Posts Tagged ‘double roll’

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. ūüėČ

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

Flaw of the Day – Soiled Paper & Creases

July 25, 2013

Digital ImageSorry for the “venetian blind shading” on this photo… my camera was acting wonky. What you are looking at is a lot of dirt on the back of one roll of paper (there was much more, in addition to these two spots), and, on the other roll, you see a crease that spans the full width of the roll.

There were many such creases in this particular double roll of wallpaper. Sometimes, they dry out nice and flat. But you can never count on that, so I put that roll aside and used it only for small strips or areas that would not be seen easily.

This pattern is by Norwall.

Flaw of the Day – Spots and Banged Edges

May 10, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageCome on, Thibaut, you know better… Put a little bubble wrap around the ends of the rolls before stuffing them into the shipping box! I don’t know what’s the explanation for the dots or the dirt, but at least they were just on the first few inches. The banged edges went many, many feet into the roll.

Because this paper had a sheen, along with a rather plain pattern, and becasuse the bashed ends were pretty severe, I almost sent it back. But that would have postponed the job until new paper could be ordered and shipped, and until I had anothe opening on my work schedule.

Instead, what I did was, before cutting anything, I made sure we would have enough acceptable paper to do the wall. To do this, I unrolled the paper and rerolled it backwards, so the banged edges were at the inside of the roll, and the paper coming off first was somewhat better.

I plotted out how many strips I would need, factoring in the drop match (every other strip started with a different pattern element). I needed six strips, and you get two 9′ strips from each 27″ wide double roll (usually). With the undamaged paper now coming off the roll first, I marked and measured and made sure that I could get six full strips of undamaged paper.

Only then did I cut my strips. You see, if I would have to send the paper back, manufacturers usually won’t accept it if it’s been cut.

Some of the strips did end up having some banged edges, but, since these had come from deep inside the roll, they were not as bad as those on the outer edges. Besides, these usually flatten out pretty well once they are pasted, hung, and dried. And, the home owner said she was “not that picky.” (I like to make the home owner aware of questionalble situations, and get her OK before going ahead with the installation.)

It all worked out nicely, and the finished wall looks great. I’ll post a photo tomorrow.

Flaw of the Day

January 11, 2013

Digital Image See the little nicks in the wallpaper? This ruined the first two feet of one double roll.

Paper Shortage and Mis-Matched Run

December 14, 2012

Digital Image Digital ImagePeople! Please buy the amount of paper I tell you to – not what your Uncle Wilber comes up with by fiddling with his calculator and slide rule!!

When I first went to hang this bathroom, the homeowners had not purchased the right number of rolls. We still needed two 8′ strips and a 14″ piece for over the window. With 27″ wide goods, which is 27′ long, after discarding the damaged first couple of inches and then matching the pattern, that’s about what you get out of a double roll. So I told them to order two more rolls (a double roll).

When I went back today to finish the install, there waiting for me was a SINGLE ROLL. Exactly enough to give me one 8′ strip and about another 6′. NOT enough to do that wall! To make matters worse, the run number was different from what was used previously, so I could not use the left over paper, because that would leave a very noticeable color difference between the strips.

After considerable plotting, measuring, planning and testing, here’s what I ended up doing:

It was crucial that the most visible pieces to be all of the same run. There was a toilet against this wall, that could hopefully hide some of the mis-matched runs. I cut the short piece for over the window and the first 8′ strip from the roll, and put them up. Looked good.

After matching the pattern and discarding the banged-up-and-creased tail end of the roll, only about 6′ were left. This fell to slightly below the top of the toilet, and about 24″ from the floor. For this remaining 2′, I would have to use the left over paper from the other run.

I had two options for doing this. One was to splice the papers together with what we paperhangers call a “double cut.” This would leave a nice smooth surface. But, since the paper was thick, the seam would be likely to be noticeable. Your eye is forgiving of verticle seam lines in wallpaper, but not so much with horizontal lines. This particular paper (more of the “green” krapp that manufacturers are churning out right now) dries really quickly, and could cause delamination (tearing apart) of the paper when I tried to seperate the spliced layers of paper.

The other problem is that a straight cut would show the color difference where it cut through the blue areas. (Yes, I could have meticulously cut around the white lattice design, but that is really hard and time consuming, inacurate, and REALLY hard to do behind a toilet!

