Archive for April, 2016

Faux Wood Plank Paneling in a Boys’ Bath

April 15, 2016
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Shared by two teenaged boys in a country home in tiny Carmine, Texas, this bathroom started out with boring builder’s flat paint. The faux wood plank wallpaper pattern is rough and rustic, and the perfect choice for a boys’ bathroom with a window that overlooks a farm pond and a green cow pasture. O.K. – that sounds mundane. But if you could stand in the bath and look out through that window, as I did all day while hanging the paper, you would see how perfect this choice is.

It is also absolutely perfect with the tile, which carries the same hues of grey, brown, and blue.

I railroaded the paper (hung it horizontally), to create this interesting “cabin wall-like” effect. Gravity works differently with wallpaper that is stretching across the wall, rather than hanging down it, but the learning curve was easily mastered, and it turned out great.

This wallpaper pattern is by Rasch, a German company, and features a slightly textured vinyl surface bonded to a non-woven backing. It is a paste-the-wall product that was thin and pliable and nice to work with (as opposed to other thick, stiff, non-woven material). The homeowner consulted with Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby, who helped her zero in on just the right pattern and color. Dorota sells wallpaper at a discounted price. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Soft Medallion in a Home Bar Area

April 14, 2016
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I admit, I was expecting something a little more dramatic for this bar area across the hall from the blood red dining room in a new home in the Houston Heights.

But as the paper went up, it was clear that it is a wonderful choice. It is light and cheery and brightens the space, while adding warmth and personality. The interior designer will add accents that will pull together the soft baby blue of the wallpaper and the bold red of the dining room.

The clients bought enough paper to allow me to place the medallion at the top of the wall, and then down the center of the wall between the other wall and the cabinet. And I had enough to replace a strip that came with smudges and stains on it. Apologies for the dark lines in the last three photos – cheap camera. 😦

This home was built by Dee Todd-Simmons and David Hatcher of HDT Builders, who specialize in custom homes, all modern interpretations of traditional-style architecture, which blend in wonderfully with the character of the Heights neighborhood of Houston. The quality of the home is fantastic, floor plan to construction to finish work to fixtures and appliances. I see a lot of homes, and I can tell you that this one is very well done. If you’re looking to build in the Heights – call them!

This is my second time to hang this wallpaper pattern and color. It is by Thibaut Designs, 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.

Covering Rust – Rust Bleeds Through Wallpaper

April 13, 2016

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The dark red stain on the edge of that outside corner is rust. It is coming from the metal bead used to define the corner when the house was built. The only problem is, in a steamy bathroom with poor ventilation, these metal beads are sometimes prone to rust.

And rust bleeds through wallpaper.

Before I started hanging the new, pastel-colored wallpaper, I had to block off the rust stains. Nothing tackles this job better than the original oil-based KILZ Original. I’ve taken a small brush and applied KILZ to a half-inch wide strip that runs the height of the wall. It dries in about an hour, so paper can be hung fairly quickly.

Other substances can stain wallpaper, so KILZ is good to have on hand. KILZ also seals off water stains, oil and tar, ink and markers, and odors, like smoke from cigarettes or fire.

Ditchin’ the ’70’s for Mid-Century Modern

April 10, 2016
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Hung in the hall bathroom of a 1963 ranch style home, this “groovy” blue & tan, large-scaled floral wallpaper pattern was considered quite handsome in its day. Indeed, this paper had seen its way through several decades in this hall bathroom.

Well, we’re 40 years older now, and it’s time for an update.

I love the new pattern this homeowner chose. What’s funny is, the new design is decidedly Mid-Century Modern. So it coordinates perfectly with the era during which the home was built.

Decorating has come full circle!

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, 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.

Bad Walls – Water Damage, Mildew

April 9, 2016
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This is what happens when a window leaks and allows water to run into the wall – for years. The Sheetrock has disintegrated, mildew is growing, the surface has become uneven, and there is the potential for stains from water and mildew and rust, plus the potential for delamination of surfaces, because nothing will stick to that powdery mildew.

Playing It Subtle Keeps Focus on Art and Furniture

April 8, 2016

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This tone-on-tone trellis pattern is a perfect backdrop in this Montrose townhome dining room. It warms the room and adds interest to the walls, but does not overwhelm the artwork or furniture.

Brilliantly Colored Spring Green in a Hall Bathroom

April 7, 2016
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The homeowners stripped their old wallpaper off eight years ago. Well, since then, they never quite got around to buying or hanging new wallpaper. (That’s kinda like how things go around here, says the gal who’s had a chandelier sitting on her bedroom floor waiting to be hung since April 2014.) So this hall bathroom has been naked for eight years. Time to get crackin’!

The homeowners’ daughter is an interior designer in Kansas City (Tess Hawes), and when she visited Houston, she got things rolling by choosing wallpaper and paint, and then called me.

Stripping the old paper left gritty, sand-like paste residue on the walls. The first thing I did was to sand the walls to remove as much of this as I could. Then I skim-floated the walls with joint compound. Once this was dry, I sanded it smooth and primed with Gardz, a penetrating sealer. Photo 1 is how it looked when I left last night.

The lighting in the room was poor, so I didn’t get any good full-size “after” shots. But you can see the beautiful, vivid color of this paper, and the bird-and-foliage theme.

The bathroom had one window, that looked out to a magnolia tree, and, beyond that, more greenery. The spring-green color of the wallpaper against the room’s white woodwork, with the trees and foliage outside the window, was stunning. Crisp and cheerful and vibrant.

The designer had the vanity painted a cobalt blue, which looked fantastic against the lime green wallpaper, and played perfectly off the blue accents in the paper.

This wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs.

Equipment Involved While Getting Wallpaper Up Onto A Wall

April 6, 2016
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“Time” and “patience” art two qualities that people often mention when they talk about what’s needed to get wallpaper up on your walls. I have internet friends in India who are hungrily curious about what we use here, vs. what they use there. So I made these photos. You will see my work table with trestle legs, trimmers, smoothers, scrapers, guides, straightedges, screwdrivers, measuring tools, skim-floating tools, and a hose of other equipment.

A whole lot of other things that might be called into use were not photographed, but are equally crucial – paste, joint compound, fans, vacuum, primer, stain blocker, light source, and much much more.

A Little Info for the Next Guy

April 5, 2016

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When I remember, I like to sign my name and the date under the wallpaper I am hanging. What a surprise, years down the road, when the paper is stripped off for redecorating!

Today, I got the idea to include some information that could be helpful for the guy who will be installing the next wallpaper. So I wrote how the wall was prepped and which product was used to prime.

Stuffing It

April 4, 2016

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The homeowners of this ranch style home in the Shepherd Park Plaza neighborhood of Houston have been doing updates, including new baseboards and crown molding. I was installing wallpaper before the moldings were painted and caulked.

That means that there was a small gap between the moldings and the wall. So, rather than trimming the paper against the moldings as I normally do, it was the perfect opportunity for me to slip a half inch or so of paper behind the molding.

This saves me the trouble of trimming with a razor knife, it eliminates potential cuts into the Sheetrock (which could cause the paper to peel), and holds paper tight, preventing it from peeling up at these areas.