Posts Tagged ‘double roll’

A Really Nice Vinyl Faux Grasscloth

February 8, 2020

Originally, this downstairs bathroom in a newish home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston was painted a mocha brown. It looked OK, but lacked luster and life. The homeowner envisioned more texture and color, plus a tiny bit of dazzle. She was considering grasscloth.

During our initial Sunday afternoon consultation, luckily she heeded my warnings about the problems with grasscloth – visible seams, color shading differences between strips, staining from water splashes or little ones’ hands, etc.

She chose this textured vinyl faux grass pattern by York instead. What a winner this turned out to be! Because there is no pattern that can be matched, you still see the seams. But, because the color is so homogeneous, there are no jarring shade differences. In the sink photo, note that you are seeing a shadow, not a shading of color.

The color variations within the grass-like design are more pronounced than in other brands (for instance, the Thibaut versions), and so it looks more like real grasscloth, and you can see the various colors even from a distance.

There is a pleasing texture that can be seen and felt. And, because the material is a heavy vinyl, it’s quite durable and water- and stain-resistant. What’s more, because there was no pattern to match (that’s called a random match), there was very little waste – in a room with a tad less than 9′ ceilings, I got three strips out of a 27′ long double roll bolt (usually you only get two strips).

I did follow typical grasscloth-installation techniques for this product.

Because the lack of a pattern match meant that the seams were visible, I took precise measurements and “balanced” the width of the strips in the various areas in which they were hung.

Because there was still a bit of a color difference between the right side and the left side of each strip, I also reversed the top and bottom of every other strip – a little trick that minimizes visible color differences by placing the right side, for instance, of each bolt of paper next to itself on subsequent strips. That sounds confusing, but it’s valuable trick of the trade.

The navy blue brings a welcome shot of color into the room. The gold metallic touches add sparkle, and coordinate smartly with the light fixture (not shown). The homeowner will soon trade the chrome faucet for one of brushed gold.

Defect – Another Reason to Buy a Little Extra Paper

March 26, 2019

You may have to enlarge the photo, but you can see some typed words running across this wallpaper’s face.

This ink was transferred from the instruction sheet that was rolled up inside the bolt of wallpaper.

To get around this defect and then find the correct pattern match, I had to throw away at least 2′ of the wallpaper.

This is not uncommon. Remember … it’s always good to buy extra paper, even as much as an extra double roll (bolt).

Swirly “Priano” Wakes Up a Tiny Powder Room

August 4, 2018

Here is a tiny powder room squeezed under the stairs in a nicely updated large home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The homeowner wanted the powder room to match the feel of the more modern rest of the house – while coordinating with the dark blue tile floor. This swirly leaf pattern does all of that – and it visually pushes the walls away, while adding fun movement to the tiny room.

I don’t usually like wallpaper on ceilings, because I think it crunches the ceiling down on you. But here in this diminutive powder room, I think that papering the ceiling was the best design option. When a ceiling is papered, only one corner where the wall meets the ceiling can have the pattern matched (see top photo), and the rest will result in a mis-match. So it’s preferable to find a wild pattern like this, where any design mis-match in the corners will hardly be noticeable.

This room was particularly tricky, because the bottom-side-of-the-stairs ceiling came down not only at a slope, but at an angle. You can kind of see this in the fourth photo. The third shot shows the ceiling in the process of being hung.

“Priano” is a popular wallpaper pattern by Serena & Lily. Their papers are always a joy to work with, and they have cute patterns, too!

What’s extra cool is that I hung this pattern a few months ago, and the homeowner ended up with twice as much paper as she needed. (The old single roll / double roll conundrum. A good reason to always check with me before ordering your paper.) I was able to hook the two gals up, and some of the excess paper was sold to the new client, quick and easy.

Flaw of the Day – Torn Wallpaper

January 22, 2018

This tear appeared about half way through a double roll bolt of wallpaper.

The pattern was forgiving, this would fall in a high and not-very-noticeable area, and we were very short on paper, so I went ahead and used this strip.

Now that it’s up and dried, no one will ever notice.

Lots’a Paper

August 20, 2017

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The old paper has been stripped off, the walls are prepped and primed, and I’m ready to hang paper tomorrow.

Destined for a large master bath and commode room in the Fondren Southwest neighborhood of Houson are what you see here… 24 single rolls of wallpaper (12 double roll bolts)… A couple of bolts are in the upright cardboard box to the right…bought quickly and shipped via 2nd Day Air, after the family dog chewed up some of the paper.

Color In Grasscloth Changes Abruptly

June 13, 2017

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Grasscloth is very popular right now, because homeowners love the texture and natural feel of the material. However, ‘natural’ equates with ‘irregular,’ and can lead to very noticeable color differences and variations in the product. Up on the wall, these can look pretty bad.

The photo shows how the color of grasscloth can change from the top of the strip to the bottom. It also shows how darker strands of fibers can be interwoven into the material, resulting in eye-jarring irregularities.

I had this homeowner buy an extra double roll bolt of wallpaper. This gave us enough extra that I could discard this strip with its ugly dark horizontal bands, and replace it with another that was more homogenous. The 2nd photo shows a wall with three strips that are pleasingly similar in color and texture.

Note that in most grasscloth installations, ‘you get what you get.’ Which is to say, if the paper comes off the roll with dark bands or defects or shading or color variations, you just have to accept it as “the inherent beauty of the natural product.”

