Archive for May, 2017

It Pays to Have Your Name on Your Truck

May 31, 2017

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Years ago, one of my clients, a business owner and a smart man, told me that I should have my name on my truck. I ignored his advice. A year later I was working for the same guy, and he admonished me for not having my business advertised on my vehicle.

So this time I followed his suggestion – and it has proven to be sage advice.

I could give lots of examples, but here’s the latest… I was working at a client’s home, the next door neighbor looked out the window and saw my van with my “Wallpaper Lady” name on it, she had a wallpaper project of her own she wanted done, she knew that her neighbors researched craftsmen and hired only the best ( 🙂 ), and so she walked over and put this note on my windshield.

Voilà! I have a new client, and the homeowner will soon have a beautiful newly redecorated powder room!

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Subtle Wallpaper Pattern in a Magazine Spread

May 30, 2017

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The May 2017 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine has a feature on the color pink. Along with paint samples, bedding, and accessories, this wallpaper was shown, as a backdrop in a living room.

Pink is a pretty bold color for what’s considered a public room. But this particular treatment is not overwhelming at all. The pattern is light and airy, and the monochromatic color scheme keeps it from looking busy.

You could easily live with this wallpaper on all four walls.

8′ Tall Ladder for High Ceilings for Wallpaper

May 29, 2017

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Most of the time, I can do my job using my 5′ or 6′ step ladders. But when the ceilings soar to 12′, I gotta pull in my 8’er.

Here I am set up and ready to start prepping the walls for wallpaper.

Flaw of the Day – Spots

May 21, 2017

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See the two dark spots on this wallpaper? I suspect that someone at the factory put his fingers on the paper at the wrong time.

There were two of these sets of dark spots within one pattern repeat near the top of a bolt of wallpaper, ruining the first 30″ or so of paper. Then later I was hanging a strip and discovered another pair of spots at the top of the strip. This ruined a full 8′ strip.

Another reason to always buy a little extra paper.

Glass Bead Wallpaper in a Powder Room

May 21, 2017

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So, O.K., it’s a hard room to photograph. All I can show you is the papered wall behind the beautiful light fixture and the really cool mirror.

This wallpaper is embedded with tiny glass beads, which give it dimension, texture and sparkle. In the 2nd photo, you can see how the beads shimmer when the light hits them.

This wallpaper is by Antonia Vella, for York Wallcoverings. It is a non-woven material and is a paste-the-wall product. It is very thick and stiff, and difficult to manipulate, and very hard to cut through, especially the beads. Used lots of razor blades today.

I hung it in a powder room in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston. The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope designs.

BAM! POW! Batman on the Wall!

May 20, 2017

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The little boy who has this room is not so little anymore, so it’s time for the blue owl wallpaper to go, and time for the super heroes to fly in!

This Batman mural is made by Flavor Paper, and was custom sized to fit the wall, which includes a closet door (not shown). While most homeowners make mistakes when ordering murals, this father measured correctly and also included adequate extra all around for trimming.

The last photo is a pic of the drawing of the mural, so you can see the full thing. About a third of the mural on the right was lost, due to the closet door. Batman is all there, though!

The house is in the West University area of Houston.

Wallpapering an Art Niche

May 18, 2017

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I went to this home to measure a powder room. But as I walked out of the powder room, I saw this art niche. Art niches are just made for wallpaper. So I suggested the idea to the homeowner – and she loved it.

She chose the same paper for the art niche as was used in the powder room, which helps give the home a cohesive look.

This is a textured, glass bead wallpaper in a muted color scheme. It serves as a backdrop, not a focal point, so the statue really stands out. Note that there is a tall base for the statue, that will raise it up so it fills the art niche more effectively.

The wallpaper is by Antonia Vella for York Wallcoverings. The home is a townhome in the Rice Military area of Houston. The interior designer for the job is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope designs.

Mirror “Tar” Will Bleed Through Wallpaper – Prevention

May 17, 2017

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Originally, this powder room in a newish townhome in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston had a mirror that was glued to the wall. Removing it left globs of mastic (tar-like adhesive) stuck to the wall. See Photo 1.

Mastic is petroleum-based, and it, like other similar substances such as grease, oil, and crayon, as well as other compounds like blood, rust, water, tobacco tar, and others, will work their way from behind the wallpaper up through it and then onto the surface, causing an unsightly stain.

KILZ Original oil-based primer and stain blocker is a superb product for sealing these substances. However, I feel more confident if the suspect material is removed entirely.

The best way to do this is to take a Stanley knife (utility knife / box cutter) and cut around the stain and into the wall. Then you can use a stiff 3″ putty knife to peel up the top layer of drywall, taking the staining material with it.

This leaves a patch of Sheetrock without its protective top layer. See Photo 3. These layers of torn Sheetrock will absorb moisture from anything you put on top (paint, primer, joint compound, etc.), and will swell, creating ugly bubbles that will mar the finished job.

So I brushed on Gardz, a penetrating sealer / primer by Zinsser. This is cool stuff, because it soaks into the surface and then dries hard, binding everything together.

In Photo 4, I have skim-floated over the areas where I have cut out the mastic. To skim-float, I trowel on a smoothing material called joint compound. Once that is dry, I will go back and sand it smooth, creating a perfectly smooth surface ready to accept the new wallpaper.

Better Dead Than On My Leg

May 16, 2017

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So today I was hanging paper on the wall above the shower. I looked down to see a wasp clinging to the white tile directly below me. No biggie, I thought… When I get down off the ladder I’ll see if the homeowner has a flyswatter.

I was still maneuvering the wallpaper when I noticed that the wasp had flown away, and landed on an opposite wall. Fine. No problem. He will eventually find his way outside.

I was just about to finish up with that strip of wallpaper, when I felt something on my leg. I figured it was a thin piece of wallpaper that had been trimmed off and fallen from where I was working, somehow landed on my leg and stuck. But it kept moving.

I looked down – and danged if that dad-burned wasp wasn’t on my leg, squirming all around!

This was too much! I didn’t want to mess up any of my tools or cloths, and I didn’t want to agitate the volatile guy – but I had to do something. So I swatted at him and got him off my leg, and while he was disoriented, I used my ruler to, well, let’s just say you could hear the crunching of a tiny exoskeleton …

His stinger came out, but by that time he was on the cold hard tile floor of the shower, impotent. My leg was miles away.

Faded, Stained Grasscloth

May 13, 2017

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I hung the woven grasscloth on the large wall in 1992, in a sunroom in the Medical Center / Rice Village area of Houston. Over time, it has faded.

The short piece to the right was replaced a few years ago, because it had been damaged. It had been rolled up and stored away from light, so it is the original color. Notice the difference!

Then more recently, there was a water leak from the bathroom above, which ran down and stained the grasscloth.

By this time, the homeowners were ready to redo the entire room, so both the stained piece and the faded panels were removed, and the whole room was repapered with new grasscloth of a slightly different texture and color.