Archive for February, 2012

Spring Meadow Wallpaper

February 29, 2012

I’ve got a client looking at this paper for her to-be-born baby girl: http://www.dwellstudio.com/sparrow-meadow-wallpaper.html?utm_source=mediaforge&utm_medium=remarketing&utm_campaign=brand&utm_content=sale&utm_term=300×250

I was on line today and this image popped up. Hmmm. I wonder if that’s how she found it, too.

It’s unusual in that it comes in panels instead of rolls, and the width is 24″, which is not standard. It’s pre-pasted, which is unusual in “boutique” papers such as this.

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Flaw of the Day – Scalamandre

February 23, 2012

Scalamandre WP88213-2 “Daphne” http://visualaccess.scalamandre.com/wwiz.asp?wwizmstr=OE.PATTERN&TEMPID=SCALA*16111*40786&PGNO=2&pattern=01!WP88213

Scalamandre is a very high-end paper, and I was somewhat surprised to find them making this type of paper….falling into the eco-friendly craze, I guess … spongy feeling, “paste the wall” idiocy, and “no need to cut, hang directly from the roll” – what is THAT all about?!

Anyway, back to defects… The paper was carefully wrapped in a box and protected with bubble wrap, but still had banged edges.

In addition, because of the thickness of the eco-friendly material, when rolled up and wrapped in plastic, the horizontal end of the strip was pressed into the roll, leaving a very noticeable line across the width of the paper, going into the roll several wraps deep. This meant I had to cut off and throw away at least one full repeat, which, in this case, is two feet. That’s on each double roll.

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wallpaper installer houston

Houston Independent Paperhangers Comraderie

February 21, 2012

Yesterday, for the first time ever, a bunch of us (9) independent Houston area paperhangers got together – to meet one another, network, talk shop (wallpaper, primer, techniques), talk business (marketing, inventory, expenses), swap war stories, and discuss benefits of being members of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers.

Five others had RSVP’d but were unable to attend, and I’m sorry about that.  Oddly, although I contacted several times some of the “chain” type sales and installation companies, none of them attended our meet up.

We have been talking about this for at least a decade, so it was great to finally have it come about. Everyone felt comfortable right away, and we had a grand time. For 3 1/2 hours, the conversation never ebbed – not even when our food orders came out and everyone started eating.

Although we all earn our livings in the same general area, there was never a sense of competition or jealousy or resentment. Just sincere desire to meet one another, hear of others’ experiences, share tips, and honestly try to help one another out.

It was a very positive experience, and I’m sure we will be getting together in the future, and perhaps starting a chapter of the NGPP here in Houston.

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wallpaper installer houston

Wallpaper and Hair Permanents

February 14, 2012

I got my hair permed today. Since the van was in the shop (Astro vans are Hell on front end suspension – or should I say CRAPPY HOUSTON STREETS are Hell on suspension systems??!), I road my bicycle, even though it was raining. Simply donned a poncho and road through the rain.

It was still raining when the perm was done and I was ready to go. I slipped into my poncho and headed for the door.

All of a sudden, I saw a look of horror cross my hair stylist’s face. “You canNOT let your hair get wet for three days!” she cried.

I have to admit, I got quite a chuckle out of this. You see, Erica had about the exact same look I get on my face when I finish a wallpaper job I’ve put a lot of time and effort and pride into, and the first thing the homeowner does is walk up and RUN HER HAND OVER THE PAPER…or any other action that could potentially soil, stain, abrade, or otherwise hurt the paper.

I guess Erica and I are both Nervous Nellies about wanting our creations to look and perform their absolute best.

Incidentally, my hair stylist is Erica, the owner of Vertigo Hair Concepts, at 3208 S Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77098, (713) 574-8642. She’s been treating my hair for over a decade, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else. I highly recommend her.

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wallpaper installation houston

Wallpaper and Enchanting Eyes

February 10, 2012

What do wallpaper and beautiful eyes have in common?

People coming to get eyelash extensions at Etsetera Lash Studio (http://www.etsetera.com/ ) on Timmons in the Greenway Plaza area of Houston will be greeted by two stunning walls of wallpaper.

Just about the whole salon is done up in some shade of silver or hot pink. Owner Ebony found a wallpaper with an emobssed (3-D, raised) medallian design on a metalic silver background. We put it in the reception / waiting area, on two 11′ high walls opposing one another.

There’s a hot fuschia sofa in front of the wall, flanked by two blue grey barrel chairs, with a clear Lucite coffee table inbetween.

