Archive for September, 2013

Mildew Under Wallpaper

September 30, 2013

Digital ImageSee the dark line under the seam? That’s mildew. When I stripped off the other sheets on this wall, there was a little bit of black mildew scattered about. This wall adjoins the laundry room, so it’s possible that humidity got inside the wall, and caused the mildew. There was no mildew on any of the other walls in the bathroom.

Mold can cause health problems; mildew simply wants to grow through wallpaper and put ugly spots on the surface. It also interferes with adhesion, since it’s powdery.

I used bleach to kill the mildew, and then primed with KILZ, which will seal it and prevent it from growing or showing through the new wallpaper.

Can You Spot the Pattern Mis-Match?

September 29, 2013

Digital ImageSee the seam? (Color differences are due to the paper not being dry yet.) What you don’t see is the mis-matched pattern.

This paper is 20.5″ wide, and the strip over the door would have extended a few inches to the right of the door. That meant that I would have to use a full 8′ of paper to cover those few inches to the right of the door, and lose most of the strip where it hung over the door.

If I could make the strip less than the width of the door frame, I could save a whole lot of paper. But if I cut a few inches off the right side of the wallpaper, it would no longer match the left side of the next strip.

So, what I did was – invent my own pattern match.

I found about the width that I wanted the paper to be over the door, and then looked along the left side of a fresh roll of wallpaper, until I found a part of the design that pretty well lined up with the design on the short strip. Once the two strips were up on the wall, it was a small matter of taking a pencil and drawing vines, stems, and leaves that connected the pattern on both strips.

Voilà! Saved a whole lot of paper, and no one is the wiser.

This trick worked because of the loose nature of the floral pattern. If it had been a more structured pattern, such as where you have to see the same diamond, for instance, at the top of each strip, it probably would not have worked. But in this case, since the eye can’t really tell one flower from another, it was the perfect opportunity to do a little fiddling, save 8′ of paper, and save me work, too.

Wallpaper Instead of Oil Paintings

September 27, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageWant to make a statement with art, but want something outside the normal prints and paintings? This wallpaper is THE ANSWER!

Carl Robinson has designed a line for Seabrook of unique images that don’t just hang on the wall, but totally FILL THE WALL with color and imagination.

The images are everything from blobs of wild color to flaking, rusty paint, to close ups of gears or bicycle wheels, to hand-drawn antique Paris maps, on and on.

The designs have accompanying coordinating papers, more or less solid or textured, so as not to compete with the main picture, that are intended to fill the wall space beyond the width of the picture.

I am crazy about this concept, and hope people see it and jump on it. NO ONE ELSE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD – heck, probably no one else in your CITY – will have anything as cool as this!

You can buy these through Dorota at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet at Wakeforest in Houston, call to make an appointment (713) 520-6262,

Re the last photo…the book is expensive, and there is only one of them, hence the note that it must remain in the store (meaning that customers can look at it there, but cannot take it home).

“You can never have enough champagne in the fridge or wallpaper upon your walls.”

September 26, 2013

Great article about the come-back of wallpaper (link below). It talks mostly about the very high-end papers, which are nice to look at. But there are plenty of beautiful choices at a much more reasonable price.

September 26, 2013

Digital Image

Tailored Geometric Going Up

September 25, 2013

Digital ImageThis wallpaper is by Eco Chic, going in a master bathroom. It’s amazing how it changes the room, once it starts going around counter tops and doors and windows.

I call this sort of pattern a “handsome” look, rather than “pretty.” So if you’ve got a man sharing the room, and he won’t go for frilly, this is a good option.

Woven Grasscloth Hides Seams Better

September 24, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageI like the texture of this woven grasscloth. It’s not as “wild” as typical grasscloth products, and gives a more tailored look. And… the seams are not nearly as noticeable as with the usual grass patterns.

I hung seven strips on this master bedroom accent wall, and all the seams were nearly invisible. The final strip, though, had a bit of “shading,” or “paneling.” I’m glad this one was at the end … if it had fallen in the middle of the wall, it would have been more obvious, and the overall look would have been much less pleasing.

The first photo is a close-up; the second is a shot of the finished wall.

This is by Thibaut, #839-T-5013.

There’s a Reason Why Light Fixtures Specify What Wattage Bulbs to Use

September 24, 2013

Digital ImageThis crackly paint was on the wall right next to a light fixture, right where a 100 watt bulb sat. The heat from the bulb caused the paint to crack.

This home was built in the ’60’s, and the paint was probably oil-based, which would crack like this (latex paint has a little more flex).

I skim-floated over it and sanded smooth, then primed. No future problems are expected.

But… please follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on maximum wattage for bulbs in light fixtures.

Wallpaper and the Skinny Contortionist

September 20, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageHow would you like to cut wallpaper to go around a fancy-schmancy faucet like this? Or squeeze wallpaper behind a tub set just a few inches away from the wall?

Good thing I’m patient. And small. 🙂

Un-Smooth Move of the Day

September 20, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageHow dumb is this?! The manufacturer of this expensive metallic finish grasscloth uses CELOPHANE TAPE to secure the rolls and the labels. HELLOooOOOoo!! Clear tape PULLS THE SURFACE OFF THE WALLPAPER!

In Photo 1, you can see the glint of the tape. It’s hard to see in Photo 2, but when the tape came off, it took some of the color off the wallpaper. And it’s not just at the top of the roll, either. Because the roll is thick, the tape wraps around to damage about 6″ of paper.

With this grasscloth, I was pleased to see that Thibaut used little cardboard covers to protect the ends of the rolls. But, geeze – get some REMOVEABLE tape to hold the rolls together and the labels on. Ya know, like blue painter’s tape, Post It Notes adhesive, that sort of thing.

Even better, DON’T USE TAPE AT ALL … Use some of the paper wraps that have stick to themselves, and they’ll hold everything together nicely, with NO damage to the paper at all.

This dull finish slightly metallic burnished gold grasscloth is by Thibaut, #839-T-3696