American Chestnut Substitute

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Forum topic by BetTheFarm posted 04-01-2011 04:37 PM 5495 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2671 days

04-01-2011 04:37 PM

Hello all,

I am fortunate enough to live in a Victorian home that is decorated with American Chestnut millwork – trim, raised-panel wainscoting, doors, etc. Of course, since the house is nearly 120 years old, there are some pieces that are in need of repair or are missing altogether.

Since American Chestnut is no longer available, I may have to use a different species to mill replacement moulding, etc. Could anyone recommend another species of wood that would finish like Chestnut (all of the woodwork is currently shellacked).

Thanks for your advice!

6 replies so far

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2663 days

#1 posted 04-01-2011 05:04 PM

Try Googleing: reclaimed wood chestnut. You should get a number of sites that have reclaimed chestnut available.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 04-01-2011 10:59 PM

Hey Bet, have you got a picture of your wood?

-- Life is good.

View BetTheFarm's profile


15 posts in 2671 days

#3 posted 04-01-2011 11:46 PM

I was trying to avoid purchasing reclaimed Chestnut since most of it is “wormy”. It is also expensive, and I need several long, narrow pieces for baseboard trim. It’s hard to find that dimension on the reclaimed market as far as I can tell.

Here are two pics of some of the woodwork. The floors are Southern Pine and the stair treads are Oak

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2656 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 04-02-2011 02:01 PM

Have you thought of Poplar with a Chestnut stain?(see the sofa table in my projects) I’ve had very good results with it. Just be sure and use a blotch control. With a little experiment you could probably mix chestnut with a little mahogany to get the color right. Sand to 220.

-- Life is good.

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


244 posts in 3947 days

#5 posted 04-02-2011 02:40 PM

Butternut is very good substitute for chestnut although a little on the soft side. But there is lots of chestnut out there yet. A friend of mine found a stash of virgin chestnut couple years ago. never had a nail in it.the most exciting part was when we found a stack of 6/4×18 to 22 in 18 ’ planks of Clear chestnut hidden in amongst it. He still has most of it. Started with around 15,000 bd ft. What a find

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3076 days

#6 posted 04-03-2011 06:07 AM

Ash with the right stain would nearly be a dead ringer for chestnut, plus it would be considerably harder.
To say nothing about cheaper.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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