Archive for May, 2014

Wallpaper on Siding – CUTE Idea

May 20, 2014

photo (28)Here is some colorful Brunschwig & Fils wallpaper that an artsy and innovative woman wrapped around her home’s siding! Don’t worry – it’s on a screened porch, so it’s protected from the rain and sun.

(I can’t help but notice the bubbles and wrinkles. But I guess if you’re papering siding for your outdoor porch, a few imperfections are not a big deal. Still, the paperhanger in me wants to know what caused the bubbling, and if it were possible to do this installation without the wrinkles.)

Beautiful Vintage Wallpaper

May 19, 2014

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Digital ImageThese two vintage wallpapers, plus a third, a multicolored small floral, were under the Sheetrock in the kitchen of a 1935 home in the Museum District that is being remodeled, where I’ll be hanging new paper in a few months.

In those days, before drywall, a type of cheesecloth was tacked over the shiplapped wooden walls, and the wallpaper was pasted and attached to that. That way, the outlines of the boards would not show. When they wanted to redecorate, they simply pasted new paper and put it right on top of the previous. That’s pretty much a no-no these days, and a pretty certain guarantee of bubbling, but it worked fine back then.

To me, it’s amazing how the colors stay vibrant and distinct, even in sunlight, over all these years. The designer was as delighted with these old papers as I am, and she let me snatch a few samples for my collection.

Interestingly, I have papered in the house next door, and in the house directly across the street – coincidences come in threes!

The interior designer is Jennifer Howard, and the remodeling contractor, whom I have worked with before and highly recommend, is Lesley at Greymark Construction.

Puckered Paper

May 18, 2014

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.

I Got Out My Paper-Stretcher ;)

May 17, 2014

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Digital ImageWhen wallpapering a room, the last corner is usually going to be a mis-match. Usually it’s put behind a door, or somewhere where the drop (length) is short, so you don’t see much of it.

In this powder room in Missouri City, the last corner was a full-length drop, and very visible. Even though this toile pattern is pretty busy and the mis-match would have been a little obscured, I wanted all four corners to have the proper pattern. So I did something different.

Instead of putting the mis-matched spot in the corner, I opted to put it over the door (top photo). The mis-match would only be about a foot tall, as opposed to eight feet. And, really, how many people look up over the door when they’re in a bathroom, anyway? still, a mis-match smack in the middle of a space is much more obvious than one in a corner. But I figured that with the busy toile, I could disguise it well enough.

I was really lucky this time, because, coming around the room from the right, the pattern almost matched up with the pattern on the left. But there was still a gap of about 2″.

What I did was … see how there are two stripes, a light one and a dark one, that are slightly wider than the others? I carefully spliced pieces together, widening two stripes ever so slightly, to help fill that gap. Because of this, the pattern also repeated itself – Look very closely and you’ll see how the castle in the middle of the photo has double elements, and how the goat has two butts.

I used a pencil to doctor the lines on the castle, so it would look less repetitive. The goat’s hiney I left alone. I mean, who’s looking a that?

Now look to the right, and you’ll see that a portion of the fence in the design at the upper right repeats itself. What I did was, I split the strip of wallpaper between a light and a dark stripe, then took another, identical, strip, and from the same design, cut out a chunk with a light and a dark stripe. On the wall, I pasted this thin strip in between the original split strip.

In the finished header (the strip over the door), you can barely notice the repeated design elements, nor the slightly wider stripes. This looks much better than the alternative – a full-length mis-match in a very visible corner of the room.

Nothing special going on in the bottom picture; it’s just showing the pretty pattern. This wallpaper is by WallQuest

Birds, Butterflies, and Flowers

May 16, 2014

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageThis pretty, cheerful wallpaper pattern by Schumacher went in a master bathroom in Missouri City. The home owner loves birds, and she loves traditional style, plus bright color.

It was bought at a discounted price through Dorota at Southwestern Paint, dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com (713) 520-6262.

