Asked on Jul 2, 2012

Good board choice to cover a wall that holds paint?

Galen W. YoderJulieIke


In our long hallway we want to cover the walls with a thin board and then paint it. The walls now have several layers of VERY old wallpaper (1940 on) that only attach to large horizontal wall boards with small gaps between them. So we want to just cover it up rather than remove the rest of the paper. What's the best choice that's cheap and hold paint well? Thanks!
15 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 3, 2012

    You could pick up some luan ply pretty cheap...this would be 4 x 8 sheets. you could cover the "seams" with small strips of wood (battens). Another option is cheap 1/4" thick may need to get creative where door molding are involved.

  • You want to use wall paper liner. It bridges gaps and is really tough once applied. Once on you simply paint and your done. You can get it smooth faced or with a pattern embossed on the surface if your looking for some type of design.

  • 1/4" or 3/8" sheetrock and finish it.

  • Julie
    on Jul 5, 2012

    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. We originally bought thin hardboard (slick one side/rough on the other) but realized it wouldn't hold paint well enough. But if we use those boards as planned then add the wall paper liner, I think that'll do it! Some sort of board is necessary because of the uneven spots & gaps throughout. Thank you!

  • I would caution you that hardboard can expand/contract and wrinkle from moisture if it is not glued and nailed very well.

  • Julie
    on Jul 15, 2012

    OK thank you for that information -- very good to know ahead of time.

  • Jossi
    on May 29, 2013

    Julie ! Why not sand these big boards and stain or paint THEM ? They're beautiful ! This would be the least costly, although you'd put in a few hours sanding, and it would be beautiful ! Fill gaps with wood putty and sand smooth.

  • Julie
    on May 30, 2013

    Thanks Jossi ! We are at a stand still with this project....haven't done anything yet. So thanks for the suggestion. Have thought of many things to do but have gotten directed to other projects since. That's a good idea you have... the part in the pictures have the OLD (1940s & later) wallpaper off but it still needs to be taken off on the other side. It's a lot of work because the old paper had this thread netting behind it, leaving strings on the nails (see pics). That's why we thought, "Just cover it up!" There are a lot of gaps between the original wood boards, but using shims and putty might work, then sand. Personally, I think the little metal pieces (what's that for anyway?) are kinda cool and add some character. It'd be about as easy as anything else! Thanks for the encouragement.... we'll post what we decide when it's done!

    • Lori
      on Nov 22, 2014

      I just saw your post. It is old, so, what did you decide to do Julie?

  • LoriKindler
    on Feb 4, 2015

    I'm in favor of Jossi's answer. My sister had a long hallway like area like this. She sanded and painted - it looks lovely.

  • Linda
    on Feb 5, 2015

    Have you made any decision yet? I'm with Jossi, I would remove all the old tacks etc sand lightly and paint or stain the boards. They are very cool. I even put up old boards on one wall of a bedroom to add character.

  • Cherylgraham
    on Feb 16, 2015

    Sand, then paint or stain would be very pretty, rustic looking!!! Good job!!

  • Ike
    on Feb 22, 2016

    Was there a solution to cover these walls??? I also have walls I need ideas to cover because i don't want to remove the old paper that previous owner couldn't remove .

  • Ike
    on Feb 22, 2016

    I'm confused . I thought this said they have a way to cover these walls? I have some I need to too.

    • Julie
      on Feb 22, 2016

      Hi Ike, we ended up using large beadboard panels & stapling them in place. Turns out there was too much to repair if the walls were left uncovered. Hope that helps-- those panels can be painted too. It looks great now!

  • Julie
    on Feb 22, 2016

    The hallway walls had too many problems to repair so we covered the walls with those large sheets of bead-board. Used finishing nails to secure. It looks great now!

  • Galen W. Yoder
    on Jul 18, 2016

    Hi Julie, You made the right choice, Several suggestions mentioned sanding and staining,or painting, which could give an appealing look to some folks. The problem is, I've notice similar suggestions on Home talk that Don't take in the health risks related to sanding that old of materials! It looked as though the wood had been stained prior to the wall paper application, and if so, the chances of it being a lead based finish and disrupting the surface with scraping , sanding,or any other mechanical means without the proper safety measures in place can become very unpleasant! Tenting,Hepa vacuum systems, respirators,Hvac isolation, disposable overalls are just a few of the required items by OSHA, EPA,-----This is only being enforced for Contractors currently with HEFTTY Fines, but home owners are under no obligation to follow these guidelines/laws & rules! I'm pretty sure the flying dust particles can't tell the difference between a Contractor and a DIY-ER and could cause the same health risks that contractors are required to prevent! Food for thought!! PS ,I like a lot of the pallet art stuff being presented, But how many of the pallets were used for products that left residuals on the wood or soaked into the wood from leaks and spills from LESS than desireable chemicals,oils,etc????----USER BEWARE!!----in our current days where the most posted message currently being used, (Even a note in my recent purchase of work SHOES), "This product has been found to cause Cancer in California" Fortunately I won't wear those shoes in California so I think I'm safe!!!

Your comment...