Posts Tagged ‘ceiling line’

Crooked Walls – Mismatch in the Corners, or at the Ceiling?

November 2, 2019

When turning an inside corner with wallpaper, you cut the strip in two vertically, so that just 1/8″ or so wraps around the corner, and then you overlap the remaining part of the strip onto that little bit. This eliminates wrinkles caused by crooked walls. And it allows you to plumb up the new strip.

The walls and corners in this powder room were off-plumb. This is pretty typical, but since the room had 10′ high ceilings, by the time you moved 10′ down the wall, a little discrepancy turned into a big discrepancy.

This means that, when turning a corner, I had the options of mis-matching the pattern in the corner, in order to keep the new strip properly plumb. OR matching the pattern precisely and then allowing the new strip to hang off-plumb – which would cause the design to track off-kilter along the ceiling and floor.

This pattern afforded me the chance to fiddle a bit, to get the best of both worlds. I was able to match the pattern perfectly in the corner, as well as keep the motifs in their proper positions at the ceiling line.

I matched the pattern exactly in the corner. That caused the new strip to hang off-plumb. So I cut the strip in two vertically, by slicing along the wavy edge of the tree trunk. See top photo.

The right half of the strip of wallpaper was left stuck to the wall, off-plumb and all. The left half I pulled away, and replaced onto the wall an inch or so lower, so the design elements hit the ceiling where I wanted them to. I then lined its left edge up against a plumb line, allowing the right edge to overlap the left edge of the strip that was still stuck to the wall.

There was a small overlap at the top, but the overlap grew wider as I moved toward the floor, due to one strip being plumb and one being off-plumb.

But since I had cut vertically along the tree trunk, your eye only sees that the tree is intact, and doesn’t notice a little bit of pattern being covered by that tree trunk. The overlap leaves a bit of a ridge under the paper, but the design of the tree trunk obscures that nicely.

As the overlap got wider as I moved down the wall, there were some motifs that got covered up enough that they were noticeable. I simply took some scrap paper and cut leaves or butterflies or other elements and pasted them in appropriate spots, to fill in missing parts.

OK, actually, it was a little more involved than that, and it took at least a half an hour. But as you can see in the second photo, no one would notice that the pattern has been tweaked.

And best of all, this trick kept the pattern intact in the corners, and placed it where it was supposed to be at the ceiling line, as well as kept it evenly spaced as it moved along the woodwork of the door frame to the left (not shown).

Fudging the Kill Point to Fool the Eye

May 26, 2018


My two previous posts dealt with a wallpaper pattern of stacked blocks in a room with crooked, unplumb walls and an unlevel ceiling. Besides keeping the pattern level, and having all the horizontal lines match in all four corners (note my pencil guide-line near the top of the wall in the first photo), it was important to keep the blocks all the same size. Or at least make it look like they are all the same size.

A kill point is the last corner or join in a room – where the last strip meets up with the first strip. This almost always ends in a pattern mis-match. So you try to hide it in an un-obvious corner. This room, however, had no hidden corners, and no good place for the kill point.

So I decided to put it over the door. It took some work to keep those gold lines at the same height all the way around the room. The pencil line you see near the top of the first photo helped with that.

But I also wanted to keep the boxes all about the same width. The manufacturer had set the width at 21.” But as the design worked its way around the room, the final space (over the door) was going to end up at 24.5″ wide. I could make that last block 24.5″ wide, if I spliced in a bit of scrap paper. But that would throw off the pattern match a bit, and those 3.5 extra inches of width would be likely to catch the eye.

So I decided to “shrink” that last panel over the door instead, but by only about 1,” which would be less detectable to the eye.

To “shrink” the last panel to 20,” I would have to some inches elsewhere. I decided to add it in the corners.

When you hang wallpaper around inside corners, you cut the paper in the corner, allowing 1/16″ or 1/8″ to wrap around the corner. Then the new strip of paper overlaps that thin wrapped area. Obviously, a small amount of the wallpaper pattern / design is lost in the process.

If I have plenty of paper, I can cut a new strip in such a way that the pattern will match pretty much perfectly. With a design like these blocks, I would measure what the width of each block was supposed to be (21″), and then cut the new piece so its width, when added with the width of the existing half-block, would work out to 21.”

I also have the option of making the new half of the block a little wider or narrower. I measured carefully around the room, and figured that if I “grew” the blocks in each of the four corners by about 1,” by the time the paper worked its way around to that final strip over the door, that 3.5″ gap would be gone, and I’d have an excess of about 3/4.” A difference in width of 3/4″ is much less noticeable than a strip that is overly wide by 3.5,” so I decided to go with that.

I spliced the two strips together at the point where they met, and then appliquéd on one portion of vertical gold line (which had been cut off during the splice).

The photograph’s angle distorts the size and shape of the blocks a bit, but, from a distance, they all look very much like they are the exact same width. Ditto for the blocks in the corner in the original post.

Finishing Touches to the Stacks of Blocks (Previous Post)

May 25, 2018


Because walls are never plumb, and because ceiling lines are never perfectly level, and because wallpaper can twist and distort once it gets wet with paste, with a pattern like in the previous post, it’s not advisable to place a key element, such as the gold horizontal line, at the top of the wall. It will begin to run crooked – either up into the ceiling, or fall down below it. So for this install, I raised the pattern so that the horizontal gold line would be cut off. This made that top block about 3/4″ shorter than the blocks below it. Not a biggie – at 10′ up, no one is going to notice this small discrepancy.

