Posts Tagged ‘disguise’

Disguising a Utility Box

January 21, 2019


Look closely – VERY closely, and in the upper half of the photo, you’ll see a metal utility box that has been covered with wallpaper.

This is a box for a defunct and un-used security alarm system, about 18″ square. The homeowners tried to get the box off the wall – but, despite the use of various screwdriver bits and power tools, the box would not come off.

So they were going to be stuck with a grey metal blob in the middle of their beautiful wallpaper.

Well, I thought I could do something with it. I could make it fade into the background of the wallpaper pattern.

Wallpaper won’t stick to painted metal, because it’s glossy. So I took a bit of sandpaper to knock off the gloss, and my primer Roman’s 977 Ultra Prime and coated the service box.

Then I matched the wallpaper pattern to the paper already on the wall, and covered the box with corresponding wallpaper.

This is more tricky than it sounds, because the box is 5″ deep, which created discrepancies in the pattern match, depending on from which angle you are looking. I opted to keep the pattern matched at the corner junctions rather than matching it as it would be view from a distance on the wall. That all gets too complicated to try to explain here.

The box had been primed, so it provided a good base for the wallpaper paste to stick to. But on some areas, like the edges after an outside corner, I smeared on a bit of clear adhesive caulk, to be sure the paper would hold, even under conditions of stress such as wrapping around a corner.

This whole thing took me 45-60 minutes. I am pleased with the way it turned out. From the floor, you sure would never know there is a large box sticking out of the wall.

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Minimizing an Eyesore

October 9, 2018


The exhaust fan in this powder room was very obvious, having been placed smack in the center of the rear wall.

Covering the flat surfaces with wallpaper helped disguise it.

Note: Some portions of the vent cover were curved, and did not lend themselves to being covered with wallpaper, especially since this particular product was thick and stiff.

The vent was plastic, and required a special primer that would stick to the plastic, as well as special paste that would adhere to both the paper and the plastic. (VOV – Vinyl Over Vinyl paste is formulated to do just that.)

Nifty, Fishy Kill Point Disguise

January 23, 2018


When you wallpaper a room, you work your way around the room, until the last strip meets up with the first strip. This is usually placed in an inconspicuous corner or behind a door, because in this last corner, the pattern will not match.

This large powder room did not have any “inconspicuous” corners. Any mis-match of the pattern in a corner would be very obvious. So I chose to put this last mis-matched junction above the door. The wall area over the door was only 12″ high, which helped.

In the top photo, the first strip is on the left, and the last strip has come around from the right. The pattern motif that ended up in this spot just happens to be the same on both the left and the right strips. The problem is that there is a 1″ gap between the two strips.

To bridge this gap, and to disguise the resulting pattern mis-match, I took a scrap of paper that would match the pattern coming from the right side. (Note, this would not work coming from the other direction, because the koi fish would be harder to alter in a pleasing way.) I trimmed along the design in an irregular line. See second photo.

When I butted this against the existing strip to its left, the pattern matched at the seam. The irregular cuts that I made along the pattern meshed with the design on the strip to the right. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s enough to fool the eye, and from the floor, no one would notice. See the last photo.

And it’s a heck of a lot better than having the pattern down a whole 8′ corner not match.

Innovative Kill Point – Between Moldings

August 4, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image


The kill point is where the last strip you hang meets up with the first strip you hung. This virtually always ends up in a mis-match of the pattern’s design. This is usually in a corner, and the paperhanger will try to place it in an inconspicuous location (such as behind a door).

But not all corners are hidden behind a door. In such cases, and depending on the design, the pattern mis-match will be noticeable, even eye-jarring.

Sometimes it’s possible to get creative and hide that kill point where it will be less visible. That’s what I was able to do today.

The first photo shows you the Chinoiserie pattern, so you get an idea of what it looks like. In this room, because all four corners were very visible, I wanted to keep the pattern intact in the corners. So I needed somewhere else to hide the kill point.

The room had a spot where the molding around the door came very close (6″) to the wall-hung linen cabinet. This was a good option to place the kill point, because it would be only 6″ wide, vs. my other option, which was a corner that was 5′ high. I’ll take a 6″ mis-match over a 5′ mis-match any day!

By manipulating the wallpaper pattern a little, it was easy to disguise the kill point and the mis-matched pattern. It’s there, in the second photo – but I’ll bet you will have a hard time spotting it.