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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Exclamation Mystery Wall

    My fiance and i are moving into my great uncles who had passed away years ago. The entire house has the dark brown wood paneling, except for in the upstairs room. The walls in this room are not flat or smooth, they aren't even "hard". My aunt mentioned something about "oil clothe", i've never heard of it and was wondering if it is possibly to take down the "soft" wall and put up drywall to make it look better. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: Mystery Wall

    Omnarg,

    Sounds like you might have a product we used to call "beaverboard". It is a very fibrous wood product. It was a cheap way to cover walls. It could be painted and look a lot better than a totally unfinished attic.

    At a minimun, I would open an exploratory hole and see what is behind this board. My guess is that you will find little or no insulation - all the more reason to tear it down.

    If it is beaverboard, it is very easy to tear down. It has very little structural strength, readily breaking apart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,481

    Default Re: Mystery Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by ordjen View Post
    Omnarg,

    Sounds like you might have a product we used to call "beaverboard". It is a very fibrous wood product. It was a cheap way to cover walls. It could be painted and look a lot better than a totally unfinished attic.

    At a minimun, I would open an exploratory hole and see what is behind this board. My guess is that you will find little or no insulation - all the more reason to tear it down.

    If it is beaverboard, it is very easy to tear down. It has very little structural strength, readily breaking apart.
    I've seen this stuff used in some really old homes around these parts. If it's the same stuff I'm thinking of, it has insulative and sound deadening properties. My guess is that it was a cheap way to cover the walls and get a little insulation at the same time.

    My personal recommendation is the same as Ordj's, remove it, insulate, update wiring while the walls are open, then install drywall. Good luck with your project. Keep us posted on your progress, we're here if you need us.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Mystery Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Omnarg View Post
    My fiance and i are moving into my great uncles who had passed away years ago. The entire house has the dark brown wood paneling, except for in the upstairs room. The walls in this room are not flat or smooth, they aren't even "hard". My aunt mentioned something about "oil clothe", i've never heard of it and was wondering if it is possibly to take down the "soft" wall and put up drywall to make it look better. Thanks
    Oil cloth was an old time material used for rain coats and tarps ---- generally made from canvas , jute , burlap.
    At one point a design was printed onto a sheet of oil cloth along with a varnish coating and used for floor sheet goods.
    If it was oil cloth on the wall you be able to tell since it would be soft and flexiable --- kinda like a sheet of vinyl or linoleum.

    Otherwise it may be what the others have described --- another name is Homasote.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: Mystery Wall

    Oil cloth was also used for table cloths.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
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    Default Re: Mystery Wall

    Geez Jack that's right --- forgot about that.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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