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.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.