Striping the Wall to Hide the Seams

I was hanging this paper by Harlequin this past weekend: tp://www.harlequin.uk.com/DesignDetails.aspx

Most wallpapers stretch when they get wet with paste, and then shrink just a little when they dry. With most papers, this isn’t a big deal. But with a strongly colored paper, like this all-black one, that can mean hair’s-breadth gaps between the seams, leaving just-noticeable white lines showing from underneath.

One of the tricks we use is to color the edges of the paper, so the white backing won’t show. With this paper, though, the manufacturer had done that – not all do, so it’s nice when they think ahead and build it right into the paper. But I still had to worry about my white primer showing, if the paper shrank.

So I plotted out where the seams would fall, and used water color to paint black stripes on the wall. That way, if the paper shrank even a little, black would show from below, not white.

I mentioned that paper stretches as it absorbs moisture from the paste. That meant that I couldn’t paint the lines spaced the width of the strips of paper as it came off the bolt – 20.5″, but had to factor in how much it would stretch…which, for this type of British pulp paper is about .5″. So my stripes were spaced 21″ apart.

It was an accent wall in a master bedroom, with a silver velvet tufted very modern headboard that went against the wallpaper. Looked super!

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