Ear Splitting Noise!

April 24, 2014

Digital ImageJackhammering was going on right outside where I was working today. You cannot IMAGINE how LOUD it was! Ear-splitting is no exaggeration. I’m sensitive to noise to begin with, but this was unbearable. It gave me a headache, made me nauseous, and made it difficult to concentrate on what I was doing.

Runs and Dye Lots … Have Me Measure FIRST!

April 23, 2014

I recently did a bid where the homeowners already had their paper. The problem was, they had grossly underestimated how much paper they needed. They had a total of 5 single rolls, but the job actually called for something like 26.

This is a special problem with their selections. They had chosen some quite pretty custom made, very high end papers, made to order out of state.

The problems are many and are serious. Besides having to order quite a bit more of the very expensive paper, chances are the new paper will not match what they already have, so they will have to throw away that paper and buy even more.

When paper is made, there is a “batch,” “dye lot,” or “run” number, meaning all the paper printed at that time came out of the same “batch” of ink. It’s important to use paper all from the same run. Papers printed at a different time from a different run will have a very slight color variation, because the dyes and inks were mixed at a different time.

Will this matter? You bet! If you have to use a “broken run,” it’s best to keep different runs on seperate walls. You don’t notice a slight difference in color so much, because light hits one wall differently from how it hits another wall.

The bad part about this is that if you have to split a strip of paper, as you often do, you can’t use half of the strip on one wall and then on the second wall, and then start with a new run, because the color difference WILL show when strips are next to one another on a flat wall. You can never put different numbered runs next to one another on the same wall – the difference shows as clearly as if you used strips of totally different colors. This means you end up having to buy even more paper, to allow for the difference in dye lots.

Time-Consuming Mess Under the Old Wallpaper

April 22, 2014

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageWhoever papered this bathroom before me did a good job of using joint compound to smooth the textured wall. However, he failed to seal the new surface with a primer. So when I came along to strip that paper, which I do with plain hot water, the moisture reactivated the joint compound, and much of it clung to the old wallpaper and came away from the wall when the old paper was removed. Left behind was an uneven mess (see photos 1 & 2) that would have looked terrible under the new wallpaper, and especially since it had a metallic sheen which tends to show every bump and dip.

As I went along, I learned that if I didn’t soak the old paper for too long, it would be enough to loosen the paste, but not to reactivate the joint compound, and so I was able to get much of the paper off without too much damage to the wall.

Unfortunately, there were still large places that had to be patched. Once the surface was dry, I used more joint compound to smooth over the uneven areas. Three strong fans and a heat gun, plus the A/C cranked down and the house fan going, all helped dry the “mud” while I was working to strip the paper in the second bathroom.

Once dry, it was a matter of sanding, vacuuming, wiping, then priming the wall. And then, of course – finally – hanging the new wallpaper.

All of this added several hours and much more physical labor to my work day. But the finished result was really nice, smooth walls, and beautiful paper on top. The homeowner understood the work involved and appreciated that I had insisted on having the wall smoothed properly, because that ensured a lovely finished room.

Old World Italian Look for this Master Bathroom

April 21, 2014

Digital ImageI only got one shot of this room, since the $#@&!! camera took a dive and the batteries fell out, and all pics were lost. Anyway, it turned out wonderfully, and the homeowner was so pleased she gave me a great big hug!

She wanted her bathroom to remind her of the places she had been to and seen while in Italy. This wallpaper pattern has a mushy, indistinct, damask type design on a mottly background with crackly lines running through it. In other words, it looks like the walls of an old Italian villa. It handled nicely, thin and hugs the wall tightly, and the seams are practically invisible.

After this shot was taken, I used some craft paint to color the white line along the top of the granite backsplash, then put clear caulk over that, to seal it, and to prevent splashed water from wicking up under the wallpaper (which could cause curling).

The design is by Designer Wallpapers, and was bought from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village. The homeowner LOVED working with Dorota, and thanked me for putting them together. Dorota works by appointment (713) 520-6262, dortoasouthwestern@hotmail.com

A Pretty Paper for a Small Powder Room

April 20, 2014

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Digital ImageThe old wallpaper in this half-bath off the laundry room wasn’t too exciting. This new, updated pattern is lively in color, and cheery in pattern. The homeowner loves the whimsical aspect, with the little critters making an appearance here and there … dragonflies, snails, hermit crabs, lizards, inch worms.

This job was in the Willowbrook area of Houston. The paper was bought through Dorota, at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village, dortoasouthwestern@hotmail.com (713) 520-6262. The homeowner thanked me for turning her on to Dorota, who helped her zero in on just the patterns she wanted, and at a good price, too. Consultations are by appointment.

Hot Pink Lattice & Dots for a Teen Gal’s Bedroom

April 19, 2014

Digital ImageDigital ImageHere are two coordinating wallpaper patterns used as companion papers in a gal’s bedroom and bathroom.

Lattice in bedroom: The wallpaper pattern is #CM2382 by designer Antonia Vella for York Wallcoverings, one of my favorite manufacturers.

Pink polka dots on silver in adjoining bathroom: #RB4286 from the Sure Strip line by York Wallcoverings. It’s one of their newer non-woven substrates, intended to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, when you’re ready to redecorate.

I did this bedroom and bathroom almost a year ago. Interestingly, I was back this week to do their powder room and the boys’ bathrooms.

Yes, an Inch Matters

April 18, 2014

Digital ImageTwenty seven inches is a standard width for wallpaper. However, this faux grasscloth by Thibaut was 26″ wide. That little bit of scrimping cost me (and the homeowner) a full 9′ strip of paper, because the strips came up 2″ shy of covering the width of the wall. So I had to cut a full 9′ strip, just to use a 2″ wide strip to finish the wall.

Would You Put Wallpaper on This Ceiling?

April 17, 2014

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Digital ImageI don’t often like patterned wallpaper on ceilings. But the interior designer wanted that surface papered, too, and I have to admit, it looks pretty good in this small powder room under the stairs.

The brand is Nina Campbell, a British paper, and the designer is Shirley Webb of Houston.

A Paperhanger’s Good Buddy

April 16, 2014

Digital ImageIbuprofen, for all those aches and pains from repetitive motion, climbing a ladder for hours, hauling 50lb buckets of paste. :)

Yes, There IS a Pattern Match

April 15, 2014

Digital ImageAt first glance, this thin irregular stripe on a mottley background appears to have no pattern match. And, in fact, when I tested it, it did look fine if I had hung it without matching the pattern.

But, like virtually all wallpaper patterns, there IS a pattern match. You see, the swirl on the left edge of the first strip has to match up with the other half of the swirl on the right edge of the next strip. Even though it looked OK without matching the pattern, when I took the time to match it perfectly, it just looked a notch or two better.


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