Archive for August, 2012

Coincidence of the Day

August 12, 2012

My favorite drapery (and other home sewing needs) gal, Susan Kostelecky, was reading my blog the other day. She e-mailed me with her own “Small World” coincidence…

I blogged about running into the lady painter, Gregory, down the street from a friend’s house here in Montrose. Well, it turns out that Susan knows Gregory – Gregory has painted Susan’s house, and many others in the neighborhood of Garden Oaks.

Small world!

Incidentally, if you are looking for custom made drapes, bedding, or other fabric projects around the home, please do contact Susan. She told me about some recent projects in really expensive homes that were major cool, and she was quite proud of the outcome. But I want to let you all know that she does beautiful work at reasonable prices for us REGULAR FOLK, too!

I can also connect you with Gregory, if you are looking for a good painter.

Clarification Please!

August 11, 2012

This was on the instruction sheet that came with pattern #768435, a Barbara Becker paper by Rasch:

“Apply paste (special paste) directly onto the wall with a lambskin roller.”

Note that there is absolutely NO reference as to WHAT the heck IS this “special paste!”

So I punted, and used my regular paste (this time, it was Roman’s 838), and the installation went just fine.

I hope to have pics soon. This went on an accent wall behind the counter and display case of Gusto, a soon-to-be-open shop on S. Shepherd offering home made Mediterrean food ready to take home, heat, and eat.

I got samples today, and I can attest – these folks can COOK!

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Manufacturer’s Imperfect Seams

August 10, 2012

Click the image to see a larger view…

Danged manufacturers can’t cut their paper straight.  If they can’t produce a straight edge, how can I get a perfectly butted seam?

The problem, which I hope you can see in the pics, is that in places the paper overlaps just a tiny bit, and in other places it gaps.

If I try to push the paper to close the gaps, it increases the overlapped part.   And all this pushing stresses the paper – which is only going to dry and shrink back to the size it wants to be, anyway.  You can tell the flaw is on the manufacturing end, because the gap and the overlap appear at the same spot on the pattern every time it repeats on the strip.

Most customers don’t notice this, but it’s frustrating, because I’d like to give a perfect installation.  But when the manufacturer won’t / can’t cut perfectly, it’s impossible.  I’ve called and talked to manufacturers, and they freely admit that they can’t cut the paper absolutely straight – that’s why, with a striped patern, you never find a seam plotted exactly on the edge of a stripe….it’s always in the middle of a stripe.

And don’t worry,,,  While I could not close the slight gap, I did not leave this paper overlapped.  Once  I finished taking the photo, I worked the seam to be nice and flat.

Astex Questex LG 31504   wallpaper, wallpaper hanger

The Worst Possible Place for a Strip to End

August 9, 2012

This strip ended smack in the middle of one of those danged new-fangeld bull-nosed edges.

The problem? It’s very tricky getting paper to turn these corners to begin with, because they’re never straight and they can cause warping or wrinkling of the paper.

But ending right on the edge is even worse, because you have to worry about adhesion…Wallpaper’s natural inclination is to shrink back to it’s original shape, which is NOT wrapped around an oddly-shaped rounded edge, with little to grab a hold on.

I didn’t snap an “after” shot, but it turned out well. The second piece lined up well and stuck to the edge tightly. My expectation is that it will stay nice and tight for years to come.

Of course, I gave it a little extra help… Besides my usual wallpaper adhesive, I used clear adhesive caulk (taking care to wipe any off the surface of the paper) to give quick tack (sticking power) and more adhesive strength than regular wallpaper paste would have. In addition, caulk is resistant to water, and this seam is right above a “garden” bath tub.

So, yes, I am sure it is going to stay put for eons.

Coming Up Short

August 8, 2012

Here’s something we paperhangers don’t like to see… a strip that ends a half an inch from the corner!

You never wrap a strip of paper around a corner… corners are never straight, and this would cause twisting and warping and crooked paper and all sorts of other ills. So when you come to a corner, you cut the strip vertically, leaving 1/8″ or less to wrap around the corner, and then place the next strip so it overlaps this 1/8″ bit.

In this case above, I had to cut piece of paper from the next strip a mere 1/2″ wide. It’s much more difficult to work with such a narrow strip, and keep it from gapping, than with a wider strip.

What’s particularly annoying, is that this was my first wall, and I had control of where the strips would fall. Meaning that, if I had measured more carefully and plotted accordingly, and taken into account all the strips that were hung on that wall, instead of focusing only on the first and second strips, I could have prevented this by starting at the corner, instead of next to the doorjam as I did.

A little techinical, I know, but I think you get the idea.
1. Never wrap wallpaper around an inside corner
2. Measure and plot for all strips on a wall, when possible.

Coincidence of the Day

August 8, 2012

I was at a wedding reception Saturday evening. I had one of those “I know you from somewhere” conversations with one of the gals attending.

Turns out I did a wallpaper bid for her just a few weeks ago! She works with one of the grooms. (It was two guys who got married.)

Small world!

Coincidence of the Day

August 7, 2012

I did a bid in West University Place, for stripping paper from several rooms in a home going on the market. The realtor is Bobbie Fisher (who is fabulous, BTW, and specializes in Rice U, West U, Bellaire, and Memorial areas)

The coincidence? As soon as I walked in the door, I knew I had been in that home before. I know I papered the powder room not too darned long ago, and I probably did the dining room and some of the other rooms, dating back as far as 1994.

I like to say I remember all the houses I’ve ever worked in, but by now, there are hundreds and hundreds of them.

The paper in the powder room, by the way, is a beautiful and classic bird pattern by Thibaut that I’ve hung many many times.

Unexpected – but Cool – Effect

August 3, 2012

This wallpaper, a grey mossy green with silver squiggles all over it, had a subtle stripe. The homeowners may not have seen this in the pattern book, as you really had to have several strips next to one another to see it.

They may have been surprised to see this. But once the wall was done, the effect mimicked sunlight dappling the wall. It’s gorgeousl

Coincidence of the Day

August 2, 2012

So I’m working way south of town, in Pearland, today and tomorrow.

Turns out the homeowners work out at the Downtown YMCA,  miles from their house, but very close to mine, where I was a member for 20+ years. (When the Y moved into its new building, I switched to LAFitness.) They go at 5:00 a.m., the same time I used to go. And the wife is a swimmer, same as I – meaning she was swimming at the same time I was swimming.

We had a nice chat about fellow swimmers, the lifeguards, the new facility, and more.

She hates cold water, same as I, so I told her about the blissful 82*-84* degree pool at LA Fitness, which is never crowded, either.

Small world!

wallpaper installer houston

Want to see what the Wallpaper Lady looks like?

August 1, 2012

Here I am, putting grasscloth on the back of bookshelves.