I did want to make the blocks look more homogenous, though. I thought that having a gold frame around all sides of the top blocks would make them blend in better with the other blocks all around the room.

So I used my straightedge to trim some narrow strips of the gold double-stripe out of left over wallpaper scrapes. Then I appliquéd them on top of the paper, just at the ceiling line.

A Horrible Place for a Wallpaper Seam

March 29, 2017

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Often you can “fudge” wallpaper patterns, to avoid awkward or unstable placement of seams – but just as often, you cannot.

Here I could not avoid having the seam fall ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH away from the outside corner on this wall.

So why all the consternation?

First, being just 1/4″ from the corner, there is little wall space for the paper to grab onto, which raises the worry about the paper not adhering, and curling away from the wall, or, at minimal, gapping in areas.

This brand is particularly challenging, because it is known for curling at the seams, which further hinders a good, tight, flat seam.

Second, since walls are never straight or plumb, it’s hard to keep the wallpaper design evenly spaced and correctly positioned down this length of wall.

The un-plumb walls also make it near impossible for wallpaper to wrap around the outside corner without warping, which makes it difficult for the subsequent strip, which is straight, to butt up nicely against the un-straight edge.

Un-plumb corners also throw the wrapped wallpaper off-plumb. That can result in the pattern’s design “going off-plumb.” This means that the horizontal pattern won’t line up perfectly along vertical walls (like in corners).

Another thing that will happen is that the pattern motifs can start creeping either up or down from the ceiling line (un-level ceiling lines factor in here, too.)

And, lastly, because wallpaper absorbs moisture from the paste and then expands and / or warps, it’s hard to keep everything straight and plumb as it turns a corner. Which makes it hard for the next strip to butt perfectly up against it.

This wallpaper is by Hygge & West, and can be bought from their on-line website.

Crazy Multiple-Drop Pattern Match

November 15, 2016

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Most wallpaper patterns have either a straight match (all key design elements appear at the top of the wall at the ceiling line, for instance) or a drop match (every other key design element is at the top of the wall at the ceiling).

This pattern by Walnut had what’s called a multiple drop match, which means that the design element moved up and down the wall several times, before appearing for a second time at the top of the wall at the ceiling.

Multiple drop matches are not very common, and the manufacturer generally does not mark the product as such so you don’t know what you are dealing with, they can eat up a lot of paper, they can be extremely difficult to figure out, and it’s questionable as to whether or not they look pleasing on the wall.

I needed five strips of paper, each 8′ long, to cover this accent wall. That’s 40′. I had only 45′ of paper, which does not leave much for trimming at the floor and ceiling, and for matching the pattern – which was a very long 36.” To make things even more tight, I thought this was a simple drop match, and had already cut two strips, before I realized that something was amiss.

This paper was 27″ wide. Most all patterns will repeat horizontally, with either a straight or a drop match, within that 27″ width. But this pattern took two 27″ widths to make up the design, so the pattern repeated horizontally at a width of 54″.

In addition to that, the pattern had a multiple drop, which meant that each 54″ wide design did not repeat horizontally at 54″ and show up at the top of the wall at the ceiling line, but instead started to drop down the wall by a small amount.

As the pattern played out across the wall, the yellow sea urchins moved down from the ceiling line by a few inches with each horizontal pattern repeat.

To complicate things more, the designer used the same sea urchin motif at several points across the pattern, but he used different backgrounds … Look closely at the sea cucumbers and coral and hanging berries that surround the sea urchins – At first glance, these appear the same, but actually are different. Which makes it very complicated to ferret out the proper pattern match.

Once I snapped to the odd multiple-drop pattern match, and, factoring in the limited amount of paper that we had, and the fact that I had already cut two strips of identical pattern match, I spent about an hour and a half measuring, marking, plotting, rolling out right side up, rolling out upside down, etc., before I actually cut any strips, because I wanted to be sure we had enough paper to cover the wall.

Wall? Yes, one wall. Whew! I am glad it was only one accent wall, because I would have been sorely taxed to have had to have dealt with this crazy multiple drop pattern match for an entire room! And it would have consumed a whole lot more paper, too.

So the multiple-drop pattern match designs are complex and time-consuming. But, once they are figured out and up on the wall, do they look good? In this case, and in the case of the last one I did recently ( https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/crazy-wacky-mid-century-modern-look/ ), I have to say that I’m not crazy about them.

On one hand, the wide span of the design, and the disparate placement on the wall breaks up the rhythm of the pattern that can get repetitive and monotonous. But on the other hand, generally, the eye wants to see the same motif appearing at the top of the wall regularly. If the motif drops down instead, it can look either like the ceiling line is grossly un-level, or that the paperhanger has done a bad job of keeping the motif at the top of the wall.

Besides, these multiple-drop pattern matches are just too darned much work. And they use up / waste a lot more paper. I can’t remember having encountered this in the last 10 years – let’s hope it will be another 10 years before it pops up again! 🙂