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Old time board ceiling

Working on 1920's house on bathroom ceiling covered by boards, then cheesecloth tacked up, the paper similar to wall paper for a finish coat. Currenty cracked, torn, and needs replacement.

Any tips from folks who have been thru this process? I have found cheesecloth, and wall lining paper. Would appreciate any tips on process, best paste to use, and the whole process if
you have the time and inclination.

Re: Old time board ceiling

The technique used unbleached muslin, put up wet (with millions of tiny tacks) which when dry shrunk taut. It could then be sized and papered.

Re: Old time board ceiling

Unless you are trying to maintain a museaum piece, why do you want to restore it? I would just cover it up with drywall!

However, should you want to stay with the boards and wallpaper, there is a heavy wallpaper liner paper which could be pasted to the ceiling. Such liners are very stiff, almost like cardboard. Wallpaper can then be hung upon it.

Re: Old time board ceiling

thanks for the replies ordjen & Sombreuil_mongrel
The house owners want to match the rest of the house, with ceilings already covered this original way. Additional questions:
1. Any reason I can't attach cheesecloth with narrow staples?
2. How close should each staple/tack be placed to each other?
2.5 How long should cheesecloth be allowed to dry, before pro-
ceeding to apply wall liner.
3. What is sizing that was mentioned?
4. Wall lining provided by paint/paper store is on a roll and I
plan to apply with good grade paste as any wallpaper.

Anything else I need to do, know, watch out for?

Re: Old time board ceiling


The guys who had first hand knowledge of this process have probably been dead for 40 years! Sombreuil seems to have more knowledge than I about the process. "Size", at least as used during wallpapering on plaster, consisted of rolling a thin layer of watered down wallpaper paste to the wall to give additional "tack" or adhesion to the very slick plaster wall. In the context of the muslin, I am not sure what is meant. Muslin would be very porous, not slick. Perhaps it is to give body to the loose weave fabric.

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