Posts Tagged ‘bathrooms’

No Sink Makes for an Easier and Faster Install Day

March 6, 2019


It’s hard to see in this photo, but there are two water line connections and a drain that were located under a wall-mounted sink in a small powder room.

Before I got started, the homeowner called a plumber to come remove the sink. This made it a LOT easier for me to get under there, and to cut around the plumbing fixtures. There are fewer cut edges, no mis-matched seams, and, since the area under this sink is exposed, the whole space looks neat and tidy.

It also means that the wallpaper goes completely behind the sink, with no cut edge at the top of the sink. So there are no worries about water that gets splashed onto the top of the sink wicking up under the paper and causing curling edges.

Most of the time, I trim around sinks in bathrooms like this. But when it’s possible to remove the sink, boy, it’s great for everyone! It makes my job easier and faster – it probably saved me an hour’s worth of trimming in this room. And it makes the job look better and ensures there will be no curling edges along the top of the sink.

AND it minimizes stress on the paper from manipulating it around bends and turns or overworking, so eliminates the possibility of creases in the material or flaking ink.

Win-win for everyone!

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Lower-End Vinyl Wallpaper is Bad Stuff

April 24, 2018


Pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl wallcoverings are economical, and they are often touted as “kitchen and bath papers,” because the vinyl surface is resistant to water and because it can be washed better than paper papers.

But these products often perform poorly, especially in rooms with humid conditions or where they may be splashed with water, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. It’s very common for the seams to curl, as you see in the photo. In some cases, the seams never look good, even when the paper is newly hung.

The curling seams are caused, in my opinion, because the paper backing absorbs moisture from the air, or if water is splashed onto a backsplash and can be wicked up into the paper backing of the wallpaper. The paper expands, the vinyl doesn’t, causing it to curl back. Then the vinyl actually delaminates from the paper backing. This is not a “loose seam” and cannot be simply glued back down. The two layers of the product are coming apart, and cannot be repaired.

My advice – avoid these papers. Instead go for a paper paper, or one of the new non-woven papers. More info on choosing a quality paper in the “Beginning – General Info Pack” page to the right.

Can’t Sell the House With Outdated Wallpaper

June 23, 2017

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The homeowners have put this Bellaire (Houston) house on the market, but it has not been attracting much attention, and the realtor says it’s partially due to the outdated wallpaper. My camera ate pics of three of the rooms, so you have only this mossy green stripe combined with a coordinating faux finish accent wall – topped with a topiary themed border. Gee – NO ONE is doing borders these days. The paper has to go!

So, today I am stripping off paper that I hung in 2001. I am proud to say that every wallpaper in every room I did 16 years ago is still in absolutely perfect condition, even in the humid bathrooms.

This job went especially well, since I used a good paste and because I had primed the wall with an excellent primer, oil-based KILZ Original. I was able to remove the paper in three bathrooms in just a few hours, with virtually no damage to the walls, because the KILZ protected them.  Because KILZ Original is oil-based, it will not re-wet when wallpaper paste is put on top of it, or when water is used to remove old wallpaper.

NOTE: The formula for KILZ has changed in recent years, due to environmental regulations. Wallpaper paste won’t adhere to it, so it is no longer a good primer for wallpaper projects.

In the second photo, I am stripping off top vinyl layer of the green striped wallpaper. The tan colored paper backing is left on the wall. In the third photo, you see the tan backing. I have soaked some of it, and the wet areas are a darker tan color. Once it gets good and wet, the paste reactivates, and the paper can be gently scraped from the wall, or, if you’re really lucky, gently pulled from the wall in large pieces. In the third photo, the white area in the center is where the paper backing has been removed, revealing the KILZ primer underneath. It was fun to also find my measurements and notes written on the wall back in 2001.

See the next post for a pic of the room with the paper off.  The realtor walked in and was very happy.  Next the painter will prime with a stain-blocking primer (like oil-based KILZ Original or Zinsser’s BIN) to prevent residual wallpaper paste from causing the new paint to crackle and flake off, and then paint the walls.

Rusted Drywall Corner Bead – Bad News for Wallpaper

March 28, 2017

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I have just stripped wallpaper off this wall. The outside corner of the drywall shows a lot of rust along the metal corner bead. This is fairly common in humid bathrooms, but in this case, the room is a kitchen.

This is a big problem, because rust will bleed through wallpaper (and paint, too), creating a stain on the surface of the new finish. Other materials can cause staining, too, such as grease, ink, smoke, water, wood sap (knot holes), crayon, lipstick, etc.

But it’s easy to fix. A good sealer / stain blocker will seal off the rust (or other staining agent) so it will not leach through the new decorating material.

I like oil-based KILZ Original (not latex). But it’s noxious stuff, and will make you high if you breath the fumes. I wear a chemical respirator when I apply it, and ventilate the room well.

There are other water-born products that are made to block stains that are not as likely to kill brain cells. 🙂 If you are interested in trying one of these, ask your paint store professional (meaning, a true paint store with knowledgeable staff, NOT a box store with rotating employees) for recommendations.

CUTE Paper – But It’s a Goner!

August 19, 2015
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The girls who use these two bathrooms are getting older, and need a more sophisticated look. But the rooms are so darned cute, it hurt to strip the paper off!

What also hurt is that the previous installer did not prime the walls, but hung the wallpaper directly on the raw Sheetrock. That made it a lot harder to get the wallpaper off, plus increased the possibility of tearing the Sheetrock, which is a big problem. It was even harder to get the wallpaper off the greenboard, which was used around the shower areas.

The bottom photo is a good shot of how wallpaper is stripped off the wall. You can see how the top inked layer has been pulled off, leaving the white backing still on the wall. This layer is soaked with warm water and a sponge, and, once the paste has been reactivated and softened, that backing layer can be gently pulled or scraped away from the wall, revealing the Sheetrock underneath.

Once I got all the paper off, I washed the walls to remove paste residue, patched little dings in the walls, and then primed with Gardz, which is a good sealer in the event that any paste residue still clung to the walls.

Time for an Update

April 17, 2015

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The top of this dining room in Barker’s Landing (Memorial & Hwy 6) was papered 15 or 20 years ago in a soft pink “satin look” paper-backed pre-pasted solid vinyl wallpaper, and the bottom was painted a soft pink. Well, that was well and good back in the ’80’s, but the room needed an update. Besides, I really try to steer people away from those paper-backed solid vinyl papers, because, especially in humid rooms like bathrooms, they tend to curl at the seams.

As you can see, the new pattern is similar, but much more up to date and livable, in tan and cream, with a thin navy and a thinner red stripe. The bottom of the wall will be painted a deep blue, to coordinate with the blue stripe, and to complement the homeowner’s collection of Flow Blue Oriental dinnerware.

This is a paper, not a vinyl, so it will lie nice and flat against the wall for years to come. Even the last corner worked out nicely (last photo), as you can hardly see that the striped pattern is off, but only by a tad. (The dark stripe is a little wider in the corner than it is on the straight walls.)

This pattern is by Ronald Redding, by York Wallcoverings, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her. Dorota also coordinated the paint color with the wallpaper. The homeowner said, “Dorota is everything you said she was! She made it so easy to find a paper we loved, and she helped us with paint color selections, too.”

Wating for Rewards

May 28, 2010

This week, I’m stripping two bathrooms, so the homeowner can paint the rooms, and then take their time deciding what pattern and color wallpaper to choose.

It feels odd, that I will be working and working, and at the end of the job, there won’t be the finished project of a beautiful room.   Just bare grey Sheetrock, waiting for paint.