Posts Tagged ‘defects’

From Dark and Dated to Light and Livable

December 17, 2022

Oh, my! – I hung lots of these chintz florals, ” satin ” look (the design of the dark green at the bottom of the wall), and dark colors back in the ’90’s . Sure enough – this home was built and wallpapered in 1994.
IIt’s still a good look, IMO, and the homeowner still likes it. But she’s just gotten tired of it. So – time for an update !
She also decided to eliminate the chair rail , so the new wallpaper will go ceiling to floor . Here you see some damage to the drywall where the chair rail molding was removed .
What a change! Now the room’s look is quiet and fresh .
The buffet , topped with a decorative mirror , will go on this wall . That’s why I centered the pattern in between the windows , so it will fall evenly on either side of the furnishings .
I also plotted so that a full “Moroccan lantern” (that’s what this style of trellis pattern is called), would balance out between the crown molding and the window molding. There were several of these 12.5″ high areas all around the room, so this placement of whole “lantern” motifs gave the room a pleasing look.
It also worked out that the lanterns were evenly placed and kept whole between the crown molding and the baseboard. See the second following photo to see what I’m talking about
As a note – just this one window wall took me about five hours to measure , calculate , and hang . Getting the pattern to go over, around, and under the two windows , and still line up and match correctly , took some time and futzing. The material was thick and stiff , and a bit tricky to fit into corners and trim around the decorative window molding .
In the foreground you see my work table area . The homeowner has let me put protective padding on her dining room table and then set my work table on that. This saves space and allows plenty of room for my ladder and other tools as I work around all four walls.
So that I could center the pattern on this wall , I had to start hanging my first strip in the middle of the wall. I was lucky this time, that the pattern was centered exactly on the edge of the wallpaper roll . Sometimes (as in the one I did yesterday – see previous post ) the center of the design motif is a to the right or left of the edge of the wallpaper . This, naturally, means you’ve got to do more measuring and plotting and double-checking , to be sure the center of the design falls down the center of the wall .
Back to the photo above … that dark block on the right side of my work table is my laser level. It’s shooting a perfectly plumb red line onto the wall. Here I’m lining up my first strip of paper butted against this red line .
Switch topics … Back in 1994, the original installer did a very nice job of hanging the wallpaper. But … he didn’t prime the new drywall first. That lack of primer / protective layer means that the wallpaper will actually bond to the drywall. I tried, but was unable to get the existing wallpaper off . Eventually, you need to factor in time , damage to the wall , paste residue left on the wall, and take a different tac if called for.
So I skim-floated over the seams , so they wouldn’t show under the new paper , and also floated over the damaged drywall where the chair rail had been removed . Sanded smooth , and then primed the patched areas as well as the original wallpaper, with Roman Ultra Prime Pro 977 . This stuff will adhere to the light acrylic (slick) surface of the original wallpaper, as well as protect it from moisture from my paste on the new wallpaper. ( Moisture could cause the underlying original wallpaper to expand , creating bubbles that will look bad, or loose areas that will pull away from the wall, creating a bubble or pocket.)
My primer is also lightly pigmented, so it helps block out the dark color and busy pattern of the original wallpaper . This particular new wallpaper is quite opaque , but not all of them are, so a pigmented primer is important , IMO .

Left corner of the buffet wall. Here you can see how the lantern motifs are placed between ceiling and floor.
The background has a lightly mottled effect, that mimics grasscloth a bit, and also adds more depth and warmth than just a plain solid color .
Been havin’ more than a fair share of defects lately, especially this week. This paper had on both front and back sides, incidences of these black flecks . They seemed to be maybe charcoal , so I wasn’t too worried about their black bleeding through to the surface , like ink or any oil-based substance will do.
Most of them were embedded in the material itself, so could not be wiped off , nor dug out with a razor blade . Some I had to cut around and discard the affected paper. Others were so small as to not be noticeable once the paper was up on the wall and all the furniture and artwork was back in the room.
There was also one 3′ section of wallpaper that had an odd streak or arc running across it. It wasn’t ink . It was more like some kind of compromise to the substrate . I noticed it was I was pasting the back of the paper . I turned it over and, sure enough, you could see it a little on the surface. (see photo in previous post) It’s the kind of thing that was subtle, but would catch your eye when looking at the wall from a distance . It was minor , but I discarded that strip . Good thing I have the homeowners purchase a little extra wallpaper .
The manufacturer is Designer Wallcoverings , which is a good quality brand (aside from the printing defects I described earlier ). It was a non-woven / paste the wall material , which is pretty user-friendly . It will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate . Stain-resistant , and ” breathable ” in humid conditions .
The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston . Dining room installer

