Wrapping Window Returns with Stiff Grasscloth

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image
Here is a continuation of yesterday’s job. This wall has five windows, each with two edges (returns) that need to have the wallpaper wrapped inside them. The wallpaper is grasscloth, which is thick and stiff, and not inclined to turn corners without a fight. I used my new “Uni-tool” (invented by a fellow WIA / NGPP member) to persuade the material to wrap around the edge.

The metal tool was used to kind of break the fibers at the edge, so they would make the turn, and then also to smooth out air bubbles, and then press the paper against the wall.

Also, you’re usually supposed to use separate strips of wallpaper in corners, including the 180* corners in between each window, so the paper can fuse itself to the minute changes in angles and plumb-ness of each surface. With thin wallpaper, this works great. But with thick grasscloth, you would be left with a visible difference in thickness the full length of each corner.

So I opted to use full strips instead. This lends its own set of concerns, mainly that if the angle is not 100% perfectly plumb and straight, the wallpaper will want to pull away from the wall, leaving an air bubble behind. To help prevent this, I used extra paste on the points of tension on the wall, in addition to the paste on the paper, and also worked hard with my smoother (but not so hard as to damage the grasscloth!) to get the material to stick nice and tight in all spots.

This wall has five windows, each with two “returns,” meaning 10 surfaces to be wrapped with grasscloth, plus 10 surfaces between each window – not counting the strips of paper above and below the windows. All this took me seven hours. Tomorrow I will finish the area under the tops of the windows, plus one 2-strip wall (not shown).

This is a patterned grasscloth by Thibaut, and I hung it in the dining room / breakfast room of a newish home in Sienna Plantation between Pearland and Sugarland, south of Houston.

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