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Cloth covered walls

Posted by K Sarratt on January 12th, 2000 09:31 PM

We are buying an old home that was built in 1937. We plan to
restore it, but we have a question before we can start on the walls.
All the walls in the home are covered with wallpaper that has some
type of cloth behind it. It appears that the cloth was nailed to
the wall, and the wallpaper was adhered to the cloth. The surfaces
of the walls are constructed of wood slats (there is no plaster nor
anything else between the wood slats and the cloth). Have you ever
seen anything like that before? Does anyone still make the same type
of materials (cloth to hang underneath the wallpaper to make it hang
smoothly)? We haven't been able to find anything like it, so I'm
hoping you can help.

Do you have any ideas on how we can replace the wallpaper without
having lines show through (from the spaces between the slats)?
We had thought of "mudding" over the wood slats to fill in the spaces
and create a smooth surface, but we weren't sure if that would be a wise
idea. Do you know of a better way to do it--how to do it the way it
was originally done, or any other way? We would like to preserve the
home's original character as much as possible, so we do not want to use
drywall. We also want to avoid doing anything that will "hurt" the
house or decrease its value.

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