Puckered Paper

Digital ImageDigital ImageIt’s always a red flag when wallpaper smells like mothballs. In this case, the puckering is caused by the paper backing absorbing moisture from the paste at different rates – where the tan ink is, it is expanding a lot, and where the dark ink is, not so much. Even after booking it for the recommended length of time, the puckers remained.

It was a bugger to work with on the wall, trying to get the bubbles out without overstretching or burnishing the paper, while still keeping the pattern straight at the ceiling and wainscoting. I am grateful that I had only 3′ drops; a full-length wall would have been VERY difficult.

Once this dried, it looked OK. But the tan areas wanted to keep expanding and pushing up at the seams (we call that “wiring”), and the dark ink had little gaps at the seams. This was a pricey paper. The homeowners could have gotten a similar pattern by a less expensive manufacturer, with standard inks on a standard substrate, and better performance, in my opinion.

This is a hand-printed lattice pattern by Tyler Hall, and went in a laundry room in the Rice University area. There is no A/C vent in the room, and, with the washer & dryer, humidity is a concern, because humidity can cause wallpaper to curl at the seams. I advised the homeowners to keep the door to the room open, to allow humidity to escape and to let fresh, drier air in.

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