Sweet Baby’s Room in Polka Dots

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image
The parents-to-be have chosen not to know the gender of their coming baby. This cream-on-taupe polka dot is calming and sweet, and it will work for either boy or girl.

In the second photo, note that the seams are dark. This is a prepasted wallpaper, meaning that there is powdered paste on the back, and all you have to do is wet it to activate the paste. The water can also find its way inbetween the top, colored layer of wallpaper and the paper backing, which causes the discoloration at the seams. Don’t worry – it dries and looks just fine. In the third photo, you see a dark, wet seam on the right, and most of the seam on the left has dried and is invisible.

The last photo show a small dot that was some tiny thing imbedded in the wallpaper. If it were up high, I probably would have let it go. But it was just about eye-level, and I thought it would be too noticeable, so I ripped that strip off the wall, cut a new one, and hung it. I’m glad I did; the baby deserves a perfect room.

I liked working with this paper. Another nice thing about it is that the dots did not cross the seams. This eliminated the need to match a pattern from strip to strip (although I still had to keep the dots in their right sequence). But more important, I was able to pull the dots right up to the top of the wall on every strip. You see, walls and ceilings and floors and, yes, even wallpaper, are never 100% absolutely true to plumb. That means that the dots could start looking like they are walking up or down hill, or could get cut off diagonally at the corners. Just look at my previous post about the crooked walls and the striped wallpaper. But since I didn’t have to match a pattern at the seams, I was free to position each strip where I wanted, and thus was able to place all the dots exactly at the top of the wall. I wish more manufacturers were mindful of this.

This nursery was in a newish townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The wallpaper pattern is by York, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her

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2 Responses to “Sweet Baby’s Room in Polka Dots”

  1. Jordan Says:

    Hi –

    We recently used a white wallpaper as an accent wall in our bedroom. The wallpaper looks great, but we have those dark seams at every junction. We originally were told it was still drying but now it looks like it will remain. The odd thing is that we didn’t have them use the prepasted wallpaper but the dark lines seem so uniform.

    Any thoughts on what we can do? The stripes are driving us crazy and we fear the only option is removal.


    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Jordan. Thanks for reading my blog!
      Your installer is correct – most of the time those dark seams will disappear as the paper dries.
      Sometimes, seams are visible due to poor trimming by the factory, which may leave “gaps and overlaps” or jagged edges, all of which can leave visible gaps at the seams.
      Possibly overworking the seams (pushing too hard) can cause paste or water to wick in between the substrate and the colored top layer of paper.
      I have a friend who theorizes that some municipal water supplies contain elements that can cause staining like this. When he hangs delicate goods, he brings along distilled water to use for wiping and cleaning.
      Also, certain pastes can cause “staining” or “blushing,” which is when the paper looks wet, but never dries out. IMO, this might be your most likely culprit. But usually this manifests as blotchy areas dispersed over the entire surface. But since the seams are open, they are an easy access for moisture or paste to wick in. The pastes that are mostly known for staining are Roman 880 and Dynomite SureStik 234. I also don’t like clay paste, of any brand.
      A liner can help in some situations. A liner is a special type of paper that is put on the wall before the actual wallpaper goes up. It’s job is to absorb moisture from the paste quickly, and to “lock down” the seams quickly. It does add time for labor and materials – perhaps double the original install cost. And often it’s impossible to know ahead of time if a liner would be helpful. Some manufacturers do spec for liners with some of their goods.
      Photos and more info would be helpful. What brand is it? What is it made of (paper, vinyl, non-woven)? What paste did the installer use? What primer? Did he wipe the seams excessively with a damp rag or sponge? Is the room climate-controlled (A/C & heat running?
      So there you are, with some background info that may help you.
      In all probability, it’s most likely something that you are going to have to live with.
      I would NOT try any “tricks” like using paint or chalk or anything else to try to disguise the area. No matter what you dig up on the Internet or what the guy at the paint store tells you. Methods like these are designed for darker papers, and only work on certain materials, not all wallpapers. And they usually end up exacerbating the situation, not minimizing it.

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