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Misty Walnut panelling sold in the millions of board feet.1950 - New Hardboard Products
In 1952, Masonite laid plans for the complete conversion of its hardboard output.
Following the expiry of Mason's original patents, ordinary hardboard was now being overproduced. So - always ahead of the competition - Masonite developed a method of converting plain board into a universal range of prefinished products.
Innovative products of the dayAt the time, higher priced wall panels were being sold in large quantities. So Masonite correctly deduced that mass produced, less expensive alternatives should sell even better. Masonite was right.
Neither 'misty' nor 'walnut'
Above: Laurel plant in 1929Masonite developed a simple grey grained panel which it named Misty Walnut. It was neither 'misty' nor 'walnut' but sold in enormous quantities.
This success led to the development of improved grain finishes with more aesthetically pleasing panels. Colour Laurel plant in 1975was introduced when research found that the consumer was more interested in colour than grain. Thus the prefinished panel family grew in variety and volume. So much so that soon consumers found it hard to tell the Masonite reproductions from natural woods and veneers.
Over the next few years, prefinished panels soared in popularity and resulted in Masonite rapidly expanding to keep abreast of demand producing new and more innovative products to remain ahead of the competition.
It wasn't long before Masonite introduced textured surfaces combined with 'natural' grains - a finish that was to prove immensely popular and which would ultimately lead to the development of the moulded door facing.

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