Flaws & Defects – A Running Journal

People, I’m so tired of defects in wallpaper!

Some people say that I’m overly picky – I don’t think so. I think that when people pay good money for paper, they should get reasonably good quality. More and more these days, I find defects that make the goods unuseable.

This seems to be happening more and more, and I’m told that it’s partially because much wallpaper is being made over seas these days. (Can you read “China?” – Hello pet food and Corning Ware and other products whose quality has fallen when they started being manufactured outside the U.S.)

Throwing paper away because of a flaw can mean there won’t be enough to finish the job. Sometimes the company will replace the paper – but only if you catch it before cutting up the roll. Tough luck if most of the room has been hung, and a problem shows up in the middle of a roll.

And even if the company replaces the paper at no charge, it means the customer has to live with an incomplete room for the length of time it takes to hassle with the manufactur, sales rep, retail store, etc., until the new paper arrives and can be installed.

I send a lot of paper back, in hopes that the manufacturers will correct the problem, or at least stop selling the defective run. Often, however, they do nothing. Sometimes the bad paper ends up being sold as an inexpensive close-out to unsuspecting retailers. Many of these papers make their ways into compilation books (I will blog on this in the future) and are labled under different brand names.

Enough ranting. I decided to make note of the various flaws and defects as they come along. Here comes the first one…

Last week, I hung some “Ecochic” paper by Wallquest. I encountered two problems:

1. There were some tiny flecks of black embedded in the pale aqua paper, about half way through one roll, probably stray pieces of dirt or fiber that got into the machinery during the manufacturing process. One I was able to dig mostly out with my razor blade, and disguise the remnants by dabbing on joint compound, which would dry to about the color of the pattern on the paper. It was in a spot where it would not be likely to be noticed. The other black spots were very small and, from a distance, would not catch one’s attention.

2. The other defect was a groove gouged into the edge of the roll of paper. This meant that as the paper unrolled from the bolt, there was a small chip missing every few inches along one edge of the paper. This was small, but it was visible, and made for a poorly butted seam. I saved this roll for last, and luckily was able to hang most of the room without using this particular roll.

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