Posts Tagged ‘border’

Bright and Fun Retro Look in Powder Room

March 12, 2022
No boring beige or all-white walls in this home of a growing and active family in the Cypress / Jersey Village area of Houston.
Throughout the home, the mom has added touches of blue, green, yellow, and pink, along with a heavy dose of mid-century modern furnishings and accessories.
Time to pull the powder room into the mix!
Originally, this room was wallpapered in a typical ’80’s pattern, complete with a border running below the ceiling. Did I say ’80’s ?!
That wallpaper had been removed, and the walls were painted a dark tan. The room was very boring and boxy and uninspiring.
But … add a little wallpaper and – nothing boring here!
And the look definitely invokes the ’50’s, ’60’s, and ’70’s – can you say Flower Power ?
Spoonflower sells several types of wallpaper. Definitely do NOT get their peel & stick (see my page to the right), and I’m not fond of their vinyl material. I do like their pre-pasted smooth , which is what my client chose.
Spoonflower doesn’t come in standard dimension rolls. It comes in 24″ wide ” rolls ” of 1′, 3′, 9′, or 12′ lengths. So measuring and calculating is a little more complicated than for traditional wallpapers.
(The mermaid kitchen towel on the right is also by Spoonflower – and they have wallpaper to match!)
Strips of this material are designed to be overlapped at the seams. This is good, because it prevents gapping at the seams as the paste dries, and it also eliminates stress on the wall that could cause underlying surfaces to delaminate and come apart. Do a Search here to learn more.
The downside is that this overlapped area does leave a ridge running the length of the seam. Most people don’t mind the look, especially with a busy pattern like this one.
Pattern # 4330883 is called Party Posies.
This material is custom-printed. The homeowner ordered 11 rolls, and here you can see how the manufacturer has numbered each of the rolls in sequence (5th roll of 11 total).

Covering Up an Uneven Edge

October 31, 2021
Someone painted over the wallpaper in this powder room. At this point, removing the paper would be a huge, messy undertaking, so I’m going to leave it in place and prime over it. There was a scroll-edged border at the top of the wall and below the crown molding. Here you can see the edge of that border visible under the paint. This will show under the new wallpaper.
To prevent the edge from ” telegraphing ” through the new wallpaper, I have skim-floated over it with joint compound (” mud “). Once it’s dry (I used my heat gun to speed things up!), I will sand it smooth, wipe off the dust, and then prime the entire wall surface. No no one will be able to detect it under the new paper.

Created Wallpaper “Border” to Separate Bookcases from Wall

June 12, 2021

thought the left edge where the wallpaper meets the molding of the bookcase was too much white-on-white.

To create some definition between the two surfaces, as well as to continue the them of the wallpaper, I took some scrap paper and custom-cut a strip of blue. I cut the right edge straight, Then I used a razor blade to trim along the irregular outline of the design.

I pasted the strip, and then appliquéd it over the wallpaper in the corner.

Now there is a visual break between the two walls. Even though the blocks on the left edge of the wallpaper are less than full width, your eye doesn’t notice it.

The eye is fooled into thinking it’s seeing a complete panel of the wallpaper pattern.

This is called “Feather” and is by Serena & Lily – one of my favorite brands.

Wallpaper in Magnolia Journal (JoAnna Gaines)

June 30, 2020


There was a nice multi-page spread in the current issue of Magnolia Journal on wallpaper. It talked about various ways it can be used, and how pattern and color can change a room.

Unfortunately, it mentioned peel & stick products as a viable option – they are NOT. Truly horrible stuff. Read my Page to the right.

The first photo is an unconvetional use of color and pattern. Love it.

Third photo, I have hung this pattern, or similar, a good number of times. It is a mural that can be custom-sized to fit your wall.

Fourth photo, “Daydream” by Hygge & West, is very popular and I have hung it many times. Not my favorite brand, because their ink fights their substrate, and tends to curl at the seams.

