Posts Tagged ‘galveston’

My View from the Office Today

September 1, 2018


Pirate’s Beach, Galveston (about an hour south of Houston)

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Hoping to Rectify Failure (Humidity Causes Poor Seams)

August 24, 2018

Humidity is the great enemy of wallpaper. In addition, the lower-end, pre-pasted, solid-vinyl papers with the gritty manila paper backing are not a good choice, in my opinion, in any room, but particularly not humid rooms like bathrooms. This house on the beach with irregular climate control spelled double trouble.

This home on Pirate’s Beach on Galveston Island (south of Houston) was on the beach, so was exposed to lots of humidity. In addition, because the homeowners use it only sporadically, they turn the air conditioner off or set it to a run less while they are away. This means that the home fills up with humidity. And even when the A/C is running, air circulation in this room is poor.

Metal elements such as the light fixture and screws holding things into the walls were rusted. Mildew was found behind some sheets of wallpaper. And the wallpaper itself was curling at the seams – a result of the paper backing absorbing moisture from the air, expanding, and forcing the vinyl surface to curl backward at the seams. (Read more about this on the page to the right about vinyl wallcoverings.)

Another factor for the poor performance of the original vinyl wallpaper was that the walls had not been primed, but the installer put the vinyl paper on top of new drywall. And nothing was done around the shower to protect the paper from splashing water.

I stripped off the old vinyl wallpaper, washed the walls with bleach to kill the mildew, and primed with the penetrating sealer Gardz. Once the new paper was up, I ran caulk along the top of the vanity backsplash, and all along the shower and tub, to prevent splashed water from wicking up under the paper.

The new wallpaper is a thin non-woven material that is “breathable.” No wallpaper is going to hold up under very humid conditions. But this one has a much better chance of staying nice and flat for many years.

The new wallpaper is very similar in appearance to the original, and keeps with the beachy feel of the home. It is by Brewster, in their Chesapeake Bay collection, in the Easy Walls line, and is reasonably priced. It is a pre-pasted material. I did augment the manufacturer’s paste with a .

In the photos, the paper looks blotchy. That is because it is still wet; it will be nice and white when it’s finally dry. The drying time worries me, though, because after six hours, even some parts of the first strips were not dry. This is a real indicator that the room has some serious humidity and air circulation issues.

View of the Day – Working on the Beach

December 31, 2015
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To brighten up this gloomy December day, here is a post I drafted a couple of weeks ago…

Well, O.K., I am not exactly working on the beach. But the home in Galveston where I am working today is just a few minute’s walk away. It was a beautiful day – uncharacteristically bright and clear, and even though I spent the day hanging wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom, I had an open window to look out, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The amusement park is Galveston’s Pleasure Pier, built after Hurricane Ike destroyed other facilities, and the grand building is the historic Galvez Hotel, which has withstood two hurricanes and is still lovely and going strong.

Beachy Bathroom in Galveston

November 19, 2015
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This home in Galveston was built in the 1800’s, and survived the 1900 Great Storm (hurricane). The homeowners have an island theme going on in their decorating, and the bathroom was the final touch. They had done some renovations to the bathroom, including new shower & tub, toilet, vanity with quartz countertop, and the cool distressed, salvaged beaded board they put on the lower half of the wall as wainscoting. (last two photos) The doorknobs are for holding towels. So cute!

But they said they could not find anyone on the island to hang wallpaper; I was very happy to drive down and help them out.

The walls weren’t in bad condition, but they showed decades of “home repairs” – layers and layers of paint, drips, sheetrock patches, uneven areas, grit, etc. I skim floated all the walls to make them smooth, and then primed with a good coat of Gardz. This yield a much smoother surface for the shiny wallpaper, and a more stable foundation in a bathroom where humidity will be a factor.

This sea shell-themed pattern blends nicely with the beachy feel in the rest of the house. I particularly love how it coordinates with the rustic beaded board below the chair rail. The wallpaper is by York, and is printed on a pre-pasted non-woven stock, which is supposed to strip off the wall easily and cleanly when it’s time to redecorate.

Hangin’ On Island Time

June 27, 2015
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to minimize and obscure the mismatch .

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Today I was working in a new home in Pirate’s Cove on Galveston Island. Just look at that gorgeous view out the window!

Inside, in the powder room, though, the view was ho-hum (2nd photo). But just look at how a little wallpaper changed the room! There is color and life, a little beach flavor, and a lot of happy cheerful feeling when you walk into this room. Pretty much everything else in the entire house is white (walls, floors, appliances, furniture), so this dash of color is very welcome.

The walls in this room were <em>very</em> crooked and bowed, and I had to pull some tricks out of my hat to keep the pattern looking matched and straight, and to prevent wrinkles in the paper.  And some additional tricks were needed to minimize and obscure the mismatch in the final corner.   No photos, sorry, but it came out great.

The interior designer for this job is Sally Farley – e-mail me if you would like her contact info. The wallpaper is a British pulp paper by Osborn & Little, called “Coralie.”

Cherry Blossoms Make for a Very Pretty Bathroom

May 10, 2014

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Digital ImageThis beautiful pattern is serene, yet just a little beachy, in the master bathroom of this League City home not far from Galveston Island. Previously, the walls were just plain boring paint, and the room felt empty and had no character.

I also put some light aqua & natural fiber grasscloth in an art niche just outside the bedroom door. The homeowner said, “I LOVE it. Now I want to find another room to paper!” (She did. 🙂 )

I spent four days here, smoothing the textured walls, priming, and hanging the wallpaper.

This pattern is by Schumacher, and was sold by Dorota at Southwestern Paint near the Rice Village in Houston. She is wonderful at helping you zero in on just the right pattern, and her prices are lower than ‘most anywhere else. By appointment. dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com (713) 520-6262