Archive for May, 2020

Recycling Unused Wallpaper – Don’t

May 19, 2020

I haul off the trash from my wallpaper jobs. The vinyl and grasscloth go in the trash bin, but I have been putting the scraps of clean paper wallpaper into the recycling bin. After reading this, I won’t do that anymore.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/can-wallpaper-recycled-79274.html

Apparently, the inks and papers used for wallpaper are not the same that the recyclers are able to process.

A shame.

Teal and Peach for 5-Year Old Girl’s Room

May 18, 2020

For a 5-year old girl, you can’t beat the color combination in this room! .. .. Peach walls, a floral wallpaper in teal and peach on an accent wall, and other accents not pictured, like twin teal shelves and chest of drawers, and a turquoise scrolled-metal headboard.

She can live with this pattern and these colors well into her teen years.

In the first photo, I have skim-floated to smooth over the textured walls. My three fans (plus the ceiling fan and the home’s A/C system) are working hard to dry the smoothing compound. I also engaged the services of my heat gun, to speed drying along.

This wallpaper is by Eijffinger, a Scandinavian company. It is a non-woven material, with a high fiberglass content, and won’t expand when wet with paste. Also, it is designed to strip off the wall easily and cleanly when it’s time to redecorate.

These qualities mean that it was possible to hang it using the paste-the-wall method. That made me happy, because I did not have to lug in my heavy and cumbersome trimming / pasting table.

The home is a newish townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of central Houston.

Waste Factor – For All The People Who Order Wallpaper Based on Square Footage

May 17, 2020

To come up with how much to buy, lot of people carefully measure and calculate the square footage of their room, and then divide that by the square footage on a bolt of wallpaper. WRONG!

This does not allow for the “waste factor.”

Wallpaper is not like paint. You can’t grind it up and put it in a bucket and spread every square inch onto your walls. You will lose some – often a lot – to waste.

In the photo above, I have only papered 1/4 of the room. Yet look at my discard pile – all this paper was cut off in order to match the pattern, or to go around a window or door, etc.

By the end of the day, this pile was a whole lot larger.

If you are trying to calculate how much wallpaper to purchase, please click the link to the page on the right “How To Measure For Wallpaper” for more details.

Adding Arches to the “Windows”

May 16, 2020


I positioned this pattern so the tops of the arches would align with the top of the wall.

But on the pictured wall, which was shorter than the main walls, the pattern got chopped off mid-motif.

I thought it would be cool to continue the arch theme. So I took some scrap paper and carefully cut along the design, to create some arch tops. See second photo.

Once appliquéd to the top of the wall, they give the effect that the trellis grids are now complete, instead of chopped in half.

This looks very much like what you would find in a leaded or decorative glass window, from a by-gone era.

This is fitting, because the homeowners chose this pattern partly because it coordinated with the molding detail in the windows in the front rooms of their 1895 home in the Houston Heights.

Solid Vinyl Paper Pooching at Seams

May 15, 2020


Today I stripped off this paper. It was dark and dated. But also, it had started curling up a bit at the seams.

The homeowners said this started after Hurricane Harvey, when they were without power for two weeks, and the lack of air conditioning allowed humidity to permeate the house.

So here we have paper-backed, pre-pasted, solid-vinyl wallpaper doing what it does best – succumbing to humidity, by allowing moisture to wick in behind the seams, which causes the paper backing to swell, pushing the vinyl surface back in a curl. Sometimes, the paper backing actually delaminates (comes apart from) the vinyl layer.

My main reason why I encourage people to steer away from these materials. The price point is attractive, but the quality and longevity is not.

Interestingly as a side note, it looks like the previous installer did not pay attention to the pattern match. Well, no biggie. On this design, it is not very noticeable, and the homeowners have lived with it happily for 20 years or more.

Railroading a Trellis, Heights Powder Room

May 14, 2020


Railroading means the wallpaper strips were run horizontally, instead of veritcally. See top photo.

That treatment gave the room a little more visual height. AND it coordinates with the paneled glass windows in the front of the house – which dates back to 1895.

This pattern is by Candice Olsen, for York wallcoverings. The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Designs.

The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Easing the Look of the Kill Point

May 10, 2020


When hanging wallpaper, the last corner (kill point) of a room virtually always ends in a pattern mis-match. That’s why you try to tuck it in an inconspicuous corner, like a short strip over a door.

In this case, I was going to end up with a medallion that got chopped in half vertically. Not horrible, because that is just the nature of the beast. But I had an idea to make it look better.

Using my straightedge, I sliced off the medallion. Then I found a scrap of wallpaper that was plain white (the background color) and trimmed that to fill the width where the medallion had been. Success!

But there was still a quarter medallion showing at the ceiling line on the adjacent wall.

My solution was to again take some left over wallpaper. I cut a shape that mimicked the motif on the wall, and pasted it on top. Nice!

