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Weird wall covering over plaster and lathe

I'm starting to decide how to renovate (paint, some trim work, maybe change a wall or two) my 1910 home and ran across this stuff in the photo.

It's about 5 or 6 layers of brown paper. None of the paper has a patter on it that I can find. It is like butcher paper or something I guess it -could- be wall paper but I'm not seeing the pattern. On top of that it is covering the ceiling, too. The stuff is everywhere downstairs under the paint. The paint looks horrible so it all has to be removed.

Of course some of the plaster is the consistency of sand so that will be repaired, but I am very curious what this stuff is. I've never seen it before. Any ideas?

(It has to be removed because there are clear lines (like wallpaper overlapping) that are visible and drive me crazy because I can't just paint over it)

Ok well nevermind. For the second time in a row no matter what I do I cannot add photo attachments to this forum.

Maybe from the description someone knows what it is:

Plaster, then paint (two coats) then what looks like 5 or 6 coats of thin brown paper, then more paint. It's the thin brown paper I can't identify and it is clearly some kind of old commercial product as it is covering the walls and ceiling.

And if anyone can help me upload photos I'd appreciate it. I can upload to anywhere else on the internet.

Re: Weird wall covering over plaster and lathe

I believe what you have is a wallpaper underlayment known as blankstock. It's a heavy, coarse paper made of groundwood, sometimes used to smooth out rough walls (though a bridging liner is better for that purpose) before installing wallpaper, but more often to provide uniform adhesion and drying of the final coat of wallpaper.

I'm guessing that the plaster was cracking or was applied with a prominent texture, and someone wanted a clean, smooth wall so used that and just painted over it.

Re: Weird wall covering over plaster and lathe

Fencepost is correct it is an underlayment.
When applied over plaster if in a high moist area it will cause the plaster to fail.
Areas where failure will start is at the seems of the paper , under windows and around air vents.
Failure could take as long as 20 / 30 years depending on the moisture.
You need to remove it and repair the plaster.

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