Posts Tagged ‘ink’

Whimsical Arabian Nights Dance in Powder Room

January 13, 2023
You’ve got to look at this close-up, to notice the antelope and flames / foliage .
You gotta make a decision … The light sconces (they are currently removed, but you can see the electrical boxes where they will be placed) were centered on the vanity top, but the faucet was off-center by about an inch. So I chose to center / balance the pattern on the sconces and countertop. The mirror will be hung between the two light fixtures, so we’ll end up with a pleasing, balanced look. The faucet isn’t exactly in the middle of the design motif, but no biggie – there’s going to be a mirror there, anyway.

t

Corner going around shower. Note the window looking into the shower.
Although the website specs said this is a pre-trimmed non-woven material , that was incorrect. Turns out it had an unprinted selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand . Here I’m using my straightedge and razor blade to remove this selvedge. This takes precision and a LOT of time .
The manufacturer usually provides trim guides to help you know where to cut. But it’s usually better to trim to the pattern – determine an element in the design motif that will meet up with the corresponding motif on the opposite side of the strip when the strips are hung on the wall, and use that as your guide . Be sure to trim off the trim guide marks, or they will show on the wall.
The pattern is called Arabian Nights and is by Relativity Textiles . I’ve never worked with this brand before. I was not pleased . In addition to the incorrect information about the pre-trimmed paper , the mfgr’s specs said this was printed on a non-woven substrate . It was not. It wasn’t even printed on standard wallpaper stock . Instead, it was a pulp material – This is a sort of old-fashioned wallpaper , and is very brittle and prone to tearing and dragging (your trimming knife or razor blade will get snagged and you’ll end up with a ” chewed ” jagged cut, instead of a crisp cut . It also tears easily. It also has no coating, so it’s not stain-resistant … Not good in a busy household with a 3-year old toddler , or anyone splashing water or soap or air freshener .
It was also difficult to hang . Applying wet paste to the backing causes the substrate to absorb moisture and expand at a different rate from the ink on the surface. So you end up with wrinkles , waffling , and quilting .
Sponging a light bit of water on the front before pasting helps even out the moisture differential and ease installation . I’ve never before encountered a pulp that had this type of ink on the surface. One clue for this bad stuff is when you open the package and it smells like moth balls . Once I figured out how to work with it, , it went OK – although tedious . The seams did look very nice.
BUT … all this effort would have been unnecessary and the finished room would be more durable if the mfgr had printed on a non-woven substrate (as their on-line specs stated) and had used standard inks instead of this weird , smelly , high-end stuff. In fact, the material would have cost the homeowners a whole lot less $ if it had been normal ink on a non-woven backing .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .
installer

Signing My Work for Posterity

January 6, 2023

Digital Image

Digital Image

When the next paperhanger comes along and strips off the wallpaper I hung today, he will find this.

It’s a note (in pencil, because ink will bleed through wallpaper) telling who hung the paper (me!), and on what day. Many of my friends leave it at that, but I like to also include info about the paper, and also what wall prep I did and what primer and paste I used.
To be honest, I usually forget to do this.  But it’s a cool concept, and would be helpful to the next installer .

