Posts Tagged ‘ladder’

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

No Door on Powder Room Makes for Easier Install

December 14, 2022

Hanging wallpaper in small power rooms can be trying. They’re small (about the same width as the door, about 36″). You’ve got a sink and a toilet in there. You’ve stuffed a ladder in, too. You’re carrying tools and rolls of wallpaper in and out. And to top if off – in most homes, the door opens inward. (There are actually reasons for this – Google it.)
But that door pushing into an already over-crowded tiny room makes it even more difficult to get paper up on the wall. I need to go in and out of the room frequently. And it becomes a juggling act of squeezing my body around the door, repositioning the ladder, holding on to the paper and tools,,, yada. Over and over again all day long.
What’s great about this picture? The homeowner has had the door to her powder room removed!
Here’s another home where the door actually opens outward. Sure makes it easy for me to get my equipment in and out of the room! And less chance of damage to the wallpaper, too.

Working Safely Over a Bathtub

November 30, 2022
This vintage tub is super cool , and period-appropriate to this 1926 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston . But if you need to get wallpaper on the walls around and above it, it’s really tricky . A ladder won’t fit in the tub , nor straddle it, and might damage it as well.
So I keep this handy piece of plywood in my van . It’s a standard 2’x4′ size, and 1/2″ thick. That’s thick enough to distribute and hold my weight, but still light enough that I can carry it into homes and up staircases .
It’s been sanded and then primed with white KILZ , to look a little nicer bringing into my clients’ homes, and also to reduce the chance of it leaving a mark on surfaces .
The board is a perfect size for placing over various types of bathtubs or other items – as long as their top is flat. Note that I have cushioning and non-slip material between the board and the tub.
In this case, I’m also using a one-step Rubbermaid step stool to boost my height.
This might look a little scary, but it’s all actually very safe . I just need to be sure that my weight is distributed over the tub, and not over that unsupported section on the right.
The stool does add a little more interest to the balancing act. But it’s all doable and safe if you just pay attention to your weight and movements. It did help that this family gave me plenty of peace and quiet while I was working .

Ladder Shelf

September 24, 2022
Some wallpaper installers like to carry their tools in a belt pouch . I prefer to have them laid out in front of me. So I’ve built shelf boxes for the tops of my ladders .
Simply made out of 1″ thick wooden shelf board , and edged with a boarder “fence” cut from wooden yardsticks.
I’ve covered the bottom with clear Contact Paper . Note the two bolts .
I have bolts going through the shelf and then through the top “step” of my ladder, secured by wing nuts beneath .
This prevents the shelf from sliding around, and also makes it removable if needed.

My Work Set-Up

June 25, 2022




Here’s my pasting / trimming table , set up in my client’s living room, which is just a few steps away from the hall bathroom where I’m hanging wallpaper. In that room, of course, I have my ladder, as well as my smaller hand tools used for actually getting the paper onto the wall.

Bright Colorful Wildness On Bedroom Accent Wall

May 29, 2022
Textured wall has been skim-floated, sanded smooth, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
Done!
Here’s how we got there …. First, this is a non-woven , paste-the-wall material. It’s nice paper, but very stiff and wants to remain curled up. So to get it to cooperate, after cutting my strips, I roll them backward, backing side facing out, and secure with an elastic hairband.
This helps get rid of the curl, and also ensures that when I’m on my ladder at the wall and unroll the strip, the face will not bump into the pasted wall.
After finding the mid point of the wall, and the center of the wallpaper pattern (beware – it’s usually not perfectly in the center or at the edge of the paper), I draw a plumb line (or use my laser level) and hang the first strip against it.
It’s important to start in the middle, first to get the pattern centered.
Next, because ceiling lines are never perfectly level, the pattern can start to go off-track as it moves across the wall. Meaning, the motif I placed at the tip of the wall may start drifting up or down.
By starting in the middle and working outward, any drifting is lessened because it’s split between the right and left sides of the wall.
Close up.
Called Amazon , this is by Clarke & Clarke, in their Animalia line. I hung some very colorful zebras from this same company just a few weeks ago – go Search and find the photos!
Matching pattern on the throw pillow, and a bolster pillow in the same colors against the white bedding really pulls the room together, and gives the colors more impact. The homeowner dabbles in interior design , and has really put together a Wow Factor guest bedroom !
The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston . installer

