Why Does This Pattern Match at the Top of the Wall, But Not at the Bottom?

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

When turning a corner with wallpaper, you never wrap the paper around the turn, but instead cut the paper just a hair past the corner, and then trim a new strip to match, and overlap it in the corner, taking care to match the pattern.

In the top photo, the wallpaper has turned the corner, and, at the top of the wall, the design from strip to strip matches nicely. But as you go down the wall, to above the sink, the pattern match gets off. Why?

Several reasons. For one, one of the walls is plumb, but the other is not. When one wall is heading catty-whompus, it’s pretty difficult to get both strips of wallpaper to line up. But more important – look at my straightedge. See those dark areas of shadow, where the straightedge is not sitting tightly against the wall? It turned out that the wall has waves and undulations in it. In fact, I could actually rock my level back and forth, the wall was so “off.” If the wall is waving back and forth, there is no way that a wallpaper pattern can match perfectly.

So, there is an understandable reason for the mis-match. But it still looks a little bad on a geometric pattern like this. Let’s hope that the homeowner can find a mirror or medicine cabinet to fit into that corner. Still, from a distance (last shot), you hardly notice.

Interestingly enough (last photo), the next day, working in a house coincidentally just a few blocks away, I ran into the same thing, with walls and ceilings that were not plumb, and walls that had waves and uneven areas that caused the pattern to distort a little.

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