Coloring Edges of Wallpaper to Prevent White Backing from Showing

July 22, 2021

When hanging a dark wallpaper, sometimes the white edges of the substrate will show at the seams. Other times, the paper may shrink a tad when the paste dries, and teeny gaps may appear, again, showing white at the seams.

So I will often run a stick of chalk along the edges of the strip of wallpaper – applying from the back, to avoid getting color onto the surface.

It’s important that you use chalk, and never oil pastels. Oil products may bleed into the wallpaper, and cause visible staining on the surface.

Dark, Murky Colors for Pearland Hall Bath

July 22, 2021
Before.
After
The colors coordinate beautifully with the deep blue/green of the wainscoting.
I love these colors, and the soft matt surface.
Manufacturer is GP&J Baker, a British company.

After 25 years in their Pearland (south Houston) home, the couple was ready for an update. Hubby got his new bathroom a couple of years ago. Today the wife got hers!

The room was ripped out down to the studs. Then they got new: deep soaking tub, shower with geometric tile, toilet, vanity with marble top, burnished brass mirror & light sconces, and … wallpaper!

I love traditional patterns like this. And the dark colors really stand out against the white tile and countertop and floor.

This is a non-woven (synthetic) material, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate. It can be hung via the paste-the-wall method, or the paste-the-paper technique (I usually prefer this option).

Katie Kime – Tough Install Today

July 21, 2021
The Great Persuader

The previous wallpapers I’ve hung by Katie Kime have been on a non-woven substrate, a dependable synthetic material that has many positives going for it – light weight, breathable, stain-resistant, strips off the wall easily when redecorating, doesn’t expand when wet with paste so you can paste the wall as an alternative to pasting the paper, doesn’t expand so you can hang pasted strips immediately (no booking time), and your measurements will be accurate.

So I was surprised today by the weight of this material. And I could tell immediately that it was not their usual non-woven material.

Through a 20-minute Chat with their Customer Service (which is excellent, by the way), they told me that, due to the construction supply shortages related to the COVID pandemic, they are currently unable to get their usual materials, os have temporarily switched to a vinyl.

The backing looks like non-woven to me, but their instructions say to paste the paper and then book for 10 minutes, like a traditional paper. I suspect these instructions are outdated, but I followed them anyway.

This stuff was very thick and stiff … like working with a sheet of plastic. It was hard to press tightly into corners and to get tight cuts at ceiling and floor. I had to push really hard with a brand new blade to even slice through it.

I even had to use the heat gun to “melt” the material a bit so it would fit into and around inside and outside corners. This stuff would be the dickens to hang in a room with intricate cuts and turns.

Fun Katie Kime Powder Room Update

July 21, 2021
I had papered this powder room five years ago in a classic trellis design. Here it is, stripped, prepped, and ready for a more modern update.
The new look is fresh and light, and decidedly modern.
Close up.

The wallpaper manufacturer is Katie Kime, and the home is in the Memorial area of west Houston.

Wild Cat

July 20, 2021
Digital Image

The Snow Leopard mural went on the wall between the windows, and the rest of the walls were covered in a spotted animal print.

This wallpaper was hung in a new townhome in the Galleria area of Houston.

This was a non-woven, paste-the-wall material.

1″ X 5′ = 9 sq ft of Lost Paper

July 18, 2021

For all the prospective clients who think they can pull out their calculator and slide rule and then meticulously calculate that they can cover their walls with 186.7 sq ft of wallpaper – WRONG!

Here is a good example of waste, and why you can’t purchase wallpaper based on square feet alone.

Here we are working with a non-woven material that is packaged in 21″ wide x 33′ long.

In the photo, that narrow 1″ wide strip of wall on the left needs to be covered with wallpaper.

That’s 1″ wide x 5′ tall. That comes out to .41 square feet of wallpaper.

Sounds negligible, doesn’t it? But in real life, a whole lot more wallpaper will be called into play – and tossed into the trash – in order to cover this miniscule space.

Although I stockpile all scraps, there is nothing in my remnant pile that is long enough, nor the correct pattern match, to cover this space.

So I must cut a new length from a bolt of wallpaper.

The pattern has a 25″ repeat, so I had to cut off almost this much in order to come up with the correct pattern match. That’s 25″ long x 21″ wide … so already, we are nearly 4 square feet cut off and thrown onto the trash pile.

Now that I have the pattern matched correctly, I need 5 running feet of it to cover the length of wall in the photo. That’s 60″ long x the 21″ wide width of the wallpaper. That calculates to 8.75 square feet of paper.

Of those 8.75 square feet, remember that I need only a 1″ wide strip. As previously mentioned, that comes to .41 square feet.

