Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Frutto Proibito in Powder Room Revisited

April 21, 2023
I hung this wallpaper a year or two ago and was back to paper the dining room this week, so had a chance to peek into the powder room and get a “finished” photo. Here it is with lights off.
With lights on.
South wall. I love the window molding and vanity painted to complement the wallpaper .
This is in a beautifully remodeled and enlarged bungalow in the Heights neighborhood of Houston .
This lively and fun pattern is called Frutto Proibito and is in the adventurous Fornasetti collection by Cole & Son .
It’s a popular pattern, and I installed it a number of times, including a few months ago in a Montrose laundry room. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2023/02/24/cole-son-monkeys-liven-up-laundry-day/
This material is a DIY -friendly non-woven / paste the wall type of wallpaper . It’s strong , durable , stain-resistant , and will strip off the wall easily and with no damage to the wall when it’s time to redecorate .

Different Runs – Different Materials

February 25, 2023
Due to a mix-up in terminology, the homeowner originally received just four single rolls (two double roll bolts ) of wallpaper .  They needed eight total single rolls (four doubles ), so two more double roll bolts were ordered.  Being unable to get the same run number , we anticipated a slight difference in shade .  But didn’t expect that the two new bolts would be thinner than the two original bolts . 
What the heck is up?! 
The selection book says this is a non-woven product, and a paste the wall installation method .  Yet the label on both the original and the new rolls says to paste the paper.  Even more puzzling, the instruction sheet included inside the rolls says that it’s  non-woven material , and to paste the wall. 
It’s important for the installer to know what material he’s working with, so I needed to know if this was PTW or PTP .  Usually, non-woven paste the wall are thick and hard to tear , due to their 20% polyester content .  The fat roll felt and acted like a non-woven .  But the thinner roll was thin and crispy and easy to tear.  I sure thought it was a paper material , which would require a different installation technique .  In recent months, I’ve had this same manufacturer send several rolls of the a particular pattern , but some were non-woven, and some were paper.  So I thought we might be experiencing this again.  It’s important to know what you’re working with, because different materials require different installation techniques.  If a DIY ‘er follows the instructions to paste the wall , but it’s actually a paste the paper material, he’s going to encounter a whole lotta mess – and ruined paper . 
Here I used my 24” wide straightedge to tear off a strip of wallpaper from the roll of thin material.  This answered my question.  See the little fibers ?  Those are indicative of non-woven papers, and their polyester content .  Once I saw this, I was certain that it was, indeed, a non-woven material / paste the wall . 
So this material was easier to hang than traditional papers, because no need to paste , book , and let sit for a few minutes.  There are other pluses, too, to NW papers, and most of us professionals like hanging them.  But I wasn’t 100% pleased with the thin version of this non-woven material.  For one thing, its stiff, crispness made it difficult to manipulate, and prone to crease . Also, notice the splotchiness of the paper.  This showed up on the dry paper, right off the roll.
But paper that has been pasted and hung on the wall showed even more splotches .  This is scary, because there is a issue called blushing or staining , where the paper looks like it’s wet , but never dries out.  Do a Search here to learn more.   This happens mostly with non-woven papers , and is tied to certain types of paste .  Which is why I don’t use those pastes!  So curious as to what is causing this slight discoloration.
I believe the spots were just due to moisture .  As I worked my way across the wall and time went on, the paper I had hung first had a chance to air out and dry.  The blotches disappeared . 
 
I’m curious as to why the difference in material.  Maybe the manufacturer was using different factories?  In different countries? Or supply chain issues / material shortages meant that their usual substrate and inks were not available .  Or just trying to cut costs?  Saving money isn’t a bad thing.  But it is, if it cuts down on the product’s quality. 

