20″ of Waste x 2 x 4 Double Rolls

May 9, 2021

“Calculating how much wallpaper you need is not just about square feet. It is much more about how many strips you need to cover the walls, and how many strips you will get out of each double roll bolt. Do a Search here to learn more.

In this example, the wallpaper has a 24″ pattern repeat. That means that as much as 24″ of the wallpaper can be lost while matching the pattern from one strip to the next. Today, the amount I cut off and threw away between each strip of paper was about 20.”

Usually, that “waste” goes into the trash. But today, since the 20″ was long enough that something could be done with it, I saved it for the homeowners and suggested they use it for drawer liner or to cover a trash can or lamp shade, or as a mat in a picture frame.

This is another reason to keep in mind to let the PAPERHANGER measure your space and determine how many rolls to purchase.

The homeowner originally thought that four rolls (two double-roll bolts) would be sufficient for this accent wall. In actuality, they needed eight rolls (four double-roll bolts).

Sweet Priano in Dusty Pink for New Baby Girl

May 8, 2021

The first-time parents of this soon-to-be-here baby girl have done a super job of coordinating colors in the nursery. This wallpaper from Serena & Lily, the crib and changing table from Pottery Barn, a rug, and other accessories all share the same “toned-down” shade of pink.

The swirling leafy design of the wallpaper is a sort of background pattern (as opposed to making a huge statement on its own). It will suit any age child, from infant to school-girl to teen.

The home is in the Spring Branch neighborhood of Houston.

Getting a “Fat Cut” in Corners – Using a Euni Plate

May 7, 2021

You never wrap a strip of wallpaper around an inside corner.

Corners are neither straight nor true-to-plumb. So trying to wrap around a corner will result in a warped edge, and most likely a strip that is wonking off-plumb.

So you cut your strip of paper vertically in the corner, leaving a tiny bit wrapping onto the new wall. See second photo.

Your next strip of paper will overlap on top of this narrow wrap.

Splitting the strip and overlapping means that you will cover up and lose some of the wallpaper design. Hence, the less you wrap around the corner, the less of the design will be lost in the overlap.

The thickness of the rolled edge of this stainless steel plate / tool is just perfect as a trim guide! Trimming against the rolled edge will yield a 1/16″ – 1/8″ wrap around the corner. So, when you overlap your next piece (the strip you split in half vertically), you are only losing a fraction of the wallpaper design.

This tool has other uses as well – some are too complicated to get into here. But the thinner edge can be used as a trim guide for regular wallpaper work. It’s shorter than most trim guides, so it can be used in small areas. The rounded edges can be used to press paper into areas, or to crease paper before trimming – without leaving marks. And the angle has a purpose – again, too complicated for here. Plus, there are other plates with different angles available, each with different uses.

This ingenious gizmo was conceived by Eunice Bockstrom, a Canadian and fellow member of the Wallcovering Installers Association (WIA). Once or twice a year, she has a metal shop make a run of these metal plates. Eunice has also invented some other very helpful tools, and they also become available when the factory makes a run of them.

We call all of these Euni Tools. 🙂

Burnished Copper Colors in Home Bar Area

May 6, 2021

tThe homeowner loved the coppery-hued colors in this “Carousel Stripe” pattern by Cole & Son. The colors mesh beautifully with the wood tones, and also the brass faucet, in this home bar area.

What’s interesting is that I think the colors (especially the red) are more intense now, than in the samples she got from the vendor. In fact, one complaint of hers was that the vendor sent just one small snip of the paper, and didn’t show the full color spectrum of all 10 stripes that make up the pattern.

No matter. The finished effect really sets off the bar backsplash, and will be a fabulous backdrop once the bottles and glasses are back in place.

This wallpaper is a non-woven material, which is made of synthetic fibers rather than wood or cotton pulp. Instead of the paste-the-wall installation method, I chose to paste-the-paper. This made the material more flexible and manageable, which helped a lot, because when it was dry, it really wanted to crease and flake.

TFor instance, the racks sitting on the counter in the first photo could not be removed. Manipulating, fitting and trimming the wallpaper around the sharp bends and angles without marring the wallpaper was very difficult.

The non-woven, synthetic-origin material (think fiberglass) was also really hard to cut. Even with a brand-new razor blade, I had trouble getting perfect cuts around moldings, and also in a whole lot of other simpler areas.

These two rooms were hard enough, with minimal angles and corners and intricate moldings. If this had been a bathroom, or another room with a lot of turns and fancy cuts, it would have been really difficult to prevent creases and other damage to the wallpaper.

As it was, I spent about nine hours hanging these four single rolls of paper.

This is a wonderfully restored 1939 home in the Rice University area of central Houston.

Getting Smoothing Compound to Dry Quickly

May 5, 2021

In my previous post, the wall had the thick, knock-down texture that is typical in new tract homes in the Houston area. You can’t hang wallpaper on this texture, because it looks bad under the paper, and because it interferes with good adhesion.

The solution is to “skim-float” the walls with joint compound, a.k.a. “mud,” which is much like plaster. The mud needs time to dry. When the texture on the walls is super heavy, as in this home, I usually let the smoothing compound dry overnight. That does add an extra day – and an extra day’s cost – to the job.

