Posts Tagged ‘book’

Bold Green Gives Way to Serene

August 9, 2019


The bold green “raw silk” look paint was put up by a skilled faux-finisher about 15 years ago. It was a beautiful look in this dining room for all those years. But it was time for an update, and the homeowner wanted to go with a cleaner, quieter look.

It’s very hard to see in these photos, but this wallpaper has a subtle pattern, comprised of squares of varying widths, with some of them having smaller white squares inside them. All of these squares work together to form a wide striped pattern that plays itself out horizontally every 54″ across the wall. For the whole pattern to be visible, you need wallspace of 108″ (9′). Scroll to enlarge the photos, and hopefully you can see something of the pattern.

It’s interesting to note that you get this effect by reversing every other strip. In other words, hanging one strip right-side-up, and the next one upside-down. That way, the same edge of the paper is next to itself, so the pattern repeats as a mirror image of itself as it crosses the seam. In other words, on the first seam, the white squares are next to each other. On the next seam, the tan squares are next to each other.

I rolled the bolts out on the floor, side-by-side, so I could get an idea of how the pattern would work on the client’s walls. I decided the pattern would give the most impact if the white area was centered on each section of wall. There were six of these sections, each one a different width, separated by five windows and doorways of varying widths.

But centering the pattern on each section of wall, instead of hanging each strip sequentially as is typically done, meant that the pattern would fall out of sequence over the doors. Ah … but that’s a topic for the next blog post.

Back to this current post … So I found the center of each wall space, and used my laser level as a guide to hang the first two strips with the white squares butting the red laser line. The crown molding was not level, so the ceiling line wavered a little. But, the chair rail is more important because it’s closer to eye-level, and it was amazingly level. My squares marched perfectly across it with no tracking up or down, all the way around the room.

This wallpaper is a non-woven material. This stuff has a high fiberglass and synthetic composition, and does not need to sit (book), so it can be hung immediately after pasting. It also is dimensionally-stable, meaning that moisture from the paste will not cause the paper to expand. Thee factors made it a little easier and quicker, and kept measurements more accurate, in this room.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, and was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Roiling Clouds Wallpaper in a Montrose Bathroom

July 4, 2019


Historic British manufacturer’s Fornasetti Line “Nuvolette” wallpaper pattern… I have long wanted to hang this paper, and finally got my chance today!

The walls in this first-floor bathroom of a newish contemporary styled home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston were textured and covered with a semi-gloss paint. (top picture) It took me a day and a half to skim-coat the walls with smoothing compound, let dry, sand smooth, vacuum up the dust, wipe dust off the walls, prime, and let the primer dry. (second photo shows the smoothed and primed walls)

You would see this pattern better in a larger, less broken-up room, but here you can tell that it is a powerful depiction of roiling thunder clouds storming powerfully toward the west.

The product is unusual, in that it comes in a 2-pack set of “A” and “B” rolls. Each bolt is the same width and length as many Cole & Son papers. But the pattern is placed on those bolts very atypically, and the pattern match is equally unexpected.

Usually, wallpaper patterns match straight across from strip to strip. (straight across match) This means you see the same design element at the top of the wall on every strip. Or they drop down bit on every other strip, then pop back up to the top of the wall on the third strip. (drop match)

A much less common and much more complicated patter match is when the pattern motif repeats itself at the top of the wall only on every fourth (or more) strip. It can take a lot of mind-bending to figure out how to get the pattern placed correctly, and without wasting more paper than necessary.

Look at the upper left of the label, and it says that when placing the A strip to the right of the B strip, it’s a straight match. But when you position the B strip to the right of the A strip, it’s a drop match. This makes everything even wackier and more complicated!

What helped me here is that this home had plenty of room to roll out the bolts of paper, and plot out how the pattern would fall. (see photo) No one was home, so I had peace and quiet to concentrate and get my head around the intricacies of the pattern.

It turned out that the “straight match” indicated on the label was an error – no strips featured a straight match. Good thing I had all that floor space to roll the bolts out, so I could determine that.

Because the pattern match was so unpredictable, it was not possible to cut all of the “odd” and “even” strips ahead of time. And the very unlevel / unplumb qualities of the room also stepped in to make this impossible.

One thing that helped was that this was a non-woven material, which meant that the wallpaper did not need to be booked (left to sit and absorb paste and expand) before hanging. So as soon as I was able to figure out the pattern match for the upcoming strip, I was able to paste and hang the strip-in-hand.

If I had had to figure, measure, plot, paste, book, and then finally hang each strip individually, it would have taken a lot more than the eight hours it did take me to hang this 8-roll bathroom.

A big help on this pattern is that I belong to the Wallcovering Installers Association, and I check our Facebook page every day. (Sorry – it’s private … you can’t peek!) It was there that I learned about others’ experiences with this Nuvolette design, and how they tackled the pattern repeat and the install.

Badly Curling Edges on Quadrille’s “Sigourney” Wallpaper

July 18, 2018

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This “high end, designer wallpaper” by Quadrille (called Sigourney) has heavy inks that smell like moth balls. As is common with these papers, when wet with paste, the ink absorbs moisture and expands more than the paper backing, which is what causes the curing of the edges and the wrinkles (called “waffling”) which you see in the first photo.

Once the paper is on the wall, those edges can continue to curl backwards, resulting in gapped or open seams, or seams that are tight but just don’t look good. And the interior of the strip will continue to hold a few wrinkles and bubbles.

