Posts Tagged ‘bathroom’

Humidity Causes Curling Edges on Vinyl / Non-Woven Wallpaper

November 23, 2022
I hung this wallpaper about 10 years ago. It’s a main bathroom in a 1920’s home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. The home has been remodeled including updated HVAC systems , but surely still suffering from issues of humidity and air circulation.
At some point, the very edges of the wallpaper started curling back at the seams. This is more pronounced at the upper portions of the wall than at the chair rail. Meaning, humidity from showering is rising into the air, collecting under the ceiling, and working its way into the seams.
Once humidity gets into the backing of the wallpaper, it can cause the backing to expand. When that happens, the paper has to go somewhere. So it pushes itself away from the wall. Hence the curling that you see here.
What’s odd to me is that this happened with a paper that’s on a non-woven backing. Non-wovens are 20% polyester, so pretty resistant to moisture and humidity. I’m guessing that this company used less than the industry standard of 20% polyester. The material was super thin and flexible, which is unlike most non-wovens I’ve worked with.
I was able to make this look pretty good again. I used a putty knife to gently lift the compromised edges away from the wall, and then I worked some of my regular wallpaper paste back behind there. (no super glue or heavy duty paste or contact cement )
Then I used my heat gun – set on Low – to gently warm up the vinyl surface of the wallpaper . The heat gun served several purposes … It helped speed the drying of the paste , so it got tacky and held more quickly and firmly. The heat gun also ” melted ” the vinyl surface a wee bit, so it would curl back in the opposite direction.
I used a 3″ stiff metal putty knife to push the two edges of wallpaper back down to the wall. The metal knife heated up, too, and helped to get the vinyl to conform.
Using the heat gun and the metal putty knife also helped the two edges from the two strips to meet up together … sort of like two mountain big horn sheep butting their heads together . Butted together this way is better than one lying on top of the other.
I was really pleased with how well this worked. Sorry – no pics!
The brand is Super Fresco Easy .

Lots of Wallpaper in Nov/Dec Issue of American Farmhouse Style Magazine

November 1, 2022
Including right here on the cover! And a real coup! … A magazine that’s pretty much dedicated to the all-white or all-grey trend in decorating, as well as minimalism … it’s so exciting to see some pattern and color in the ” farmhouse ” themed homes. Let’s take a look …
Textured grasscloth behind bookshelves in a living room .
Two-tone classic toile on one wall as a background to a stairwell . It warms up the space, without hitting you in the face.
Soft , cloud – like feel behind this credenza . Look carefully right above the baskets , and you’ll see an overlapped seam. Some commercial murals are hung like this, as well as the very popular patterns by Spoonflower , which is a budget-friendly and DIY – able , good quality material and brand . (But ONLY their ” prepasted smooth ” option. Do NOT get the ” traditional pebble ” nor their ” peel and stick . “
More of the toile pattern , in the entry , with batten board wainscoting and a chair rail , in a mud room . Also called rear back door entry . : )
Floral pattern in the laundry room . I’m getting lots of queries for wallpaper in laundries … must be trending right now!
Soft two-tone floral in small bathroom .
Textured grasscloth behind desk in home office .
Apologies for the sideways image … WordPress used to be easy to use, and I could correct this. But they “upgraded” their program and made many, many features much more difficult to work with. I tried tutorials on how to fix this, but after reading and watching tons of info and videos, I gave up. It used to be just one click !
Anyway, note the cheery breakfast room. Colorful without being overwhelming .
Closer picture.
Very innovative use of floral pattern with subdued color around the archway / entry to another breakfast nook . Note that the back of the nook also wears a textured wallpaper .
Sorry for the out-of-order picture … another frustration from the “upgraded” WordPress Editor . This gives an idea of what the afore-mentioned breakfast area looked like pre-wallpaper.
The magazine didn’t mention a brand, but this sure looks like one of Serena & Lily ‘s designs . Of course, when one company makes a popular pattern , many other companies make their own versions .
These days, usually you see pattern on the accent wall behind the headboard . So it’s a little unusual to see wallpaper on all four walls of this master bedroom . But it works, because the pattern is simple and the colors are kept to only two , so the overall feel is calming , rather than busy .
Fooled me! I thought this headboard accent wall was done in tile – but it’s wallpaper !
The same paper on a kitchen cabinet .

Shimmery Trees

October 20, 2022
Before … Heavy stipple / sand texture on drab sage green semi-gloss paint.
I skim-floated the walls , sanded smooth , primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer and …
Here’s the finished sink area of this hall bathroom .
Before shot of tub and window wall .
So much brighter and livelier!
Close up . It’s hard to see from these photos, but the colors are pewter, silver, and metallic silver.
The paper also has a lightly textured surface .
The pattern is called Hedgerow and the brand name is Super Fresco.
Every other SF I’ve hung has been on a non-woven / paste-the-wall substrate , so I was surprised to discover that this one was a paste-the-paper material , and that the backing is a paper / pulp material , with textured vinyl laminated to the surface.
My issue with this is that, historically, these paper-backed solid vinyl wallpapers don’t hold up well in humid areas , such as bathrooms.
Humidity in the air can actually be wicked up through the seams and then settle on the paper backing , which is absorbent and thirsty. Once that paper absorbs moisture, it’s going to expand . Since there is nowhere for it to go, it will push back against the wall , and that can cause the seam to curl up and pull away from the wall.
Oftentimes, the paper backing actually delaminates (comes apart) from the vinyl surface. This is not a “loose seam” and cannot be repaired.
You pretty much have to replace the whole strip. Or, more likely, to replace the entire wall, from one corner to the next.
Proper wall prep , including a primer made for use under wallpaper , goes a long way toward avoiding these sorts of occurrences.
installer houston memorial area

Just A Whisper Of Color And Texture

August 30, 2022
Dining room in the Oak Forest area of Houston, before. All white and crisp – but bland .
Here with just a touch of color and texture . The homeowner took my suggestion to use an embossed vinyl faux grasscloth product, which is very consistent in color .
The problem with real grasscloth is that so very often there are disappointing color variations between strips , even if they come off the same roll . We call this shading and paneling . Do a search here to see previous posts about this.
Note that with both materials you will see the seams. With this faux material, once you got 3′ away, you can’t see the seams at all.
The paper along the top of the wainscoting chair rail is to prevent my wallpaper primer from splattering onto the molding . I do the same for baseboards and bathroom backsplash es .
Opposite corner done.
Close-up showing the realistic texture of the vinyl product .
This is by Designer Wallpapers and was purchased from the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village , by Dorota , who has been selling wallpaper for 25+ years and is THE expert on helping you select your perfect pattern .

Tall Trees in Powder Room

August 28, 2022
Before, primed and ready for wallpaper .
Just about everything in this house is white – walls , furniture , accessories . Serene, but kinda blah.
The homeowner wanted to add a pop of color and chose the powder room to be the fun room .
I love the way the pattern seems to push the walls away and makes the room look larger . In addition, the strong vertical element of the tree trunks adds a lot of energy to the space.
I love the burnished gold fixtures with the green paper .
This very popular wallpaper pattern is called Raphael and is by Sandberg . It comes in a lot of colors – I’ve done a bunch of them! This is made in Sweden and is a non-woven material , also called paste the wall . It is more durable and breathable than traditional papers, and will hold up nicely in a bathroom .
The home is in the Oak Forest area of Houston .
installer installation

Open Door Policy

August 9, 2022
What’s great about this picture? The powder room door is opening OUTWARD!
Folks, it’s hard enough to hang wallpaper in a powder room, most of which are pretty small and cramped. Add a toilet, sink, ladder, tools, and a moving human body.
Compounding all that, most powder room doors swing open inward (it’s a construction / architectural thing – Google it). That door takes up a lot of space inside the bathroom. This makes for a real juggling act and choreographed dance every time I need to get in or out of the room – which is frequently during the workday, since my pasting table is outside the room and the paper has to go onto the walls inside the room.
On this job I was delighted that the door opened out. This made it infinitely easier to maneuver around in there and do the tasks necessary to get the room papered.
Thank you builder!

Powder Blue and Mint Small Print in West U Bungalow Bathroom

July 21, 2022
Before, primed and ready for wallpaper.
For various reasons, removing these mounting brackets for the light sconces would have created more problems than it solved, so I left them in place and worked carefully around them. The difficulty is that the sconces are exactly the same size as the mounting plates, so it’s difficult to trim around these plates that jut out from the wall and still get the paper close enough that no gaps show around the base of the light fixtures. When possible, it’s much easier to remove them and put the paper behind them.
I chose to center the design on my first strip in between those two sconces, rather than on the faucet. Good thing this is a small and busy pattern, because neither the mirror nor the sink faucet were centered between the sconces. But no one’s gonna notice.
If you look in the middle of the photo, you’ll see the vertical red line of my laser level. I’m using this as a guide to place the motifs down the center of the space.
Here’s a shot of my laser level. Less than $100 at Lowe’s maybe eight years ago.
Finished sink wall. The hooks are for the large, white framed mirror.
Window corner next to the toilet. The mint green paint on the woodwork next to the light blue wallpaper print ties this room in beautifully with the other rooms on the first floor of this house. The colors also coordinate beautifully with some artwork in the dining room just steps away.
The pattern is called Aboreta and is by Thibaut , one of my favorite brands. It’s a traditional paste-the-paper material , and was nice to work with. Thin and breathable and should hold up nicely in a humid bathroom.
This was purchased from my favorite source for wallpaper and for help in finding what you’re looking for – Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village . Her hours vary, so call before you head over.

Galleria / Tanglewood Hall Bathroom Updated and Brightened

July 15, 2022
What a beautiful, fresh, floaty view as you come up the stairs of this townhome.
Here’s what was there before. Early ’90’s , solid vinyl that was both outdated and beginning to succumb to humidity ( curl at the seams ).
The previous installers (most likely a DIY homeowner couple) had hung the vinyl over existing wallpaper. I stripped off the vinyl, but, for various reasons, I was unable to remove the bottom, original wallpaper. Here is the room after I patched areas, skim-floated over seams, and primed with 123 by Zinsser.
Same view, cloaked in beautiful shimmery , pearlized floral wallpaper .
Over the shower view.
The homeowner was worried about using a modern wallpaper with her ’70’s tile . Replacing the tile was out of the budget . But the interior designer assured her that since the paper had a bit of yellow in it, that it would work nicely with the tile. Boy, was he right! The colors go together perfectly.
Toilet alcove view. The whole re-do was started by a water leak that caused the plumbers to cut a hole in the wall to the right of the toilet.
I don’t usually recommend covering switchplates and outlet covers , because they get soiled quickly. But the homeowner really liked the look of them covered, and she lives alone so promised to keep fingers off the plates . 🙂
This wallpaper is in the Canidice Olson line by York , one of my favorite companies, and was a delight to work with. It is thin and breathable, and will hold up much better in a humid bathroom than the previous vinyl option.
The paper was purchased from Calico on West Alabama in central Houston .
The client was assisted by Ron Dillon , who is an interior designer as well as has sold wallpaper for more than 20 years. He was an immense help to my client, who was dealing with many stressors and uncertainties during this bathroom re-do.

Wallpaper Paste Residue = Crackled Paint on Bathroom Cabinet

July 14, 2022
Adding to my previous post, here is the wooden door to the medicine cabinet, which took on a lot of paste when the previous installer hung wallpaper. He evidently was unable to successfully wipe off all the paste.
The unfortunate aftermath is that the paste will eat into paint that is existing, or that is applied later, and cause it to crackle and flake.

My Work Set-Up

June 25, 2022




Here’s my pasting / trimming table , set up in my client’s living room, which is just a few steps away from the hall bathroom where I’m hanging wallpaper. In that room, of course, I have my ladder, as well as my smaller hand tools used for actually getting the paper onto the wall.