Archive for November, 2015

Smoky, Misty “Wood” Look Textured Vinyl Wallcovering

November 18, 2015
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This new home is contemporary in style, and everything inside is all taupy grey brown charcoal cream white. This subdued pattern, reminiscent of wood planks, in the same hues and shades, is the perfect match. I’m not big on contemporary décor, but when the first strip of wallpaper went up, I was just blown away by how good it looked against the countertop and how well it coordinated with the rest of the house.

This is a textured heavy vinyl material, with no pattern match, so it looks a little like grasscloth on the wall. The manufacturer is Elitis, a French company. The interior designer is Neal Le Bouef, of L Design Group (do a Search on Google, HOUZZ, and Facebook), a lovely and fun person to work with, and who designs rooms that are crisp and sleek but still warm and welcoming and livable. This home is in Spring Branch (Houston).

So Who Needs a Trash Bag?

November 17, 2015
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Everyday, I play a little game to see if I can get away without using a trash bag. Depending on the kind of wallpaper and what I’m doing, I can usually manage to keep scraps and trash flat and neat, and then roll them all up into one tidy package at the end of the day.

No trash bag needed. 🙂

And, if the material is paper (rather than grasscloth or vinyl or non-woven), it can go right into the recycling bin!

Same Grasscloth; Different Colors

November 15, 2015
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The grasscloth on the right was bought a year or so ago. It was left over and the homeowners wanted to use it on a new project. They needed additional paper to do the space, and so ordered a new bolt of paper. As you can see, there is a noticeable difference in color and texture between the two bolts, manufactured at different times. This is known as “run number” or “dye lot.”

It is also called “shading” and “paneling,” which refers to the difference in color between strips on the same wall. I had enough paper to cut all my strips from the new bolt, so there was minimal color difference on this project.

Wiggly Waverly Waves for a Baby’s Room

November 14, 2015
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Boy, I sure am doing a lot of baby’s and children’s rooms lately!

These parents-to-be chose a cute pattern with lots of motion in a gender-neutral color, that is not too “babyish” and will be well-suited as the child grows.

This pattern is by Waverly, an older and once very popular brand that was bought by York Wallcoverings some years back. I hung a lot of Waverly in the early ’90’s, and am glad to see it still around – same nice quality, but the patterns are less flowery and much more modern and fun.

This was in York’s Sure Strip line, which is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. It is a thin, flexible non-woven material, which hugs the wall better and is much easier to work with and trim than the thick material I hung earlier in the week (read previous posts). It is also pre-pasted, which is quicker and takes less effort and mess to hang.

I wouldn’t mind hanging this stuff every day. And I’m sure the baby will be tickled with his (or her) new room!

I hung this wallpaper on an accent wall / feature wall in a new home of a young couple in Montrose, Houston. It 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.

More Pics of the Glass Bead Wallpaper with Bull Nosed Arch

November 13, 2015
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I tried really hard to get pics of the light glinting off the glass beads, but the photos don’t show it. 😦 What you can see, though, is the arched doorway with rounded / bull-nosed edges. It’s pretty tricky to trim wallpaper on these edges, because you have no definite edge for your trim blade to fit into, and because the wallpaper hangs over the edge and you can’t see what you are doing or where you are cutting. Cutting through those hard balls of glass made it all the more trying.

I have a special home-made tool that helps with that, as well as a laser line, straight edges, aviator’s shears, and a quiet, empty house to work in so I could concentrate and move my assortment of gear wherever I needed to.

It turned out looking great, and I was particularly pleased that the thick, stiff material molded to the rounded corners and held tightly without curling up. This is a young and active family, though, so they will need to take care not to brush against the cut edge of the wallpaper as they pass through the doorway. I can tell that this high-traffic area does take some abuse, because there are smudges and marks in certain places on the walls. If the paper should start to come loose, there are a few tricks I can pull out of my hat to fix it. 🙂

This medallion pattern is by Ronald Redding for York Wallcoverings, 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.

Shimmery, Sparkly Glass Bead Wallpaper

November 12, 2015
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These days, for lots of people, it’s all about glitz and bling. Well, how about a little bling for your walls?! Wallpaper decorated with glass beads, which catch and reflect the light, are all the rage right now.

Yes, real glass beads, a little larger than grains of sand, are embedded onto the wallpaper substrate in this example, in a medallion motif. Many companies make shiny, glittery wallpapers, using various techniques. But this product, by Ronald Redding, of York Wallcoverings, is the real deal.