This paper had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand with a long straight edge and a razor blade, before the strips of paper could be pasted and hung on the wall. I found that my carefully hand-trimmed edges did not butt together nicely, not did they adhere tightly to the wall, and they left little gaps and curled seams.

My solution was to overlap the subsequent strips of wallpaper and splice them together. This gives pretty much perfect seams.

However, it is time-intensive and somewhat complicated, involving many steps and some special equipment. No photos, but in a nutshell, you trim the selvedge edges of the wallpaper in a way that allows you to match the pattern on one side, and then leaves a little more than that on the opposite side. You first pad the wall under where one seam will go with a thin strip of heavy plastic that is 3″ wide (we WIA members call it a Boggess strip, after the WIA member who invented it), to protect the wall. Then you hang one strip, allowing one edge of it to land on top of that plastic strip.

The next strip is pasted and hung, positioned so that it overlaps the previous strip along the outer edge, while making sure that the pattern matches. Next you take a straightedge (I use a wonderful one (not pictured), invented and manufactured by a WIA member, and a sharp, new razor blade, and cut through the two layers of wallpaper, paying heed to press hard enough to cut through the two layers of paper, but not so hard as to damage the plastics strip, and definitely not hard enough to score the wall. A cut into the wall could result in delamination of the layers of the wall, and irreparable curling at the seams.

Once the cutting has been done, the excess layers of wallpaper need to be pealed away, then the Boggess strip removed, and then the two sides of the wallpaper strips should be eased together and smoothed down tight, with the edges of the strips wiped clean of any residual paste.

Next, the rest of the strip of wallpaper should brushed into place on the wall. This Quadrille paper may look wrinkled and waffled on the wall, but any little wrinkles or bubbles that may remain on the wall will dry and flatten out in very little time – just a few hours.

The whole plot, cut, trim, paste, book, position, place Boggess strip, trim paper at crown molding, trim at chair rail, trim at overlapped seam, smooth seam shut, wipe seam clean of paste residue, scenario resulted in very nice seams, but took a whole lot of time and materials and focus. I probably spent 40 minutes on installation alone (not including measuring or trimming) for each strip.

While this wallpaper’s challenges could be met, and the finished room looked fantastic, I would much prefer to hang a good quality mid-price-range wallpaper, with seams trimmed at the factory, and made with regular ink printed on traditional stock, that performs nicely and with minimal time spent.

DON’T CUT UP THE WALLPAPER BOOKS!

January 18, 2017
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Oh boy. The wallpaper store generously let shoppers take this wallpaper selection book home for a few days, and look at how it was returned. “Someone” took a razor and sliced out the sample of blue cork. And another “Someone” didn’t even bother to be neat, but crudely ripped out the most popular colorway sample of Candice Olson’s “Onyx.”

Wallpaper shoppers – DON’T DO THIS. First of all, we know who you are. After all, to check out the book, you filled out a form with your name and contact info. Oh, and that same form had a waiver that you signed, and the first line, in all capital letters, said, DO NOT CUT THE BOOKS. Did I mention that you signed your agreement that you would not cut up the book, and would return it in its original condition?

But beyond that, there is no need to do this. You can easily and very inexpensively order samples of any wallpaper pattern you like, and that sample will be much larger than the puny page you ripped out of the book. It will arrive in just a few days. But even quicker – you can snap a photo of the sample, front and back, and have it immediately.

Did you stop to consider that those wallpaper sample books cost the stores $100+ each? It takes a lot of wallpaper sales to cover employee salaries, facility costs such as air conditioning, phone/Internet, parking lot, etc., and then extras such as a good selection of wallpaper sample books. And if a page is missing, then another shopper will miss the opportunity to see and consider that wallpaper selection.

Please click and read the “Comment” link below,  which is from my favorite wallpaper retailer.  (Click the page on the right entitled “Where to Buy Wallpaper.”

Conflicting Instructions

January 19, 2016

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I know – the print is too small to read. But perhaps that is a good thing.

You see, the manufacturer of this wallpaper has provided instructions that don’t make sense.

In one paragraph, he tells the wallpaper installer to paste the paper, fold it (book), and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

But in the next paragraph, he says it’s equally O.K. to paste the wall and then apply the dry wallpaper directly to the pasted wall.

Folks, that don’t make no sense!

If the wallpaper has been pasted and then set aside for a period of time, it will absorb the paste, soften, expand, etc., and that step generally prevents stretching or bubbling on the wall.

But dry-hang products are not supposed to stretch or expand or bubble, so you can put paste on the wall rather than on the back of the paper, and take the dry paper directly to the wall.

These instructions apply to two different products, and the pasting methods are specific to each specific material, and cannot be mixed.

Me thinks that this manufacturer (like many out there), is good at designing pretty patterns, but has no clue as to what makes a good wallpaper, and has even less of a clue as to how to hang it on a wall. Me thinks he has snooped around the websites and instruction sheets of other wallpaper manufacturers and then “borrowed” some of their terminology, and simply tossed it into his own instructions, hoping to cover all the bases.

I hang wallpaper every day (almost), and I have the experience to know how to paste and handle this particular product. But the poor DIY’er who buys this wallpaper and tries to hang it by following the instructions, will be confused, and may well end up with a mess on his wall – wrinkles, bubbles, poor adhesion, yada.