Old Trimboards with Grey Coating

What is it and what was it for?
Pics worth 1000 words. Here they are:     http://www.konicaminoltaonline.com/photosite/albundy@km     Click on View     Click on the picture to enlarge.
House is 28 yrs old. I have found on the trimboards that there is a grey paperlike (?) coating under the paint. It appears to be factory installed.When exposed material gets wet it gets soft and mushy. If it has been wet for a few minutes, a pressure washer will just melt & blow away leaving the bare wood.
Backside 1:
    Backside of board. Grey paper all on front. Wraps over one edge to back. The paper has a thickness and you can slide a razor blade from the bare wood to the paper and get under the paper.
Backside 2: nother backside pic Backside 3: and another.
Frontside:
    Painted side. Although this was found on the exterior trimboards it was also found on some of the old boards indoors. This is from a closet rod bracket which has always been painted around. Grey paper (?) under layers of paint.
Thanks, Al...
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What? No takers? :-( Just thought this was something one of the "old timers" may have come across.
I'll try alt.home.repair. Maybe someone there who doesn't subscribe to this NG might have some info.
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I'm failure with paper-wrapped MDF, but not paper-wrapped lumber. Perhaps years ago they used paper-wrapped lumber. (Gives the appearance of lumber better than it is, usually used in cheap cabinetry.)
Dennis

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Thanks for the reply Dennis. It is solid wood though. Have sanded and cut it. As Gilda used to say, "It just goes to show ya. It's always somethin'."
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