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Mystery printed cardboard wall surface

I'm working on fixing up an old house for sale that's been in our family for a while. The house was built in 1850 and I'm currently working on a room over the garage that used to be servants' quarters, which I'm guessing was finished between 1875-1900 or so. I wanted to paint the walls, so I set out to strip the wallpaper, only to discover that under six or so layers of paper is what looks like panels of printed cardboard covering the walls. Because it was the servants' quarters and cheaply finished, I'm worried that there's nothing good under there, and afraid to take it off.

I can take it down to this cardboard pretty cleanly--one thing it has going for it is that the paper comes right off of it--but I'm not sure what to do once I get there. Any suggestions? It isn't even a bedroom, just a sort of extra room in the back of the house, so I'd rather not break the bank on it, but I don't want to do a horrible job either. Does anyone even know what this stuff is?

Thanks in advance for any advice! It really has me worried.

Re: Mystery printed cardboard wall surface

It may be what they call "Beaver Board", which was a pressed pulp board. If you decide to paint I would suggest you use only oil based paint and primer.

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