1906 Wallpaper discovered under paint layers

StoneHouseGuyJanuary 21, 2014

We're in our new old house (circa 1906) since Thanksgiving and spent some time since Christmas (now and then) scraping the wallpaper off the music room.

From what I can tell there were 3 layers of paint on the original wallpaper in the room. The paper was pasted directly onto the raw plaster so I get to see the room as it was shortly after the house was built - that's exciting to me. Some lifted off dry in huge sheets the glue was so dried up. I also can see how the wood trim in the room was installed unfinished and then stained and finished in place since some of the stain overlapped onto the plaster.

I wondered if I could ever see what the original paper looked like. So I tried soaking a large sheet overnight in plain water. The next morning, to my surprise, I was able to lift off a fairly large segment of the paper from the sheet of paint - maybe I'm lucky it was all latex.

The paper is like craft paper - unfinished - and has a block or cylinder printed (more likely) white paisley-scroll-like design. Pretty exciting find!

Here is a link that might be useful: Stone Shack

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Very interesting.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

I see that all the time in my business. Did the original installer write his name and date on the wall? I have seen some interesting comments written under paper

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 2:24AM
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Christophern, no such luck. There are 2 wall areas, about 4 x 10 feet, where the paper was already take off (which pose the biggest challenge for me to skim coat since they are covered over with sand paint, ugh) and anything written there is lost forever.

The most interesting thing found under the paper was on the backside of one edge I found the pattern number. No manufacturer name. With so many manufacturers of paper such as this around at the turn of the 20th century, and as indescript as the pattern is, I highly doubt I would ever find out who made it.

The funniest thing I found under the paper, written on the plaster was the addition notation: 37 1/2 + 4 = 41 1/2 ... I guess not everyone is a math whiz ...

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

I am no math wiz either but if I can add anything on 10 fingers, I don't have to write it down :-)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 5:40PM
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That's amazing. Fun find. I actually like the color and design.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 8:45PM
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I agree what a fun find!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:41AM
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It is a pretty paper! We had 7 layers of wall paper covered up with paint, then wall board, more wall paper and more paint. I was able to save a square foot of the original wall paper when I removed all the layers, but it is dulled and yellowed. I left it on the wall behind a stand-alone cupboard. It was once a very nice arts & crafts styled paper. It was fun to see all the different papers through out the life of the house. The most current paper looked to be from the 1940s.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:49PM
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What a pretty design! It's fun to find stuff like that. We uncovered at least six different patterns of wallpaper in our 138 y.o. home. I took photos, and occasionally browse through vintage wallpaper selections online to see if I find any of them.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:10PM
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lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b

Frame it and display it. I wish I would have taken a piece off when I was remodeling. It's back inside a wall now. One of several things I wish I would have done differently.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 7:40PM
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What fun! I framed pieces of wall paper found when I stripped and repaired walls.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 5:33PM
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It's just beautiful!!!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:44PM
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We found old wallpaper in our house as well when we were remodeling. The original house was built in 37. We pulled enough off to frame in a picture frame to save it. The wallpaper had a cloth backing and was actually nailed up with the cloth.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:53AM
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