So, 8.75 sq ft – .41 sq ft = 8.33 sq ft of paper that can’t be used anywhere else, and will be tossed onto the discard pile.

That’s 8.33 sq ft of waste. Considering that the average single roll of wallpaper contains 28 square feet (but in reality, only 22 square feet of useable paper), this leaves you with only 19.75 square feet of useable paper.

In double roll speak, this means a bolt with 56 square feet, which is better calculated at 44 useable square feet, after hanging this one puny 1″ wide strip, you are left with 47.7 sq ft of useable paper – nearly 10 sq ft lost for just one 1″ wide strip!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into pattern repeats, trimming at ceiling and floor, going around windows, vaulted ceilings, stairs, multiple drops, expansion when wet with paste, and all sorts of other factors.

Bottom Line: We paperhangers know the ins and outs of this stuff.

And homeowners don’t. Nor do contractors, painters, handymen, nor even engineers. Most of all, NOT engineers. (I love ’em all,,,, but they tend to get bogged down in details, and overlook the grand scale.)

Bottom, Bottom Line: Let the paperhanger measure the space and calculate how much wallpaper to order.

An English (Scots) Country Garden

July 17, 2021
In 2014, I hung this fun and cheerful pattern in a 2nd floor hallway in a 1940’s home of a young family in the Garden Oaks neighorhood of Houston. Seven years later, it’s time for a change.
In addition to changing the pattern in the upstairs hall, the homeowner wanted to paper this lower, adjoining wall. Here I’m applying smoothing compound to the textured surface. Once it is dry, I will sand it smooth, and then roll on a wallpaper primer.
Finished. The homeowners are contemplating more updates to the home. … And will probably opt to change the color on the wall above … I am rooting for murky green or muddy brown / gold.
Detail.
Close-up. I love the way the motifs look as if they were cut from a magazine and then decoupaged into place. The flowers look hand-painted. But the bees look like photographs.
Lola Design is the manufacturer.

No all-white, minimalist décor for these homeowners! Hailing from the British island of Scotland, and being artists at heart, they crave color, life, activity, and joy. This “Mixed Bee” design is the perfect mix of classic British floral interior décor and outdoor garden lushness.

The manufacturer is Lola Design. The material is non-woven, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method,,,, although I preferred the softness and flexibility produced by pasting the paper.

Revisiting A Mural I Hung Six Years Ago

July 16, 2021

Accent wall in home office in a newish home in Garden Oaks, Houston.

I hung this about six years ago, and was back to measure another room … which will be equally colorful and unique!

The mural was not quite wide enough to fit the wall, hence the slight gap at the left and right edges. Hint: Always consult with the paperhanger before ordering any material.

Pocket Book Friendly Chinoiserie Mural

July 15, 2021
Getting ready to apply my Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer.
Finished mural install.
Birds and flowers and trees – classic Chinoiserie themes.
Although it’s actually digitally-printed, it looks hand-painted.
Rebel Walls brand. Photo shows general simple installation instructions.

Burst pipes from the deadly February 2021 freeze here in Texas caused major water damage to the first floor of this home in the Memorial Villages area of Houston. The drywall walls and ceiling, wooden floors, kitchen cabinetry, electrical, plumbing, and more had to be yanked out and replaced.

The homeowner took advantage of this chaos to reimagine her master bedroom. Searching the likes of Pintrest and other sites, she fell in love with the concept of Chinoiserie (Oriental) murals … but not the price tag. The custom-made, hand-painted silk murals such as de Gournay, Gracie, and Fromental imported from China can cost from $1000-$1500+ per panel … and this sole wall took 12 panels. !

I encouraged her to explore other options, including digitally-printed custom murals on a durable non-woven substrate. A good number of manufacturers are making these, but Rebel Walls comes to the top of the heap for selection, quality, and customer service.

This wallpaper mural was easy to hang, and will be easy to remove when the time comes. Best of all, it’s as beautiful as the fancy-schmancy brands … but with a price tag that is much easier on the budget.

Van Gogh Inspired Wallpaper

July 14, 2021
Powder room was bland white before, with questionable wall texture. Here I have rolled on my wallpaper primer.
Paper is up.
All decked out. Note the mixed metals of chrome, burnished gold, and brushed nickel, which is quite trendy right now.
Close-up shows textured surface that mimics a real oil painting.
Van Gogh Museum brand. Pattern is called “Almond Blossom.”

“What a transformation!” cried the homeowner, when she saw her formerly boring, boxy powder room now color-filled and cheerful. “I’ll have to keep the door open from now on.”

The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.