Dark and Moody Jungle Theme for Powder Room

February 11, 2023




Before. Heavily textured wall has been skim-floated with smoothing / joint compound and then sanded smooth , and then primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer . I’ve run a narrow line of dark green craft paint along the top of the chair rail / wainscoting , due to uneven edges . More on that in a soon-future post.
Sink wall is done. Pattern is centered nicely on the faucet and in between the electrical boxes for the new sconces – They haven’t arrived yet and will be installed in a few weeks .
The homeowner’s carpenter created this beautiful wainscoting out of 3D block paneling , and then painted it a rich dark hunter’s green . Right now there’s some sanding dust collected on it, plus bad lighting . In person, it’s gorgeous . The same company did a fantastic paneled wall / fireplace surround in the family room (not pictured) .
Back to wallpaper … This shot is pretty color-accurate. I love the way the dark wallpaper coordinates with the green paneling . The pink and orange flowers , as well as the row of purple foliage , really stand out against all the dark .
Close-up looks like an artist’s painting . Besides centering the pattern on the sink wall, the dimensions worked out so that I was able to balance the chameleons between the ceiling and chair rail , one just below the ceiling and the one here just above the chair rail. So no critter got cut in half .
This product comes as a 2-strip (roll) set , with an “A” strip and a “B” strip in each box. Together, the two strips equal just a hair under 6′ wide , and a little over 9′ high . Here I’m rolling out the two strips so I can gauge the pattern , measure width and height , and plot the layout on the wall.
Sobering fact: Each 2-strip set (one “roll”) cost about $500. This room used four of those sets. I always try to keep that in mind when working with people’s purchased wallpaper .
OK, this damned Word Press blog account has AGAIN (2nd time in two nights!) deleted paragraphs that I spent a lot of time typing. I can’t recreate all the info I put into that lost post, but below I will try to include some of the important points.
First and foremost – since the switch to the New Editor back about 2015, I pretty much HATE WORDPRESS .
Anyway, here the company is providing a mock-up of what the “A” and “B” strips look like. The mock-up above shows the two panels next to each other.
Since this is essentially a mural and the pattern doesn’t repeat vertically as more typical wallpapers do, you can plan on getting only one strip out of each panel. These walls are 6′ high , and the panels are 9′ high. So you’re losing 3′ with every strip.
Further, the area over the door needed one panel that’s 2′ high. But an entire 9′ panel was needed for this, to get the 2′ high strip. So 7′ are going into the trash. Add to that, since this product comes as a 2-panel set , the homeowner had to buy a 2-panel set (at $500), even though only part of one panel would be used. This means that 1 + 2/3 9′ long panels were purchased but not used.
Also, because this comes in panels instead of traditional rolled goods, there are no “extra” strips. This means that I can’t make any mistakes.
Nothing like a little pressure while trying to install wallpaper !
No fears … this pattern and material went up nicely, and we had just enough paper to git ‘er done.


Manufacturer is Breeze and the pattern is called Fantasy Tree . It was purchased from one of the show rooms in one of the Design / Decorative Centers in central Houston. It’s printed on the user-friendly / DIY – friendly non-woven material , which can be hung by pasting the paper (which I prefer) or the paste-the-wall method . It’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to the wall when it’s time to redecorate . Definitely better than peel & stick (click my link on the right to read more about P&S ).
The home is in the Oak Forest / Garden Oaks / Heights neighborhood of Houston .

More Peel & Stick Hate

January 17, 2023
so-called peel and stick wallpaper is not nearly what the vendors’ websites make it out to be. It is neither easy to install , nor easy to remove . Nor does it hold up very long. I won’t hang it, neither will most of my colleagues across the country. Even our British counterparts have asked us to not let it slip across the pond!
I won’t work with it, but one of the clients I visited yesterday did attempt to DIY try it on her own, with quite unsatisfactory results. She was kind enough to let me take photos .
Here you can easily see wrinkles next to the door molding .
gap at seam over door, warps along side door.
hard to see, but there are large wrinkles. Plus notice on the right, paper is not adhering to the wall.
seams shrink and gap.
P&S material is not even trying to adhere to the wall.

