Posts Tagged ‘bungalow’

Wallpaper Coming Off – Delaminating Wall

January 14, 2022

An Unfortunate Situation

This Brooklyn Toile wallpaper by Flavor Paper on an accent wall in a nursery went up beautifully. The contractor had added new Sheetrock to one wall, and painted the other, old/original wall. I skim-floated both walls and sanded smooth, primed, and hung the wallpaper. Perfect! (Search here to see my original post.) But within less than a month, the homeowner contacted me and said that the wallpaper was ” coming off the wall .” It was a 1920’s bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. And therein lies the brunt of the problem.
The wallpaper itself is not ” coming off the wall .” What’s happening is that the wall surface itself is coming apart – or, delaminating . This is because multiple layers of paint and other substances on the wall may not be compatible. A probably scenario: In 1920 oil-based paint was used. Later someone rolled on a coat of latex paint. Then the homeowners redecorated and used gloss paint. Then some ” flippers ” who had watched too much HGTV slapped on more paint without bothering to de-gloss or prime first. And somewhere in the mix you’ve got cheap paint and dust and other incompatible materials.
Over time, and especially when stress is put on the wall surface, such as when wet wallpaper paste dries and the paper shrinks, this stress can tug at the wall and actually pull these layers apart. There are other contributing factors, too, such as humidity, temperature, and location. I find it interesting that the worst parts of the affected seams were toward the top of the wall. This speaks of heat, humidity, and forced air (either hot or cold) coming out of the air vent just to the right of this wall. This photo is of the area over a door, very close to the air vent.
See how thick that is? It’s not just the wallpaper. There are several layers of wall coming apart. Some layers are clinging to the back of the wallpaper, and some are staying stuck to the wall.
Multiple layers, many years of coatings on this wall.
Easy to see the many layers. The paper itself, my blue primer, my layer of smoothing compound, paint, more paint coming off the wall. Then multiple layers of paint and texture still clinging to the wall. This shot is just below the ceiling.
Same thing happening at the baseboard at the floor.
Layers of paint separating from the wall in chunks. Some pulled off easily, and some I had to chop off with my 3″ putty knife.
Most of the paint and unstable surface material clung to the back of the wallpaper. This pile is just three strips – only half the wall. But it’s thick and stiff and heavy because of the paint stuck to the back of the wallpaper. There was so much and it was so heavy and bulky that I had to carry it out to my van in two trips. When I got home, it totally filled my trash bin.
Here’s the wall once all the other layers came off. Brushing my hand over it revealed a layer of dust. No wonder the paint and other coatings wouldn’t stick. Nothing sticks to dust. It’s like flouring a cake pan… The paint or wallpaper will kinda stick – but won’t really stick. Paint on top may be fine. But add a little stress from drying / shrinking wallpaper, and you may end up with layers that pull apart.
Wiping the walls with a damp sponge removed a lot more dust. But the wall still felt chalky. Whatever type of paint this was, it was not holding together.
I had to stabilize this chalky surface. Enter Gardz, a wonderful product – Gardz is a thin, penetrating sealer that soaks into porous surfaces and binds substances together. It dries hard and creates an intact surface. The darker area in the picture is where I’ve rolled on a test area. Gardz is thin like water, and it runs and drips and splatters. It’s imperative that you cover floors, countertops, and baseboards, and roll carefully, and roll upward rather than downward, to minimize runs and drips. A microfiber roller holds the liquid well, and reduces drips.
Gardz is made by Zinsser.
No photo of the finished wall, but I was very pleased with the stability of the surface. No more chalk or dust. Now, there still could be unstable or incompatible layers deeper inside the wall. (Latex paint over oil without proper prep.) But for now I feel pretty confident that this wall is solid and will hold up to the next process in preparation for getting the new wallpaper up.

Popular ” Raphael ” in Heights Mud Room

October 28, 2021
This nicely renovated bungalow in the Houston Heights had a 3-room suite in the rear of the house. Included were a mud room, a walk-in pantry, and a vestibule leading to the kitchen. This photo shows the mud room before wallpaper. The paper will be installed above the wainscoting.
The mud room finished. I plotted so the trees would land evenly balanced (centered) on the wall.
Pantry before
Pantry after
From kitchen looking through vestibule into mud room, before.
Same area finished. A very, very cool 3-dimensional affect!
Another view of the mud room. The blue colorway of the wallpaper works beautifully with the khaki color of the woodwork.
The vestibule had four doors, and thus four areas in between the doors. In the two larger spaces, which flanked the pantry door, I futzed with the width of the strips so that I could place the trunk of the tree down the center of each space. I didn’t want all four areas to have the tree down the center, so in the third I let the pattern fall as it would, which placed the tree trunk to the left of center. This was a softer look. Sorry – no photo. The fourth space was only about 6″ wide, and the tree trunk would be much too distracting here. So I again manipulated the width of the strips so that only foliage showed between the door moldings in that last space. Sorry – no photo.
Close up
This very popular pattern is called Raphael and is by Sandberg, a Swedish company. Their papers are quite nice. They are on a non-woven material. There are quite a few advantages to these non-wovens, both while working with them and after they are up on your wall.

Monkeying Around With Forbidden Fruit

October 27, 2021
Powder room before.
Whoah … this is really COOL! I love the colors against the blue woodwork. The homeowner is debating what color to paint the vanity base.
This wallpaper is in the Fornasetti collection by Cole & Son. It’s called ” Frutto Proibito “

Like most papers by this manufacturer, this was a non-woven material. The instructions say to paste the wall, but this brand is known to expand when wet with paste, so it’s better to paste the material.

The home is in the Heights area of Houston, and is a nicely updated older bungalow.

Client Using Salvaged Wood for Flooring in Renovated Heights Bungalow

October 7, 2021

This home in the Heights area of Houston is being enlarged, renovated, and saved from the wrecking ball! The homeowners are using the original features where they can (reworking original windows, for instance), and in other areas are using vintage items salvaged from other area homes.

I love that they have found flooring that will work in this entryway. I don’t know what the plans are … they may have the boards sanded down to bare wood, stained, and sealed. Which would give a mighty nice and formal look to the home.

But I wouldn’t mind one iota if they kept the planks as-is, sealed them, and left this cool, funky, colorful, shabby-chic mosaic on their entry floor.

Bridges, Lovers, and Rabbis – Quirky Brooklyn Toile for Baby’s Nursery

August 21, 2021
Before. Textured wall has been smoothed, and is primed and ready for wallpaper. The pattern comes in “A” and “B” rolls, which is atypical. In the photo I am plotting strips and rolling everything out, before cutting anything up.
Done!
The pattern highlights special features and landmarks of Brooklyn. I’d sure like to know who the guy with the crown is. I get a kick out of all the Jewish guys. The dancing men – I can just hear the strains of Hava Nigala!
Close-up.
This was a pre-pasted material – simple installation process and dries nice and flat.
Manufacturer is Flavor Paper. Flavor Paper prints on many different substrates – and most are quite tricky to work with. The homeowner took my advice and went with the pre-pasted (EZ Papes) option. This material went up like a dream, and will cling nice and tight to the wall for years to come.

Not many babies can brag a decorating scheme like this! The pattern reminds the homeowner of her time in New York City.

The 1920 bungalow is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

A Sweet Laundry Room in the Heights

May 1, 2021
Before: Drab, lifeless khaki paint.
After: Bright and cheerful, and definitely unexpected.
Wallpaper coordinates nicely with the stained glass window.
Fun surprise – Are they pineapples or flower bouquets?
The pattern is “Ludic” by Woodchip & Magnolia.

The home is a nicely renovated bungalow in the Houston Heights. The only place to tuck in a laundry room was in an alcove off the master bedroom. Not only does the wallpaper brighten the space, but it looks pretty when viewed from the bedroom.

The material is “non-woven” and can be hung by pasting the back of the paper, or by pasting the wall. I usually choose to paste the paper.