From Dark and Dated to Light and Livable

December 17, 2022

Oh, my! – I hung lots of these chintz florals, ” satin ” look (the design of the dark green at the bottom of the wall), and dark colors back in the ’90’s . Sure enough – this home was built and wallpapered in 1994.
IIt’s still a good look, IMO, and the homeowner still likes it. But she’s just gotten tired of it. So – time for an update !
She also decided to eliminate the chair rail , so the new wallpaper will go ceiling to floor . Here you see some damage to the drywall where the chair rail molding was removed .
What a change! Now the room’s look is quiet and fresh .
The buffet , topped with a decorative mirror , will go on this wall . That’s why I centered the pattern in between the windows , so it will fall evenly on either side of the furnishings .
I also plotted so that a full “Moroccan lantern” (that’s what this style of trellis pattern is called), would balance out between the crown molding and the window molding. There were several of these 12.5″ high areas all around the room, so this placement of whole “lantern” motifs gave the room a pleasing look.
It also worked out that the lanterns were evenly placed and kept whole between the crown molding and the baseboard. See the second following photo to see what I’m talking about
As a note – just this one window wall took me about five hours to measure , calculate , and hang . Getting the pattern to go over, around, and under the two windows , and still line up and match correctly , took some time and futzing. The material was thick and stiff , and a bit tricky to fit into corners and trim around the decorative window molding .
In the foreground you see my work table area . The homeowner has let me put protective padding on her dining room table and then set my work table on that. This saves space and allows plenty of room for my ladder and other tools as I work around all four walls.
So that I could center the pattern on this wall , I had to start hanging my first strip in the middle of the wall. I was lucky this time, that the pattern was centered exactly on the edge of the wallpaper roll . Sometimes (as in the one I did yesterday – see previous post ) the center of the design motif is a to the right or left of the edge of the wallpaper . This, naturally, means you’ve got to do more measuring and plotting and double-checking , to be sure the center of the design falls down the center of the wall .
Back to the photo above … that dark block on the right side of my work table is my laser level. It’s shooting a perfectly plumb red line onto the wall. Here I’m lining up my first strip of paper butted against this red line .
Switch topics … Back in 1994, the original installer did a very nice job of hanging the wallpaper. But … he didn’t prime the new drywall first. That lack of primer / protective layer means that the wallpaper will actually bond to the drywall. I tried, but was unable to get the existing wallpaper off . Eventually, you need to factor in time , damage to the wall , paste residue left on the wall, and take a different tac if called for.
So I skim-floated over the seams , so they wouldn’t show under the new paper , and also floated over the damaged drywall where the chair rail had been removed . Sanded smooth , and then primed the patched areas as well as the original wallpaper, with Roman Ultra Prime Pro 977 . This stuff will adhere to the light acrylic (slick) surface of the original wallpaper, as well as protect it from moisture from my paste on the new wallpaper. ( Moisture could cause the underlying original wallpaper to expand , creating bubbles that will look bad, or loose areas that will pull away from the wall, creating a bubble or pocket.)
My primer is also lightly pigmented, so it helps block out the dark color and busy pattern of the original wallpaper . This particular new wallpaper is quite opaque , but not all of them are, so a pigmented primer is important , IMO .

Left corner of the buffet wall. Here you can see how the lantern motifs are placed between ceiling and floor.
The background has a lightly mottled effect, that mimics grasscloth a bit, and also adds more depth and warmth than just a plain solid color .
Been havin’ more than a fair share of defects lately, especially this week. This paper had on both front and back sides, incidences of these black flecks . They seemed to be maybe charcoal , so I wasn’t too worried about their black bleeding through to the surface , like ink or any oil-based substance will do.
Most of them were embedded in the material itself, so could not be wiped off , nor dug out with a razor blade . Some I had to cut around and discard the affected paper. Others were so small as to not be noticeable once the paper was up on the wall and all the furniture and artwork was back in the room.
There was also one 3′ section of wallpaper that had an odd streak or arc running across it. It wasn’t ink . It was more like some kind of compromise to the substrate . I noticed it was I was pasting the back of the paper . I turned it over and, sure enough, you could see it a little on the surface. (see photo in previous post) It’s the kind of thing that was subtle, but would catch your eye when looking at the wall from a distance . It was minor , but I discarded that strip . Good thing I have the homeowners purchase a little extra wallpaper .
The manufacturer is Designer Wallcoverings , which is a good quality brand (aside from the printing defects I described earlier ). It was a non-woven / paste the wall material , which is pretty user-friendly . It will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate . Stain-resistant , and ” breathable ” in humid conditions .
The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston . Dining room installer