Only problem is, the paper is somewhat translucent, and so a “ghost” of the image under the paper is showing through.

No problem. I cut another patch, just slightly larger to “feather out” the light bump from the difference in heights of the patches. Once it was pasted on top, it occluded the “shadow” of the medallion. From the floor, you can’t see a thing.

In the final photo, the distance between the medallions is wider than it “should” be – by maybe as much as 2.5″. But this is barely noticeable, and is way better than having a chopped-in-half medallion below plus a quarter medallion above.

Perky Serena & Lily Luna Stripe Brightens Energy Corridor Entryway

May 9, 2020


What a lively change this airy pattern brings to the front entry in the home of this busy young family. I suggested they paint the wall space below the chair rail a navy blue – that contrast will really make both the moldings and the wallpaper stand out.

I hope they send me a photo when it’s done!

The wallpaper pattern is called “Luna Stripe” and is by Serena & Lily, one of my favorite brands. The home is on the west side of Houston.

Cloud Mural in Baby Girl’s Nursery

May 8, 2020


Want a room that will suit a child of either gender, and also grow with him/her into the teen years? This “Nuage” cloud mural by Anewall (A New Wall) checks off all the boxes!

This mural was not custom-sized, but came in pre-set dimensions. The product came in six strips, and the overall size was a bit taller and wider than the wall. In the third photo, I am laying out all the strips on the floor. This is very important, because you want to be sure you are grabbing strips in the correct order before you paste them to the wall.

Also, laying out the mural on the floor enabled me to see the whole design, so I could decide how much of the excess to cut off at the top and bottom. And I could also determine where the center was (break in the clouds), so I could position it where the parents would be placing the baby’s crib against the wall.

The material was pre-pasted, so I didn’t need to lug in my big table and pasting equipment. The paste is already on the back of the paper, and is activated by water. Some people spray the back with a squirt bottle. But I find this messy and sporadic. I prefer the old-fashioned water tray method. It’s quick, easy, and gives the most uniform water coverage.

In the fourth photo, you see my plastic dropcloth protecting the floor, two towels on top of that to absorb water splashes, and then my green water tray. Each rolled-up strip will be placed in the tray, and then unrolled and pulled out on top of the towels. This exposes the paste to water, which activates it. Then each strip is folded pasted-side-to-pasted-side (booked), and set aside to absorb the water/activate the paste/expand/relax.

In the next shot, I have aimed the red line of my laser level along the center of the wall. I am hanging my first strip, butted up against the red line. On we go, until the wall is covered with clouds!

In the close-up, you see that the design has a sort of tufted “quilty” look to it.

HOWEVER, I did experience some excessive vertical expansion / stretching between some of the strips. This means that some strips became wet with water and expanded more than others. And that means that the pattern on some strips did not match up perfectly with the previous strip. The protocol is that you match the pattern at eye-level, and then as the paper moves up and down the wall, the pattern will fall out of match.

The good thing is that this pattern is so scratchy and “quilty” that the eye will never notice a 1/8″ or even 1/4″ mis-match, especially not from a distance. With a more precise and visible pattern, this would be an issue.

This home is relatively new, and is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Sticky Dots

May 7, 2020


This grasscloth wallpaper by Thibaut is called Union Square. It has not just the texture from the natural reeds of grass sewn onto the backing, but also 3-D square “dots” of thick plastic or resin or vinyl … Doesn’t matter what the material is … There are raised, textured “dots” marching across this paper in a neat, orderly fashion.

But plastic can be sticky. On all of the bolts, the paper labels stuck to the plastic dots. Unrolling the grasscloth caused the labels to tear off strips, which remained stuck to the plastic dots. These scraps of paper could not be removed, so I had to cut off and discard the top 16″ or so of each bolt.

The really sad thing about this is that the wall height was such that I could have gotten three strips out of each double roll. But with having to discard paper from the start of each bolt, we were left with only enough remaining paper on the bolt for two strips.

Even worse on a few other bolts, the plastic dots stuck to not just the paper label, but to the paper backing of the grasscloth itself. This left strips of paper stuck to the dots, and also peeled bits of paper off of the back of the wallpaper – leaving the possibility of paste leaking through and staining the surface.

This sticky defect went through the entirety of each bolt, so there were three bolts that were unusable.

This meant that I could not finish wallpapering the remaining walls. And that we’ll have to send back the defective paper, and the homeowner will have to wait for the company to find non-defective paper, and ship it, and for me to have an opening on my schedule to finish the job.

The Thibaut Customer Service rep has told me that the company is aware of and has worked on this problem. (Thibaut is one company that actually LISTENS to us installers, and makes changes as needed.) Their solution is to place thin plastic wrap inside the bolts, to prevent the dots from coming into contact with any other material, like the paper backing.

I hope the replacement paper comes with this new innovation.