Archive for May, 2022

Two Runs – Not Good

May 17, 2022

The homeowner accidentally ordered half as much wallpaper as was needed, so more was ordered. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the same run number (also called batch number or dye lot ).

Wallpaper bolts printed at the same time will all have the same run number. Then the next time the manufacture prints this material, he’ll mix up a new batch of ink. This new ink will almost assuredly be a teeny slight difference in shade .

You can’t put wallpaper strips from different runs next to each other on the same wall; you will see this slight color difference and the wall will have a subtle yet unpleasing striped effect.

You can, however, use different runs on different walls, “breaking” the run in a corner. You won’t notice the color difference because light hits different walls differently and causes a natural color difference.

This trick works, but it does require extra wallpaper.

Moral of the story:

~Always confirm how much paper is needed with the installer before ordering.

~Always buy a more than you think you’ll need; one extra double roll / bolt at minimum.

Wallpaper and Toilet Paper Holder

May 14, 2022

I usually do my own prep, but this time the homeowner had her contractor strip the existing wallpaper. This photo is to show you the toilet paper holder close up. You’ll have to imagine it without the wallpaper, as it was when I arrived to start this project.
Fixtures like this, including towel bars and rings and many light fixtures , can be removed by loosening the recessed set screws , which are usually on the bottom of the fixture. They will take either a very small flat-head screwdriver , or a small allen wrench . These sit very close to the wall, so you have to be careful not to let your tools scratch or mar the wall as you work.
Here’s a close-up of the underside of the fixture, showing the recessed set screw. In this case, an allen wrench was needed. Most fixtures take the same size wrench. Here I’m using my American set. But you occasionally will need a metric set.
Once I got the holder off, I discovered that the contractor had not bothered to remove the toilet paper holder, but had cut around it. In doing this, he also left some of the original wallpaper. Also, by cutting around the fixture, he scored into the wall, which is not good because it breaks the surface and creates a potentially unstable surface that can come apart over time. In addition, it took them a whole lot of time to work around this fixture to remove the old wallpaper and then repair and smooth the wall.
The whole business makes little sense, because it’s ultimately easier and faster to simply remove the thing. No damage to the wall, and then wallpaper can go behind the fixture leaving no cut edges around it.
Here I’ve hung the wallpaper and marked the holes for the screws.
Mounting bracket back in place.
Toilet paper holder reattached.

Fun Hoppet Folk Wonderland Wallpaper in Powder Room of Young Family

May 14, 2022
This is a 2-room powder room in the Memorial Villages area of west Houston. The home is new and openly spacious, but has many classic elements like very elegant moldings and trim work.
I absolutely LOVE this 1890’s Victorian era marble sink with metal legs – a lucky eBay score.
The homeowner has young kids and an active family and wanted to do something ” wild ” in the powder room.
I’d say this Wonderland pattern fills the bill!
The look is especially effective due to the homeowner’s bold choice to paint the woodwork this rich mustard ochre color.
Looking from the sink room through the arched doorway into the potty room.
Cute, cute pattern! And lovely material to work with.
The glass flower light sconces are vintage, too, dating to the ’50’s or ’70’s. A similar-themed glass, floral, and brass chandelier will hang in the adjacent potty room.
This is the mirror that will go up, almost touching each light sconce on either side. The grey tones in the mirror look super good with the grey marble vanity / commode sink.
Manufacturer is Borastapeter distributed by Brewster , both fine companies. It’s a non-woven material and can be hung by the paste the wall method or by pasting the paper.
The original wallpaper came from Finest Wallpaper in Canada, a good company. But the homeowner ordered half of what was needed, and was not able to get more in time for our install date. I suggested she call Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village (713) 529-6515) and, sure enough, she found a source that had the paper in stock and could get it here lickety-split.
This is the second time I’ve hung this paper in one week, and I’ve hung it several times previously and have it coming up again – always in this dramatic and colorful black version. People sure love the whimsy of frolicking frocked pigs!

Feline Inspectors

May 13, 2022
Look who came to help today!
This is Gizmo.
#2
Shy and keeping at a distance, #3.

wallpaper houston

Grasscloth on Several Bookshelves Today

May 12, 2022
Home office work station niche primed and ready for wallpaper.
Done. Grasscloth comes 36″ wide, and this niche was about 39″ wide, so it required two strips, both trimmed down to 19.5″ wide. Generally, design-wise, you try not to put a seam down the center. But in this case there was no other viable option. This seam was practically invisible.
In the photo, the seam is a little to the right of center. You always see the seams in grasscloth, and this is about as perfect as it gets.
The homeowner, who is an interior designer, did a superb job of finding a grasscloth that’s murky blue hue coordinates perfectly with the color of the cabinetry.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the manufacturer of this material.
Close-up showing the texture.
Twin bookshelves flanking the fireplace wall in the family room, primed and ready for wallpaper.
Grasscloth has been installed. It’s nice to not have the shelves in place – so much easier to get that paper up!
Bookshelf niche on the right.
Bookshelf niche on the left. Note the slight shading and color variations . These are typical of natural products like grasscloth, and are not considered a defect. As the manufacturers say, these variations are ” part of the inherent beauty of these natural materials .”
Shelves will go in these niches and decorative items will obscure these slight imperfections.
TV room bookshelf niche. Yes, t’was I who swiped the smiley face and the horse head into the primer. 🙂
Done. This niche is a tad less than 36″ wide, so only one strip was needed, hence, no seams. Any color variations you see are due to shadows.