So instead I opted to overlap the paper. If cut the paper off straight across and overlapped, there would be a visible bump or ridge the full width of the strip, where there was a double thickness. To minimize this, instead of cutting straight across, I used a razor to cut around the white lattice design, on both the top and bottom pieces. Cutting around the white pattern also means that no blue background from one run would be meeting the other run, so the color difference would also be disguised.

The top photo shows the process in progress, and the bottom photo shows that, although there is still a double thickness and a color difference, from a distance, it’s not all that noticeable.

The pattern is Schumacher 5005143.

20.5, 27, & 10

November 1, 2012

Aviso:  Somewhat technical.  But it will give you a feel for what mental gymnastics we paperhangers go through every day.

There are two standard widths for wallpaper – 20.5″ and 27.” The 20.5″ wide bolts are 33′ long, and the 27″ wide ones are 27′ long; they both contain the same number of square feet, which is 56 (but you allow for only 44, due to waste in matching the pattern, trimming at the ceiling and floor, banged up ends, etc.).

Sometimes, the amount of paper you need to buy has less to do with square footage and more to do with the number of drops you can get out of a double roll (bolt).

On a job I’m doing this week, one narrow accent wall at the top of a stair landing, it’s a relatively small square footage – about 50. Since there are about 44 USEABLE square feet on each double roll, normally I would tell the homeowner to buy two double rolls.

But, trying to save the homeowner some money, as well as avoid unnecessary waste, I counted how many strips would be needed.¬† The wall is 45″ wide by 10’1″ high, and the wallpaper pattern she was looking at is packaged¬†27″ wide and 27′ long.¬† Two 27″ strips would be plenty wide enough to cover the width of the wall, and I could easily get those two 10′ 5″ strips (allowing 2″ for trimming at top and at bottom) out of the 27′ long double roll, with 6 feet left for matching the pattern, placing the main element of the pattern at a nice point on the wall, etc.¬† So, all she needed to buy was one double roll.

BUT…. When I got to work yesterday, it turns out that the paper that was ordered was not 27″ wide, but instead it was 20.5″ wide.¬† Now, this could pose a problem.¬† Two 20.5″ wide pieces side by side only equal 41″, and I had 45″ of wall to cover.¬† However, since the paper is narrower, each bolt is also longer, in this case, 33′.¬† Sounds good, right?¬† I should be able to get my three 10’5″ strips out of that 33′ long bolt, right?

WRONG!¬† Now we’re trying to get 31.5 feet out of a 33 foot long bolt of paper.¬† It sounds plausible.¬† But remember – we have to match the pattern, and not just on two strips, as with the 27″ wide goods, but now we have to match three strips, which takes up considerably more paper than matching just two.¬† And what about the banged edges, or ends of the roll that have tape plastered on them, that cause me to¬†routinely cut off and throw away several inches or more?

In addition, I like to have the flexibility to be able to put a particular figure from the pattern at the top of the wall.¬† In other words, if the pattern has a monkey on it, you don’t want to have to cut off the monkey’s head!¬† Keeping the monkey’s head attached to his torso could eat up quite a bit of paper – and we have precious little paper in this case.

Luckily, this particular pattern is pretty much a bunch of swirls.¬† While I would like to put a whole swirl at the top of the wall, I quickly decided that it was more important to get ANY part of the pattern on the wall, rather than worry about a half swirl 10′ up.¬† It’s also not important to center any particular swirl on the wall, so that frees up a little paper, too.

This particular pattern spans the entire width of the paper.  If, instead, it were smaller and there were two or more of the pattern side by side on the strip, I would have the option of  splitting the strip vertically, being careful to keep an absolutely straight edge, and then splicing the pieces together, to make a full-length strip, which is what I did two weeks ago with some grey paper that had defects in the printing (see previous post).  Unfortunately, that is not an option in this case.

Depending on the length of the pattern repeat, I MIGHT be able to get the three strips I need.  With it so close, the only way to tell was to unroll the paper, measure out each strip, figure the repeat for all three strips and both matched seams Рand keep my fingers crossed!

After carefully unrolling the entire double roll, measuring, marking, plotting, my consensus is that there WILL be enough paper to get my three strips.¬† There will be a lot of waste – 16.5″ wide by 10’5″ long, because the third strip will be only 4″ wide, but that’s how it goes.¬† Left on the roll, after I take those three strips, if I figured and measured correctly, we will have about four whole inches left!

Tomorrow I hang the paper, so tomorrow will tell!

Here is the pattern, by Graham and Brown: