Printing Error – Some Thick, Some Thin

September 20, 2022
See the difference between the motifs on these two different strips of wallpaper ?
The ones on the top are crisper and more distinct , with more space between the black lines. The motifs on the bottom have heavier black lines and appear a bit smudged .
Not a huge difference , but on the wall , especially from a distance , your eye would catch this.
Interestingly enough, all these rolls were from the same batch / run number (all printed at the same time with the same ink and printing press ). In fact, one roll started out “normal” and progressively got darker .
It probably would have looked OK to use this darker paper, especially since this was a powder room and you couldn’t step back far enough to see a number of strips next to each other.
But we had enough wallpaper that I could put these aside and use fresh strips with crisp ink to finish the room.
A good reason to always buy a little extra wallpaper !
The pattern is Les Touches and is by Brunschwig & Fils .

The Wallpaper Instructions Weren’t Much Help

September 13, 2022
LOL !

Backyard BBQ Treat

September 12, 2022
I was working into the evening, as often happens, and my clients had guests over for a summer dinner – straight from the grill. They were kind enough to offer me a bite. The Wallpaper Lady doesn’t usually eat meat, but this was a really tasty treat. The beef is farm-raised by friends of the family, and you can really taste the difference.
I had to take care to keep the food far away from my pasting table and hanging area, and to wash my hands after every bite – one drop of grease or sugar or the like will stain the new wallpaper.

Ink From Label Rubs Off Onto Wallpaper

September 11, 2022
The instruction sheet was rolled up inside this bolt of stringcloth wallcovering . As you can see, some of the ink came off and discolored the wallpaper . This is not uncommon. I had to throw away the first 10″ or so of paper (about 2 sq ft of paper).
Other things can damage the ends of rolls , too, like tape , impressions / dents created by labels or packaging , edges banged up during shipping , and more.
Another reminder to always purchase extra paper .

No Power

September 10, 2022
So here I am hanging wallpaper – and a storm rolled through. You got it – the power went off!
I’m in mid-strip … can’t see to finish this strip , plus I have another one booking and ready to hang .
With wallpaper , there’s a timing factor, because strips need to sit and absorb the paste for a period of time (booking) before being hung. And they can’t sit too long or they can over-expand and/or freeze (stick to itself and tear when you try to unbook it).
So if I couldn’t get this strip plus the next one to the right up soon, I would have to discard both of them. (Another reason to always buy a little extra .)
Luckily I have this strong battery-powered flashlight in the van , plus another smaller one in my toolbox . These both came from Sherwin-Williams , and were economically-priced. As you can see, they put out a LOT of light.
I was able to finish hanging this strip. Before I got to the next strip, the power came back on. Whew!
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Muted Texture for Galleria Area Powder Room

September 9, 2022
Primed and ready for wallpaper . The original color was a somewhat dark murky blue . The room just felt listless and small (it’s not a small powder room )
Finished. Brighter and comfortable . This isn’t a statement-making wallpaper . But it’s all about lightening up the area, and making it feel welcoming at the same time.
The light metallic accents in the pattern accentuate the color of the light sconces .
The gold also works nicely with the oil-rubbed bronze faucet and handles .
And the aqua melds nicely with the grey marble countertop .
Close-up showing the printed texture . The paper also has a light raised ink texture to it.
The design is called Tresco and is by Thibaut , one of my favorite brands . It’s in their Anna French line.
This wallpaper is a non-woven material , and can be hung by the paste the wall method . I usually prefer to paste the paper .
Non-wovens are strong and more stain resistant than other wallpapers. They are designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate .
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Soft Textured Foliage Brightens Entry

September 8, 2022
The homeowners knew they wanted something brighter for their entryway . But their paint samples tested on the wall were falling flat.
Wallpaper was the answer! Brighter and more personality and interesting than paint of the same color .
Here’s a better shot showing the actual color .
And here it is with my 100-watt light bulb gone and the room’s chandelier providing the light .
This is a stringcloth material . Note that, just like grasscloth , another natural fiber material , you will see the seams a bit. On this one, the heavy inked areas of the white berries showed more than the background areas . From a few feet away, none of this was visible.
Close-up showing the texture of the strings and the thick ink .
I do think this will have some sound-reduction qualities ( absorb noise ).
Also a note … cats and even dogs love to scratch or chew textured fibers like this.
Rolling it out on my work table. The rolls / bolts were really heavy .
Made by Wallquest in their EcoChic line.
The home is in the Tanglewood / Galleria area of Houston .
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Two Color Rhythmic Print for Heights Breakfast Nook

September 7, 2022
Before. Grey and boring .
The built-in banquette seating has been removed.
Finished.
Closer look.
Showing the pattern centered on the wall, and with the shutters. The dimensions of the paper not corresponding well with the width of the window, along with logistics of pattern placement at the ceiling line but starting my first strip under the window all created some plotting and engineering challenges. Fun, but time consuming. But it turned out great!
The original idea was to just paper the nook area, ending at the vertical door molding. But it would have looked odd to stop the wallpaper above this doorway. So the homeowner and I decided to run the paper along the top of the doorway, and then down the left side (not shown), which dead-ends into some cabinets and the granite countertop. It looked good and was the right call.
It tickles me that this is quite obviously a riff on the very popular Strawberry Thief wallpaper pattern by William Morris , which is quite popular right now (do a Search here to see my installations of it). When a company comes up with a hit, you can be assured that a competitor will soon be making its own version of it.
The original has a lot more color, but this version is limited to just two colors. Even though there is a lot of contrast between the black and the white , the pattern doesn’t feel busy, because the design is so close and tight .
There is a lot of symmetry , repetitiveness , and balance in Wm Morris and similar styles .
I love the raised ink texture to this material .
Whoops! A slight pattern mis-match . The overall design is busy enough that small imperfections like this (as well as some color variations / shading ) are not really noticeable .
It’s odd to me that the printing defects are different in different strips / rolls of the wallpaper . You’d think that if the print roller was out of whack, it would create the same image every time it strikes the wallpaper surface. Or maybe it’s the trimmers that are off. If they had cut 1/16″ more off that left edge, we might have a perfect pattern match .
The manufacturer is York , one of my favorites , in their Sure Strip line, also one of my favorites.
It’s in the Magnolia Home collection , by, yes, Joanna Gaines , of HGTV fame with the show Fixer Upper .
SureStrip is a pre-pasted , thin , flexible , non-woven material that is easy to hang . It’s also easy to remove when you’re ready to redecorate , because it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your walls .
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Tinting Primer So I Can See It

September 6, 2022
With so many homes having white walls these days, I was having a hard time seeing where I had applied my wallpaper primer – which is also white. So these days I have the paint store add just the minimum of color to the can.
This helps me see where I’ve spread the primer, but still allows for a crisp near-white base for the wallpaper to sit on.
It’s important not to add too much pigment, or it will interfere with the primer’s ability to do its job. The label will spec how much pigment is O.K.
I like Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime , which is made specifically for use under wallpaper.
Although Sherwin-Williams stores can get this, not all of the store managers will . So I was happy when Murphy Brothers on Bissonnet , not too far from me, was able to stock it – just for me.
Note: This stuff ain’t cheap – more than $60 a gallon ! That’s almost as much as a 5-gallon bucket of wallpaper paste .
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Using Heat To Bend Vinyl

September 3, 2022
I will be wrapping a stiff , thick , embossed textured vinyl wallpaper around the inside of this window return . This 90* angle is called an outside corner . This is tricky enough.
But the real feat will be wrapping the material around that bend , and getting it to adhere to that little lip on the bottom next to the wainscoting – which is only about 1/4″ deep . That doesn’t give much for the paper to grab hold of, especially since it is stiff and will want to retain it’s flat position .
Heat gun to the rescue! Heat will cause the vinyl to soften and allow it to bend . This is my test piece. I’m experimenting with how much heat is needed and the delicate balance between bending and melting or burning .
Also how much time is required for the vinyl to cool and how well it will retain its new shape , and how firmly it will adhere to that little narrow 1/4″ lip .
Because I can’t safely put my hands in front of the heat gun, and my plastic smoother tool would not hold up, I use this ” Euni Plate ” of stainless steel , which was invented and manufactured and sold by a colleague of mine in the Wallcovering Installers Association WIA .
Here’s another view. The plate has angles and rolled edges for various uses. The damp cloth is to quickly cool the vinyl, in hopes to keep it in the bent shape .
Another trick is to use a straightedge and razor blade to gently and lightly score the vinyl along the outside of the corner fold , to break the surface a little and allow it to bend . You’ve got to be careful, because cut too deeply and you’ll end up with a sliced edge that’s unattractive and also may delaminate ( come apart ).
Finished – with nice tightly wrapped edges that are staying in place .
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