Paper Shortage and Mis-Matched Run

Digital Image Digital ImagePeople! Please buy the amount of paper I tell you to – not what your Uncle Wilber comes up with by fiddling with his calculator and slide rule!!

When I first went to hang this bathroom, the homeowners had not purchased the right number of rolls. We still needed two 8′ strips and a 14″ piece for over the window. With 27″ wide goods, which is 27′ long, after discarding the damaged first couple of inches and then matching the pattern, that’s about what you get out of a double roll. So I told them to order two more rolls (a double roll).

When I went back today to finish the install, there waiting for me was a SINGLE ROLL. Exactly enough to give me one 8′ strip and about another 6′. NOT enough to do that wall! To make matters worse, the run number was different from what was used previously, so I could not use the left over paper, because that would leave a very noticeable color difference between the strips.

After considerable plotting, measuring, planning and testing, here’s what I ended up doing:

It was crucial that the most visible pieces to be all of the same run. There was a toilet against this wall, that could hopefully hide some of the mis-matched runs. I cut the short piece for over the window and the first 8′ strip from the roll, and put them up. Looked good.

After matching the pattern and discarding the banged-up-and-creased tail end of the roll, only about 6′ were left. This fell to slightly below the top of the toilet, and about 24″ from the floor. For this remaining 2′, I would have to use the left over paper from the other run.

I had two options for doing this. One was to splice the papers together with what we paperhangers call a “double cut.” This would leave a nice smooth surface. But, since the paper was thick, the seam would be likely to be noticeable. Your eye is forgiving of verticle seam lines in wallpaper, but not so much with horizontal lines. This particular paper (more of the “green” krapp that manufacturers are churning out right now) dries really quickly, and could cause delamination (tearing apart) of the paper when I tried to seperate the spliced layers of paper.

The other problem is that a straight cut would show the color difference where it cut through the blue areas. (Yes, I could have meticulously cut around the white lattice design, but that is really hard and time consuming, inacurate, and REALLY hard to do behind a toilet!

So instead I opted to overlap the paper. If cut the paper off straight across and overlapped, there would be a visible bump or ridge the full width of the strip, where there was a double thickness. To minimize this, instead of cutting straight across, I used a razor to cut around the white lattice design, on both the top and bottom pieces. Cutting around the white pattern also means that no blue background from one run would be meeting the other run, so the color difference would also be disguised.

The top photo shows the process in progress, and the bottom photo shows that, although there is still a double thickness and a color difference, from a distance, it’s not all that noticeable.

The pattern is Schumacher 5005143.

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