Archive for March, 2012

Flaw of the Day

March 13, 2012

Printers Guild Productions #EG21406

Very porous paper, absorbed the paste during the booking time, so by the time it got to the wall there was little paste left to adhere the paper to the wall. I had to repaste most of the seams.

This is a pattern with a huge red medallian on white background. Surprisingly, the red ink was not colorfast. As I wiped the paper with my damp rag, the red color would run and streak. When I needed to wipe the paper, I had to make sure that I wiped back into the medallian, not into the white space, in order to hide any streaking of the ink.

I think many of these issues are a result of manufacturers trying to “be green.” Well, I wish they would try less to be trendy and work harder to make QUALITY products. I also wish they would TEST papers before putting them on the market.

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wallpaper installer houston

Trimming Scalamandre

March 6, 2012

Most wallpapers come pre-trimmed by the factory.  But many of the high-end wallpapers come untrimmed,  meaning that the selvedge edge is in place,  much as with fabric.  This has to be trimmed off by the installer.

When I handle a hand-trimmed paper, usually I use the “double-cut” method – applying both strips to the wall side-by-side and overlapping the selvedge edges, then cutting through both layers with a very sharp razor blade, then removing the unneeded edges, creating a spliced seam.

This creates an absolutely perfectly butted seam, but there are potential problems, too.  One is the possiblity of scoring the wall, which can cause problems down the road if the paper shrinks or curls and manages to pull the wall surface with it – this will result in a lifting seam.  Another problem is that it almost always resutls in one of the “trim” lines printed by the manufacturer showing.

So this time, because the strips to be hung were short, I used the dry-trimming technique.  For this, I cut the 5′ strips before pasting, laying them on my 7′ table and using a 6′ straight edge and a very sharp razor blade.

Once the paper was hung, the resulting seam was OK.  But not as good as the seams that were double-cut on the wall.  There was some very minor gapping.  I noticed that the seams looked better and tighter as the paper dried.

The main problem with dry-trimming is that you can only get a perfectly straight cut for the length of your straight edge.  Once you move the straight edge to cut the next section of paper, you don’t have a perfectly straight edge.

I guess that’s not so awful, though.  The wallpaper manufacturers themselves can’t cut their own paper straight, even with fancy factory equipment.

So I guess you can say that a little imperfection is to be expected.

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wallpaper installer houston

Wallpaper Hangers’ Meet-Up – Validation!

March 2, 2012

At our First Ever Houston Area Wallpaper Hangers’ Networking Meet-Up February 19, we swapped a lot of trade secrets. One of the main topics was primers – something all of us feel is essential to a good and proper wallpaper installation.

Most everyone there uses some sort of latex or acrylic primer. I, on the other hand, am adamant about my oil based KILZ, for many reasons. (See previous post.) This generated a whole lot of discussion.

One fella arrived about an hour into our get-together. Theron Moore does really high-end wallpaper installations in very expensive homes. He’s always been something of an icon to me, and I was thrilled when he phoned and said he would be able to catch some of our meet-up.

I was even more thrilled when Theron said, very adamantly, that he also uses KILZ oil based, and even brings his own along when he does a job in California, for instance, where the product is not sold.

Yeaaay! Validation!!

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wallpaper installer houston

Houston Area Paperhangers’ Meet-Up

March 1, 2012

I mentioned that a number of us independent paperhangers got together on Sunday, February 19, for the first-ever networking meet-up.

While swapping stories, it became evident that most of us had shared the same experiences … the joys of seeing a room go from outdated to gorgeous and knowing that the client is happy, clients who love us for putting down dropcloths after the painters who were there the week before insisted they were “so good they don’t need dropcloths,” customers who do their own measuring and insist they need less paper than they actually do, the various flaws found in wallpaper, lugging 50lb buckets of paste up to the third floor bathroom, working behind the guy who hung the same paper on top of itself (We unanymously agreed that he must be paid by the roll or hour, and he was trying to use up paper or time), and the occasional customer who simply won’t rest until she’s fed you – and that can even include sitting down with the family and joining them for dinner.

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wallpaper installer houston