Looks FABULOUS! I’ll have a photo up on my website soon, but for now, here’s the link to the wallpaper. http://www.grahambrown.com/us/product/30-418/Majestic%3A+Hot+Pink+Wallpaper

I will note that the paper went up beautifully and easily, just as the manufacturer claims on the label. It was bought through Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet just west of Kirby. (713) 520-6262

Discolored Patch

February 8, 2012

I wrote previously about a job where I replaced one short piece over a door, which had been damaged by a water leak. The original wallpaper was a white grasscloth, that had been discolored – either by time, exposure to light, paste, or other.

Either way, the left over paper in the box that I was to use to replace the damaged strip was white, while the paper on the rest of the walls was tan. I discussed the color difference with the homeowner, and explained that there would be a very noticeable difference in color between the new patch and the existing paper. She was eager to get damaged piece replaced, and felt it would look better than the water stained piece hanging away from the wall. So I did the repair.

I removed the stained piece of grasscloth, scraped out loose Sheetrock damaged by the water leak, refloated the wall, sanded, and primed.

Replacing one piece in the middle of a wall is tricky, but it’s trickier even still when it’s a thick product like grasscloth, and one that can’t be wet or touched like you would a normal paper.
I was very pleased that I was able to get the new patch to fit the space perfectly. The repair looked great.

Except for the very noticeable color difference. It showed up even more, with the fresh new strip on the wall instead of in the box.

The homeowner noticed it, too, but still felt it looked better than when the damaged water stained strip was in place.

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wallpaper installer houston

Venetian Plaster Has Run Its Course

February 5, 2012

The faux finish called Venetian plaster, popluar in the early 2000’s, has run its course, I’m happy to say.

When done well, it can look good. But too often, it’s poorly done, or applied in an inappropriate situation.

For instance, today I looked at a 1970’s townhouse that had heavily trowled plaster all over every room. Way too much! And way too poorly done. It was thick, irregular, globby, and just unattractive. Of course, SOMEone loved it, at some point in time.

But come on, folks. If you have a large house that’s built to look like it is sitting in Tuscany, with a red tile roof and lots of wood and iron accents, Venetian plaster might be a good choice – assuming you hire a skilled artisan to do the work.

But please…not in a Victorian four square, or a Craftsman bungalow, or a ’60’s ranch style house, or 1970’s townhouse with classic traditional elements.

Back to that townhome I looked at today…The new owner had inherited a mess. Because the finish is so thick, you generally cannot go over it – it has to be removed. This means using putty knives to literally scrape the stuff off the walls. Very labor intensive, very expensive, very messy, and it leaves the walls in horrible shape. In this case, the walls would have to be retaped, patched, and skim floated, then sanded smooth. MAJOR work.

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Clay Paste & Grasscloth – Uh-Oh!!

February 3, 2012

I did a repair job last weekend in a room that had been papered some years back in a white woven grasscloth. Althouth the left over paper in the box was white, all the paper on the walls was a yellowish tan.

When removing the piece I was replacing, I could see that the original installer had used clay-based paste. (Read my previous comments on clay paste in my posts under Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper.)

When hanging grasscloth, a product that stains very easily, it’s crucial that the workman uses a very clear paste, formulated specifically for grasscloth, linen, silk, and other such materials. In addition, extra care must be taken to be sure no paste gets onto the surface of the paper. Otherwise, staining is inevitable.

And EVERY installer knows – or SHOULD know, that clay paste stains just about EVERYthing, and should NEVER be used with grasscloth.

It’s my belief that the clay paste, which is grey/brown/red in color, actually seeped through the backing of the wallpaer, causing the color to transfer to the surface of the grasscloth. What is amazing is that the color was so uniform – no blotching or areas of higher color concentration.

It does happen that stains will work their way through a wallpaper. Ink, blood, rust, water stains, grease, etc., will often eventually come through the paper, if not sealed with a primer such as KILZ. Usually this takes a while.

(People sometimes ask why I don’t eat or drink while I’m working. It’s because I don’t want any chance that grease or sugar will get onto the surface of the wall or the wallpaper. Plus it’s distracting.)

What’s even more amazing in this case, the homeowner said that the discoloration showed up immediately. She said when thhe workmen were finished, she was so disappointed, becasuse she had bought this beautiful white grasscloth, but the finished room turned out to be yellow/tan.

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Grasscloth at the Forefront!

February 3, 2012

Man, the phone has been ringing off the hook today!  (Happens frequently on Thursdays, for some reason.)

And I’m betting that at least 50% of the calls were people wanting grasscloth.

And probably another 50% were people wanting accent walls.

Two popular trends in wallpaper today!

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wallpaper installer houston