Close-up.
Closer-up. Scissors for perspective. These days, people are loving the subtle texture and warmth of grasscloth , paperweaves and other natural materials .
The manufacturer of the grasscloth in both the family room and TV room is Schumacher . The home is in the far west area of Katy , a suburb west of Houston.

Disappointing Defects in Schumacher Sisal Wallpaper

May 12, 2022
The homeowners ordered the brown colorway. So why did they send us both brown and blue??
Look closely and you’ll see that both the blue and the black lines are different thicknesses on each of these three bolts.
Close-up showing different widths of ink.
Even before I unrolled any paper, my suspicions were aroused by this … This cut was made by a hand-held scissors, not a factory machine. That tells me that perhaps an installer sliced off a few feet and then returned the paper, for whatever reason. Now I have no idea how many feet are on this bolt, what run number it is, or why the material was returned.
In addition, the five double rolls of sisal ( grasscloth ) material had no labels, no marks, no run numbers, or other typical information.

Feather Bloom is a very popular wallpaper pattern by high-end manufacturer Schumacher. This family paid several thousand dollars just for the material to cover one accent wall in their home office. Such a disappointment that I could not get their room papered today.

Schumacher is not among my favorite brands, and this is a good example of why. LOTS of printing defects, just about every time I work with it.

But this takes it to a whole new level, because obviously there was no quality control at the factory, no oversight to ensure all rolls were from the same run, nor even the same colorway.

Folks, stay away from Schumacher! As I like to say, for every high-end brand making a cool pattern in a material that’s expensive and difficult to work with, there is someone else making a knock-off that is lower priced and better quality.

Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Phone Jacks

May 10, 2022
These days, most families don’t use these phone jack connections. Why have this cover plate in the middle of the wall, if you’re not using it?
Unscrew from the wall, and they’re easy to disconnect. Just push a flat head screwdriver or similar into the latch connection at top and bottom, and ….
…. Voilà! The gizmo is disconnected.
The wiring is still intact, in case the family wants to reconnect at a future date. For now, I’ve stuffed the wires into the wall …
… and covered the hole with wallpaper. The small recessed area is barely noticeable, and looks a whole heck of a lot better than a useless white cover plate.

Fairy Tale-ish Woodland Wonderland Pattern in Houston Heights Powder Room

May 8, 2022
Just the sink wall will be papered.
Sorry for the photos … the room is so small, and the door is blocked by the toilet, so I can’t get good distant photos.
Here’s that accent wall with the wallpaper on it.

The room also had an art niche with a curved rear wall. This is the first thing you see when you open the door.

I positioned the pattern so the dominant white flower would fall in the center of the wall, under the spotlight.
This is such a cute and whimsical pattern. Who ever heard of frolicking pigs wearing knitted sweaters?!

The manufacturer is Borastapeter from Sweden. It’s a non-woven material, and was perfectly lovely to work with. It can be hung by paste the wall , but I prefer to paste the paper .

Madame Ziggle in Heights Laundry Room

May 7, 2022
Accent wall primed and ready for wallpaper.
Finished! The pattern is nicely centered on the wall, both horizontally and vertically.
I love the way the colors in the wallpaper work with the moss green in the floor tile.
To the left, the wall continues into the bathroom. The homeowner wanted the wallpaper in the laundry area only, and not in the bathroom. We decided it made sense to stop the pattern at the edge of the door molding, and in the short 5″ high area over the door.
At first I trimmed the left edge of the strip vertically the same as the design that was running down along the side of the door molding. But I didn’t like the little triangles of background off-white against the color of the wall paint (not shown).
So I got creative and cut the paper off along the zig-zag lines of the wallpaper pattern. This way, the transition looks a little more planned and logical.
I told the mom that it looks like her kids took finger paints to the walls!

Manufacturer is Ottoline . This non-woven material had body, but was flexible and soft. It was a delight to work with.
I chose to paste the paper , but you can install this by the paste the wall method, too.

Don’t Wanna Keep Smackin’ My Head!

May 7, 2022

The space over this cabinet goes back 2′ plus is only 5″ high. It’s gonna be really hard to position wallpaper, trim it against the ceiling, and press it against the wall.
I figured out something simpler and easier.
I could pre-trim the paper at the ceiling line, so there would be no need to try to reach into that narrow area with a straightedge and razor blade.
But I didn’t want to butt the next strip of wallpaper against the existing one, because the strip might not be perfectly plumb, and the wallpaper might move up or down the ceiling line.
By overlapping at the green zig-zag lines, I could tweak the paper if needed, to keep it straight at the ceiling.
Here I’ve trimmed a strip to match the design at the ceiling line. I also cut along one zig-zag line on the left, planning to overlap this to the zig-zag already on the wall. Overlapping will allow me to futz and adjust if necessary.
That one strip wasn’t wide enough to reach the far wall, so I cut another piece that matched the pattern at the seam, and, at 3 1/2″ wide, would cover the last bit of wall space.
Both strips are the right height, and won’t require trimming at either top or bottom.
Here I’m overlapping the wider piece on top of the third zig-zag on the existing strip of wallpaper.
No need to trim at the ceiling, because I’ve pre-trimmed the paper at the right design point.
Still need to cover that last 3 1/2″ wide bit.
Now that little 3 1/2″ wide piece has been put into place.
No trimming, no paste to wipe off the ceiling or wall or cabinet.
All parts smoothed against the wall, and good to go!