The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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studenate
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:39 pm

The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by studenate »

I have removed all of the wavy, dangerous original 1923 Beaver Board from the living room in my Arts and Crafts home. Underneath were nice cedar plank walls and ceiling. What now? My wife and I have gone back and forth about drywall or finishing the cedar planks, etc. What would you do?


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The Wade-McGraw House
1923 Arts and Crafts
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donoinmass
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:37 pm
Location: Winchendon, Mass

Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by donoinmass »

I think it all depends on the look you are going for. I vote for refinishing the ceiling and drywalling the walls. Refinishing all the wood would look to "log cabin" to me. Another option would be to drywall the upper 3/4 of the walls and leave the lower refinished as a wainscoat. Good luck!
Don O'Neil
'The Orange Whitney House - 1896'
Winchendon, MA
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Daniel Meyer
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Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by Daniel Meyer »

The planks were the "cheap drywall" of the day. Down south they would then tack up muslin, spray it with water so it shrinks and tightens up, then wallpaper over it.

This allows the house to move without tearing up the wallpaper.

And yep, they even did the ceilings.
CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer
Author. Adventurer. Electrician. Cat God.
http://theoldvictorian.com
http://lifeisaroad.com
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PowerMuffin
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Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by PowerMuffin »

I love the look of this type of wall when painted creamy white. That is what I'd do.
Diane

pqtex
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by pqtex »

PowerMuffin wrote:I love the look of this type of wall when painted creamy white. That is what I'd do.
Diane
The thing wrong with that (I've been living with walls like these for a while now) is that the planks are not usually a tight fit. Attic dust and blown-in insulation drift down through the gaps between the planks in the ceiling. Air infiltration in the winter makes this a cold house. Spiders seem to adore the gaps in the planks and spider webs are plentiful around them.

Daniel's description of how they wallpapered these walls is spot-on. My house, walls and ceilings were originally done that way. I researched the old methods of wallpapering a house like this, but it has to be done the "old" way (as Daniel described) or you will end up with torn and cracked wallpaper. The muslin (wallpaper canvas) acts as a floating surface for the wallpaper to be pasted to. Although the wallpaper might cut down on air infiltration, dust, and spiders, I doubt it will make the house warmer in the winter, and won't have any fire protection or sound proofing abilities.

As much as I hate (probably unreasonably so) sheetrock, we have decided that is the way to go in our home. I believe the sheetrock will give a good solid, flat surface for applying paint, wallpaper, anaglypta, or lincrusta (whichever I choose to go with) and will help moderate the temperature in the house, and hopefully reduce noise from outside (although most of that is coming through our 26 windows). I don't know what the fire rating is, but my understanding is that sheetrock does provide some protection.

In most cases, the shiplap walls were never intended to be exposed as the final decorative wall, and the boards are often not pretty. They may be patched, have knotholes, be full of nails (or millions of the tacks used to attach the wallpaper muslin). Painting these boards does not necessarily pretty them up enough to use as the final finish.

Of course, beadboard was intended as the decorative wall finish, and I do love my beadboard kitchen walls and ceiling.

Good luck with your decision. I certainly wrestled with it for a long time. If you want information about how to wallpaper on top of solid wood walls like this, I can provide some help.

Jill
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org

studenate
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:39 pm

Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by studenate »

Jill,

You are expressing the same thing we have gone back and forth with after we uncovered the cedar planks a month ago. We have just left that room sitting since then so that we can deliberate a plan. They are full of gaps because as you said, they were never intended to be exposed. They were immediately covered over with the Beaver Board when the house was built. They are VERY rustic and while that has a certain amount of charm, this would have been a very exclusive house for the community that it is in when it was built in 1923 and so I keep going back to the thought that it deserves a higher level of trim than the bare walls (at least in this main room. We are probably going to drywall as a base for some other Arts and Crafts appropriate treatment.
The Wade-McGraw House
1923 Arts and Crafts
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studenate
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:39 pm

Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by studenate »

But.....

(Now you see the vacillating back and forth)

It couldn't hurt to creamy paint one wall and see how it turns out since I am covering them up anyway. Thanks Diane. :)
The Wade-McGraw House
1923 Arts and Crafts
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pqtex
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by pqtex »

Been there, Done that. Still doing it. :)

Trust me when I say I understand completely. :mrgreen:
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org

KathyJB
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Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by KathyJB »

Like Pqtex, our house had the wallpaper on the floor and ceiling (after I took down the paneling and old ceiling tiles.)

I kept the ship lap on two walls in each of the bedrooms. The spare room I caulked in between the boards for extra insulation and I painted it a soft yellow. The outer walls I put up sheet rock. In our bedroom the wall that adjoins an add on room and the outer facing wall were sheet rocked as well. (sheet rocked because those walls had insulation blown in and I didn't think the holes they cut would look good painted or stained) I stained the ship lap with a dark stain and treated later with Tung Oil in our bedroom. Most of the boards in there were ok to not caulk which is good because W didn't like the brown caulk even though I couldn't see it. I wanted to keep the ceiling ship lap exposed, but like Jill said spiders and dust as well as insulation floating down didn't make that possible.

I like the planks exposed and if you ever got tired of it later on down the line you could always put up drywall and paint or wallpaper. :D

pqtex
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: The Beaver Board is gone. What now? Seeking opinions

Post by pqtex »

Ooh, now I see your photo up of the exterior...it is a LOVELY house!
Image
My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org

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