A lot of these failures are due to the homeowners’ lack of knowledge and experience with peel & stick , and with wallpaper in general. For instance, the textured walls should have been smoothed / skim-coated / skim-floated before applying the material . Wallpaper wants to adhere to a smooth surface – not to the “highs and lows” of a textured wall .
Next, most P&S instructions call for application on a semi-gloss paint , which needs to cure for 6-8 weeks.
Also, read the fine print, and you’ll learn that P&S is meant as a temporary wallpaper …. you can plan on it starting to fail in less than a year. That’s where you get the failure to stick to the wall , and shrinking at the seams . Of course, here you can see that that happened within a few weeks / days.
In this case, the material will be easily removable from the wall. But in most cases, if you’ve installed it on a smooth , primed wall, well, when stripped off, it will take the paint along with it. Leaving you with a nasty , pock-marked mess to have to repair. Click the link to my page on the right, about why to stay away from P&S.

Bright and Cheery Accent Wall for Toddler Girl

January 12, 2023
Just about every wall and surface in this home is white . This super fun , super colorful pattern really energizes the little girl’s room / nursery .
Before, with my tinted- blue wallpaper primer Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime applied.
I love contrasting the colorful wallpaper to the plain “before” look.
Red flowers centered under the window , so it will look nice falling around the crib .
Close-up .
The manufacturer is the popular Rifle Paper , made by York . I love this brand – but beware of printing defects , which have been popping up more and more these last few years. Also, Rifle Paper is usually a DIY-friendly non-woven or paste the wall material . So I was surprised today to find this is a traditional paste the paper product . Actually, I’ve had a good handful of RPs lately that were paste the paper .
These two materials call for completely different installation methods. The PTP takes more time and equipment , too.
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Cool Fun Blue Flower Paper in Powder Room

January 5, 2023
Before. The homeowner wanted something much more fun than drab grey walls . Plus she need something that would coordinate with the brown tones in the vanity countertop.
Here’s the solution! The paper is actually muddier and murkier than these photos show it to be, so it melds nicely with the brown stone .
Here’s a better idea of what the true colors actually look like.
Close-up.
aManufacturer is York. This was purchased from Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village of Houston , for a price below retail . Call before heading over to see her selection . (713) 59-6515
The Sure Strip line by York is a thin and pliable , water-activated , pre-pasted wallpaper that is DIY -friendly. It goes up nicely, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece – and with no damage to the wall – when it’s time to redecorate . I like this product a lot. Although York has been prone to lots of printing defects (including today) in recent years.
The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Conflicting Information On Label

December 13, 2022
First, note that this wallpaper came in two different runs . This is bad, because each run of a printing job will be a slightly different shade from other runs. This color difference shows up on the wall and looks bad. Do a Search here to see previous posts about this.
Next, note that one label says the material is ” paste the wall ” and the other says ” paste the paper .” This is unusual, because usually Rifle Paper is always paste-the-wall – another name for a non-woven material . So why does one say it’s paste-the-paper ?
Turns out that both of these runs – and all of the wallpaper I had for this job – were paste the paper. This was totally unexpected, especially since the label as well as the specs I had scouted out on line ahead of time said paste the wall .
As far as install techniques, these two methods are completely different animals. Paste-the-paper takes a lot more time, and also is less durable if exposed to water or stains
Not a biggie for me, because I’m familiar with installation techniques of both types. But if a homeowner was trying to DIY his room and was expecting an easy paste-the-wall , he would be in for a much more difficult go-round with the paste-the-paper .

