How to Install Felt Paper on Wall Sheathing

Felt paper on wall sheathing provides a moisture barrier between the sheathing and any material you choose for covering the wall.
Before installing brick or another exterior cover, place a layer of felt paper as a moisture barrier.Before installing brick or another exterior cover, place a layer of felt paper as a moisture barrier.
Without such a barrier, the sheathing could absorb moisture whenever it rains, allowing the liquid to seep through and damage your home’s interior, as well as rotting the sheathing material itself. The actual installation of felt paper is not a difficult process, though, with most DIYers able to handle the process themselves. All that’s required is careful placement of the felt on all outside surfaces and around windows, and then securing it in place with roofing nails. From there, you can attach the covering of your choice, be it siding, brick or veneer.

Step 1

Measure the wall sheathing — both the width and the height — using a tape measure.

Step 2

Cut the felt paper with a utility knife to fit the measurements you took in Step 1. For multiple sheets, add 6 inches to the paper width for overlapping at the felt paper seams.

Step 3

Set the first sheet of felt paper against the wall sheathing, beginning at the right side of a wall. Secure the paper to the wall, using roofing nails. Place the first nail in the top leftmost corner of the sheet approximately 2 inches from the edges of the paper, and use a hammer to drive it through the felt paper and into the sheathing material. Place additional nails in the paper in a row extending downward with each new nail placed every 6 inches.

Step 4

Move to the right 6 inches and place another row of nails to secure the paper. Continue with a new row every 6 inches until you've covered the entire sheet of paper, stopping 2 inches from the lower right hand corner of the sheet.

Step 5

Place the next sheet above the first with an overlap of 6 inches at the seam. Repeat the mounting process with the roofing nails. Continue until you reach the top of the wall, and then place the next row of sheets to the left of the first with an additional 6-inch overlap. Attach the felt row by row until you reach the end of the wall on the left.

Step 6

Cut the felt so that you can create 4-inch flaps for window the openings. Place the flaps around the window, laying them from the outside of the opening inward. Slit the flaps at the corners of the windows so they lie flat in place.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Felt paper
  • Utility knife
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves

About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.