The Woods in a Powder Room

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image
People love this pattern, and this is at least my fourth time to hang it.

The fattest tree is a dominant feature in this pattern, and, as you can see in the third photo, I centered this tree above the sink and between the sconces. It will look super, when the mirror is hung, smack in the middle.

In the fourth photo, you see that the large tree is also centered on the rear wall. Reflected in the mirror, this will be a really cool effect. This took more than a little engineering, because, after you position the first strip, you don’t really have control over how the pattern falls on each subsequent strip. So it took a little finagling to get the tree to land in the center of that final wall over the cabinet.

This pattern has a strong diagonal theme. This 4-roll powder room is too small and chopped up for the secondary pattern to play out (the overall look of the pattern, as seen from a distance), but you see a little of it in the second photo, with the branch heading diagonally away from the fat tree trunk. The thinner branches reiterate the diagonal movement.

In the last shot, I am pointing out, again, that, if you choose a thick non-woven paper, expect to see the seams. That’s just how it is. But, really, hardly anyone notices that stuff but me. 🙂

This wallpaper pattern is called “Woods,” and is by Cole & Son, a British company, and is printed on the newish non-woven substrate that manufacturers are using more and more of these days. Non-wovens are breathable, and are designed to pull off the wall easily and in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate. I hung this in a powder room, above a beaded-board wainscoting, in the Memorial City area of Houston. The contractor who remodeled this powder room and the adjoining kitchen did a fantastic job. Wendell Smith.

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6 Responses to “The Woods in a Powder Room”

  1. Elisabeth Says:

    I LOVE this pattern – bought it in taupe for my front hallway. Have you ever had problems with the paste bleeding through with this or any other Cole-and-Son paper? I’ve hired 2 different wallpaper hangers and ended up with the same result.

  2. thewallpaperlady Says:

    Hi Elisabeth,

    Sorry you had a disappointing result with that very cool wallpaper.

    It would be helpful to see a photo of what you are describing.

    Yes, certain pastes can cause what is called “staining” with some of the British papers (and other brands, too).

    This can happen on both their “pulp” (traditional paper) papers and their newer non-woven papers.

    It is due to the paste being too thin and coming through the substrate, or possibly the installer putting too much pressure on an area, so the paste is forced through the paper. And sometimes it is simply a reaction of the paste with the paper.

    Without seeing a photo, I will also toss out the idea of paste getting onto the surface, which can cause a different type of stain. On both types of substrate, it is possible to gently wipe off small amounts of paste that get on the surface.

    I have found that certain brands are prone to staining, and others are much safer.

    I used to love Roman’s 880 for many reasons. But it has stained several different types of paper on my jobs, so I no longer use it.

    I would think also that, with the non-woven substrate that the Woods is printed on, a thin paste, such as a powdered wheat or cellulose, or a clear vinyl paste thinned with water, would be likely to seep through the material.

    For best luck to avoid staining, I would use an undiluted clear vinyl paste such as Roman’s 838, Shur-Stik (GH) 780 or 785 or 234.

    Cole & Son does make their own “tub paste” that you can use – IF you can find it. The one time I used it (do a Search on my blog), the client brought it from England. But it is similar to the clear vinyl pastes I named above.

    Other factors could be how the wall was prepped, what primer was used, etc.

    And a liner may help, too, as it is designed to absorb moisture and wick it away from the surface of the paper. It’s like a thin layer of non-woven wallpaper applied to the wall horizontally, allowed to dry, then the wallpaper goes on top of that. Blank stock liner, not bridging liner.

    • Elisabeth Says:

      Thanks so much for your reply! I’m definitely going to forward this info on to the wallpaper hanger we most recently hired.

  3. Elinesca Says:

    Hi! Love your blog! Inspired me to try this particular paper in my own bathroom. Only problem is that I worry about damp.. (yes, live in the UK!) I’m being told to coat the wallpaper with deorators varnish – but not sure how… should I add it immediately after hanging it or wait til it dries? Is it common to do this at all?

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Elinesca, Thanks for reading my blog! Re your question … I am not familiar with the walls and conditions in England. Here we have Sheetrock (drywall), and good air conditioning systems that pull humidity out of the air. The manufacturer of that paper is in England (Cole & Son), and I’d suggest you look them up and ask their opinion. I’m willing to bet that they say there is no problem, because that paper is printed on a newish “non-woven” substrate, which is breathable, and, in my opinion, would stand up to humid conditions. Even their older style “pulp” substrates hold up better (meaning they stay flat on the wall) than many American papers, because they dont’ contain the vinyl coatings. The pulps will stain easily, though.
      My issue in bathrooms is, well, there are two. One is splashing them with water or getting toiletries sprayed on them. Since most papers aren’t as washable as you want them to be, especially against oil-based products, just keep the paper away from areas where they can come in contact with these things.
      The second issue is humidity. That can cause paper to curl at the seams, or to loosen. Rooms that have good ventilation and good heating / air conditioning, this is not a problem, unless you have teenagers in there taking long steamy showers. 🙂
      I would not coat the paper. First, it could change the color of the paper, or even damage the ink (always test first). Second, while it might prevent surface stains, it would be creating a barrier that could hold moisture in the paper and against the wall – which is exactly what you do NOT want, because it can lead to curling seams and peeling paper, if the room is humid. And third, I’m not sure what type of coating would work on that non-woven substrate. It’s not paper, and the product that was recomeded to you is probably intended for use on paper.
      Bottom line – talk to the folks at C&S. They make the stuff, they live in England, and they should be able to help you.
      I’d be interested in knowing what they have to say.

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