Posts Tagged ‘1926’

Working Safely Over a Bathtub

November 30, 2022
This vintage tub is super cool , and period-appropriate to this 1926 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston . But if you need to get wallpaper on the walls around and above it, it’s really tricky . A ladder won’t fit in the tub , nor straddle it, and might damage it as well.
So I keep this handy piece of plywood in my van . It’s a standard 2’x4′ size, and 1/2″ thick. That’s thick enough to distribute and hold my weight, but still light enough that I can carry it into homes and up staircases .
It’s been sanded and then primed with white KILZ , to look a little nicer bringing into my clients’ homes, and also to reduce the chance of it leaving a mark on surfaces .
The board is a perfect size for placing over various types of bathtubs or other items – as long as their top is flat. Note that I have cushioning and non-slip material between the board and the tub.
In this case, I’m also using a one-step Rubbermaid step stool to boost my height.
This might look a little scary, but it’s all actually very safe . I just need to be sure that my weight is distributed over the tub, and not over that unsupported section on the right.
The stool does add a little more interest to the balancing act. But it’s all doable and safe if you just pay attention to your weight and movements. It did help that this family gave me plenty of peace and quiet while I was working .

Ceiling is NOwhere NEAR Level

November 29, 2022
We wallpaper hangers / installers like to have a nice straight ceiling line . Meaning, that the same pattern motif will show up at the same height on the wall on every strip . For instance, the top of the sailboat will touch the bottom of the crown molding all the way around the room.
But in old houses, poorly-built houses, or just plain old wonky houses (which are most homes in Houston! ), you can’t count on ceilings and floors being level , nor on walls being perfectly plumb .
When I used my level to check the ceiling in this 1926 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood , I admit – I laughed out loud!
When a surface is level, the air bubble will be in the middle of the two black lines . It’s common for the bubble to be a little “off.” But this one isn’t even trying to be in the middle. Meaning – the ceiling is nowhere near level. The ceiling line is moving up and / or down as it moves across the room. The discrepancy can be as much as an inch or even more from one end of the room to the other.
Meaning, there is no way that that sailboat is going to be just below the ceiling on every strip.
Luckily, this particular wallpaper pattern was such that you aren’t going to notice much.
The other thing is, most people who live in older homes, or homes with shifting foundations , or even new homes , understand that walls and floors rearrange themselves over time . So they’re understanding if sailboats drift down the ceiling line , or if patterns don’t match absolutely perfectly in the corners.

Wanderlust? City Maps Wallpaper in Hall Bathroom

November 26, 2022
Original tile in this 1926 home goes beautifully with the colors in this globe-trotting wallpaper . I positioned the pattern to try to get the most names and maps within the area between the tile and ceiling .
The paper turned out to have a complicated multiple drop pattern match . Basically, in a nutshell, most of the time, with a straight match , a particular pattern motif (the word ” Bangkok ” for instance) will appear at the same height , such as the top of the wall , on every strip . Or, with a drop match , it’s at the top of the wall every other strip . These are the two typical pattern match types. But with a multiple drop match , the pattern will fall down and down across the wall further and further , and finally appear back at the top of the wall on the fourth , or, sometimes, more, strip. That’s why in this shot, you see the bottom half of the city names cut off by the tile, instead of the full name.
And the pattern match is different if you’re moving from left to right, or from right to left .
It’s a real head-scratcher to figure out – and you had better notice it before you start cutting strips, or you could end up running short of paper . It also eats up a lot of paper. I always measure to have a little extra , but in this case, we ended up with just barely enough to finish the 2-room bathroom .
City Maps is by Rifle Paper , which is made by York , generally a good company – although starting to have lots of printing defects – which we did experience on this installation. Also, usually, Rifle Paper is an easy non-woven / paste-the-wall material . This time, second time in a month, it was printed on traditional paper. Another surprise that added time to this job , since after pasting , each piece had to be booked and then set in a plastic bag for a few minutes to absorb the paste , expand , and relax . Best to have this occur in the bag, rather than put it immediately on the wall – which would result in wrinkles and bubbles. But it does slow the process down.
This home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .