Not Afraid To Be Daring and Dashing!

September 25, 2020


Originally, the wall was just a grey-tan. Now look how bold and exciting it is, with some strong color and an adventurous pattern! Baboons! – Who would ever think of putting them across a wall??!

This is one accent wall in a dining room in southwest Houston (Meyerland/Fondren Southwest). The home had flooded during Hurricane Harvey, and the couple had it raised 10′ and then refurbished. This dramatic dining room was the final touch!

The wallpaper pattern is “Savuti” in the Dark colorway, by Cole & Son. It is a sturdy non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method.

170 Year Old Wallpaper Discovered

September 22, 2020

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-20/rococo-wallpaper-uncovered-in-historic-tasmanian-house/12567422?fbclid=IwAR08U939ZXIsB071nO5hkYxlb175kaj0iUmMI1SIcf3PGVwvJA8PSPT2Jko

Skooshing to Better a Kill Point

September 22, 2020


Re the dining room in yesterday’s post … a kill point is the point in a room where your last strip of wallpaper meets up with your first strip. This virtually always results in a pattern mis-match. So we try to put it in a corner behind a door, or some other spot where it won’t be too visible.

But this room (see yesterday’s blog post) did not have any hidden corners. If I had placed the kill point in one of the four corners, you would have had an eye-jarring, 5′ long pattern mis-match.

The areas over the doors and windows were only about 5″ tall, and way up high, so are not very noticeable. Especially the one over the entry way, because people’s eyes are focused on the far wall. So I decided to put the kill point there.

In the top photo, about 1/3 from the right, the pattern ended only about 1/2″ from matching perfectly. To be honest, this is not a bad look, and would have been acceptable as a finish point.

But I knew I could make it look better.

I took the piece to the left and cut it apart, following the curvy design. I made two such cuts, turning it into three separate pieces.

Then I skooshed the pieces to the left, overlapping that excess 1/2″ (divided between the three strips).

In the finished photo, you can’t tell that the original pattern doesn’t match perfectly, nor that some of the motifs are 1/4″ narrower than they were originally printed.

From the floor, this kill point is undetectable.

Bringing Fresh Life to a Heights Dining Room

September 20, 2020


This is the same house as in yesterday’s post, and I love the way the papers in the two near-by rooms coordinate in theme and color.

Note how the light blue color is just enough to make the beautiful millwork / moldings in this room stand out.

A geometric pattern in this dining room was more than a bit of a challenge. The wainscoting ran to slightly different heights as it went around the room. The ceiling in most sections was pretty level – but on the right side of the east wall, the crown molding ran up, and then back down again.

All of this means that the design motifs were not going to line up perfectly all the way around the room.

Even though the eye sees the pattern at the level of the chair rail most prominently, I chose to position the motifs so they hit the top of the wall with their tops intact. This meant that the bottom of the motifs were cut off when they reached the chair rail.

This ended up being a good decision, because, as already mentioned, the varying heights of the chair rail meant that the motifs would land on it at different points, anyway. Also, since so much of the room was comprised of the 5″ high areas over the doors and windows, I felt it more important to keep the motifs intact at the ceiling line.

That worked fine most of the way around the room. Except for that east wall, where the crown molding rose and dipped. The wainscoting also got off-level here. That is the second photo above.

I ended up with motifs that tracked up and down from the two moldings. That meant that the motifs became taller or shorter, or had more or less space between them and the moldings than the rest of the room. This would have been acceptable, because the homeowner was well aware of the home’s framing issues.

But I pulled a few tricks out of my hat to camouflage this. I took scrap wallpaper and cut out around the design motifs, to make them the correct shape and height to match others around the room, and appliqu├ęd them on top of the skewed motifs.

No photos of this process, sorry. But you can see in the second photo that the motifs look whole and uniform all the way across the wall.

