Posts Tagged ‘covid’

COVID Pandemic – Insight re Wallpaper ‘s Impact On Our Homes and Our Psyche

June 17, 2022

Taken from the current issue of The Installer , the newsletter of the Wallcovering Installers Association ( WIA ).

” The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent
shelter-in-place mandates brought home as
never before how crucial interior décor is to our
everyday lives. Surrounded by our own walls,
we learned that bland, dull interiors make for
a boring and dull life, while vibrant interiors
create a sense of energy and liveliness. “

Summer 2022 issue

You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd …

February 2, 2022

And you can’t hang wallpaper when the house isn’t ready!

The poor homeowners of this completely renovated bungalow in the Houston Heights have had delays of up to nearly a year. Some COVID and supply-chain related. But lots more due to … well, due to tasks just not getting done. The mom pressed the contractor hard to be sure the space would be ready for wallpaper today. But as soon as I pulled up, I knew it wasn’t gonna happen.

No A/C and no heat = humidity = not good for wallpaper

Workmen in the area (my specs specify no one else on-site)

Workmen’s ladders blocking my access to rooms I am supposed to paper

Workmen’s power tools blasting noise = disrupts concentration

No running water in the house (I need to keep paper and woodwork clean)

Floors need to be sanded = dust getting onto the walls / wallpaper

High probability that someone will get handprints, paint, or other on the new paper

Yard is a mudpit = not good carrying my 50lb bucket of paste or 7′ long table back and forth

House not secure and likelihood of tools and equipment “walking off” esp. overnight

No one but me wearing a COVID-conscious mask

So, no wallpaper went up today. At first I thought I could at least get the primer up. But various factors made that not viable.

A day of work lost for me. For the rest of the week, I will have to try to find other clients who can be ready on 1-day’s notice. And reschedule these folks for later down the road.

This is a big disappointment for the homeowners, who are very much wanting the work to be finished and to move into their lovely new home.

Oh, and song lyrics compliments of Roger Miller, 1965.

COVID Supply Chain and Wallpaper Hanging

January 18, 2022

This sign was posted on the door at eye level when I visited Sherwin-Williams today.

The COVID-induced shipping container jam-up, driver shortages, fires and freezes at chemical plants – all these contribute to the lack of supplies in stores.

Luckily for me, as a wallpaper installer, few of the items I use have been affected.

To be honest, I don’t mind paying a bit more for materials. I’m mostly concerned about being able to obtain what I need to get my clients’ paper up on their walls!

Mostly I use primer, paste, and smoothing compound, plus razor blades. Luckily, all of these remain available in my Houston area. Sherwin-Williams is doing a great job of keeping me supplied!

Just in case, though, I’ve got a (small) stockpile in my garage. Just enough to get through a month or so, if needed. I don’t want to hoard and prevent someone else from taking care of his own clients.

The Pandemic, Wild Patterns, and Zoom

July 25, 2021

The owners love the large home office in their new house, and it’s been a real boon while they are working from home during the COVID pandemic.

But they learned real quickly that wild wallpaper in the background doesn’t make for a professional meeting experience on Zoom!

So I stripped the paper off, and they will paint instead. This was a non-woven material, and stripped off the wall fairly easily by simply pulling – carefully. That’s exactly what non-wovens were designed to do.

Rather than try to strip the whole panel off the wall, which does put quite a bit of stress on the wall surface below, another option is to separate the top, inked layer from the backing, as you see in the second photo. The white is the backing left on the wall. This is pretty easy to do, in most cases.

Then all you need to do is to use a sponge and bucket of water to soak that backing until the paste becomes soft and reactivated. Then it’s easy to peel the backing away from the wall. This puts virtually no stress on the wall and usually leaves you with a perfectly intact surface underneath.

There are more detailed instructions on my “How to Strip Wallpaper” page link to the right.

Katie Kime – Tough Install Today

July 21, 2021
The Great Persuader

The previous wallpapers I’ve hung by Katie Kime have been on a non-woven substrate, a dependable synthetic material that has many positives going for it – light weight, breathable, stain-resistant, strips off the wall easily when redecorating, doesn’t expand when wet with paste so you can paste the wall as an alternative to pasting the paper, doesn’t expand so you can hang pasted strips immediately (no booking time), and your measurements will be accurate.

So I was surprised today by the weight of this material. And I could tell immediately that it was not their usual non-woven material.

Through a 20-minute Chat with their Customer Service (which is excellent, by the way), they told me that, due to the construction supply shortages related to the COVID pandemic, they are currently unable to get their usual materials, os have temporarily switched to a vinyl.

The backing looks like non-woven to me, but their instructions say to paste the paper and then book for 10 minutes, like a traditional paper. I suspect these instructions are outdated, but I followed them anyway.

This stuff was very thick and stiff … like working with a sheet of plastic. It was hard to press tightly into corners and to get tight cuts at ceiling and floor. I had to push really hard with a brand new blade to even slice through it.

I even had to use the heat gun to “melt” the material a bit so it would fit into and around inside and outside corners. This stuff would be the dickens to hang in a room with intricate cuts and turns.

Earthy, Natural Serenity on a Master Bedroom Accent Wall

June 26, 2020


The headboard wall had been painted a darker brown than the other walls in this master bedroom … but the homeowner sought a more soothing and comforting feeling for her bedroom – which has become something of a sanctuary, during these days of COVID and stay at home.

Interior designer Kandi Palella, of Kandi Contemporary Design, found this warm, earthy, organic wallpaper pattern. Viewed up close, it has the look of a hand-woven blanket … It really makes this room feel snug and welcoming.

Kandi coordinated other elements of the room (not pictured). Like a rug in the exact same colors and with the same woven texture. And artwork that includes leaves in the same color, as well as the scratchy fabric-like texture. One thing you can see are leaves reiterated on the bedspread, that are almost identical to the pattern on the wall.

This wallpaper is a non-woven material, and I used the paste-the-wall installation method. The manufacturer is Chesapeake, by Brewster.

The home is in Porter, which is way north east Houston.

Yet Another Benefit from the COVID Lockdown …

April 12, 2020

I was working in the remodeled living room of a home out in the Memorial Villages (west Houston). I had the space to myself, even with a private water supply (wet bar). The family was in the rear of the house.

I had spent two days smoothing and priming the walls, and on Day 3 had set up my table, unrolled two bolts, and was plotting the layout of the wallpaper pattern.

The homeowner, who has been working from home, just happened to wander past at that time. (keeping 8′ distance) She noticed that the paper I had spread out on my table was not the same shade as the sample she and the designer had chosen.

Sure enough – the paper was the wrong pattern number – two digits off.

Whew! I had not cut anything yet. So there should be no problems in sending the material back and exchanging for the correct colorway.

So lucky the homeowner was there – or I would have had two walls up by the end of the day.

The issue now is, with the virus crisis, shipping is bollixed up, and so is manufacturing and warehousing. So it’s not certain when that replacement paper will be here.

The COVID Stay At Home Order is Good for Wallpaper…

April 9, 2020

I knew this was going to happen …

I got a call from a gal this morning, who is currently working from home.

She said that since she is locked in the house, she has been staring at bland, boring, grey walls – and has concluded that wallpaper will be her salvation!

So once we are free to move around again, I hope to pay a site visit and then help her get some rooms beautified and un-grey-ified. 🙂