Posts Tagged ‘ladders’

Smoothing Textured Walls = Sanding Dust

May 19, 2021

This master bedroom had textured walls that needed to be smoothed before the wallpaper could go up. (Texture looks bad under the new wallpaper, plus it interferes with good adhesion.)

I “skim-floated” the walls with drywall joint compound (what we call “mud”). This is akin to troweling on plaster.

Once that was dry, I sanded the walls smooth. In the first photo, you see the amount of dust that is created!

In the second photo are my “sanding sponges.” Some are coarse, some are fine, and one is angled, all with specific uses. These became available maybe 25 years ago, and are a huge improvement over the sandpaper-wrapped-around-a-block-of-wood that everyone used previously.

The putty knife is used to knock off big globs or high ridges, before hitting the wall with the sanding sponges.

Actually, I used to use a hand-held electric sander. That tool was fast, but it put a whole lot of dust into the air, and it traveled all over the room.

The sanding sponges are hand-operated and don’t throw dust up into the air. Also, manufacturers have made improvements to the joint compound formula which encourage the dust to sink to the floor rather than become air-borne.

You still end up with a lot of dust, though. And it does sift all over the room.

No problem. I simply bring in my Shop Vac (not pictured) and vacuum up all the dust. There’s still residual dust, so I use a damp rag to wipe dust off the floor, and a damp sponge to remove dust from the walls. (Important, because wallpaper will not adhere to a dusty wall).

Note that the photo shows an empty room. In rooms that have furniture, I cover it with painter’s plastic. And in most situations, which are usually one accent wall, I put up a sheet of plastic along the wall, draped from ceiling to floor, which contains dust to the 3′ along the wall, and prevents dust from getting to the rest of the room.

I also want to note that I am a big proponent of drop cloths. The reason you don’t see them in this scenario is because you can’t vacuum dust off a dropcloth, because the dropcloth gets sucked up into the vacuum nozzel. Much easier to vacuum dust up off a solid floor, and then wipe up any residue.

I also want to note that all my ladders wear “booties” / baby socks on the feet, to cushion the client’s floors and protect against scratches.

World Map Mural, Kids’ Play Room, Heights

March 11, 2021

This family loves to travel, so a world map that covers a full accent wall is the perfect backdrop to the kids’ play room.

The brand is Wallartica. It is a lightweight vinyl with a pebbled textured finish (see close up photo).

I hung it using the paste-the-wall method.

The panels are 40″ wide, so stepping across the two ladders helped me handle that wide width material.

Bringing India to Houston

July 4, 2020


One of the homeowners has familial ties to India, and he wanted their new home to reflect that feel. Presenting “Peacock Garden,” which perfectly conveys the feel of rural parts of that country, while complimenting the colors of their dining room.

This wallpaper is 54″ wide – which is about as wide as I am tall! Since I don’t have scaffolding, I used two ladders, set close together (not pictured), so I could walk back and forth between them to augment my wingspan.

The paper was untrimmed – had a selvedge edge that had to be roughly trimmed off by hand. Next, a perfect pattern match was achieved by overlapping the seams on the wall and double cutting – an industry term for splicing. The process requires special tools, and takes a good bit of additional time. Do a Search here to find related posts.

The material is a durable non-woven, which meant that I could install via the paste-the-wall method. Eliminating paste from the back of the paper made each 54″ x 10′ strip much lighter and easier to get to the wall.

The contemporary home is a new build in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.

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

8′ Tall Ladder for High Ceilings for Wallpaper

May 29, 2017

Digital Image


Most of the time, I can do my job using my 5′ or 6′ step ladders. But when the ceilings soar to 12′, I gotta pull in my 8’er.

Here I am set up and ready to start prepping the walls for wallpaper.