Moody Blue Powder Room Update

November 13, 2019


The owner of this home in Sugarland (Houston) is good about keeping up with styles and updating every now and then. This powder room was previously wallpapered with a pinkish stringcloth. It had faded to tan over time, and had also suffered at the claws of the family cat.

The new selection is a faux finish vertical pattern in a muddy blue / grey / brown colorway which is pretty popular right now. There is a slight pearlescent sheen.

This wallpaper is by Mayflower, and was quite nice to work with. It was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – 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.

Questionable Repair to Stringcloth

November 12, 2019


Some time after the stringcloth wallpaper went up in this powder room, the homeowners installed a new pedestal sink that wasn’t as high as the original one. Or perhaps the stringcloth got stained by water splashing on it.

For whatever was the reason, a portion of the wallpaper had to be replaced.

The installer used some good splicing techniques, and he was working in a very awkward and tight location. However, there were a few things he could have done better.

First and foremost – he should have matched the pattern! He should have made sure the strings lined up correctly.

Second, stringcloth will fray when it’s cut, so this type of splice repair is always going to show a bit of a frayed edge at the cut edges.

A better alternative would have been to strip off and then replace the entire section of wallpaper, from floor to ceiling, and preferably all the way to a corner.

Of course, to do that, you would need enough left over paper.

Fading on Stringcloth Wallpaper

November 11, 2019


The circle on the right is where I removed the towel ring. On the left is where I removed the switchplate cover. You can see that the stringcloth that was exposed to light has faded a bit over the years it has been in this powder room.

Another interesting thing is the amount of dust that has collected inside the switchplate cover. This is because of air suction inside the wall – probably due to a leak in the ductwork somewhere.

Why Not To Put Natural Materials Where They Will Get Splashed

November 10, 2019


Here is a silk stringcloth that has been in a powder room for several years.

Stringcloth is a natural fiber, and is prone to staining when things get splashed on it. A bathroom is a particularly bad place for a delicate material like this, because of the likelihood of being splashed by water or other.

Grasscloth is another natural material that is best hung in rooms where nothing will touch or splash on it.

Why Not To Put Natural Materials Where You Have Cats

November 10, 2019


It didn’t take the family cat long to realize it was fun to dig his claws into this stringcloth wallpaper.

Cats have even more fun with grasscloth!

Calming Blue Silk on Bookshelf Backs – Schumacher

November 9, 2019


This is a somewhat nubby silk fabric mounted on a non-woven backing. The soft blue coordinates nicely with other elements in the room, and makes a lovely backdrop for the books and decorative items that will fill the shelves.

Silk wallcoverings are much like grasscloth, because the pattern cannot be matched. You will see all the seams. And there will be color variations and irregularities. This is all expected with these natural materials.

I was pleased with this one, because it was fairly homogeneous in color.

I used the paste-the-wall installation method. Silk, like grass, stains easily, so you have to keep your hands clean and dry, and don’t let any paste get onto the surface or ooze out at the seams.

The manufacturer is Schumacher, and the interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design. She works primarily in the Heights, Oak Forest, and Garden Oaks, and mostly does new builds or whole-house remodels.

A Few Small Issues With Schumacher Silk

November 9, 2019


Whoops! Someone at the factory got fingerprints on the wallpaper. 😦 Luckily, this was in the first foot or so of material, so I was able to cut it off and discard it without losing too much.

In the second photo, look just to the right of the pencil and you will see a band of darker colored material. Maybe the rollers at the factory pressed a little harder in this area – who knows?

This is part of the manufacturing process, and it’s part and parcel with natural materials like this silk. It is not considered a defect.

This silk was 36″ wide, and the strips I needed were 29″ wide. So I was able to trim off this darker band and use the part that was more homogeneous in color.

If I had needed the full 36″ widths, there would have been faint darker horizontal bands running the full height of each strip. Again, not a defect; just the nature of the beast.

The manufacturer is Schumacher.

Patching Gap Around Light Fixture

November 8, 2019

The original light fixture had a rectangular base. The new one had a base that was barely larger than the electrical box. The electrician ended up with a slight gap on the left side of the box.

The wallpaper would most likely bridge that gap and look just fine. But since there was a slight difference in height between the wall and the base of the fixture, I wanted to close the gap to minimize chances of a visible pooch or bubble around the fixture.

I bought some drywall repair kits, and ended up using the one that had a thin aluminum mesh patch. I cut it to fit around the electrical box, using a few scraps to fill in gaps.

I then used drywall joint compound (“mud”) to smooth over the area. It took two of these skim coats, and a lot of time holding my heat gun to get everything to dry. Once sanded, it was nice and smooth.

A coat of Gardz penetrating sealer / primer, and the patched area was ready for wallpaper.

Elapsed time: Two hours.

This saved the homeowner having to hire “a guy” to do the repairs – and most likely, I would have had to “fine tune” whatever he did, anyway.

Slight Pattern Mis-Match on Marimekko Pattern

November 7, 2019


Whoops! Someone at the wallpaper factory let the trimming machine go a little cattywhompus!

The result is a slight miss in the match of this pattern.

Not a big deal. It’s a wild, wacky pattern to begin with, and from a distance it’s barely noticeable.

I did make sure to get the homeowner’s OK before moving ahead.

Another All-White Room Goes Wild With Color

November 7, 2019

Boy, did I have fun with this one! Another all-white room rescued from the igloo-look.

This is the bathroom of a pre-teen gal in the West University neighborhood of Houston. She likes pink and orange, but is too old for flowers or girly stuff. Another focus was to keep in theme with the bold black band of tile around the top of the wainscoting.

This wallpaper is by Marimekko, and was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – 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.

This is a non-woven product, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall or the paste-the-paper methods. (I pasted the paper.) This material is dimensionally -stable and should not shrink or put tension on the wall as it dries. It has high fiberglass content, and is designed to pull off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

It was nice to work with.