1 show and listen to the full broadcast here.

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Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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