Archive for June, 2013

Hand-Trimming a High-End Paper

June 7, 2013

Digital ImageSome wallpapers, particularly the higher-end brands, come with the selvedge still on the edge, and this had to be hand-trimmed off.

You can do this two ways. One is to hang the strips of paper on the wall, and then double-cut (splice) them together. This gives an absolutely perfect seam, but you run the risk of cutting too deep and scoring the wall. (I put a strip of special plastic behind the seam while cutting, to prevent this.) Also, it’s pretty common for some of the manufacturer’s trim lines to end up showing.

The other method is to dry-trim the paper on the work table, using a straight edge and razor knife. That’s what I’m doing in this photo. The manufacturer puts “Trim” marks on the paper to act as guides. Or, what I did today way, find the match on the pattern, and then cut along an element of the design, making sure that the cut edges will match the pattern on the next strip.

This wallpaper is by Scalamandre.

How Yesterday’s Wall Turned Out

June 7, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageThe first photo shows how nice the wall looked, once I was finished smoothing and priming. The slight texture is from the roller used while priming, and did not show under the paper.

The second shot is the finished room. The client, who wasn’t home while I was working, called me tonight to tell me how much she loves it. Makes me feel good!

The wallpaper is by Scalamandre, “Willowy Fields” #81232, a very classic pattern.

Big Surprise – and MESS – Under the Old Wallpaper Today

June 6, 2013

Digital ImageWhen I removed the old wallpaper, it took part of the wall with it. The previous installer skim-floated the walls with joint compound (similar to plaster) to smooth them, which is fine. But he neglected to prime the surface. So when I wet the old paper to soften the paste, the joint compound also got wet, and then reactivated, and pulled away from the wall in little chunks. This also happened when pulling the paper dry.

A primer would have prevented this. It always gets me when an installer won’t spend the extra hour and $10 to put a coat of primer on the wall. This is a nice home in a well-to-do neighborhood, so you would think the homeowners hired skilled professional. Oh well, sometimes even the “pros” cut corners.

My remedy was to scrape off any loose chunks, and then refloat the walls, creating a thin new layer on top of the old. Once that was dry, I sanded it smooth, and followed that with a primer. All this took a whole lot more time, but it created a smooth, stable surface for the new paper.

Everything will dry overnight, and I’ll hang the new wallpaper tomorrow.

Very Small Geometric Print in a Bathroom

June 5, 2013

Digital ImageI’m hanging lots of geometric patterns these days, but they are usually over-sized designs.

Here is one that is quite small.  It’s silver metallic and black on grey.

The wallpaper is a Disney pattern, by York.