Houston Heights Powder Room With Glittery Glass Bead Wallpaper

I took a “before” shot, but forgot to take an “after.” 😦

But here is a close-up pic of the fresh and clean geometric design. What takes this out of the ordinary is that the pattern is formed of teeeny round glass beads adhered to the surface.

It gives a 3-dimensional effect, and also shimmers because it bounces light around.

This product sounds cool to look at, but it was actually quite difficult to work with. In fact, I am considering declining glass bead jobs in the future.

The material is very thick, and thus hard to press into corners or ceiling lines, which means that after trimming, there may be a slight gap at the ceiling or baseboard.

In the instances where you need to overlap (turning inside corners), because the material is so thick, there will be gaps. Plus the worry that the paper does not have a solid surface to stick to (fat glass beads, thin backing material).

Worst is that the beads are virtually impossible to cut through. You can have a brand new, ultra-sharp razor blade, or the most impressive industrial-grade scissors, but still get unsatisfactory cuts. So anywhere you need to trim, you can expect to spend a lot of time sawing, and then still end up with jagged cuts or sections where the beads have fallen off.

Further, the beads fall off like crazy! So many had accumulated on the floor that I nearly slipped more than once. They get behind the paper and cause bumps. They get in the paste and contaminate other strips, and even jobs for future clients. Environmentalists scowl on them because they get washed down the drain and work their way into the ocean.

Glass bead wallpaper is not as popular as it was a few years ago. I’m glad.

This particular product is by Osborne & Little, a long-established British company, was on a non-woven (paste the wall) substrate, and came packed with extreme care to prevent damage from shipping.

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4 Responses to “Houston Heights Powder Room With Glittery Glass Bead Wallpaper”

  1. Margaret Louv Says:

    Hello, I have been enjoying your blog tremendously. I enjoy seeing the style choices people make as well as the technical aspects of installation. Question for you: you often reference either paste-the-wall or pasting and booking the paper. What makes your decision? I am preparing to install some 54″ Scalamandre paper in my master bath. I think P-T-W method sounds easier, but am concerned if it will need to relax before hanging. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive any instructions with the product. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Margaret. Thanks for reading my blog!
      I don’t know if you are a professional installer, or a homeowner. Either way, a 54″ wide material is going to be tricky to work with, especially in a chopped up bathroom. Remember not to wrap it around inside corners.
      Re the paste-the-wall, first and foremost, this works ONLY* with “non-woven” materials. The reason is that those products do not expand when wet with paste, so do not need to be pasted and booked and let to sit for a few minutes like standard papers. Even then, some N-W do expand (like Schumacher), so pasting the paper is better.
      I think most Scalamandre still are printed on standard paper. And be aware that the inks that company uses can be cantankerous, and can cause curling at the seams. Pasting the paeper and allowing to book helps reduce that. So does a liner.
      Also, in a bathroom with lots of cuts and things to trim around, like mirrors and vanities and toilets to slip the paper behind, it’s much easier to paste the paper, than try to get paste into those areas.
      So PTW works best on flat accent walls with minimal obstructions.
      It’s also gonna be mighty difficult to paste a 54″ wide strip, unless you trim it vertically into narrower widths.
      When I have the option, I usually prefer to paste the material, even when it’s a non-woven.
      With a regular paper, you must paste the material.
      *There are some guys who have more intricate techniques of misting the back of the material, letting it sit a while, and then pasting the wall and “dry hanging” the paper. Complicted, and not something to try if you are not an experienced installer.

      OK, that info is not in particularly logical order, but I hope the points are helpful.
      Let me know how it goes.

      • Margaret Louv Says:

        Hello again. Thank you for the advice. I hung the paper today and am pleased with the results. It was a non-woven material and I was only doing an accent wall (16′ wide) with the obstructions mostly out of the way (lights, vanities, mirrors not permanently installed yet). I opted then to paste the wall as I thought it would make dealing with the 54″ wide pieces easier to handle. I also had to use the double cut method on the wall to manage the selvages. I will confess now to being a novice/ homeowner and my first wallpaper project; however I am probably about your age and have a deep experience in many fields of hands on work. Of course there are small flaws that you would identify quickly with your experience, but I don’t think most people would notice. I will send you photos if I can figure out how to do so on this blog. Thanks again! I appreciate your craft.

  2. thewallpaperlady Says:

    Hi Margaret. Kudos to you for undertaking this project! Double cutting is a special skill, and I am impressed that you mastered it on your first attempt. If I had known you were doing a 16′ wide accent wall (man, that’s a HUGE bathroom!), I would have mentioned having push pins on hand to hold the paper, and also using two ladders, set up so you can step between them. Oh well – it sounds like you aced it without all that. Please do send pics – send to my email wallpaperlady@att.net

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