July 11, 2007

Discoveries in an old house (I): Eight (!) layers of wallpaper

I really love our old house!!! Just for fun we tried to look underneath the wallpaper in the bottom area of the walls in our living room. There seemed to be some kind of bulge and we wanted to know what it is. At first, my husband got stock with his finger in the wall, I love this picture :)

Well, the bulge is a - probably very old - wooden plinth:

And sticking to it are eight - yes, 8 - layers of wallpaper. One of them is definitely a 60ies wallpaper...

Layers 1-3, woodchip wallpapers

Layer 4:

Layer 5:

Layer 6 - 60-ies forever ;):

Layer 7:

Layer 8:

And on the clay-wall there seems to be some kind of painting in a still very bright blue. I'm really eager to see that one day:

The preservationist told us that blue colour used to be too expensive, so his guess is that they used little blue cubes (probably with indigo) that where dissolved in water. The walls were then painted with this watery solution. He too is eager to see that wall ;)


Kristen said...

Amazing! It's like a historical onion! I love that color blue - it's nice when the restored product is something that's also quite lovely.

Anna said...

Hi Kristen,

I love that expression "historical onion" - fits exactly :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Maya said...

Hi Anna,
I am dealing with nothing compared to your wallpaper situation, one layer only. The more wallpaper layers the older the house it seems and our Dutch is "only" 77 years old, which is considered old for around here, not so much in Europe I'd say....
Liebe Gruess

Anna said...

Hoi Maya,

nice to see you over at my blog!

You're absolutely right - the older, the more layers. I keep on wondering why people do that - there are not only several layers of wallpaper, but also of flooring and even of panelling! That makes the rooms become significally smaller in the end - but it is interesting to be a kind of archaeologist in one's own house :)

1916home.net said...

Awesome! Do you plan to re-wallpaper? Im liking layer #8 a lot.

Anna said...

Hi Dave!

I like #8 a lot, too - it dates back to the 30ies or 40ies, I guess.

We don't plan to re-wallpaper - first we'll try to lay open that layer of blue, just to see what it is. Depending on that we'll either leave it blue or apply a loam rendering which would be the original condition.

The Muehli's said...

Wow - completely exciting :) We haven't run into anything like this in our house...but the PO did have a different textured wallpaper on almost every of the living room...he did it in a few other places as well. Only the living room has been brought down to the original surface, though and we've just painted over them for now.

All the layers in your house is sort of like discovering treasure as you go along. You just never know what you'll find lol. So you guys will actually be taking off all 8 layers of paper?? WOW!

Anna said...

Hi Tiffany - well yes, eventually we'll take off all 8 layers, but not right now... :) We painted over the walls in the living room before moving in in March and won't do much more for the time being.

But we found some older floor plans and found out that there are hidden windows to the hall both in the laundry and in the living room - behind all those wallpapers... Surprises all over the place ;)

Patrick said...

This is a great blog. I wish I had a 400-year-old house, although I'm not sure if I could handle it. I would get so lost in every little detail.

Anna said...

Hi Patrick - thanks for stopping by and your compliments!

I know exactly what you mean by getting lost in the details. It happens to us all the time... And if you start working on one project, you discover at least five new ones along the way!