Disappointments in York Wallpaper Pt II

December 16, 2022

OK, because this CRAPPY “New Editor” that Word Press FORCED on us a couple of years ago – which is EXTREMELY difficult to use, BTW, and the Big Wigs at Word Press don’t give a flip, despite my many comments to them … Anyway, it decided to eat / delete the post I just spent 30 minutes typing up, so I’m going to have to write it all over again and try to remember all the points I had made. PISSES ME OFF, this DAMNED WORDPRESS NEW EDITOR.
End of rant. But STILL FARKIN’ ANGRY!!!
Anyway, you’re looking at images of the same pattern motif , from the same Run number (do a Search here to learn more about runs ), but two different rolls / bolts . Look at where my pencil is pointing in the top example – at the green leaf to the left of the blue flower . You’ll see the light green color shadowing , or following the dark green .
Now look at the same motif on the example below it. Here both green colors are together . Why? What’s happened is that the printing presses at the factory have gotten out of register .
The machines print each color separately , layering them on top of each other . For example, brown first, then light green, then dark green, then blue, etc. Each turn of the printing rollers has to be perfectly synced with the previous, so that the colors and motifs line up correctly .
Here, obviously, something got out of whack .
Looking at this, the mis-alignment is not a big deal. It’s a loose , cheerful pattern , and it doesn’t really matter if the colors aren’t lined up perfectly. In fact, I think it makes the pattern more fun.
The problem comes when trying to match strips from one roll up to another, because the design won’t match perfectly at the seams . That does matter IMO . See my other post tonight .
The pattern is called Wildwood and is by Rifle Paper , which is made by York .

Disappointing Defects in Schumacher Sisal Wallpaper

May 12, 2022
The homeowners ordered the brown colorway. So why did they send us both brown and blue??
Look closely and you’ll see that both the blue and the black lines are different thicknesses on each of these three bolts.
Close-up showing different widths of ink.
Even before I unrolled any paper, my suspicions were aroused by this … This cut was made by a hand-held scissors, not a factory machine. That tells me that perhaps an installer sliced off a few feet and then returned the paper, for whatever reason. Now I have no idea how many feet are on this bolt, what run number it is, or why the material was returned.
In addition, the five double rolls of sisal ( grasscloth ) material had no labels, no marks, no run numbers, or other typical information.

Feather Bloom is a very popular wallpaper pattern by high-end manufacturer Schumacher. This family paid several thousand dollars just for the material to cover one accent wall in their home office. Such a disappointment that I could not get their room papered today.

Schumacher is not among my favorite brands, and this is a good example of why. LOTS of printing defects, just about every time I work with it.

But this takes it to a whole new level, because obviously there was no quality control at the factory, no oversight to ensure all rolls were from the same run, nor even the same colorway.

Folks, stay away from Schumacher! As I like to say, for every high-end brand making a cool pattern in a material that’s expensive and difficult to work with, there is someone else making a knock-off that is lower priced and better quality.

Defects in Today’s Wallpaper

December 26, 2021
Pattern mis-match at seams.
Faint vertical lines running through both the left and right sides of an entire bolt.
Brand is Exclusive Wallcoverings. This is a non-woven material. It’s rare to have defects from this company.

Because of the configurations of this room, I was able to weedle and deedle and place these flaws in areas where they were not noticeable. This took a lot more time, but yielded a pleasing finished look.

It’s Schumacher. So, Yeah – There Are Gonna Be Printing Defects.

December 4, 2021
Smudged pattern. Mis-aligned pattern.
Sometimes manufacturers will use tape to flag ” issues ” like a defect or a spliced piece. But there was nothing of note where this red tape had been placed. It was impossible to remove the tape without lifting the ink off the paper. So a full strip of wallpaper was wasted. This red tape popped up in two different bolts of paper.

In addition, I had another full length strip the was ruined by a small stain. It might have been overlooked, but it was going to fall right at eye level in an entryway. Also, the pattern was such that I could not pull any of my tricks, like cutting a flower out of scrap paper and pasting it over the stain.

Printing Defects with Schumacher – Again

November 2, 2021

Have I mentioned that I dislike the brand Schumacher? Well, yes I have! – plenty of times. This ‘high-end’ brand seems to have a problem with their quality control, especially when it comes to printing defects.

So – here we go again. I lost a day of work, and another homeowner didn’t get her room decorated.

Two things are going on here. First, along the seam running down the center of the photo, you can see that the pattern matches in some areas but not in others. Obviously, the material was either mis-printed, or mis-trimmed at the factory.

It’s kinda a busy pattern, and you might not notice this at a distance. But – at Schumacher’s prices, why accept flaws like this?

The next is probably an even more noticeable defect … Hard to see in the photo, but this would show up very jarringly on the wall. Look closely and you will notice a slight color difference between the two strips. The strip on the right is darker than the strip on the left.

On the wall, this would present as sort of vertical strips every 27″ apart.

