Posts Tagged ‘HGTV’

Updating a 1996 Kids ‘ Bathroom

February 1, 2022
I hung this cute wallpaper pattern back in 1996. It was perfect for a young family.
Well, the kids are grown and out of the house, and Mom wanted a more mature update for what will become the guest bathroom.
Companion patterns used in the sink room and tub room.
Much more sophisticated, yet airy and fun. The cabinets were painted dark blue to coordinate and accentuate the wallpaper.
The paper has a very slight raised texture.
Hmm. Somehow the Scott brothers got upside down. You will recognize them from HGTV.
The paper is by A Street Prints, and is a thin vinyl on a non-woven backing. It was a dream to work with. It will hold up well in even a humid room, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

Wallpaper Coming Off – Delaminating Wall

January 14, 2022

An Unfortunate Situation

This Brooklyn Toile wallpaper by Flavor Paper on an accent wall in a nursery went up beautifully. The contractor had added new Sheetrock to one wall, and painted the other, old/original wall. I skim-floated both walls and sanded smooth, primed, and hung the wallpaper. Perfect! (Search here to see my original post.) But within less than a month, the homeowner contacted me and said that the wallpaper was ” coming off the wall .” It was a 1920’s bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. And therein lies the brunt of the problem.
The wallpaper itself is not ” coming off the wall .” What’s happening is that the wall surface itself is coming apart – or, delaminating . This is because multiple layers of paint and other substances on the wall may not be compatible. A probably scenario: In 1920 oil-based paint was used. Later someone rolled on a coat of latex paint. Then the homeowners redecorated and used gloss paint. Then some ” flippers ” who had watched too much HGTV slapped on more paint without bothering to de-gloss or prime first. And somewhere in the mix you’ve got cheap paint and dust and other incompatible materials.
Over time, and especially when stress is put on the wall surface, such as when wet wallpaper paste dries and the paper shrinks, this stress can tug at the wall and actually pull these layers apart. There are other contributing factors, too, such as humidity, temperature, and location. I find it interesting that the worst parts of the affected seams were toward the top of the wall. This speaks of heat, humidity, and forced air (either hot or cold) coming out of the air vent just to the right of this wall. This photo is of the area over a door, very close to the air vent.
See how thick that is? It’s not just the wallpaper. There are several layers of wall coming apart. Some layers are clinging to the back of the wallpaper, and some are staying stuck to the wall.
Multiple layers, many years of coatings on this wall.
Easy to see the many layers. The paper itself, my blue primer, my layer of smoothing compound, paint, more paint coming off the wall. Then multiple layers of paint and texture still clinging to the wall. This shot is just below the ceiling.
Same thing happening at the baseboard at the floor.
Layers of paint separating from the wall in chunks. Some pulled off easily, and some I had to chop off with my 3″ putty knife.
Most of the paint and unstable surface material clung to the back of the wallpaper. This pile is just three strips – only half the wall. But it’s thick and stiff and heavy because of the paint stuck to the back of the wallpaper. There was so much and it was so heavy and bulky that I had to carry it out to my van in two trips. When I got home, it totally filled my trash bin.
Here’s the wall once all the other layers came off. Brushing my hand over it revealed a layer of dust. No wonder the paint and other coatings wouldn’t stick. Nothing sticks to dust. It’s like flouring a cake pan… The paint or wallpaper will kinda stick – but won’t really stick. Paint on top may be fine. But add a little stress from drying / shrinking wallpaper, and you may end up with layers that pull apart.
Wiping the walls with a damp sponge removed a lot more dust. But the wall still felt chalky. Whatever type of paint this was, it was not holding together.
I had to stabilize this chalky surface. Enter Gardz, a wonderful product – Gardz is a thin, penetrating sealer that soaks into porous surfaces and binds substances together. It dries hard and creates an intact surface. The darker area in the picture is where I’ve rolled on a test area. Gardz is thin like water, and it runs and drips and splatters. It’s imperative that you cover floors, countertops, and baseboards, and roll carefully, and roll upward rather than downward, to minimize runs and drips. A microfiber roller holds the liquid well, and reduces drips.
Gardz is made by Zinsser.
No photo of the finished wall, but I was very pleased with the stability of the surface. No more chalk or dust. Now, there still could be unstable or incompatible layers deeper inside the wall. (Latex paint over oil without proper prep.) But for now I feel pretty confident that this wall is solid and will hold up to the next process in preparation for getting the new wallpaper up.

Fun and Loose Geometric in Bellaire Powder Room

July 15, 2020

Same house as the last three posts. The homeowners have done a super job of coordinating the decorating in the downstairs living area, as well as keeping the husband happy (he likes the all-white look), by choosing soft patterns made with thin lines and light colors, all on white backgrounds.

This powder room got a dose of geometric, but without the rigid lines and harsh bold strokes of many geometrics. This softer version is much easier to live with, and the hand-drawn look is plenty fun.

The wallpaper is by A Street Prints, and they’ve cleverly gotten the Scott brothers of HGTV fame to sponsor a line, “Scott Living.”

The paper is a non-woven material, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate. The seams are virtually invisible.

This wallpaper pattern 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 She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Mapping Out a New Look

July 21, 2019

Here is a small vestibule (the second vestibule I’ve done this week! 🙂 ), that leads from the living room past the powder room and into the kitchen / great room, in a newish “tall skinny” home in the Houston Heights.

It’s the perfect place to add a little personal flavor. This map pattern in muted colors is perfect for this space, because, in the adjoining living room, the homeowner has some framed maps that mirror the style and color of this wallpaper. The wallpaper pulls everything together.

This wallpaper is a non-woven material, and can be hung by the paste-the-wall method, or the paste-the-paper method. With the intricate door moldings requiring complicated cuts in miniscual spaces, it made more sense to paste the paper. It is by Mulberry Home (I gotta say – I think they’re knocking off the Magnolia Home brand made famous by Joanna Gaines on HGTV). It’s a British company.

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works primarily in the Heights, Garden Oaks, and Oak Forest neighborhoods. Her style is fresh and open, with attention to the homeowner’s personal taste, and a dash of fun tossed in.

Flames, Tails, or Swirls?

May 17, 2016

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Top Photo: Which do you prefer? … The powder room’s original blue and white mini-print, or the grey and silver swirly geometric with feeling of upward movement? The original small pattern was good in its day, but the new homeowner had updated this under-the-stairs powder room in a Galleria-area townhome with a new marble countertop, and brushed nickel light fixture, faucet, and towel ring. The blue country-ish small print no longer cut it.

After studying magazines, HGTV, and HOUZZ, the homeowner thought she wanted a geometric pattern. She was also concerned about getting the right shade of grey to coordinate with the marble counter top. And she wanted something that was youthful, yet would not soon go out of style. The wallpaper seller (read below), and I both encouraged her to explore other patterns.

This homeowner took her time, did research, got samples, sought input – and settled on this softer, more fluid take on a geometric design. The shade of grey is on the cool side, and goes perfectly with the marble. She chose a complimentary mid-tone grey paint for the vanity cabinet (not shown).

The painters had prepped right over the old wallpaper, and it was intact and tight to the wall. So, in this case, rather than strip the old paper, which would have raised many ugly heads, I left it on the wall and skim-floated over it (the white areas show this), and then sealed everything with Gardz, a penetrating sealer. That’s what you are seeing in the first photo.

I love the way the metallic areas (really vinyl / Mylar) reflect in the top of the toilet. 🙂

This wallpaper pattern is by York, and I hung the exact same thing a few months ago, also in a powder room. It 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.

I was happy to consult with this homeowner several times before the wallpaper went up. She took her time and defined her likes and the parameters of the room. Result? She loved the finished powder room, with its soft, upward-moving swirly pattern.

What’s cool is, she said, “I realized that I don’t even really like geometrics.” She had been swept along with what is popular right now in the media. I’m glad she settled on this softer-yet-energizing pattern, which suits her taste and the room perfectly.

Why Have a Spookily Dark Cave, When You Can Have Electrifying Candice Olson?!

July 10, 2015

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Painted with a dark brown semi-gloss paint, this powder room was broody and close. The look had served the homeowners well. But when it came time to update, they craved something with more life. The perfect choice is this geometric pattern in gold metallic / Mylar on black by Candice Olson – yes, that star of HGTV and magazines and more.

Accessories make the room. The interior designer had the ceiling painted a dark bronzy gold, which perfectly complimented the gold in the wallpaper. And he did a fabulous job when he found this light fixture with angles that mimic the wallpaper.

