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Let's talk a little more about "pecky" cypress, shall we? — 22 Comments

  1. VERY clever how you came up with the idea of painting through the knots. Funny! I adore all the wood in the house. Y’all are working like mad dogs in this heat. Be careful.

    Thanks, K! We are working hard, but the AC is working, too!

  2. I need to clarify that these trees were not cut down by anyone at one time or another. They were all put down by Mother Nature from winds or high water causing the land around them to erode. When the water comes up they will go anywhere that the current takes them.

    That is the case with these particular trees. However, there are many reclaimed logs that were cut and strayed from the lumbermen. Thanks for clearing that up, DS!

  3. I love your blog. I learn something new every visit! You could also argue that you are buying local, making a smaller carbon footprint in your remodeling!

    Thanks, Emilie! I was thinking about you the other day. Don’t you have wee ones at home? In diapers, maybe? I was thinking of how frugal I had to be when mine were tiny, and I even learned to make my own baby wipes, as I had two in diapers and we went through them like crazy! And I wondered if anyone who reads my blog is interested in that sort of thing these days! Everything is so easy and disposable now, but it doesn’t mean that those conveniences are cheap!

  4. Hi Wendy,
    Luv your cypress and the story. We have pecky cypress wainscoting in the living room and as cover for our fire place. Cypress boards came from an old general store we tore down. It sure gives a lot of character to a room.

    Now isn’t that interesting? Cypress reclaimed and recycled from an old general store. Was it in Houma? Tell me more!

  5. Wendy,
    The old store was Savoie’s General Merchandise located on the corner of Bayou Blue (Hwy 316) and 182. The store was built around 1910. It closed around 1975 and a few years later we, along with some others, tore it down. A Mobile station took it’s place, that closed, and now its another type gas station.

    The boards were so dirty, our sons sand blasted them before we put them up. Three coats of poly dressed it up and it’s been on our walls since 1987.

    That old store was a piece of history for this community. Many area high school boys had their first after school job in that store including my husband.

    Thanks for the history lesson, Cyn. This is so good to know, and you have kept a piece of that history alive in your home. That is so cool!

  6. I saw your add and want you to know that I Have lot of peckey on hand now, if anyone is looking to buy you can call me at 7one6 seven1 three seven4 seven5 jim

  7. I have 4 pecky cypress barn doors ( 4’x8′)they have been painted over for probably 80+ years. Any thoughts on how to remove the paint and get down to the wood?

    • Ahoy Greg! I know just the stuff, “Circa 1850” – designed for removing paint & varnish from antique furniture and the like. Had some experience with it when I had to remove 50+ year old paint from a 100+ year old textured glass window! The company makes two versions o’ this, regular and “soft strip” – both are biodegradable without the usual harsh chemicals.
      https://is.gd/dmvicX check out the rest of their 1850 products: http://www.swingpaints.com/brand/circa

    • In my experience with using reclaimed Pecky cypress that has been painted is that it is very difficult to remove the paint from Pecky cypress because the grain is so porous and the paint pretty much absorbs into the grain. You would never be able to send the paint completely off. I also doubt that any kind of paint removing products would restore the lumber either.

  8. Girl, you are the consummate professional of cypress! So lemme ask this: I’m eyeing a 1970s mid-century brick house with an exterior pecky cypress accent wall. It must have been hugely popular during that time period as I’ve seen three mid-mod soft contemporaries in this area all sporting pecky. Tragically, the former owners painted it. It looks pretty horrible and I won’t even consider the house if I can’t restore it. Since the paint was applied somewhere in the last 30 years, is it a candidate for power washing? If so, what precautions must I take to keep from wrecking it?

    Thanks!
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy and welcome. I hate to dispute you, but I’m far from a professional of cypress! I just really love the stuff! If you would scroll up in this comment thread, you will see an exchange between Greg’s comment and replies by me and a Capt. John Swallow. Capt. Swallow recommends a product he’s used in the past. I have no experience with those products, but I think it’s worth looking into. In my opinion, you must consider just how “pecky” the cypress is. The bigger the striations and the more open the grain, the more difficult it will be to remove paint from the crevices. I think the least invasive thing to try first would be pressure washing, but it’s only a semi-educated guess, because I also have no experience with pressure washing pecky. I think experimenting with a small, discreet section would be advisable. If pressure washing removes the outer layer of paint, then maybe a power sander would then take the siding down to the wood grain. Again, just how “pecky” is it? As I stated, I am NO expert, and I’ve put a call into my “reclaimed cypress” expert and waiting for his answer. He has about 30 years experience with reclaiming cypress of all kinds, and I will defer to his knowledge. So, if you can wait a bit, I will come back here and tell you what he advises or email you privately. How does that sound?