For more info, do a Search (upper right corner) on these terms.

It’s Great When Clients Send Me This Information

June 5, 2016

This the backside of a wallpaper sample in a selection book. The client has not always made a choice when I first visit the home and measure the room. With this information, I can recheck the measurements and factor in the pattern repeat, pattern match, and other factors, to be sure they’re ordering the right amount of paper.

Knowing the manufacturer is valuable, too, because some manufacturers package their goods in American rolls, and some package in European rolls, and call what I call a double roll a single roll. Most (but not all) grasscloth is 36″ wide, and that’s a whole different ball game. Once I know what the client is purchasing, I can advise them correctly on how much to buy.

It’s also helpful for me to know if I will be working with paper, vinyl, non-woven, grasscloth, or other materials, as some may require special paste or equipment. And it always fun to know what pattern and color I will be putting up.

Flaws of the Day – Smudges, Ink Pinpricks, and One Big Blob

December 5, 2015
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Two of the three double roll bolts I worked with today had smudges like you see in the first photo, running horizontally across the back of the wallpaper. You never know if something like this is going to show through to the front or not, especially once the paper is wet with paste. So it’s best to discard iffy paper. There were also a number of tiny black specks imbedded in the paper here and there (not shown). Some could be picked out with a razor blade, but some just had to stay in place.

In the second photo, there is a big hard blob of dried ink, or something, that definitely is not acceptable. What’s sad is, I could have done this job with just two bolts of paper. However, I’m glad I had them buy three, because I was able to discard the defective strips and hang only clean, problem-free paper.

This pattern is called “Feathers,” and is by Serena & Lily, and on-line company. Aside from the defects, their paper is nice to work with and performs nicely over time.

Splice in the Middle of a Roll of Wallpaper

July 19, 2014

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Digital ImageOK, so when you’re a manufacturer and you’re printing off yards and yards of wallpaper, eventually you come to the end of a sheet of paper. That’s what happened here. So the company spliced in a new piece – right in the middle of a double roll bolt of paper.

But I’m MUCH happier when they add several extra yards of paper, to compensate for the messed up paper. If the splice occurs in the middle or toward the end of a strip of paper, you could end up losing a whole lot of paper – and sometimes that can mean you don’t have enough to finish the room.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs. Hmmm. Wonder what they thought when I posted a photo on their Facebook page. 😉

Eliminating Dark Lines

June 13, 2014

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Digital ImageIn the first two photos, you can see a vertical line at the right edge of each strip of wallpaper. This is how it came from the factory. I made sure to point this out to the homeowner, and she thought it was just fine.

But I was not happy with it, and I knew that as the three other walls in this home office were covered with wallpaper, the striped effect would be more noticeable and would look worse and worse. Since the geometric pattern was almost the same on both sides of each strip, it was possible to reverse hang (hang every other strip upside down). This means that the dark side on one strip is placed next to the dark side on the next strip. This is done with grasscloth and some textured papers, to minimize shading / paneling.

However, when I tried it with this product, the dark stripe simply became wider and more noticeable – a 2″ wide dark strip instead of a 1″ wide strip. I experimented and discarded two 9.5′ strips of paper, trying to figure out how to get around that defective dark stripe. There was a limited amount of paper, so I finished that wall, using the paper as it came from the factory. I quit for the day after that, and the homeowner was OK with the look.

But I lay in bed that night, knowing that that 1″ dark stripe every 27″ all the way around the room would not look good. I knew that the client 1.) didn’t realize how “compromised” it would look once played out around the entire room, and 2.) was “just being nice” when she said it didn’t bother her. Sometimes, as a paperhanger (or any other craftsman), you have to make decisions for the client, because they’re simply not as versed on the issue as you are, and they are also usually really nice people, and are reticent to say anything negative. Of course, you can only do so much when there is only so much paper, and we were already a double roll short, due to the factory not having enough.

So… I considered cutting off the discolored edge of the paper. Sometimes, like with grasscloth, you just need to cut off an inch or so. With a geometric pattern like this that repeats itself horizontally across each strip, it was possible to remove a half-motif along the length of each strip of wallpaper. But that would also remove about a 5″ width of paper, from every single strip. When you need seven strips to go around the room, that results in a lot of lost paper (two full strips!), and, remember, we were short on paper to begin with.

So today when I arrived at work, I carefully measured how many strips we needed to finish the room, and how wide each strip had to be. With the manufacturer’s 27″ wide defective paper, we needed seven strips to cover the wall space going around the room. I determined that, if I removed that 5″ wide motif from each strip, there was enough – just barely enough – to complete the room. Because each strip would now be 22.25″ wide, that meant that now we needed eight strips to cover all the wall space. We had four unopened double roll bolts, each yielding two full-length strips, so we were good. IF there were no mistakes or miscuts or defective paper.

As you can see in the second two photos, my method worked great. There is still a little difference in color in some areas, if you look really closely, but that is MUCH better than a floor-to-ceiling 1″ wide dark stripe.

All this plotting, measuring, trimming, and finagling added about two hours to my workday, but it was worth it. The clients loved the finished room, and were happily moving furniture and computers back in as soon as I got my gear out. And I can sleep tonight, knowing I gave them the best possible outcome for their room.

This wallpaper is a Candice Olson design, by York Wallcoverings, and is a glass bead lattice pattern on a dark brown non-woven substrate. It was sold by Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint, at a good discount. Make an appointment before heading over to see her. (713) 520-6262 or