This wallpaper pattern is called Velocity, #DE8817, by York Wallcoverings. It was very nice to work with, remaining supple and workable with a long open time, and with seams that closed up nicely. (The tiny bumps you see will disappear as the wallpaper dries.) I hung it in a home in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The interior designer is Neal LeBouef of L Design Group, in Houston, Texas. I loved working with Neal. He is a delightful, upbeat person, his design sense is spot-on, he is a turn-key guy (meaning, he can handle every aspect, from choosing a paint color to having a sofa reupholstered to having a leaky faucet fixed, all while the home owner is at work and then comes home to find that “everything is done!”).

Flaw of the Day – Bashed Edges

September 5, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageSo I spent all yesterday and half of today smoothing textured walls in a master bathroom in the Heights. Primed the walls, then lugged in my table, 40-pound bucket of paste, tools, etc., then opened the rolls of paper to find this – banged edges. Come on, Brewster, just put a little bubble wrap in the bottom of the box before throwing it on the truck and into the hands of hasty and clumsy delivery guys.

This paper is thick and spongy, one of the new “non-woven” backings manufacturers are rushing to use these days. With a thinner paper product, minor bangs will often dry flat. But with this N-W material, the dents are here to stay. The paper also creases easily during handling.

Because it’s a shimmery finish on a relatively plain pattern, these imperfections will really show. I didn’t want to put it up, and the client agreed.

I feel confident that reordering the same thing will result in more banged edges and unusable paper, so I recommended that she choose something entirely different, preferably not one of those danged non-woven papers.

This wallpaper was from HGTV’s line, available at Sherwin Williams stores. The actual paper was by designer Kenneth James and manufactured by Brewster. Pattern # F66547.

“There Are No Paperhangers in Katy”

July 23, 2013

A client called me today and said she lives in Katy and was having a Devil of a time finding someone to hang wallpaper for her.

She said she couldn’t find a local paperhanger, and then she had contacted a number of painters, and even interior designers, and everyone told her that they either didn’t install wallpaper, or were taking it down – not putting it up.

Well, all those painters and decorators must be behind the times, because wallpaper is very much in style – it’s all over HGTV and in all the “shelter” magazines.

Hey, Katy residents! I am here, I hang wallpaper, and I work in Katy! If you’re looking to pump up the decorating volume in your home with a little pattern and color, please call or e-mail me!

Large Medallion Pattern in a Powder Room

July 16, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageWhen I first consulted with the homeowner, she feared this pattern would be too large for her powder room, or too dark. I encouraged her to go for it, and, boy, it sure looks great! The scale is perfect, and, despite the dark color, she made the comment that the wallpaper actually makes the room look larger than it did when it was just painted.

She also said that wallpaper adds warmth and personality in a way that paint simply cannot.

In a room like this, usually I would center the pattern over the sink. But because the large mirror would take up most of the space above the pedestal sink, the homeowner asked me to center the pattern on the longest wall, rather than over the sink.  Oddly enough, by the time I worked myself around a few walls, the pattern centered itself behind the toilet!

The paper is milk chocolate brown with silver and ocher-lime green medallions and swirls. This pattern is #DL30440 by Decorline, and was in the HGTV book by Sherwin-Williams.

Even Guys on HGTV Don’t Like Working in Hi-Rises

January 29, 2013

Yesterday I blogged about a wallpaper project Candice Olson was doing for an HGTV show. The job was in a large city, in a mid- or high-rise building, with no elevator.

I’m sure that many contractors scramble and fight to win the opportunity to be on HGTV.* Well, I just had to laugh as the show went along. One of the contractors was NOT happy about working in the walk-up mid-rise building – and for the very same reasons that I will hardly ever work in that type of setting.

Parking faaaar away. Lugging heavy and awkward tools and supplies up many, many flights of stairs. Restricted working hours limiting how much work you can accomplish in a day. Rules about noise and odors. Persnickety door men and building supervisors.

I’ve learned to pass those types of jobs on to buddies of mine who don’t mind the hassles. Unfortunately for the contractors on today’s HGTV program, he had probably signed a contract and was stuck with all the difficulties that came with working in that building. I hope it worked out for him, in the end, that lots of people saw his company name and hired him to do thier remodel jobs. Hopefully in GROUND LEVEL homes!

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