Posts Tagged ‘hanging’

COVID Supply Chain and Wallpaper Hanging

January 18, 2022

This sign was posted on the door at eye level when I visited Sherwin-Williams today.

The COVID-induced shipping container jam-up, driver shortages, fires and freezes at chemical plants – all these contribute to the lack of supplies in stores.

Luckily for me, as a wallpaper installer, few of the items I use have been affected.

To be honest, I don’t mind paying a bit more for materials. I’m mostly concerned about being able to obtain what I need to get my clients’ paper up on their walls!

Mostly I use primer, paste, and smoothing compound, plus razor blades. Luckily, all of these remain available in my Houston area. Sherwin-Williams is doing a great job of keeping me supplied!

Just in case, though, I’ve got a (small) stockpile in my garage. Just enough to get through a month or so, if needed. I don’t want to hoard and prevent someone else from taking care of his own clients.

Sweet Homeowner Sends Me Home With Sweets

November 20, 2021

I was two weeks hanging wallpaper on this 5-room job in League City – 648 miles on my van! The last day as I finished and was packing up to leave, my client said, “Wait one minute!”

Then she handed me this box of cupcakes from a boutique bakery called Rise, in Friendswood.

Man, I love my job.

And my clients!

Surprise Helper – Just In Time For Halloween

October 12, 2021

It’s pretty common for me to run into spiders in rooms where I’m hanging wallpaper. But they’re usually very small. Today’s guest was pretty darned large!

I carefully removed him and transplanted him outdoors.

Manipulating Kill Point to Prevent Pattern Mis-Match in Corner

May 16, 2021
“Almost” perfect kill point – but there’s a 1 1/4″ gap. Plus difference in height of gold lines.
Removed section, cutting along the design
Stripes cut from remnants will be used to fill the gap
You have to look hard to notice that one stripe is a tad wider than the others

When hanging wallpaper around a room, when your final strip meets up with your first strip, you will invariably end up with a pattern mis-match. That’s why you place this “kill point” in an inconspicuous place, as here, where it will be mostly hidden behind the door.

In the top photo, though, the pattern matches perfectly in the corner. I didn’t want this couple to have a ceiling-to-floor mis-matched corner, so I matched the pattern there.

This still left me with an unmatched kill point to deal with. So I pulled some tricks out of my hat to disguise it.

I moved it from the corner to over the door.

In the top photo, you see that this room almost did end in a perfect kill point, because the short piece over the door almost meets perfectly with the strip on the right. But there is a 1 1/4″ gap, plus the pattern has crept a tad up and down the wall, so the gold lines on the left are a little higher than the gold lines lines on the right.

It looks simple, but the solution is actually pretty complicated, and it took me about 45 minutes to figure out, engineer, practice, and then execute. Complicated to explain here, but the basics are:

I took remnant paper and cut some extra “stripes” that I could use to “expand” the width of the stripes on the wall. This looks like a simple fix. But those extra stripes are all slightly different dimensions and angles, and don’t simply fit in next the the stripe on the wall.

In addition, if I had just fit in an extra stripe, it would have resulted in one gold line being way closer to the next, and the eye would have objected to that “double vision.”

My goal was to “widen” one stripe, which would be less noticeable to the eye than a double stripe.

Second photo – I cut along the design, leaving the gold line in place.

I retained the piece I removed from the right side, because I needed that to butt up against the strip on the wall to the right. This kept the pattern intact, and it also corrected the issue of the difference in height.

I chose remnant stripes that fit the best and added them next to both the left strip and the right strip, overlapping the excess. This left me with two gold stripes that were too close to each other (not shown).

I did some splicing (what we call a “double cut”) to cut out one of the superfluous gold lines. (Note that it’s crucial that you pad the wall under your double cut to prevent scoring into the wall – if the wall is cut and un-intact, the surface can come apart later (“delaminate”) and result in a “popped” seam.) I removed excess paper above and under the splice, wiped off residual paste, and smoothed everything into place.

There is one short area where I had to cut a 1″ piece of gold stripe and paste it on top to disguise a narrow gap.

The result is a white stripe that is a tad wider than its neighbors, but barely noticeable from down on the floor. And way less noticeable than an 8′ long mis-matched corner.

Dramatic Update for College Age Girl’s Room

December 24, 2020

The furniture, bedding, artwork, wall paint, in this bedroom of a college-aged girl are all pretty neutral. The mother wanted bolden things up with a dramatic accent wall behind the headboard. This would be a surprise when the gal came home from school for the holiday.

One wallpaper choice was the Phillip Jeffries “Wish” wallpaper. Well, anything with that designer’s name is going to be really expensive. Plus the cost of smoothing the wall and hanging the paper.

Dorota Hartwig of DMH Designs (dmhdesigns44@gmail.com) found this – very similar pattern, but much more affordable price. It is by Wallquest, one of my favorite brands, and is called Dandellions.

In one photo, you see the paper rolled out so I can see the full-size pattern and determine how I want it placed on the wall, behind where the headboard will go.

In the last photo, you see a scrap of dark chalk which I used to color the white edges of the wallpaper, to prevent them from peeking through at the seams.

The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

Chandeliers and Shadows

December 16, 2020

The shadowy smudges you might notice on this wall are not defects in the wallpaper, nor errors due to installation.

