Polski
русский
Українська

Why newspapers were glued to wallpaper in the USSR: the secret is revealed

Yulia PoteriankoLife
The dubious quality of Soviet buildings forced people to come up with unusual life hacks for renovation

Even now, when renovating an apartment inherited from my grandmother, one can see manifestations of the unusual construction practices inherent in the USSR. Under a layer of wallpaper, you can often see newspapers glued directly to the concrete wall. But how did this life hack appear and why did Soviet people do this?

The answer lies in the shoddy approach to construction and repair, as well as the widespread shortages inherent in the USSR. OBOZ.UA tells you more.

Crooked walls

Even with modern construction technologies and materials, it takes a lot of effort to achieve perfect wall evenness. Several layers of primer, putty, plaster, etc. are applied to the wall. And what can we say about Soviet times, when only a select few had access to good materials, and anything that wasn't saved was stolen.

At times, the curvature of the walls and the recesses on their surfaces resembled a lunar landscape rather than a new building. Therefore, people who were moved into the housing had to be very clever to remedy the situation at least a little. And that's where newspapers came in.

Since everyone subscribed to the periodicals and there was no shortage of old newspaper binders in every home, they were used to plaster the walls. In particularly difficult places, the newspapers were glued in several layers to level out the unevenness of the surface.

The reliability of gluing

In addition to the fact that Soviet people did not have access to various kinds of construction mixtures, wallpaper glue was also in great short supply. Therefore, it was made by hand from wheat flour or starch and water. The reliability of this glue was unpredictable, so we had to come up with various life hacks.

It was much easier to glue a thin newspaper to a concrete wall with this kind of glue, and even more reliable to apply wallpaper to it. That's why newsprint was used as a bottom layer, which increased the strength of the finishing material. Even now, it is not always possible to tear the newspapers off the wall the first time, because the thin layer of paper on the concrete was so firmly fixed. If much heavier wallpaper was attached to it at once, it often came off even under its own weight.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told why in the USSR entrances were painted blue and green and paint was applied only to half the height of the wall.

Subscribe to OBOZ.UA channels in Telegram and Viber to keep up with the latest events.

Other News

Taurus season can change the world forever: how it will affect all zodiac signs

Taurus season can change the world forever: how it will affect all zodiac signs

A period of stability and important decisions is coming
How to cook hake deliciously in the oven: the fish will turn out to be very juicy

How to cook hake deliciously in the oven: the fish will turn out to be very juicy

A dish for every day and for a festive table