Flaw of the Day – Wrinkling, Tear

May 15, 2014

Digital ImageAbout three feet of this expensive Schumacher wallpaper had to be discarded, due to wrinkles and a tear within the roll. This probably happened while the printed paper was being rolled up by fast moving machines.

Painters Didn’t Quite Do the Job Right

May 14, 2014

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Digital ImageWhen I first looked at this three-bathroom job to measure and bid, the painters had skim-floated (smoothed) one of the bathrooms, and they had done a pretty good job. I was told they would prepare the other two rooms the same way. So I came to work today expecting to only prime the walls, then get to hanging paper. NOT!

In one of the bathrooms, it looks like they floated the walls, but forgot to go back and sand them smooth. They missed another entire wall in a different bathroom, too. In addition, some of their work in other areas wasn’t up to par. Wallpaper will not “hide” the ridges and rough spots you see in the photos. Instead, it accentuates them.

I spent about a half a day re-smoothing walls. So now I’m behind schedule, worrying about finishing on time, so this homeowner can get her house back in order, and so I can go on to my next client.

My New Ladder Shelf

May 11, 2014

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Digital ImageSome paperhangers keep their tools in a tool belt worn around their waist. I prefer to have my tools easily accessible sitting on top of my ladder. To keep them from rolling off and falling to the floor (or smashing my clients’ countertops), I’ve fashioned trays to attach to the top of my two step ladders.

This one is made from 1″x10″ board, and edged with a trimmed yardstick, which is just wide enough to form a neat wall around the tray. It attaches to the top of the ladder with wing nuts, and can be removed when not needed. It’s sealed with Danish Oil, and the bottom is lined with clear Contact Paper, to protect from water and other materials.

I made this one last week, and love it already.

Cherry Blossoms Make for a Very Pretty Bathroom

May 10, 2014

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Digital ImageThis beautiful pattern is serene, yet just a little beachy, in the master bathroom of this League City home not far from Galveston Island. Previously, the walls were just plain boring paint, and the room felt empty and had no character.

I also put some light aqua & natural fiber grasscloth in an art niche just outside the bedroom door. The homeowner said, “I LOVE it. Now I want to find another room to paper!” (She did. 🙂 )

I spent four days here, smoothing the textured walls, priming, and hanging the wallpaper.

This pattern is by Schumacher, and was sold by Dorota at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village in Houston. She is wonderful at helping you zero in on just the right pattern, and her prices are lower than ‘most anywhere else. By appointment. dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com (713) 520-6262

Patching In With Scraps Saves Paper

May 8, 2014

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Digital ImageHere I am, papering a room and coming to a narrow space between a 9′ cabinet and a door casing. The space is only 4″ wide, but is threatening to use a whole 20.5″ wide strip of paper, 9′ long. This kitchen had six such spaces, from 11″ wide to 1″ wide, and each could have eaten up a full length strip. But I know a few tricks – let’s call them the Paper Stretcher.

You can’t do this with every pattern, but a trellis design like this lends itself perfectly to this trick. What I did was hang the paper over the doors and cabinets, and made sure that it came down far enough in these narrow spaces that I could cut out around the complete pattern (not cutting the trellis design in half horizontally).

Then I took a strip of wallpaper and trimmed it to mesh with the cut trellis design, and then trimmed it vertically to align with the door frame and cabinet. Then it was simply a matter of pasting the strip, and appliquéing it over the existing design. Note that this trick is much less obvious if you carefully trim along the outline of the trellis design; a straight horizontal cut would have left a noticeable ridge under the paper. (Some installers double cut (splice) in these applications, but I prefer to appliqué, because it’s stronger and does not score the wall surface.)

Once the paper is smoothed into place, the overlap is absolutely invisible. I was able to use one full-length, 20.5″ wide strip of paper to cover four narrow spaces like this in the room. The other two were covered with scraps I saved from cutting around doors, etc. In this way, I saved paper that the homeowner can hold onto in case she needs to do repairs down the road.

This pretty trellis pattern is from the Sure Strip line by York Wallcoverings.