A Repair Today

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

I hung this “Snow Leopard” animal print wallpaper almost exactly a year ago, in a great room in a new home in the Galleria area of Houston. Slowly, a pink spot began to develop near the bottom of the wall, and it turned out to be an indicator of mold – caused by moisture inside the wall. The builder came in, peeled back a few feet of paper, cut into the wall, fixed whatever was leaking, and then patched the spot (third photo).

He did a pretty good job, but I wanted the wall to be smoother so no bumps would show under the wallpaper, so I refloated the area (meaning I covered it with a thin coat of plaster-like material), then used my cool tool heat gun to get it to dry quickly. Then I sanded, primed, and used the heat gun again to get the primer to dry quickly.

I could have patched in a new piece of wallpaper about 18″ above the floor, which would have been pretty well hidden by the large TV console. But the homeowner didn’t want a patched-in piece, with the potential for a visible horizontal splice / seam. So, in the first photo, I have removed the entire strip of wallpaper from the middle of the wall. It came off easily and in one piece, with just a few bits of backing still stuck to the wall … this is printed on one of the newer “non-woven” substrates, designed to be breathable and to come off the wall easily. It did!

Usually, I will strip off the damaged strip, and then all the other strips from that point until I reach a corner, and replace all of them. That’s because wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, and each strip can expand at a little different rate, so each strip has to be hung sequentially, one after the other.

But these non-woven papers do not (generally) expand. So it is possible to remove just one strip and patch a new one into the same spot, and expect it to fit nicely. That’s what happened here.

I am not 100% thrilled with the way the seam on the left looks, because it is more visible than the other (older) seams on the wall, and even than the seam on the right side of the same strip. And I don’t know why that is. It’s possible that the strip came off a roll of a different run number. We had limited left-over paper to work with.

But the bottom line is, the homeowner was happy, and the wall is much nicer looking, now that that pink blob is gone!

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