Posts Tagged ‘gesso’

Farrow & Ball Paint on Wallpaper – Smudges, Splatters

March 13, 2018

Farrow & Ball is a British wallpaper and paint manufacturing company. They are unique in that, instead of using ink to print their wallpapers, they use their paints. It is a hand-screened process.

Any type of hand-done work means that there can be human error. (Well, you can have errors with machine-produced goods, too, but here we’re focusing on higher-end, artisan-inspired, hand-crafted goods.)

Anyway, here you can see a few smudges, and a few platters of paint on the wallpaper. All of these are considered typical and normal for a product like this.

While you are looking closely, I encourage you to notice the three-dimensional quality of the ink on the paper. It’s almost as thick as gesso. This gives the paper a subtle dimension, and ensures that every screen will be a tad different from the others.


The Fifteen-Hour Foyer Install – Whew!

October 29, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

This was one of the most difficult installations I’ve ever done. Many reasons … The grasscloth came un-trimmed, so I had to trim off the selvedge edge by hand for every strip. This is tedious and time-consuming enough with paper, but with grasscloth it’s harder because you have to press hard to get through the thick material. The room itself presents some time-eating elements, namely the intricate molding above the columns, and it takes time (like 20 minutes each) to cut the paper neatly into the curves. There were six of these curved points, plus four angled blocks in the center of the arches.

I told the homeowner to buy 10 single rolls. But the design studio where she bought it told her 8. So she bought 8 – and we were short. So I had to save every scrap, plot and plan, and spend extra time cutting and piecing slivers of left over paper, so we would have enough to do the areas over the arches. I also had to fudge on the pattern match, in order to have enough paper to do the whole room. This pattern is forgiving, so it’s not noticeable.

But the main difficulty was the extreme thickness of the gesso-like material on the paper. It was virtually IMPOSSIBLE to cut through. I mean, on the side of one doorway, on a 6′ drop, I spent a full 30 minutes, pressing with all my strength, and went through a good couple of razor blades, just to trim off the excess paper. Every other cut was equally difficult. Where the razor blades would not cut it, I used my $50 Japanese high technology scissors – which I am sure needs to be replaced after the workout it got last night.

The paper was also uncooperative when it came to wrapping it around two inside corners. It took a lot of work and heavy pressing on it with a special metal plate tool I have, just to get it to look nice and tight in the corners.

Other inside corners where the material was cut, there were small gaps between the thick layers of gesso. All of these were at the top of the walls, so were not very noticeable.

This room should have taken me about five hours to hang, if it had been a regular wallpaper. This couple was kind enough to let me work late to get the room finished. However, I was stunned when I finished, loaded up my van, and got in the driver’s seat – I had not realized how very late it was at night.

This product is by Schumacher. As usual, their quality control was poor. The homeowner had to send back the entire first batch, due to the gesso being smeared. There was one section in the new batch that was messed up, too.

The finished room does look great, though, and the thick texture adds a unique and warm look to this West University entryway. I plotted the pattern so that it would fall in the center of the archway that’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door.

Chocolate Brown Trellis in a Powder Room

October 21, 2015
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

This trellis pattern is very popular, and has been knocked-off by many different wallpaper manufacturers. I hung this in an under-the-stairs powder room in West University Place, in Houston, for a family expecting their first child very soon.

This version is by Ronald Redding, by York Wallcoverings. The white is a thickish raised ink, looking and feeling a little like gesso. The dark brown background is a thick and stiff non-woven material, which is a little tricky to work with. It’s main benefit is that when it’s time to redecorate, it is supposed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece.

This material is also a paste-the-wall product, although the manufacturer says you can paste the paper too, if you prefer. There are pros and cons to each method, and today I chose to paste the wall. The wallpaper and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Textured, Patterned Wallpaper

December 1, 2014

Digital Image

Digital ImageBoth of these wallpapers have a pattern, but they also have a texture. They give the effect of a gesso’ed wall.

These are both Ronald Redding designs. The swirl is #GB 9643

Koessel Studios – Unique Hand-Crafted Wallpapers

November 12, 2013

We had a meet up yesterday, of Houston-area wallpaper hangers, and a few from Dallas, Mineola, and even Chicago. Most everyone was a NGPP member (National Guild of Professional Paperhangers).

In addition to visiting and exchanging tips and stories (and eating!), we had a presentation and expo by Koessel Studios, manufacturers of fine hand-crafted wallpapers.

Almost all their papers are embossed with gesso, giving a three-dimensional effect. Many of them are further embellished with “jewels” – faux rhinestones, pearls, etc.

And, yes, they are pricy, running $200-$300 per single roll. Take a look at these gorgeous and unique designs: