Posts Tagged ‘drying out’

Smoothing Over A Mess

August 3, 2022
This kind homeowner had the sink / vanity in this powder room removed. This makes it a LOT easier and faster for me to to get the wallpaper up, and with less stress on the paper and fewer relief cuts .
Removing a sink that’s attached to the wall often damages the surface. Here you can see how the workman used spackle compound to cover the torn drywall and other damage.

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Close-up. This isn’t a very smooth surface, and the wallpaper will have a hard time grabbing ahold and adhering. It’s also way too porous and crumbly to support wallpaper.
In the top photo, you see where I have applied smoothing compound on the upper portion of the wall. I’m working my way down.
Once it’s dry, I will sand and prime it, and it will be nice and smooth.
Here’s a shot of the fresh smoothing compound, before sanding.
Some people use a drywall taping knife or a broad knife to apply the plaster-like substance. I prefer the trowel you see in the photo, because it gives me more control and precision.
The 2″ flexible putty knife is for getting into smaller areas. The 3″ stiff ” Hyde ” putty knife is for knocking off high points or bumps on the wall before applying the smoothing compound.
This process is called skim-floating or skim-coating .
I like to use the Plus 3 lightweight joint compound made by Sheetrock . We just refer to it as mud . Find it in the drywall aisle.
The Plus 3 spreads on easily enough, sands easily , and the dust falls to the floor where it can be vacuumed up easily – as opposed to getting air-borne and drifting all over the place.
This box, which is approximately one cubic foot , weights 32 pounds . Ugh. Try carrying that across a parking lot and then up to the third floor of a townhome!
I like to transfer the material to a 5-gallon bucket. This is what it looks like in the bottom of the bucket.
Easy to scoop out. When I’m finished, I use a wet hand to smooth down the surface, wipe residue off the sides of the bucket, then place a thick sheet of plastic over the surface to keep air from drying it out. Then, of course, I put the lid onto the bucket.

Plastic Lids on Paint Cans

July 19, 2022
I’m used to paint and primer products coming in metal cans with metal lids. Lately some companies are using plastic cans with a metal rim, and then a metal lid. I think they’re trying to be environmentally-conscious … Although, truth be told, most such cans – plastic or metal – are not recyclable, due to product residue left in the can and it would take more effort and energy and water to rinse it out and then put that residue into our water system.
Besides that, besides the best efforts on the part of us consumers, reports are that most plastics aren’t recycled, anyway.
Moving on … when I couldn’t get my usual primer I bought some of this alternate. I was surprised to see not just a plastic bucket, but also plastic lids.
Not a big deal. Just something different, and maybe better for the ecology, somehow.
The main thing for me is, the lids don’t seem to go back on easily or completely, even when I stood on the can with my full weight. ๐Ÿ™‚
So, some worries about the product drying out, and / or splashing out of the can when I shake it.
And probably need to use a hammer to get the can securely closed.

Bright and Warm at the Same Time

April 12, 2021
Before
Finished
Close-up

Cheery but not overwhelmingly bright, this “Parada” wallpaper pattern lightens this breakfast room while still keeping the feel warm and inviting.

I think the motifs look like those gummy “orange slices” candy with the sugar crystal sprinkles. ๐Ÿ™‚

The manufacturer is Thibaut. While I usually love their products, this one was difficult to work with. It is a screen print, and is printed on a thick, stiff backing that sucked up all the paste before I could get strips to the wall. I experimented with several pasting techniques, and found that lightly sponging the back with water before pasting, and then booking the paper (folding pasted side to pasted side) and then placing in a plastic trash bag for few minutes, helped to both soften the material and prevent the paste from drying out.

I also rolled on a light coat of paste under where the seams would fall. This held the seams tighter to the wall. The material was still stiff and somewhat difficult to work into corners or trim around the detailed moldings.

The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, and the interior designer is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design.

Brunschwig & Fils’s Bibliotheque in a Heights Library

July 14, 2019


Another installer hung the paper in the first photo. For some unknown reason, two half-walls were left unpapered. I was called in to finish those two areas.

Brunschwig & Fils is a French manufacturer, with a long history. Like many higher-end brands, this product came with a selvedge edge that I had to trim off by hand (see last photo), using a razor blade and a 6′ long straight edge (not shown).

And, like many higher-end brand papers that are printed with ink that smells like mothballs, once paste is applied to the back of the paper, the inked surface absorbs moisture from the paste differently from the back side. When the top inked layer expands at a different rate from the substrate, you get waffling, or quilting. Sorry, no photo, but you can do a Search here to see previous blogs on this topic. Essentially, it’s a wrinkly mess.

One way to deal with this is to even out the moisture differential by lightly sponging water onto the face (inked side) of the wallpaper. The front can then absorb moisture from the sponging at the same time that the substrate is absorbing moisture from the paste.

As I worked with the paper, I discovered that it wanted to dry out quickly. So it helped a lot to also use a sponge to get a little moisture onto the back side of the wallpaper strip, before pasting.

Other tricks to slow drying out are to 1.) Book the paper (fold pasted side to pasted side and then roll up loosely like a newspaper) and then dunk the ends into a bucket of clean water. 2.) Place the booked strip into a black trash bag, which will prevent evaporation during the time the paper books. 3.) When the wait time is up, gently unbook the paper and lightly spritz the back with clean water from a spray bottle. Alternately, you could sponge the surface once again. The idea is to introduce a little more moisture, to loosen up the paste and to make the paper more malleable.

I had been told that this paper was difficult to work with, and that the seams wanted to curl. I had the opposite experience – I thought it was lovely to work with. The seams laid nice and flat, and the paper was easy to manipulate, and it clung tightly to the wall. Applying moisture to the surface and back got rid of the waffling, and any that did remain (there were small puckers in the white horizontal “shelf board” areas) disappeared as the wallpaper dried.

This home is in the Houston Heights neighborhood, and the interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design.

Beautiful View Today

May 18, 2016

Digital Image

Digital Image

This week, I am wallpapering a “her” master bathroom in a home west of Tanglewood (Houston). There isn’t room in the house for my work table, so I set everything up on the patio just outside. No complaints!

(Although I am having a little trouble with the hot Texas sun drying out my strips of wallpaper almost as fast as I get them pasted. Keeping the pasted strips inside a plastic bag is helping to keep themย  pliableand viable.)