1890s home built with beadboard on walls and ceilings.
The house was remodeled (probably in the 20s 0r 30s), cheezecloth with thousands of tacks was installed over the beadboard in preparation for wallpaper.
How do I remove these thousands of tacks without splintering the beadboard...a powerful magnet:confused:?
It'll be tedious but to leave the beadboard there, you'll need some pliers and a tack puller. I would use both a pair of needle nosed pliers and a pair of side cutters (called dikes) to grab the tacks after you get them started out of the wall with the tack puller.
Some tack pullers look like a screwdriver with a forked end on them while others are like little crowbars. I would also use a painter's sc****r. It's a flat piece of steel with a sc****r on one end and a "L" shaped end on the other. Cost: about $6-$9. I use mine so much, I have two. It was one of the first tools I bought as a carpenter's apprentice, in 1973.
You lay it flat on the wall before prying anything. Put the pliers or tack puller against the sc****r lying flat on the wall, then pry. It'll protect the wood from further damage.
Then you'll need to putty the holes. I'd use Durham's Rock Hard Putty. Fill the holes and let the patch stand taller than the face of the wood surface. It'll shrink as it dries and you don't want to have to fill the holes twice. It's easier to sand off the extra putty with a rubber sanding block, before painting.
I'd suggest priming the walls before the finish coat, to make the surface more even, with all the patching and dents that will be there.