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Old 02-03-2011, 06:07 AM   #1
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Walls Made Of Tin


I recently bought an old farmhouse that I would like to restore. Previous owner said the kitchen walls are made of tin, as is the ceiling. The walls are painted and have an uneven, bumpy texture most likely because of the design in the tin.

Has anyone ever heard of tin walls? I am thinking of tearing it down to the plaster. Any info and insight would greatly be appreciated.

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Old 02-03-2011, 07:37 AM   #2
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Walls Made Of Tin


Yes, they did make tin wall and ceiling paneling many decades ago (like around the turn of the last century). Yes, the tin was usually stamped with a decorative pattern.

If you want to renovate, you might as well tear off the tin and sell it as scrap metal. If you want to restore, you will want to use paint remover and clean the tin down to the bare metal, and repaint.

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Stop wasting time re-adjusting the pattern. Have several lawn sprinklers, one for each pattern.

Last edited by AllanJ; 02-03-2011 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:44 AM   #3
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Yes, they did make tin wall and ceiling paneling many decades ago. Yes, the tin was usually stamped with a decorative pattern.

If you want to renovate, you might as well tear off the tin and sell it as scrap metal. If you want to restore, you will want to use paint remover and clean the tin down to the bare metal, and repaint.
Thanks for the quick reply and info. My house was built in 1889 and I do wish to restore it as much as possible. However, tin walls could not have been the original in the kitchen. My guess is that its a 1940-1950 remodel?

I am concerned with what I may find behind the tin such as lots of cracks or other plaster damage. I can't understand why one would paint over tin when this covers the distinctive features of the tins.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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Walls Made Of Tin


They still make those panels.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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Walls Made Of Tin


They still make tin panels for walls and ceilings. There are a number of companies in the US you can buy from. I would be surprised if they were installed in the 40s or 50s. The hey-day for tin was the Victorian period which came to a close just as your house was being built. They could very well be original. Behind them could be a pretty damaged plaster wall that would require a lot of work. I recently installed a tin ceiling for exactly this reason - to cover a damaged plaster ceiling.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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They still make tin panels for walls and ceilings. There are a number of companies in the US you can buy from. I would be surprised if they were installed in the 40s or 50s. The hey-day for tin was the Victorian period which came to a close just as your house was being built. They could very well be original. Behind them could be a pretty damaged plaster wall that would require a lot of work. I recently installed a tin ceiling for exactly this reason - to cover a damaged plaster ceiling.
Thanks for the info. I guess I thought the tin walls was a remodel because the previous owner had 1950's furniture in the kitchen. The thing I dislike about these tin walls is that the texture is rough and uneven. Makes it difficult to hang anything up. Can't have wall cabinets.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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Walls Made Of Tin


those tins panels are very expensive...............would be nice if you could restore some of them by hey to each his own..........good luck with your,home........................i have a penchant for things of yesterday

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:01 PM   #8
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those tins panels are very expensive...............would be nice if you could restore some of them by hey to each his own..........good luck with your,home........................i have a pension for things of yesterday
Thanks for your response. If the tin walls are original than I will restore them and not tear down. I have a penchant for old things and old houses as well.

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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Walls Made Of Tin


yes, definitely keep the tin if at all possible..............



not to sound lame but I enjoy removing and old piece and thinking about the last person to handle it........who were they? when did they do it ? how did they do it ? ........kind of like a new craftsman meets an old but not in a physical way ...........
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:25 PM   #10
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Stop daydreaming and get back to work.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:09 AM   #11
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I have seen tin floor before, but not interior walls....wow!
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:31 AM   #12
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I have seen tin floor before, but not interior walls....wow!
I can't imagine tin floors or how well it holds up to a lot of traffic and abuse. I think tin should be restricted to ceilings and as a backsplash. It makes the wall uneven with a bumpy texture. How can you hang up wall cabinets, or anything else for that matter? Being a Victorian house, the kitchen has no wall or base cabinets or even a counter. But back then, in the 1880's, kitchens usually just had a work table and some furniture. It was usually used by the servants, rather than the lady of the house. Thus kitchens were never fancy. More like a work room.

I just bought this house and will close on it end of next week. After I get moved in and settled, I will see if the tin is the original wall or not.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:41 AM   #13
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yes, definitely keep the tin if at all possible..............



not to sound lame but I enjoy removing and old piece and thinking about the last person to handle it........who were they? when did they do it ? how did they do it ? ........kind of like a new craftsman meets an old but not in a physical way ...........
Sadly, so few people seem to care about the craftsmanship and care that went into building these old houses. Too many tear down everything. Thus we lose the charm of the original. Its even difficult to find a true plaster craftsman nowadays. These houses that are 100 years old made it this far for a reason. New houses with the cheap materials are already laden with problems and defects. I am totally for restoration and NOT remodeling. This is why I asked about the tin walls. I thought it was a remodel job.

There is one bedroom that the previous owner tried to remodel by putting up wood paneling. Horrible! These will definitely have to come down.

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