Posts Tagged ‘drop match’

Dark and Moody Bedroom Accent Wall

August 4, 2022
The wall has been skim-floated and sanded smooth , primed , and is ready for wallpaper .
The homeowner did a great job coordinating the wall and ceiling paint with the colors in the wallpaper.
This is a room that’s made for sleeping!

At first I thought the pattern scale was too small for the large wall. But once I saw it on the wall, I really like the way it fills the space.
To me, this pattern has a sort of calico look.
Close-up shows the light texture on the paper.
This is a non-woven material, so I’m installing via the paste the wall method . Here I’ve cut and arranged all my strips in the order in which they will be hung . This is a drop match pattern , which some folks think of as A and B strips. Meaning, for instance, an orange flower appears at the top of the wall on Strip A . But the next strip, Strip B, has a yellow flower at the top. When you get to the third strip, we are back to an A and an orange flower. Next comes another B strip – and so on.
I’ve rolled the strips backward , with the top of the strip coming off first. This will prevent the printed face of the wallpaper from bumping into the pasted wall during installation .
Wallpaper often shrinks a tad when the paste dries , and this can result in very minute gaps at the seams . With dark wallpapers , it’s pretty important to take steps to prevent white from showing at these gaps. Here I’ve measured out where each seam will fall, and taken diluted black paint to make a dark stripe under each seam . I don’t make the paint full-strength, because wallpaper paste isn’t formulated to adhere to paint. I want the wallpaper adhering to the primer I’ve applied. That’s also the reason why you don’t want to roll paint over the whole wall.
Also, I have only striped some of the seam areas, and will wait until some strips are up on the wall before striping more lines. This is because wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, which can make it difficult to plot the exact width of each strip as you move across the wall.

I use acrylic craft paint from the hobby store, applied with a bit of sponge. I keep a small dish of water to dip the sponge into, which dilutes the paint a bit.
You also see a stick of chalk pastel . See next photo.
Besides the wall peeking out from behind the wallpaper seams , it’s also possible / probable that the white edges of the wallpaper backing / substrate will show at the seams. I take a stick of chalk and run it along the edges, making sure to apply from the backside, to avoid getting chalk onto the surface of the wallpaper.
Be sure to use chalk pastels and not oil pastels – oil will bleed and stain wallpaper. Some installers use liquid paint or markers – again, be sure to use water-based or acrylic , and never oil based or permanent markers .
BN Walls is the brand. Altogether, this was a pretty nice product to work with. It was thin and very soft and flexible (many non-wovens are not).
I wasn’t happy with all the seams, though. I believe the paper was cut with dull or wobbly wheels at the factory, because the edges seemed to not be perfectly straight . So I ended up with gaps and overlaps in some areas. Here you can see the wallpaper edges pouching up a bit due to excess paper.
But, as I mentioned, this material was quite flexible, so it was pretty easy to spread these edges apart an use a tool to push them apart and then down to prevent them from pouching up again. Once the paste started to dry, these areas held nice and tight and flat.
This is a townhome in the Rice Military neighborhood of central Houston .

Powerful Storm Clouds – Cole & Son Nuvolette

March 14, 2020


“Nuvolette” by the British manufacturer Cole & Son is a very popular pattern – but not every room can handle such a strong design. This bedroom in a new townhome on the far west side of Houston is large enough to contain the storm clouds – which will cover all four walls. Talk about drama!

The dark floor and dark woodwork help ground the pattern. The homeowner has a background in interior design, and I can’t wait to see what furniture, bedding, window coverings, and accessories she outfits the room with.

The pattern match is very tricky, and you have to plot everything carefully and confidently before you cut anything. The product comes packaged as an A-B 2-bolt set. On the label it’s noted that one pattern match is straight across, while the next strip is a drop match.

So, essentially, this has a multiple-drop pattern match , played out across four strips of paper – but with even more complicating factors tossed in. It’s a real brain-banger to plot out! I’ve hung it twice, and both times was lucky enough to have a large open area where I could spread out the A and B bolts, and then plenty of time and a distraction-free environment to get my head around the pattern match.

In the picture, you just see a nicely fit-together set of panels. But getting them to that point did take a good bit of engineering! (Especially since “someone” opened the shipping box and removed several of the bolts from their original packaging, so there was no way to tell the A bolts from the B bolts.)

Like most of Cole & Son’s wallpaper, this was a non-woven material. This stuff has a high-fiberglass content, and thus does not expand when it gets wet with paste. This allows you to get accurate measurements that won’t change when the paper is pasted. It also allows you to paste a strip and hang it immediately (no booking time), and takes the pressure off of having a booked strip over-expanding while you fiddle with hanging a difficult strip.

