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Restoring Burlap Walls

our 1903 foursquare's front parlor has the walls covered in burlap. I'm reluctant to remove an original fabric, but the burlap has been torn away in some places and is pulling away from the wall in center. is there anyway to remove the paint, secure the burlap, and/or patch it?

i've considered taking it down and replacing it with burlap wallpaper if there isn't a way to save it.

Re: Restoring Burlap Walls

Unless there's an overriding reason to save the original, removal and re-papering is the easiest way to go when more extensive repairs are needed.

Re: Restoring Burlap Walls

Canvas and burlap were hung even on brand new plaster back a hundred years ago. It prevented the hairline cracks that plaster often had. It also allowed the canvas and all subsequent coats of paint to be pulled off cleanly, thus removing a heavy paint build up.

If the plaster underneath is in good condition, you can just clean the paste off the wall, patch and paint. You might also consider hanging new wallcoverings such as commercial textured canvas. The textured surface does make a nice back-drop for showcasing artwork. All the walls in the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago have heavy canvas on them which has been painted over.

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