Bed rooms should never have papered walls ; they should either be painted, or if ot common plaster, simply whitewashed, two or three times every year. Painted walls allow of their being washed frequently, which is positively necessary for health and cleanliness. This cannot be pertormed on papered walls, therefore, let all consider that “ there should be none of them.” Various reasons might be adduced to back up what we have asserted, but- we think this is not necessary; the annunciation is just a plainly-stated fact— a self-evident one. In papering walls, some upholsterers and others, as we have known, sometimes employ corrupt paste, under the wrong impression that it makes the paper adhere to the wall much better than when fresh. Flour paste and glue size are both employed to put on walls for paper, and both are equally pernicious when put on in what is called a sour state. It is quite common for newly papered rooms to have a most unpleasant smell, and when the paper-hanger is spoken • to on the subject, he will make the excuse, “ oh, a lew days will set all right—the smell will soon go off.” A putrid odor from a newly papered wall is an evidence that the paste is corrupt, that it emits a gas—an effluvia dangerous to health, and which God has given our noses to detect, or of what use are they at all. There is nothing so sweet as fresh air, not.all the perfumed waters ever made can purchase a substitute for the pure inodorous atmosphere for a room, by using them as a substitute to banish the evil smell of putrid paste arising from newly papered walls. The offensive odor will not depart until the paste is perfectly dry. It is a very bad plan to paste new over old paper on a wall, merely to save trouble by pulling the old off. There are instances on record, of disease and death beil'g caused by gas arising from the decaying paste of old papered walls which had become damp. Rooms should be thoroughly dried after being papered, before they are inhabited. Some alcohol put into paste prevents its fermentation until it dries. No person should allow old paste to be used for putting on paper, and then it should be dried as soon as possible afterwards.
This article was originally published with the title "Paper on Room Walls" in Scientific American 8, 11, 88 (November 1852)