A Very Pretty Heights House Renovation

February 10, 2021
New drywall. I draped strips of protective dropcloth paper over the top of the wainscoting, to protect from splatters from my primer.
Notice the “raised ink” and the hand-painted look.

Recent updates reflect respect for the original feel of this 1920 bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. There will be a claw-foot tub, as well as a very cool authentic vintage pedestal sink that the homeowner found on the side of the road, discarded from another older bungalow just a few blocks away. !!

Vintage-look beaded board paneling was added, along with hexagonal floor tile, both in a warm, muddy green that compliments the greens in the wallpaper.

The homeowner has a stunningly beautiful garden, and sought a wallpaper pattern that would bring the feel of nature indoors.

The top photo shows the walls as the contractor left them, in what we call a “Level 4” condition. This is optimal for wallpaper installation. No texture for me to get rid of, and no paint or PVA-based primers under the wallpaper. All I had to do was roll on my wallpaper-specific primer, Romans Pro 977, Ultra Prime.

The wallpaper is called Garden Party and is by York, in the Waverly collection (yes, reviving classic designs from the 1990’s!), and in their SureStrip line – one of my favorite products. It is pre-pasted, goes up nicely, hugs tight and thin to the wall, and performs wonderfully over the years, even under (mildly) humid conditions – such as a bathroom in an old house with poor ventilation.

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works mostly on new builds and whole-house remodels, and mostly in the Heights / Garden Oaks neighborhoods.

Green Leaf Pattern in 1930’s Home

December 10, 2020

I adore this home – a cute, yellow-brick bungalow directly across from Rice University (Houston). It has been updated, yet kept mostly authentic to its 1930’s roots. I papered several rooms in the main house a few months ago, and was back today to paper the bathroom in the garage apartment.

Originally, the homeowner wanted wallpaper from Hannah’s Treasurers, which would be the real-deal old wallpaper from the 1930’s or 1940’s. https://hannahstreasures.com/ But for various reasons, she ended up choosing this more modern, yet timeless, pattern of ginger foliage. One deciding factor was that the colors coordinate perfectly with the green subway tile in the shower.

The wallpaper has a vinyl surface (resistant to water splashes and light stains) on a non-woven backing (much superior to the paper backing used on lower-end pre-pasted vinyls – read more on my page at the right). It was nice to work with, and should hold up well over many years.

The wallpaper is by York, in their designer line by Antonina Vella. It was purchased from Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near the Rice Village.

Clever and CUTE Homage to Historic Wallpaper

April 29, 2020


This adorable swatch of children’s wallpaper was uncovered during a whole-house remodel of a 1930 bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

I love the way these old wallpapers retain their intensity of color, even after all these years. There is also some of the “cheesecloth” adhering to the back ….

Back in the days before drywall, when walls were made of ship-lapped boards, the paperhangers would tack thin fabric over the walls, and then hang the wallpaper on top of that. This provided a smooth surface (instead of the seams between the boards showing through), and allowed for the paper to “float” over the walls, preventing cracks or tears in case of the house shifting on its foundation.

The homeowner salvaged some of the wallpaper and preserved chunks in frames, which hang in front areas of the home.

I was particularly thrilled to see this, because, well, I just LOVE old wallpaper, especially from that era.

Crazy Wild Pattern and COLOR!

April 17, 2020


Same 1929 bungalow in West U (Houston) as yesterday. Both the husband and wife have what I call “BIG personalities.” No way they’re gonna live with boring white walls – they like COLOR and PATTERN.

This very small hallway is the perfect place to pull off a really dramatic punch of color and pattern. What makes it even better is the lime green woodwork! (What’s even more cool is that the husband chose the green color (most husbands try to avoid decorating at all costs).

The wallpaper pattern is called Honshu, and is by Thibaut Designs.

This hallway is adjacent to the orange dining room I blogged about yesterday, and the colors and themes blend together beautifully.

Note the old telephone niche built into the wall – and painted that super fun lime green color.

The Honshu is a wild pattern on its own. But what really makes the room is the green accents in the moldings. They even painted the frame around the trap door to the attic!