Little Giant – Cool Ladder

September 6, 2021

This accent wall in a Houston dining room is a little taller than I can safely reach with my 6′ ladder. Rather than run home and dig out my 8′ number, the homeowner set me up with their Little Giant.

I was glad for this experience, because I have heard my colleagues talk about these handy, adjustable ladders. It worked out pretty darned nicely!

It’s as high as my 8 footer, but the leg spread is much less, so it fits into tighter places and does not carry you so far away from the wall you want to work on. It also folds into different configurations, and can even be used on stairs.

One unexpected benefit is that you can straddle the top, which gives you a unique work position and access. It’s also amazingly stable … you can really toss your weight around, and over-reach (don’t tell OSHA!), and it won’t shift or jiggle.

The only disadvantage for lil’ ol’ me is that it’s fairly heavy. While I was able to move it around as needed in this small space, I doubt that I could carry the thing any distance, or set it up, by myself.

Another “Big Girl’s Room”

August 7, 2021
Before. Getting ready to apply wallpaper primer.
Finished accent wall.
This is a non-woven material, so can be hung via the paste-the-wall method. And no corners to turn. So no need to lug in my big table! Here I’m measuring the strips on the floor, and then rolled them inside-out and secured with elastic hairbands. This keeps the surface from bumping into the pasted wall during installation. The white 5 gallon bucket with the red lid is my paste, and on the ladder shelf is the paste roller and an angled brush for getting the paste into the corners and edges.
The pattern is called “Sakura”
Close-up shows the “raised ink” slight texture. This is unusual for non-woven papers, and I liked the effect.
A Street Prints, by Brewster, is a good, dependable brand, with a lot of pattern themes and choices.

This young family recently moved back to their house in the Houston Heights after several years overseas in Malaysia. The daughter is ready for a room of her own. An accent wall covered with “Sakura” by A Street Prints is reminiscent of cherry blossoms on trees in the Orient.

Preventing Mars on the Wall & Fixtures

April 22, 2020

Digital ImageDigital ImageA step ladder, which is what I normally use, does not touch the wall, so there is no worry of marks or dents. But in this room, with it’s high ceilings and awkwardly placed tub, it was necessary to use my extension ladder, which works by leaning against the wall.

In the first photo, you see how a towel is used to protect the wall and woodwork from the ladder. In the second shot, the tub has been well-padded, before placing the ladder inside (the only way to access the walls above it).

wallpaper hanger houston

Tall Walls and Awkward Spaces

March 28, 2020


This home office in a new, contemporary home in the Sunset Terrace / West University neighborhood of Houston has walls that were nearly 11′ high. In addition, there were bookcases and desks that I had to lean over in order to reach much of the wallspace.

My solution was to bring my 6′ ladder in addition to my usual 5′ ladder. By placing the shorter ladder on top of the desk counter, I was able get close enough and high enough to do the wall behind the desk.

I’m not quite 100lbs, so my weight and its distribution on the counter was not a worry.

To reach the area over the bookcases to the left, I had to do a combination of balancing on the 5′ ladder, and stepping onto the very top of the 6′ ladder, then leaning precariously, and placing a foot onto the shelves – without putting too much weight, because they were not securely attached.

You can be sure that I had to keep mindful of my center of gravity, how close the ladder was to the edge of that counter, how far I had to reach, how much backward torque that placed on the ladder, how stable the ladder was on its surface, and a whole lot more – all while also concentrating on getting the paper straight, trimmed, and smooth on the wall.