Loose Seam on Grasscloth

Digital ImageDigital ImageI hung this Phillip Jeffries grasscloth in a home office a few months ago, and then went back to put more in an art niche over the desk, two strips about 7′ long. A little later, the homeowner e-mailed me a photo showing what looked like an overlap, and I thought the paper had somehow swelled or grown.

Luckily, it was simply loose seams, and was much easier to fix. Really, all it needed was some paste. But there was more to it than just that.

Because when paper pulls away from the wall like this, it also shrinks a little, I was worried about the white primer showing inbetween the two strips of paper. So I got my water color paints, a TINY artist’s brush, and CAREFULLY painted the wall behind the seam. Since grasscloth is porous and uncoated, it stains very easily, so it was imperative to do this carefully and precisely.

Once that was dry, I used a thin flexible 1 1/2″ putty knife to slip behind the paper and lift it up, and then used another thin putty knife to CAREFULLY slide paste onto the back of the strip. Paste will also stain grasscloth, so this had to be done meticulously, too. Once the paste was in place, I used a paperhanger’s squeege to carefully ease the paste along the loose edge, making sure to direct it away from the seam, to avoid it squishing out and staining the seam.

It worked perfectly. The “after” shot came out too dark, so – you will just have to see it in your imagination. 🙂

I have no idea why a few feet of this one seam came loose, and the rest of the room is perfect. Perhaps it has something to do with the location, or more likely it’s because the paste could have dried out before I got the strip to the wall. Or, since this niche job was done in relatively little time, it’s possible that the primer did not dry completely. I always like to know WHY a situation has occurred, because I think then there is a better chance of avoiding it in the future.

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