They are shadows cast by the chandelier.

Not convinced? Look up to the ceiling, and you will see that the smudgy areas are continued.

Trust me – I’ve done many a gut-wrenching job worrying that either the paper or my work were defective.

But all I had to do was to reach up and spin the light fixture around, to see that the dark areas were merely shadows cast by the hanging light.

Whew!

Tricky Outside Corner

August 18, 2020


One of the rules of wallpaper hanging is that you don’t wrap long strips around outside corners – especially when another strip will be butted up against it.

Drywall corners are never 100% plumb, and most have some sort of bow.

The 3/8″ – 1/2″ bit of paper presents additional challenges. Besides the fact that is is 100% likely that it will not wrap around the corner perfectly straight, the tension involved in wrapping that little bit of paper around the corner means that it will want to not lie down flat, and will have a hard time lying down tight to the wall.

The 1/2″ of wallpaper did NOT wrap around the corner in a straight line. The middle section bowed to the left, and the top and bottom edges were drawn closer to the corner bead, and were narrower than the center section.

The answers to this would be to

~let the new strip of wallpaper gap at the top and bottom sections of the wall

~cut the paper vertically along the edge, and position the sliced-off 38″ piece on the new surface, and butt the subsequent strip next to it. This would keep the pattern intact, but present the same challenge of trying to butt the straight edge of the new strip up against a wavy edge of that 3/8″ wide strip. It would also leave a visible cut edge, as well as cut edges that might come loose as people walk past and brush against the wall

~cut the paper vertcally along the edge, and then throw away the 3/8″ wide strip, and place the subsequent strip next to it. You would still have a cut edge showing, but you would not have the wavy 3/8″ strip. However, since 3/8″ of the design would have been cut off and discarded, there would be a very noticeable pattern mis-match.

Quandry!

But the wallpaper came to the rescue! This paper (see previous post for brand info) was incredibly malleable and manipulable. I was able to match the pattern perfectly, and hang the new strip and push / pull it into position so it met the wavy edge of the previous strip without any visible gaps of overlaps.

Wrapping around the next corner to the left was the next hurdle, because now we had both a left and a right outside corner that were not straight, causing the left edge of the new strip to be really warped.

Not going to get into a long explanation here, but, again, because the paper itself was very malleable, and because the subsequent strip (not shown) around the left corner was only 3 1/2 wide and also very manipulable, and because the non-woven wallpapers don’t shrink when they dry, this series of walls and turns and Van Gogh wallpaper looked great, with no wrinkles, gapping or white lines at the seams.

Classic Look in Historic Home in the Woodland Heights

April 23, 2020


This large 2-story home was built way back in 1985 – a whole 12 years before the Woodland Heights (Houston) neighborhood in which it sits was platted and developed. It just underwent a major renovation, but retains most of its original details, such as floor plan, windows, moldings, flooring, pocket doors, and much more. There are several large, regal live oak trees on the property.

The homeowner chose this classic damask pattern with a weathered look for all four walls of the dining room. It perfectly suits the room.

It took me about two hours of measuring, plotting, engineering, hanging, removing, re-hanging, yada, to get the design to perfectly flank either side of the window. All that work was worth it, to have the design fall symmetrically. But the real show-stopper is the view of those oak trees through the window!

This wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, and is lovely to work with. The interior designer for the job is Stacie Cokinos of Cokinos Design. She is the go-to designer in the Heights for whole-house remodels and new builds.

I threw in a photo of my work table, just for fun.

Tune in tomorrow, to see the finished room!

First Strip = Plumb and Level

December 28, 2019


Here I am, using my laser level to make sure the center of this wallpaper design hits smack in the middle of the wall, and that the strip is hanging nice and plumb.

Repairing a Printing Defect

September 5, 2018

This custom-made “Meadow” wallpaper by Peter Fasano was very expensive, so I was disappointed to find a good number of printing defects in the material. I think it is digitally-printed, which is equally perplexing, because that process is much more precise than screen or block printing.

Either way, I encountered blurred ink, streaks, streaks of red running through the black & white print, and voids, like you see here in the top photo. This is one that I didn’t catch when I was hanging the paper (and you get to a point where you can only replace so many strips of paper, or you won’t have enough to do the whole room). The homeowner spotted it a few days later, so I went back to fix it.

Replacing the whole strip was too complicated (for many reasons) and would have used too much of their left over paper, and splicing in a patch would have damaged the wall surface, leaving it open to the possibility of curling edges. So I chose to do a patch. I could have simply cut a patch out of paper that matched the pattern of the flowers in the photo, but that would have placed a somewhat thick patch on top of the exisiting wallpaper. This would have been pretty unnoticeable, but I knew it would look better if the patch were thinner.

So I soaked the scrap of patch paper in water, and then worked carefully to remove the paper backing. Most wallpaper is made of at least two layers – the printed, inked layer, and the paper backing. Once I wet the paper backing, I was able to carefully and slowly peel the paper backing away from the inked top layer. See third photo. This process is a lot more delicate than it sounds.

Then I cut this patch to match the design on the wall, so the patch (now called an appliqué) would be as small as possible. See fourth photo.

Then I pasted the appliqué and applied it over the flawed area. Smoothed into place and wiped free of excess paste, the patch is invisible. See last photo.