To save these homeowners from paying for that extra day, we pulled out all the stops. In this photo, you see my two box fans and my heavy-duty black floor fan blasting away at the wall. In addition, we have the room’s ceiling fan. And, in the lower left corner, the homeowner added his yellow “squirrel cage” fan.

Once the wall got half-way dry, I used my heat gun – the yellow gizmo you see lying on the dropcloth, which I call “The Great Persuader” – to speed up the drying process in stubborn areas.

Still, it took a long time for the wall to completely dry. Next I had to sand the “mud” smooth, vacuum up the dust, wipe residual dust off the wall with a damp sponge, and then apply a primer.

Start to finish, all that prep, plus hanging the paper – a whole 3.1 strips in 35 sq. ft. of space – took nearly eight hours.

Doggone Cute Wallpaper!

May 5, 2021

If you’re stuck working from home, and you’re dachshund-crazy, how can you make your home office more invigorating? Cover the walls with cute, irreverent dachshunds!

The pattern is called Tillsammans. Sorry, I can’t tell you the name of the manufacturer – because I can’t read Swedish! 🙂

It is a non-woven material and was easy to work with. I used the paste-the-wall installation method. The paper went on one accent wall in the home office.

This home is in the new Pomono development in Manvel, a bit south of Houston.

Sophisticated “Bloom” Pattern for Newborn Baby Girl

May 4, 2021
Wall is primed and read to hang.
Baby’s finished wall!
Close-Up … Watercolor-y look and feel on “non-woven” substrate that mimics real gasscloth’s substrate.
Rolling panels out on the floor, to verify sequence and pattern placement before hanging.
Panels laid out in sequence. Panels rolled backward and secured with dollar store hair bands, to reduce “curl” and “memory”, and, most important – to prevent the surface of the paper from coming into contact with / being contaminated by the paste on the wall.
Hanging a small test strip, to see how material will perform. This was important, because both the specs printed on the label , as well as the insert instructions, AND on-line instructions, turned out to be incorrect. Testing helped me know which installation process to follow.
Manufacturer and pattern information.
Layout diagram showing pattern orientation. Note that this design can be hung with the “flowers” coming up from the floor (as the new mother requested here) or hanging down from the ceiling, as depicted on the mock-up they sent.

Please read captions under the photos above, for synopsis information.

zUsed to brighten and personalize the accent wall behind a crib for a new baby girl (the new parents are waiting on a name!) this design by Emma Hayes is entitled Bloom.

Contrary to the information on the manufacturer’s website, the product label, and the instruction insert, this product did not need expensive materials or physical gymnastics to get onto the wall. It ended up being quite nice to work with.

I was made of a non-woven material, which is all synthetic, which means it is dimentionaly-stable and won’t shrink when it dries (or put undue tension on your walls).

another good thing about this paper is that it can be custom-sized to fit any wall. Here, it is important to have the paperhanger measure first and determine how many bolts to buy before you order. It’s not about total square feet. It’s more about how many strips are required to cover your wall.

And it’s imperative that you add 2″ to EACH dimension (top, bottom, and either side), to allow for matching the pattern, wonky walls, un-level ceiling, etc. The extra 1%-2% that some companies add simply is not enough. No matter what the guy on the website’s “Help” line says – they simply do not understand wallpaper, nor do they really know how much you need to buy.

This design is sort of a knock-off of other, more expensive designer brand names – but at a lower price-point, as well as printed on an install-friendly substrate (as opposed to brands that like to “waffle” and “quilt” and curl at the seams and other mis-behaving stuff …

Paint Splatters on Floor

May 2, 2021

Whoops! Someone forgot to put down a dropcloth and got splatters from the paint roller all over the floor.

I see this a lot – but not usually this bad.

It just takes a second, folks, to put down protection for the floor and countertop.

In the second photo, you see my method. I cover the floors, but also tack strips of dropcloths along the top of the baseboards (and also vanity backsplashes).

A Sweet Laundry Room in the Heights

May 1, 2021
Before: Drab, lifeless khaki paint.
After: Bright and cheerful, and definitely unexpected.
Wallpaper coordinates nicely with the stained glass window.
Fun surprise – Are they pineapples or flower bouquets?
The pattern is “Ludic” by Woodchip & Magnolia.

The home is a nicely renovated bungalow in the Houston Heights. The only place to tuck in a laundry room was in an alcove off the master bedroom. Not only does the wallpaper brighten the space, but it looks pretty when viewed from the bedroom.

The material is “non-woven” and can be hung by pasting the back of the paper, or by pasting the wall. I usually choose to paste the paper.

Katie Kime “New Orleans Toile” in Dickenson Powder Room

April 30, 2021

This is my second time to hang this “New Orleans Toile” by Katie Kime in a year. That company has a number of toile patterns that showcase various major cities around the country. These are the kind of patterns that you have to look at “up close and personal” in order to see all the antics going on in the design.

This came as a printed vinyl surface bonded to a non-woven substrate. It was pretty nice to work with. I’m not usually fond of vinyls. But, since the room had numerous corners that were not even approaching being either plumb or straight, the vinyl material ended up being relatively simple to make conform to these variables, and to ease out wrinkles. I was also able to work the edges so that the next strip of wallpaper could butt against them.