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Lots of Wallpaper in Nov/Dec Issue of American Farmhouse Style Magazine

November 1, 2022
Including right here on the cover! And a real coup! … A magazine that’s pretty much dedicated to the all-white or all-grey trend in decorating, as well as minimalism … it’s so exciting to see some pattern and color in the ” farmhouse ” themed homes. Let’s take a look …
Textured grasscloth behind bookshelves in a living room .
Two-tone classic toile on one wall as a background to a stairwell . It warms up the space, without hitting you in the face.
Soft , cloud – like feel behind this credenza . Look carefully right above the baskets , and you’ll see an overlapped seam. Some commercial murals are hung like this, as well as the very popular patterns by Spoonflower , which is a budget-friendly and DIY – able , good quality material and brand . (But ONLY their ” prepasted smooth ” option. Do NOT get the ” traditional pebble ” nor their ” peel and stick . “
More of the toile pattern , in the entry , with batten board wainscoting and a chair rail , in a mud room . Also called rear back door entry . : )
Floral pattern in the laundry room . I’m getting lots of queries for wallpaper in laundries … must be trending right now!
Soft two-tone floral in small bathroom .
Textured grasscloth behind desk in home office .
Apologies for the sideways image … WordPress used to be easy to use, and I could correct this. But they “upgraded” their program and made many, many features much more difficult to work with. I tried tutorials on how to fix this, but after reading and watching tons of info and videos, I gave up. It used to be just one click !
Anyway, note the cheery breakfast room. Colorful without being overwhelming .
Closer picture.
Very innovative use of floral pattern with subdued color around the archway / entry to another breakfast nook . Note that the back of the nook also wears a textured wallpaper .
Sorry for the out-of-order picture … another frustration from the “upgraded” WordPress Editor . This gives an idea of what the afore-mentioned breakfast area looked like pre-wallpaper.
The magazine didn’t mention a brand, but this sure looks like one of Serena & Lily ‘s designs . Of course, when one company makes a popular pattern , many other companies make their own versions .
These days, usually you see pattern on the accent wall behind the headboard . So it’s a little unusual to see wallpaper on all four walls of this master bedroom . But it works, because the pattern is simple and the colors are kept to only two , so the overall feel is calming , rather than busy .
Fooled me! I thought this headboard accent wall was done in tile – but it’s wallpaper !
The same paper on a kitchen cabinet .

Animal Menagerie in Baby’s Nursery

August 10, 2022
What a cute pattern! Suited for a boy or girl, and will “grow” with the child for several years.
Before. The parents had this block paneling wainscoting added before the wallpaper went up. It keeps the wallpaper pattern from being overwhelming, and the green color really sets off the colors in the wallpaper.
Trees , flowers , forest animals , deer , leopards , peacocks , birds .
Made by Rifle Paper by York , one of my favorite brands.
Rifle Paper is a non-woven material , DIY – friendly , and designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate .

For All You Dreamers Who Think That Liner Will Smooth Texture Walls … NOT!

June 23, 2022
Some people have spent too much time on YouTube or DIY websites. There is a misconception that liner paper will smooth out textured walls.
Nope, sorry, it ain’t happenin.’
The special type of paper called liner is used under some wallpaper s, and serves certain functions. Smoothing walls is not one of them.
If you’re planning to hang wallpaper over textured walls, liner paper cannot be used as a replacement for skim-floating , sanding , priming , and properly prepping the walls .
As you can see in the photo, liner paper shrinks as the paste dries, and pulls tight against the wall. This means that little imperfections will show through.
In the photo above, a towel bar had been removed, and the support bracket had been stuck / recessed into the wall paint , so the indentation and ridges from the bracket were still evident on the wall.
Covering them with a wallpaper liner helped mitigate them a bit … but, as you can see, the raised outline of the mounting bracket is still visible.
The issue is that this raised area, covered with liner or not, will still ” telegraph ” through the new wallpaper, creating a noticeable and unpleasing look.
To properly smooth a textured wall before hanging wallpaper, the surface must be skim-floated with joint compound (also referred to as mud ), sanded smooth, wiped free of dust, and then primed. Now the wall should be smooth enough to provide a good surface for the new wallpaper.