Posts Tagged ‘bathroom’

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.

More William Morris Strawberry Thief in Houston Heights Hall Bathroom

June 24, 2022
Because I feared unstable walls in this 1920’s bungalow in this neighborhood (do a Search for previous posts), before hanging the decorative wallpaper, first I hung a non-woven liner paper on all the walls. That’s the white material you see in the photo.
The liner was hung horizontally so its seams can’t line up with the decorative paper. The idea is to disperse tension from drying wallpaper and changes due to humidity and etc., so as to deflect tension away from sketchy wall surfaces, and thus prevent delamination of multiple unstable layers deep inside the wall. Again, do a Search here to learn more.
Finished vanity area, with pattern centered on the light fixture.
Corner shot.
This colorful and symmetrical pattern is quite popular; I’ve hung it a number of times just this year.
Englishman William Morris designed wallpaper and fabrics during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The styles then were Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts. This design reflects a bit of each.
Wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, and then can shrink just a tad as it dries. The liner helps prevent that, but you can still end up with teeny gaps at some seams.
To prevent the white backing from showing through, I run a stripe of dark paint under where each seam will fall.
I use matt finish craft paint from the hobby store, diluted with a little water (in the orange bottle cap) and smeared on the wall with a scrap of sponge. Use a ruler or level and a pencil to mark where you want to stripe the dark paint.
Remember to allow for that expansion as the paper absorbs moisture from the paste. Meaning, if the paper is 20.5″ wide, and expands 1/2″, you’ll want to run your line at about 21.” And make sure that your painted swath is about an inch wide.
I also run a bit of dark chalk along the edges of each strip, to prevent the white substrate from showing at the seams (no photo).
Morris & Co. makes this iconic Strawberry Thief.
Interestingly enough, most times when I’ve hung a Morris paper, it’s been a non-woven paste-the-wall material.
Today’s option was a surprise – a traditional British pulp . This is a pretty basic and somewhat old-fashioned type of substrate . Sort of like construction paper, or the pages of an old family Bible .
The paper is very fragile , and can tear easily. You have to keep using new razor / trimming blades, because the material dulls blades quickly, and when dull they will drag and tear the paper.
Pulp papers also require a soaking / booking time after pasting , to allow time for the material to absorb the paste , soften a bit, and expand . The edges of the strips like to dry out , so I’ve learned to dip about 1/4″ of the booked ends ( booked means the pasted side of the wallpaper strip is folded onto itself, bottom edge folded up and top edge folded down to meet in the middle), into a bucket of clean water.
Then it goes into a black plastic trash bag to soak and relax for a few minutes before hanging. I use this opportunity to paste the next strip.
Non-woven wallpapers have advantages, because they do not expand when wet, and therefor you can get accurate measurements. They also can be pasted and hung immediately, with no waiting time. Alternately, you can paste the wall .

Resplendent Transformation for Pre-Teen Girl’s Bathroom Vanity Area

June 3, 2022
The vanity and marble countertop have been removed. This makes it easier for me to work, and also allows the paper to go down behind the countertop, rather than being cut along the top of the backsplash. So no worries about splashed water wicking up under the wallpaper and causing curling.
What a beautiful room for a 10 year old girl!
Peacocks and posies .
This is a non-woven or paste-the-wall material. It was pretty thick and stiff. N-Ws contain minimum 20% polyester. There are many advantages to using them as wallpaper, including easy removal when it’s time to redecorate, because the strong material is supposed to stay in one piece and strip easily off the wall.
One of my colleagues says it’s made of fiberglass. In this close-up shot, you can see the fibers and plastic-like sheen. I have a hunch my friend is correct!
Manufacturer is Graham & Brown , pattern name is Resplendence , color is Blush ( dusty pink ).

Open the Pool Bath Door and – SURPRISE!

