Ogee Print in a West U. Powder Room

September 24, 2017

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How can such a small room be so difficult to cover with wallpaper?  Well, factor in low ceilings, cramped quarters, a pedestal sink (always tricky), bowed walls, un-plumb walls, un-level ceiling, an under-stair build-out with some wacky angles – and a geometric print wallpaper, which the eye wants to see marching nice and straight across the walls.

I spent 10 hours hanging this 12-roll bathroom.  (Shoulda taken 6-7 hours.)  In the end, it looks fabulous.  The pattern may not be hanging true-to-plumb, but it looks plumb.  And it matches in all the corners, which is more important than marching straight across the ceiling line.

The design is called an ogee, and is from Waverly, a company that was popular in the ’90’s, disappeared, and was later bought and resurrected by York, one of my favorite wallpaper manufacturers.  It is thin and workable, and was really nice to work with, and will hug the walls nice and tight for many years to come.

The interior designer for this job is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, assisted by Joni Karnowsky and Danna Smith.  The home is in West University Place, in Houston.

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Fuzzy Stuff vs. Toothbrush

September 23, 2017

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See the fuzzy stuff on the edge of this paper?  This roll by Designer Wallpapers has shards of paper left by the factory’s trimming process.  If left in place, they could cause gaps or rough looking seams.

A toothbrush has turned out to be a handy tool for scrubbing off these minute particles of paper.

Peeling Paper Caused by No Primer Underneath

September 22, 2017

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These wallpaper jobs are failing, mostly due to the fact that the previous installer did not prime the walls before hanging the paper.  With no primer, the walls are porous and will suck paste off the paper, leaving little to hold the paper on the wall.   Bathroom humidity has exacerbated the problem.

The top photo shows a paper-backed solid-vinyl paper, which are usually pre-pasted and lower-priced.  These are particularly bad for humid areas, because the paper backing tends to absorb humidity, expand, and push away from the wall.

The striped paper is a paper, which usually perform well and hold tightly to the wall even under humid conditions.  But with no primer to seal off the thirsty wall underneath, the paper has nothing to grab ahold of and is curling away from the wall.

In fact, when I went to strip the paper, it came off in whole sheets with just a gentle tug.  I had the entire bathroom stripped in, literally, about two minutes.

Before hanging the new paper, I will be sure to prime the walls.  The last photo (bottom row) shows two of the primers I will use.  The Pro 977 works on walls that are clean and have been previously sealed.  The Gardz is a penetrating sealer that is good for porous walls like flat paint, new drywall, or newly skim-floated walls.  It will also work on walls that have a bit of residual wallpaper paste because it seals it and makes it inert.

 

Dark Bar Goes Bright

September 21, 2017

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The woodwork and cabinets throughout this home in the West University (Houston) area were originally painted a smudgy, moldering, dispiriting grey-green.  Many of the walls were a similar sad color.  The new homeowners hated the gloomy green, and had all the walls and most of the woodwork lightened up.

But the green wood stayed in the bar area.  In addition, the bar was papered with a dark moldery green stripe pattern.  There wasn’t much differentiation between the walls and the trim, and the whole room had a feeling of malaise.

Repainting the woodwork would have been costly.  So the interior designer found this lovely pearlized wallpaper that lightens the mood in the room, and also coordinates nicely with the paint color on the trim.  In addition, the large damask is a classy pattern that fits right in with the home’s lightly-traditional décor.

This wallpaper is by Fabricut.  The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, assisted by Joni Karnowski and Danna Smith.  http://www.pamelahopedesigns.com/

Mildew Found Behind Wallpaper

September 20, 2017

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I removed a strip of paper-backed solid vinyl wallpaper from the wall over a shower in a room used by two teenagers.  The type of paper (one of my least favorites), the humidity from the hot and heavy shower usage, the  lack of primer used by the previous installer, and an exterior wall that most likely had some moisture problems, all added up to a recipe for mildew.

I used bleach and then another mold / mildew product to kill and remove the mildew, then went over it with an oil-based stain-blocking sealer called KILZ.

Over the KILZ, I added a coat of wallpaper primer.  The two primers that I use most are the large cans in the last photo, and they each are used for different circumstances.

 

Removing Mirror Rips Drywall

September 19, 2017

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This powder room in the Medical Center area of Houston had a mirror glued to the wall.  The homeowners want a different mirror, so had the original one removed.  The mirror was attached to the wall with a tar-like substance called mastic.  The glass guys use suction cups to clamp onto the mirror, then they pull it away from the wall.  Some globs of mastic will be left on the wall, and this is a problem, because these tar-like substance will bleed through the new wallpaper.