Palm and banana leaves are always popular. This photo shows how a really large scale can be used effectively in a small space.

Last photo, a really cool idea, to include wallpaper just in the area between the high wainscoting and the crown molding. Note also the dark colors of the wood and the wallpaper. This must be a custom-sized mural, or a border.

Both the room and the wallpaper are an updated take on the “frieze” borders that were common back in the 1910’s and 1920’s – the Art Nouveau and especially the Arts & Crafts decorating movements. Most often placed above dark paneled moldings in dining rooms and living rooms. Today, Bradbury & Bradbury is the most prominent maker of these authentic looking patterns. Interestingly enough, just this week I got a call from a homeowner wanting to put a B&B frieze in their historic home here in Houston.

Laura Ashley Border in a Bedroom

July 4, 2018

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No, not many people are opting to have borders around the tops of their walls these says. But this homeowner loves the look, and she loves the sweet charm of the Laura Ashley designs. Even though (I think) Laura Ashley stopped producing home goods a while back, this home owner was able to track down some rolls of border by shopping on-line.

Update for a Teen Aged Boy’s Bedroom

June 8, 2018


Stripes are safe, but they’re not very interesting. And the original border showed little children at play. Now that this young man is old enough to choose his own décor, he wants something that reflected his interests – boating and the ocean.

You don’t see many borders these days, but the family liked the look. Also, because the installer who hung the original border used a rubbery paste that would not come off the wall, sealing it and hanging the new border over it is much easier than retexturing the walls. The new border is wider than the original, which works nicely to cover the old residue.

This nautical look wallpaper and border are by York, in their Sure Strip line. The job site is in Baytown, a suburb of Houston.

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.

Clever Solution for a Border that You Can’t Get Off the Wall

July 8, 2016

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These homeowners had gotten tired of the border around the top of their bathroom. But some borders can be the Devil to remove. So this savvy lady came up with a simple and handsome alternative.

She painted the border to match her wall color. Then she added painted wooden trim around the bottom, to cover the edge of the border. I think it looks great, and you would never know there is wallpaper under there.

Another option would be to paint the border and the wood trim semi gloss white, to match the crown molding. This would give the effect of really wide crown molding, and look quite elegant.

Coordinating With an Out of Print Wallpaper Pattern

November 1, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageThis homeowner loved her kitchen wallpaper and wanted to keep it, but the top of the border was ruined when they fixed leaks in the ceiling (top photo).

The paper is decades old, and no longer available, and no borders could be found that matched the theme or color of the wallpaper.

Dorota (wallpaper sales person) found her this light tone-on-tone wavy design. I cut the 27″ bolt into two 10″ strips, and hung it just above the green line of the original border.

Keeping that green line was important, because it set off the border from the wall paper, and also disguised the slight color difference between the old paper and the new border (bottom photo).

The client loved it.

Dorota is great at finding just what you want. She works at at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet at Wakeforest. (713) 520-6262 dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com – Always make an appointment before heading over.

Wallpaper Gets Dirty – and Can Sometimes Be Cleaned

July 4, 2013

Digital ImageThis wallpaper is in a 30+ year old home in the Woodlands. It’s hard to see in the photo, but there’s a little whiter patch near the center.

The wallpaper had a dirty look to it, but I figured that was because of fading over the years, kitchen cooking smoke and grease, and sometimes the lack of a primer used under the paper or a clay-based paste, which can bleed through the surface.

I hung a new border over this old wallpaper. As I wiped my damp rag along the border to smooth it and remove any paste that oozed out below it, I was surprised to see that much of the reddish dirt actually wiped off. In fact, it came off quite readily.

This is rarely the case. But, since the paper has a light vinyl coating, it would be possible for the homeowner to go around the walls with a sponge or rag and some clean water, or possibly a light cleaner, like 409 mixed into the water, and LIGHTLY scrub the walls.

With 30 years worth of dirt and grime removed, the wallpaper would be brighter, and the kitchen would look fresher.