This wallpaper is by Baker Lifestyle. It is a sturdy non-woven material. It can be hung by paste-the-wall, but I prefer to paste the paper. The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Heights Powder Room Revamp

September 19, 2020


The original all-white walls just didn’t have any personality. Now the room has pizazz – and it’s a lot brighter, too.

This wallpaper is called Lido and is by Lee Jofa. It is a medium thickness non-woven material. I chose to paste the paper, but it can also be hung with the paste-the-wall method.

The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Updating A ’90’s Bathroom

September 18, 2020


Resembling a watercolor painting, this wallpaper looks even better in person. The colors are gorgeous, and the pattern is invigorating. The homeowner is in love with this update to her 30 year old guest bathroom in the Katy neighborhood of Houston.

This is the finished look to the room in yesterday’s post. The wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, a company that makes very good quality paper. It was purchased from Southwestern Paint (see Where To Buy Wallpaper link on the right).

Sometimes (Rarely) You Have To Hang Over Old Wallpaper

September 18, 2020


It’s always best, for many, many reasons, to remove old existing wallpaper before hanging new. Especially if that old paper is vinyl or non-woven or thick / textured.

But sometimes, it just isn’t feasible. Here, the original installer didn’t use a primer, so his wallpaper bonded to the bare Sheetrock and would not come off without taking the top layer of drywall along with it. I worked at it for an hour, but only removed about 10 square feet – and much of that included damaged drywall.

So, time to try another tact. This method only works with paper (not vinyl or anything thick or textured), and the original paper has to be tightly secured to the wall. First, I removed any loose areas – usually over joints in the drywall that have been coated with joint compound (it’s porous and sucks the paste off of the wallpaper).

Then I took joint compound and skim-floated over any uneven areas or any sections of torn drywall, and all wallpaper seams. Seams may feel flat, but once new wallpaper is on top of them, the vertical lines of seams will telegraph through and be visible.

Once that was dry, I sanded smooth and “feathered out the edges,” then wiped off all dust with a damp sponge. See top photo.

Then I rolled on my favorite wallpaper primer, Roman Ultra Prime Pro 977, and made sure to cut in around the edges with a trim brush. This primer sticks to just about anything, including the light acrylic protective coating on most paper wallpapers, such as what I had today. It doesn’t penetrate the joint compound and cause the torn drywall to stretch or wrinkle. Nor will it allow moisture from the new wallpaper paste to penetrate through. And it’s lightly pigmented, so it works well under thin wallpapers.

Plus, it is formulated to receive and hold wallpaper, makes installation easier in many aspects, resists tension on the wall as wallpaper dries and shrinks, and eases removal of the wallpaper in the future.

Once the primer is dry, the room will be ready for its new wallpaper.

Special Coating Supposedly Makes Wallpaper Fire-Resistant

September 17, 2020


I’ve heard of coatings to make wallpaper water-resistant. But this is the first time I’ve seen a company claim to be able to make their wallpaper resistant to fire.

This brand is Farrow & Ball, and the material is a typical British pulp substrate.

Gaps & Overlaps – Farrow & Ball

September 17, 2020


The big British fabric and paper design company Farrow & Ball is not one of my favorite wallpaper manufacturers. For many reasons.

One reason is pictured here … Unevenly cut seams.

This photo shows what we call “gaps and overlaps” – the seams butt together perfectly in some areas, but gap open in others. This originates at the factory – a wobbly or dull blade on the trimming wheel.

You’d think they would fix it. But I’ve had this happen on EVERY F&B that I’ve hung.

Special Powdered Paste for Farrow & Ball Wallpaper

September 16, 2020


This company covers their wallpaper with their special brand of paint, rather than inks like most other manufacturers use. They also print on a traditional “pulp” material, instead of the “non-woven” that most British manufacturers have moved to.

Because of these unique features, and the related pH conditions, they recommend you use their own brand of cellulose paste.

This paste is unique because it is not pre-mixed, but comes as a powder that you mix with water. I like to use a hand-held immersion blender. Once it’s mixed up, you have to let it sit a certain period of time before using.