Archive for April, 2010

It’s Best to Test

April 30, 2010

I got a call from a client, asking to hold off on our planned installation date.

The reason? She took my advice!

You see, when I visited her house for the initial consultation, she stated that she really loved the wallpaper she had selected, but that she was unable to “visualize” how it would look on the wall. Many people say the same thing.

I told her to take the wallpaper book to Kinko’s and get some color photo copies made. She could pin the copies next to one another, to see how the pattern looked spread over a larger space, and how it looked on all four walls.

Well, she followed my suggestion and – guess what? She realized that the pattern was indistinct and the color too faint, and the whole thing would look too washed out in her small powder room.

Coincidentally, a second client also delayed her job, also due to following my advice. She had selected natural grasscloth for a family room – which would be touched and bumped frequently by little children. Grasscloth won’t hold up to this, because it stains and scruffs easily. So they are now looking for something made of a more durable material.

Now both these people are back to the drawing board, searching for something that will work better. This is far better than investing a lot of money for paper and labor, and then realizing they don’t love the final result.

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Wallpaper’s BACK – So Says the Chicago Tribune

April 22, 2010

Please click the links at right to learn about me and my business.

Then click the link below to learn what top designers and manufacturers say about the new styles and uses for wallcoverings!

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/6936516.html

Knowing When to Bail

April 20, 2010

Please click the links at right to learn about me and my business.

Today I got two calls, both saying the same identical thing: “We need your help! We (or my husband) started wallpapering our bathroom, and got part way through, and realized it wasn’t going the way it should. It was harder than we thought it would be.”

You know, the manufacturers make it sound like a simple DIY project, when, in fact, doing a good wallpaper job takes a lot of know-how and experience.

Just the prep alone is tricky – and one of the most important elements for the job. Both of today’s callers, though, had totally neglected to do any prep at all – No wonder their jobs failed!

And prep is just the start. After that, it’s more than just pasting and applying the paper. There are lots of tricks and knowledge that only come with experience over a period of time – like how much pressure to use when smoothing, how to cut around intricate moldings, which side of the straight edge to place your razor blade, on and on.

I look forward to seeing these two jobs, and hope I can help the homeowners to finish up with a beautiful room.

Different Prep & Installation Techniques

April 15, 2010

Please click the links at right to learn about me and my business.

After I finished my two-day job yesterday (which turned out very well, BTW, two tones of blue stripes on white paper in two young boys’ shared bathroom), the client made the comment that she was glad she hired me.  Here are some things she mentioned.

1. My work was beautiful.

2. The other installers she talked to had quoted higher prices.

3. The other installers stated they were not going to remove the existing wallpaper.

4. The other installers had said that there would be places were the stripes would not line up and would not match.

My thoughts:

3. I agree that it can sometimes be difficult to remove existing wallpaper, especially the very thin tight paper in this room, and that SOMEtimes it’s possible to prep the existing paper and hang new paper over it. But a paperhanger should always at least TRY to remove the paper. That eliminates worries about loose places here and there, and about the new wet paper causing bubbles in the paper surface below.  Plus, the fewer layers and the less bulk you have on the wall, the less chance of something pulling away down the road.

4. Yes, houses are never truely “square” or true to plumb, and stripes can be tricky to install. But there are many tricks of the trade, so to speak, that can actually make stripes EASIER to install, and easier to hide such flaws as this particular room had, like the mirror that was 1/2″ out of square with the wall from it’s top to bottom edges. Planning ahead to have to live with crooked lines is like giving up before you’ve started.

Instead of making excuses for inaccuracies, I say devise a way to eliminate, or at lease minimize, the chances of them occuring.

More Fun With Contractors and Wallpaper

April 15, 2010

You know how things come in threes? Well, here comes No. 2:

A few days ago, I got a call from a painter friend whose crew had accidentally damaged a client’s wallpaper while taping off areas in preparation for painting.

Well, the other day I got a call from another contractor, whose crew had accidentally damaged the client’s wallpaper while installing and working on new counter tops.

This is pretty common, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anyone was being careless. Countertops are heavy, and, while positioning them, it’s easy to bang into the walls and damage the wallcovering.

It’s also a reason why, when redoing a room, I like to be the LAST contractor to work, to lessen the chances that damage will be done to the new wallpaper.

In fact, just today, I got an e-mail from someone who read my post about Don’t Tape the Wallpaper!, who realized it would be better to have me come do the installation AFTER her painters were finished.

DON’T TAPE THE WALLPAPER!!

April 9, 2010

Please read the links at right to learn about me and my wallpaper installation business.

I got a frantic call from a painter buddy of mine the other day. It seems his crew was prepping a room, getting ready to spray paint a shower area. They were putting plastic over areas not to be painted, and using tape to hold the plastic in place. All standard proceedure.

The only problem was, the surface they were applying the tape to was wallpaper. And not a durable, tape-resistant type like solid vinyl, and not even the more delicate vinyl-coated paper, but a very expensive UNcoated PAPER paper.  And VERY expensive.

Yep, you guessed it – the tape pulled the ink right off the paper, and even lifted some of the paper away from the wall.

Moral: Don’t trust what labels say… Blue painter’s tape, green “removeable” tape…. NO tape can pressed onto wallpaper and then removed safely. There is ALWAYS the chance that it will lift the paper, remove some of the ink, or, most commonly, remove the top layer of paper.

Repairs can be tricky, and in some cases, impossible.

Best to leave the tape on the store shelf!