Different Rolls = Different Pattern Match

November 17, 2022
It’s important that all your wallpaper rolls have the same run number , also called batch or dye lot . This means that they were printed at the same time with the same ink . Paper printed later with another batch of ink may be every so slightly different in color / shade . Looks bad on the wall.
The same thing can happen with trimming at the factory. Different runs can be trimmed differently from each other.
With this paper that I hung in a dining room last week (see previous post), the labels on all the rolls / bolts listed the same run number . But there was one bolt that was wrapped in not one, but two plastic wrappers. This raised an alarm in my head, because this indicates that it may have been a roll sent back to the factory, for whatever reason, and then repackaged. When this happens, you cannot be absolutely sure that the run number is actually that which is printed on the label. Somebody at the factory could have just grabbed a handy label and stuck it inside the wrapper.
I tried not to use this double-wrapped bolt of wallpaper. But on the last section of wall, I got to a point where I just needed to use it, for just two 6′ strips. I was pleased that the color of both the background and the motifs matched perfectly.
But not happy with this pattern mis-match.
It was easy to see that the factory trimmers had been placed about 1/8″ to one side, from where they had been placed when trimming the previous rolls.
It’s a busy pattern, and, from a distance, this undercut wasn’t all that noticeable.
But on the other side, there was repetition of the motif , and this will really catch your eye.
Happily, this only affected one seam, and since it was a very busy pattern, from just a few feet away you couldn’t notice it. Still, it bothered me.
So I pulled this strip on the left off the wall, laid it on my table, and used my straightedge and razor blade to trim off that repetitive leaf tip – about 1/8″ from the right edge of the strip.
The second strip, since it came off the same roll and had been trimmed the same, matched perfectly . This was also my last strip, so no more drama with mis-matched designs at the seams .
What the overall pattern looks like.
The pattern is by Rifle Paper , which has been finding its way into a lot of homes lately. This brand is usually a good quality non-woven material , and can be hung by pasting the paper or by paste the wall . It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, and with minimal damage to the wall , when you’re ready to redecorate . Very cute , cheerful patterns , and good price-point .
Note that the run number is printed on the label.
installer houston

Translucent Wallpaper

October 4, 2022
Beware that some papers are thinner and more see-through than others.
Look closely, and you can see the shadow of the wallpaper inked pattern underneath this top layer of wallpaper.
Nothing wrong with this. Just something to be cognizant of.
So just be sure to not write too heavily on the wall,* nor to make dark pencil marks on the back of the wallpaper.* Because they may telegraph through to the surface after the wallpaper is up.
*For instance, I write measurements, and also notes like strip sequence on the wall. And on the back of the paper, I always mark the top of each strip, and also the number / sequence each strip should be placed on the wall.
Also just a note – always write in pencil , or chalk. NEVER make marks on the paper or on the wall in ink or marker – these substances bleed through wallpaper, paint, and other materials, and will leave a nasty stain on the surface of the paper.

Whale of a Good Time in Little Boy’s Bedroom

September 30, 2022
Before shot of accent wall in little boy’s room in a nicely renovated 1920’s home in the Houston Heights .
Done. This is a good background wallpaper pattern , because the colors are muted and the design is overall and relatively calm.
Bunk beds will be coming soon.
The little tyke is in to all things nautical , so whales and a little whimsey are just the ticket.
Waves , whales , turtles , fish , turbulent seas … this looks like an artist’s ink or pencil drawing .
The design is ” Melville ” and it’s by Cole & Son , a British manufacturer known for good quality and affordable non-woven paste-the-wall wallpapers . Their designs run the gamut from traditional to fun to even a bit kooky .

Ink From Label Rubs Off Onto Wallpaper

September 11, 2022
The instruction sheet was rolled up inside this bolt of stringcloth wallcovering . As you can see, some of the ink came off and discolored the wallpaper . This is not uncommon. I had to throw away the first 10″ or so of paper (about 2 sq ft of paper).
Other things can damage the ends of rolls , too, like tape , impressions / dents created by labels or packaging , edges banged up during shipping , and more.
Another reminder to always purchase extra paper .

Heavily-Inked Papers Need Extra Moisture

August 13, 2022
Something smells like moth balls ! Some high-end hand screened wallpapers are printed with what we call stinky inks . These inks often fight with the substrate they’re printed on. The backing of the wallpaper will absorb moisture from the paste and expand , but the ink on the surface won’t, so you end up with what we call waffling or quilting . Wrinkles in the wallpaper in between the printed inked areas. Do a Search here to see photos and read more about this.
You can reduce or eliminate this by evening out the moisture between front and back. It’s as simple as taking a very lightly damp sponge and wiping the front printed surface of the wallpaper. Then paste the back as normal , book (fold pasted side to pasted side), roll up, place in black trash bag for a few minutes.
Now the wallpaper should be relaxed , and the wrinkles should be evened out . Now you’re ready to hang wallpaper !
This pattern is called Les Touches and is by Brunschwig & Fils , a higher-end designer type brand .