      • Hey, BW–thanks for the prompt response! Re the peckiness of the wood, crevices are deep and probably deeper than I realize, given that there is paint in ’em. Might Capt. Swallow’s treatment followed by gentle power washing do the trick? But no hurry on your reply, luv; I’m just grateful for your help! Thanks so much for calling your expert. My email is (edit: included when posting)
        BTW, have you ever see pecky with partially removed paint? I have to wonder whether this looks trendy and hip or SAD–the house is, after all, mid-century modern and that period treasures unpainted surfaces. I’m inclined to think the answer is SAD!

        Thanks again.
        Kathy

        • Ahoy Kathy! While I don’t have specific experience with Pecky Cyprus and the Circa 1850 product, I did happen to use the product on surface with many bumps & crevices and it worked well. I believe your idea would work well, with one (or two) additional thoughts…I would give it a quick powerwash first to remove any loose bits of paint/dirt. Then use a rough sponge or brush to apply the Circa 1850 so that it better seeps into the pecky bits. Ye can even brush it a bit once it’s on the boards to make sure it makes good contact (perhaps a ‘shop broom’ would be best for this).
          As BW mentioned, I would still try it on a small area, cover it in the product, let it sit for a bit (it’s reasonably thick), then powerwash it. At least the powerwash will get into the cracks!

          • Cap’n John, it all sounds good! Still debating the property purchase; worried that I will leave the pecky looking worse than before. But hey, nothing is worse than paint on pecky, right? I’ll definitely post pix if the purchase and restoration come to pass. And many thanks!

  9. We purchased a home built in 1958; one of the bedrooms is paneled with pecky cypress. The wood is natural with maybe a protective coat of poly or something similar. I don’t think it has ever been cleaned and all the little nooks and crannies are dusty. Any recommendations on how to clean the paneling?

    • Hi Linda and welcome to the bayou. I’m sure you tried a narrow nozzle on a strong vacuum? A toothbrush, either damp or dry. It will be tedious! I know, it’s hard to clean, but I wish you the best of luck with this. Thanks for stopping by! BW

  10. I need to know how to wash dust and dirt out of pecky cypress boards inside house? Never been stained of treated with anything. In den and beams on ceilings

    • Well, you’re not the only one to ask this question. Nobody knows for certain, but if the wood is sturdy, I’d used some kind of bristle brush. If they’re fragile, try a stiff paint brush! Good luck!

    • Do ye have a “shop vac”? Most o’ these have a reverse option (usually involves plugging the hose in the “exhaust” end). That with a nozzle attachment (and safety goggles…maybe a face mask or bandanna) usually gets little bits out o’ tight areas…ye can then sweep/swiffer up the debris.

  11. The great room in my home, originally built by my uncle in the 1950’s (can’t get more mid-century)is paneled with pecky cypress, with cathedral ceiling beams wrapped in it as,well. My uncle pickled the wood way back when, and the result 60 years later is lovely. The grain, the holes, the pale honey gray is truly besutiful. Funny thing is that my house, which gives the feeling of a hunting lodge in the mountains, is about 35 miles from New York City. We’ll be selling the house soon to retire mid-Atlantic & we truly hope the next family will appreciate the beauty of this cabin in the woods feel and the beauty of the pecky cypress. Thank you for telling its’ story.

    • Welcome to the bayou, Susan, and thank you so much for reading about my experience with pecky cypress. However, if you’d have asked me if I thought they had this in NY, I would have thought a second and said no!! How special that your uncle saw the beauty in this raw resource and used it in his home. I’m sure you’re sad to leave it behind but also certain you’ve enjoyed it all the while being there. All the best to you in your relocation and retirement. BW

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