now that I have finished and furnished the living room and sunroom, I have gone back to the guest bedroom upstairs. yesterday, I took down the paper in the closet , and a big part of it came away in huge sheets, because it was bonded with the original liner for the walls! It appears that the walls and ceilings were originally lined with a very wide, very finely woven muslin like material right after they were palstered to create a smoth surface, then given a coat of a thin plaster like material for smoothness. About three quarters of the muslin came off with the paper( ugly 1970s vinyl floral plaid in bright blue, light blue and rust...shudder), leaving perfectly smooth, bare plaster walls and ceiling. I felt bad taking out something that was so well done and had lasted so long, but since most of it came off with the wallpaper, I had no real choice. It was also sagging on the ceiling in several places. anyways, neat to see! I suspect that all of the walls and ceilings on the second floor were done this way originally, as it is still in place on several of the ceilings (alas, It will need to be removed from those surfaces as well, as it is cracking and seperating) I discovered that my closets were originally walk ins, as when I stripped the wide oak band about half way up, I discovered the holes for about 15 hooks that must have been original. As I go along, I am continually impressed at the materials and workmanship the ogiginal owners had built in. The closet I am working on has the same wide oak baseboards, door trim, and picture moulding as the rest of the room, even though it wasnt highly visible. It is all stripped now and about 3/4 of way cleaned for reshellacking. The actual room has all of the wood work stripped and the windows and window casings are finished, as well as the baseboard on the radiator wall and the radiator itself.
I have to:
1. finish cleaning the baseboards on the three remaining walls and shellack
2. crock pot the hardware for the doors and windows, polish, and reinstall
3. remove the glue residue from the walls, patch, prime and paint
4. repair the superficial cracks in the ceiling, prime and paint
5. figure out what to do about the floor due to the radiator leak ( some of the boards near the radiator have cupped and are discolored, but the overall floor is beautiful quartersawn oak)
6. strip, remove caulk, refinish and reinstall picture rail (installed as crown in all upper floor rooms, the gap was filled with caulk)
7. clean and re-shellack the closet door and entry door
8. clean and shellac the closet woodwork, sand, prime and paint the walls and ceiling.
then its on to the dining room and the upstairs bath!