I was lucky to notice these issues before cutting any of the paper. I told the homeowner to send it back.

I don’t believe that a different run will solve these issues, because the problem is inherent to the printing press or trimmer. The homeowner will have to select a whole new wallpaper pattern (and hopefully a different, better, manufacturer).

Lots of Defects in Today’s Paper

September 24, 2021
There is a lot of “fuzzy stuff” along the edges of the seams.
But most concerning is that the seagulls do not match from one strip to the other.
This photo shows you why. Look at the gull next to my finger, and compare it with the gull by my pencil. The gull at the top of the roll is fatter – it has more white wing area. Obviously this run of wallpaper got trimmed “on the bias,” meaning that the rolls were not cut straight, but at a slight diagonal … sort of like a very long trapezoid. This results in the motifs being cut at an angle, with some wider than others. That means that the motifs are not going to match up perfectly at the seams.
In addition, one double roll bolt had abraded areas, as if something at the factory swept across the material and scraped off some of the ink. I cut off and discarded the worst of this. Luckily we had a little extra paper.
More fuzzy stuff. This shows on the surface. And it prevents the seams from meeting properly. I was able to remove some of it with a sanding block. But some of it remained, and affected the look of the finished job. Luckily, not extremely noticeable.
Anderson Prints

I’ve hung this paper before and not had these problems. I hope the issue is unique to this run, and subsequent runs will be back to being perfect.

I usually have the client order enough wallpaper that we can work around issues like this. Also, because of the layout of the room, and the fact that there is only one motif that has to be matched across a seam, and it’s relatively small, I’m going to be able to finish the room with it all looking O.K.

Defects With Schumacher – As Usual

August 25, 2021

Schumacher may have a high-end name and price tag, but I am not impressed with the quality. Some of their materials are very difficult to work with. Another thing is, you can almost always count on printing defects.

In this case, there were a few tiny specs of black here and there. Most were on the back, but at least two appeared on the pink surface of the paper.

I am thinking maybe an oily chalk of some sort. And they were “active.” Meaning, if I tried to wipe them off, either dry or with a dap cloth, or attempted to lift them out of the paper with a razor blade, they smeared. That would not wipe off, so we would be left with a visible smudge on the paper.

Candice Olson “Linden Flower” in Home Office

July 1, 2021
Before. Original chalkboard paint sealed off with KILZ Original to block any oil residue from chalk that might bleed through the wallpaper. Then primed with Roman 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer.
Finished. Airy, floral, fun place to work!
First strip goes up, lined up against the red light of my laser level. I measured and plotted the placement so that the center of that dominant black flower would drop along the vertical center line of the wall (about 8″ to the right of the laser line).
Detail. I like the shadows in the background.
Close-up shows pen & ink, and water color look of this design.
Manufacturer is York, one of my preferred brands. http://www.yorkwall.com

Working from home these days, the homeowner wanted an office that was bright and encouraged creativity. The black chalkboard paint scrawled with slogans and proverbs had to go!

Almost exactly a month ago, I prepped the walls and started to hang the paper – only to discover printing and trimming defects. See my post from May 26, 2021. The on-line vendor, Burke Decor, was quick to ship out replacement paper from a different run. The new paper was fine.

The new light sconce plays off the black and gold colors in the wallpaper.

This refreshing yet peaceful abstract floral pattern sets the perfect tone, when your office is in your home.

The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Defects in Today’s Wallpaper

May 26, 2021
Yellow strip along right side of strip at top of photo. Grey strip just to the right of my pencil in the second photo.

Horizontal yellow stripe about center in this photo
Hard to see, but this photo shows “ghosting” of the print from the instruction sheet showing through the surface of the wallpaper. The instructions had been rolled up inside the paper. Somehow, the ink transferred onto the wallpaper. This ruined about 2′ of the bolt of wallpaper – multiplied by three bolts.
Edges splayed / curled up, probably due to a trimming glitch at the factory. In addition, several feet of this affected area had a darker color – which would have showed up as a stripe along one edge of the wallpaper.
This Candice Olson wallpaper is made by York. York is normally one of my favorite brands. But today was disappointing.

Once I discovered these printing and trimming defects, I contacted the homeowner. After kicking options around, she decided to NOT have the wallpaper hung. Why spend all that money for paper and labor, and have a less-than-stellar result?!

She will present these problems to the company. There is a good chance that she can avoid defects in the replacement paper, IF she gets them to send a different run.

Here is another reason why I am glad she purchased from a “real” wallpaper company (in this case, she bought from Burke Decor), instead of a middle-man company such as Wayfair, Etsy, Ebay, and even Amazon.

A wallpaper-focused company will be able to ferret out problems. And they will be knowledgeable of Run Numbers and etc. So the replacement they send will be free of printing and other types of defects.

This wallpaper is by York, in the Candice Olson line.