So, to prevent any mastic / tar residue from bleeding through the wallpaper, the handyman took a Stanley knife / box cutter and cut out the top paper layer of drywall that had any mastic on it.

To smooth over the uneven edges, the handyman skim-floated the area with joint compound.  The moisture in the joint compound caused the exposed paper inside the drywall to swell.

So what you are seeing in the top photo is a wrinkled section of drywall caused by moisture.  This will show under wallpaper.

So I took a Stanley knife and cut out the handyman’s patch, to remove the wrinkled drywall paper layer.  I sealed it with a penetrating primer called Gardz, which soaks in, binds surfaces together, and dries hard.

Once that was dry, I skim-floated over it (and the entire area), to get a smooth finish.  Once my skim-float layer was dry, I sanded it smooth, and then primed again with Gardz.

The Gardz did its job, and did not allow moisture to penetrate into the exposed drywall, so no more wrinkles developed.  See the second photo.  Now the wall is nicely prepared and ready for wallpaper.

Wall “Floats” Above Baseboard in Contemporary Home

September 17, 2017

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Some new, contemporary-style homes have this design element, where there is a 1/2″ gap between the wall and the baseboard.  It makes it look as if the wall is floating.

As long as that gap is deep enough, it’s relatively easy to trim the wallpaper at the bottom, and it should stick tightly.

This geometric wallpaper pattern is by Hemisphere, and was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

 

New Paint Color Calls for New Wallpaper

September 15, 2017

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This installation was in a very contemporary new home in the Medical Center area of Houston.

The homeowners loved their squiggly-stripe wallpaper (top photo) and it hasn’t been up for very long.  But they changed the paint colors in the house from tan-based to grey-based … and the brown wallpaper in the powder room no longer works.  Time for an update.

The color of the new wallpaper melds perfectly with the new paint in the house.  And the medium-scale geometric pattern fills the walls much better than the original pattern.  The homeowner noted how much brighter the room looks, too.

This wallpaper pattern is by Hemisphere, and was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Stripping Wallpaper

September 14, 2017

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This is a good example of how wallpaper should come off the wall, when it’s been hung properly.  The original installer primed the walls before hanging his paper, which is a very good thing.  A primer protects the walls, facilitates installation, and makes it easier to remove the paper later, with minimal damage to the wall.

The brown is the original wallpaper.  It is a thin layer of inked paper on what we call a pulp substrate (backing).  On the right side of the photo, I have peeled away this layer.  Left behind is a light tan layer of the pulp backing layer.

The darker tan areas are the pulp backing that I have soaked with water.  Once the water has enough time to penetrate the paper, it will reactivate the paste behind it.  Once that adhesive gets soft, you can either scrape off the paper with a stiff putty knife (see photo), or, if you are lucky, the paper will simply peel away from the wall in large pieces.  That’s what you’re seeing in the upper left of the photo.

It took several hours to strip these 12 single rolls of paper off the walls of this powder room – which is reasonable and expected.  Because the original installer took the extra time and expense to coat the walls with a good primer, there was NO damage to the underlying surface.

So the walls are in excellent shape and ready for new wallpaper tomorrow.

From All White to Silver and White – a Vast Improvement

September 13, 2017

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Boy, did this powder room have a lot of nothing going on!  White walls, white ceiling, white sink and toilet.  No definition, no personality, no warmth.

The home has a lot of “glam” type fixtures throughout, like modern chrome & crystal chandeliers, heavy silver framed mirrors, and shiny metal accents like candle holders, fruit bowls, etc.

The homeowner chose this silver-on-white tree branch pattern for her powder room.  It un-blahs the room, and also ties it with the shimmery silver “glam” theme in the rest of the house.  It fills the wall space nicely.

This wallpaper pattern is very similar to one I did a while back by Schumacher https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/9056/ , a higher-end c0mpany, but this one is much more affordable and better quality, IMO.

The paper is by Exclusive Wallcoverings, and is printed on a non-woven substrate, which allows the option of pasting the paper (which is what I did for the first, sink, wall), or pasting the wall (which is what I did for the remaining three walls).

I hung this in a powder room in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.  This wallpaper pattern is by Exclusive Wallpaper, and was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.