It went up pretty nicely. Tomorrow I will hang the remaining two walls.

The pattern is in the Fornasetti line by Cole & Son, and was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Bold Wall of Poppies in a Home Office

March 5, 2016

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Wow, this was a fun install today… Just look at the fabulous pattern and colors!

The young homeowners of this nicely updated bungalow in the Heights have an “industrial modern” décor, and this bold poppy pattern in army mud brown with bright fuchsia accents was the perfect choice to wake up one wall in the wife’s home office.

The homeowners ordered their paper before I measured, and at first I thought they didn’t have enough, because their 10′ high ceilings eat up a lot of paper. But the pattern repeat and drop match worked perfectly with the wall height, so I was able to get an extra strip out of each bolt of paper, leaving plenty of paper to complete the wall.

This pattern is called “Arizona” #W5801 by Osborn & Little, a British company, and was printed on the traditional pulp stock (rather than the non-woven material they are using more and more these days). It was nice to work with, but has no protective coating, so will not hold up to touching, washing – or painter’s tape.

The color of the paper works beautifully with the color of the door, but it was immediately evident that the blue-grey on the other three walls was “off,” so they’ll need to repaint with a complimentary color. I had to give them my lecture about not letting the painters put tape on the wallpaper – because when the tape is removed, it will take the inked layer right off the backing. Solution? Hire CAREFUL painters. 🙂

You Can’t Always Trust the Label

July 30, 2015

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Today I am hanging a wallpaper that looks like leather (made by York). It has a texture, but no pattern to be matched from strip to strip. Yet, on the label, it claims to have a drop match. In reality, this textured paper has a random match, which means there is nothing to match.

In fact, this pattern looked best when it was reverse-hung, meaning that you hang one strip right side-up, an the next strip upside-down, etc.

Incidentally, when you have a textured, random match paper like this, be aware that you will always see the seams a little. See the second photo (The little bumps and ridges will disappear as the paper dries.). On this particular paper, the seams looked really good, and were not very noticeable at all. I was pleased, as this is not always the case.

Weird and Unnecessary Long Pattern Repeat

March 21, 2013

Digital ImageDigital Image“Pattern repeat” refers to how many inches go by before a design element (in this case, a particular leaf) is repeated on the paper. Depending on the exact height of your walls, a very long repeat can mean you need to buy a lot of extra paper, just to match the pattern. 25 inches is fairly long. A “Straight Match” means that the same leaf is at the top of the wall on every strip. A “Drop Match” means that the leaf drops down the wall 1/2 the distance of the pattern repeat on every other strip.

The label on this bolt of Thibaut wallpaper said it had a 25 1/4″ pattern repeat, and a drop match. I took the first photo because, as you can see, the repeat is only 5 inches, and it repeats horizontally straight across, not half-dropped.

But I got fooled today. And it was embarassing. And could potentially have cost enough paper that it would have been impossible to finish the room. Here’s what happened:

I laid the paper out to see what the pattern match was, as in the first photo. I cut the four strips needed for my first two walls. The first strip went up fine, and the second strip matched perfectly. But the third strip, cut from the same bolt of paper, did not match. It matched in some areas, along some stems and leaves in the pattern, but not in others. See the second photo.  (Click to enlarge.)  The pattern matches at the bottom, but is off a little at the top of the photo.

At first, I thought the manufacturer had miscut the paper. I studied, recut, rematched, rehung, rethought, redid and reflected. Finally I realized that every leaf that LOOKED the same was NOT ACTUALLY the same.

Take a look at the second photo. Right by the pencil, see the stem that is curved downward like an upside-down “U” ? Now look below it, and you will see the same upside-down “U” shaped stem. But look closer – it’s not EXACTLY the same!

On the upper stem, there are five leaves, and the bottom one points to the left. But on the lower stem, identical in shape, there are only four leaves, and the bottom one points to the right. Also, on the left side of the seam, on the top stem, right at the seam, there is an extra little short bit of stem. On the lower stem, there is none.

Man! You have to have good eyes, and a lot of patience, to see that. And it’s important, because even a little mis-match, even on a busy pattern like this, will be noticeable.

What I don’t get is, why would the designer make a pattern that is ALMOST the same, but not exactly? To relieve monotony? Naaah. In a busy pattern like this, your eye is not going to notice the tiny difference in one leaf pointing to the right and one pointing to the left.

The only reason I can think of is – to eat up more paper. And thereby to SELL more paper. You see, as mentioned above, long repeats can eat up a lot more paper. In this case, I think the long repeat is unnecessary, and a silly thing for the designer / manufacturer to do.