May 28, 2022
Sink wall primed and ready for wallpaper.
Sink wall done. (except for a 1″ wide sliver on the left)
A larger view of this pattern. Don’t know why it’s showing pink here … it’s not.
The craze started years ago with the ” iconic ” Martinique tropical pattern, which has graced the walls of the Beverly Hills Hotel since 1942.
The design is fabulously lush, and overscaled.
Makes an unmistakable impact when you walk from the pool and into the adjoining bathroom and are met with – WHAM! Deep in the tropics!
My client was drawn to Brazilliance by Dorothy Draper. And of course, there’s the original Martinique. Both these versions are screen prints made with bad (IMO) inks on uncooperative substrates, and result in puckering within the wallpaper and curling at the seams. Do a Search here to read my experience hanging the Martinique.
In addition, these high-end papers are notoriously expensive. And a very long 41″ pattern repeat means there’s potentially a lot of waste – meaning, a lot of paper that is cut off and thrown away in order to match the pattern.
My client was open to suggestions, and happily found a much better option. This Daintree Palm by Graham & Brown is equally huge and stunning, but at a fraction of the price.
In addition, it’s printed on a non-woven substrate, which is much easier to work with, the vinyl surface is much more resistant to splashes and dirt, and it will strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.
I want to make the point that while this pool bath is not part of the main house, it does have air conditioning and heat – climate control are imperative to ensuring that wallpaper stays on the walls, and stays free of mildew and other issues.
The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston.

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.

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.

Adventurous, Fanciful Punch of Color and Theme

April 30, 2022
The homeowners are into comics and fantasy art. While I hung a calm crocodile hide textured wallpaper in the home office, the couple chose this wild and boldly hued zebra pattern for the adjoining bathroom.
I just love the way the bright orange pops out against the white vanity, countertop, toilet, floor, shower tile, and moldings.
This pattern is called Lost World and is by Clarke & Clarke . It’s a nice non-woven material, was easy to work with, and will hold up well, even under humid conditions if the shower in this bathroom is used.

Finished Pearland Floral Master Bath

April 14, 2022
Before, with walls skim-floated smooth and primed .
So fun! So much personality and energy!
The door on the left opens to the water closet / potty room, which was papered in a coordinating plain gold, textured material. See previous post for photos.
Long wall behind his & hers vessel sinks.
Tub area, with shower area behind. Wallpapering all these little nooks and crannies took a lot of time!
The opposite side of the tub area.
This non-woven wallpaper is made by York and was purchased from the Ballard Designs showroom in Montrose / River Oaks ( Houston ).
It was nice to work with, the seams are nearly invisible, and it will hold up for many years to come.

10 Year Old Bathroom Revisited

April 9, 2022
I hung this subtle tone-on-tone wallpaper in a hall bathroom in the Montrose area of Houston 10 years ago. It’s still in perfect shape! The homeowners have done an amazing job of avoiding splashes and hand prints.
I love the slight ‘ raised ink ‘ texture.

Classic Chinoiserie in Heights Powder Room

February 10, 2022
Before. The previous installer did a beautiful job with this earthy grasscloth. But it didn’t suit the homeowner’s taste, nor did it fit with the feel of this 1939 cottage in the historic Norhill section of the Houston heights.
Done! The dark towel and mirror really set off the pattern and colors.
Wall behind the toilet. This Asian-influenced design, with its pagodas and minstrels, is referred to as a Chinoiserie . These designs have been popular for centuries.
Close-up. The green and blue tones coordinate beautifully with adjoining rooms in the house.
I rolled the wallpaper out on the floor, so I could see the full-size design. This one has a 46″ pattern repeat, which is awfully long, and means there can be a lot of waste. This design had a straight pattern match, and came packaged in a 24″ x 33′ bolt, like traditional wallpaper. It did not come as an A-B set, as many M&K products do.
I couldn’t find a full-size room-set photo on-line, so I availed myself of the Milton & King ‘s ” chat ” feature … I was connected with a live and knowledgeable representative in mere seconds, and he very quickly sent me a link to a picture of this pattern in a room.
In the photo, I’m using my yardstick to determine a centerline of the design motifs.
As are most of Milton & King ‘s wallpapers, this one was on a non-woven substrate. Rather than paste the wall, I chose to paste the paper, which works best in a bathroom with things to cut around and tuck paper behind. mi
The pattern is called Mulberry . Milton & King’s bolts come packed individually in protective boxes – no worries about banged edges with this outfit!