Geometric Grasscloth in Home Gathering Area

June 29, 2022
No, this large room with sink and counters isn’t a kitchen. The family loves to entertain both family and friends, so included this “bonus” room in their new home’s plans. It’s used for both entertaining and crafting.
The wall facing you was originally painted a semi-gloss navy blue. In the photo, I’ve applied my wallpaper primer.
It will adhere to the glossy paint, and provide a matt finish for the wallpaper paste to grab ahold of.
Taking measurements and plotting the layout.
This paper has a selvedge edge , which has to be trimmed off by hand with a straightedge and razor blade. The manufacturer has not provided trim guide marks , so I am using a ruler and my eye.
The new look is so dramatically different I couldn’t resist taking a photo mid-hang. As you can see, I’ve used dark paint to stripe under where the seams will fall, to prevent any of my primer from showing through at the seams.
You can see the ceiling line starting to track upward on the right portion. More on that below.
Finished. Perfectly centered.
This is the mounting hardware for the big screen TV . I asked them to remove the TV, but we left the mounts in place. In order to support the heavy TV, they are placed quite securely into the wall , and I feel it’s best not to jimmy around with that.
Rather than have the first strip straddle the TV mount, I plotted to have my first seam fall down the middle of the wall, placing a seam in the mid point of the mount. This meant I had to hang four strips instead of three, but it made it a whole lot easier to work around the TV mount, as well as to keep the left and right edges of the grasscloth straight and plumb.
Close up showing the texture of this grasscloth material. It’s atypical to have grass cloth printed with a pattern , and I rather like the way the ink looks somewhat scratchy against the rough background.
Because it’s Schumacher, you can expect printing defects . The slight pattern match doesn’t bother me, as there were many more places along each strip that matched up perfectly. Nor do I mind the different intensity of ink on the two strips. That’s all part of the look of grasscloth.
But I wasn’t pleased with the white ink out in the middle of nowhere, as seen about 1//3 down the center of the picture. This isn’t considered a defect , and from a distance it’s not really noticeable. But it bugged me.
So I used some water-based paint and a very small brush from the craft store and lightly touched up the spots.
I also softened the mis-matched edges a bit. There’s a fine line between covering the white spots and staining the material, so use a light hand. And never permanent ink or oil-based markers or pastels.
Likewise, the ceiling line was not level, so as I moved from the mid-point out to the right, the ceiling rose above the geometric motif’s top edge, and a white line began to be visible, but only to the right of the centerpoint.
So I used the black paint to cover up that extra bit of white. This increases the width of that horizontal navy blue line from 1/4″ to about 1/2″. But from down on the floor you can’t tell, and it looks a whole lot better than having white on the right side and none on the left.
The brand is Schumacher and the home is in the Garden Oaks / Oak Forest area of Houston.
The interior designer who came up with this bold and lively look is Clayton Brooks .

Two Runs – Not Good

May 17, 2022

The homeowner accidentally ordered half as much wallpaper as was needed, so more was ordered. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the same run number (also called batch number or dye lot ).

Wallpaper bolts printed at the same time will all have the same run number. Then the next time the manufacture prints this material, he’ll mix up a new batch of ink. This new ink will almost assuredly be a teeny slight difference in shade .

You can’t put wallpaper strips from different runs next to each other on the same wall; you will see this slight color difference and the wall will have a subtle yet unpleasing striped effect.

You can, however, use different runs on different walls, “breaking” the run in a corner. You won’t notice the color difference because light hits different walls differently and causes a natural color difference.

This trick works, but it does require extra wallpaper.

Moral of the story:

~Always confirm how much paper is needed with the installer before ordering.

~Always buy a more than you think you’ll need; one extra double roll / bolt at minimum.