I have to admit, this wallpaper is more difficult to work with than I had expected, and it is taking an extra day to finish this relatively small, but cut-up and complicated eating area in a new home in Oak Forest, Houston.

The material is thick and stiff and unmalleable, and it’s hard to get it to fit snugly into corners, such as at the ceiling and moldings, and particularly the rounded curves around the fireplace mantel.  And cutting through those pretty glass beads with a trimming blade is the Devil!

Those beads just love to come lose and fall all over the floor, mess with the surface of my work table, contaminate my paste, and, yes, stray onto the back of the wallpaper, creating a very visible bump under the shiny paper.  Removing them is very tenuous, first because they are miniscule and difficult to track down, but also because peeling the paper away from the wall is prone to cause creases or mar the surface.

Also, because it’s a thick and stiff non-woven material, the seams are always going to show more than with a regular wallpaper (last photo).

The going may be low, but room is “waking up” more and more as each wall takes on a cloak of the shimmery wallpaper. With windows on three walls, there will always be light coming at just the right angle to illuminate those pretty glass beads!

Yes, Virginia, the Electrician IS in My Way

November 11, 2015

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I guess people think that, if they’ve got one workman in the house, they may as well have them all come, and get everything done at the same time. The thing is, it’s really hard to work with all these trades on top of one another. I didn’t know the electrician was going to be hanging a chandelier in the same room where I was working, or I would have set up my table in another location.

You see, he is in my way. We’re both trying to walk around the room, and running into each other. He is working almost directly over my table, sawing a hole in the ceiling, and getting debris on my table, and, if I happen to be pasting a strip of wallpaper, that puts little bumps stuck in the paste that show under the new wallpaper. People also tend to set things on my table. That get in the way and put stains on the wallpaper.

“If your table is in his way, we’ll just move it a little,” said the homeowner. Oh no you WON’T touch my table! First and foremost, you just simply do not ever touch another workman’s tools or equipment. Second, that wallpaper table has to stay pristinely clean, and I know for a fact that his hands are not. Third, the table is made of three boards that come apart, which you are not anticipating, and there is also an expensive straight edge suspended underneath that you are not aware of that will fall to the floor and get banged up and ruined.

Oh, yeah – and he turned off the lights in the room, too. Now, how am I going to hang wallpaper in the dark? ?? ???

The electrician didn’t bother to put a drop cloth under his ladder. And in the second photo you see how he left the homeowner’s floor.

Now, would you let a guy like that put grubby his hands on your clean, expensive, intricately-set up equipment??

Convenient Pencil Holder

November 10, 2015

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Wallpaper hangers need access to their pencils at all times. Some of my buddies keep their pencils behind their ears. Well, that doesn’t work for me – I guess my ears stick out too much. 🙂

So I stash my pencil in my right sock, where it’s always handy.

Bat & Poppy Wallpaper Finally Goes Up

November 9, 2015

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I saw this “Bat and Poppy” wallpaper and went positively nuts over it. It is made by Trustworth Studios http://trustworth.com/ and are based on designs by CFA Voysey dating back to the Art Nouveau period (early late 1800’s) and particularly the Arts & Crafts period in England (early 1900’s).

All the patterns are unique and gorgeous, and the paper is a positive dream to work with – pattern matches nicely, malleable, seams invisible. It’s only sold on-line, and the company is wonderfully customer-friendly. The paper is pricy, but if you love it, you will be satisfied with nothing else.

This is the powder room in my own home. The vanity is an antique music cabinet that I cut a hole in the top and removed some of the shelves inside to accommodate the plumbing. The sink is an old china / porcelain serving bowl that I had a hole drilled in by Schlitzberger Stone, and then paid a plumber positively a ton to get the right fittings to connect it to the drain pipe.

Why I Carry a Lot of Tools

November 9, 2015
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I like to remove switch plates, towel bars, and light fixtures before papering, so the new wallpaper can go behind them, for a neat, uniform look and no edges to peel up. Many bathroom accessories come off with aid of an allen wrench. In the top photo, my usual allen wrench set is in the back. But it would not turn the nut inside the towel bar – it did not fit.

Good thing I also carry around a set of metric allen wrenches. That is the larger one in the picture, and it did the trick. In the second photo, you see the mounting hardware that is still on the wall. I will use my screwdriver to remove that, so that the new wallpaper will cover the entire wall surface. Then just a few holes for the screws to hold the bracket in place, and there will be very little damage to the appearance of the paper. This will be helpful in case the homeowners decide to change or move accessories later.