Posts Tagged ‘library’

Brunschwig & Fils’s Biblioteque in a Heights Library

July 14, 2019


Another installer hung the paper in the first photo. For some unknown reason, two half-walls were left unpapered. I was called in to finish those two areas.

Brunschwig & Fils is a French manufacturer, with a long history. Like many higher-end brands, this product came with a selvedge edge that I had to trim off by hand (see last photo), using a razor blade and a 6′ long straight edge (not shown).

And, like many higher-end brand papers that are printed with ink that smells like mothballs, once paste is applied to the back of the paper, the inked surface absorbs moisture from the paste differently from the back side. When the top inked layer expands at a different rate from the substrate, you get waffling, or quilting. Sorry, no photo, but you can do a Search here to see previous blogs on this topic. Essentially, it’s a wrinkly mess.

One way to deal with this is to even out the moisture differential by lightly sponging water onto the face (inked side) of the wallpaper. The front can then absorb moisture from the sponging at the same time that the substrate is absorbing moisture from the paste.

As I worked with the paper, I discovered that it wanted to dry out quickly. So it helped a lot to also use a sponge to get a little moisture onto the back side of the wallpaper strip, before pasting.

Other tricks to slow drying out are to 1.) Book the paper (fold pasted side to pasted side and then roll up loosely like a newspaper) and then dunk the ends into a bucket of clean water. 2.) Place the booked strip into a black trash bag, which will prevent evaporation during the time the paper books. 3.) When the wait time is up, gently unbook the paper and lightly spritz the back with clean water from a spray bottle. Alternately, you could sponge the surface once again. The idea is to introduce a little more moisture, to loosen up the paste and to make the paper more malleable.

I had been told that this paper was difficult to work with, and that the seams wanted to curl. I had the opposite experience – I thought it was lovely to work with. The seams laid nice and flat, and the paper was easy to manipulate, and it clung tightly to the wall. Applying moisture to the surface and back got rid of the waffling, and any that did remain (there were small puckers in the white horizontal “shelf board” areas) disappeared as the wallpaper dried.

This home is in the Houston Heights neighborhood, and the interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design.

Grasscloth Wallpaper on Un-Straight Outside Corner

November 16, 2017

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Outside corners are difficult, because they are virtually always off-plumb or un-straight. Thus, trying to wrap wallpaper around them can result in wrinkles within the strip, or an un-plumb or wavery edge, which is impossible for the next strip to butt up properly against.

Obtuse angles like this one are even more onerous for the framers. This outside corner ended up being quite irregular. I knew that it would be impossible to wrap stiff grasscloth around it without having gaps or wrinkles in the strip, and that the far edge of the new strip would be wavy and unsuited to butt another strip up against.

So I gave up the idea of trying to wrap the strip around the corner. I decided to end the first strip right at the edge of the obtuse angle. And then to start the next strip at the other side of this same angle / wall.

So I cut the width of my grasscloth strip an inch wider than the width of the wall. Then I hung the strip, then took a razor blade and trimmed off the excess the paper so the strip followed the contours of the outside of the obtuse angled corner.

For the next strip on the opposing side of the corner, I butted it up against a plumb line, which left an inch on the right side hanging over the obtuse angle corner. Then I used a new, sharp razor blade to trim off the excess, so that this strip, too, conformed to the undulations of the wall.

That’s what I’m doing in the first photo. It’s a lot more tricky than it looks, because you’ve got to cut so that the edges of the two strips butt together, without gaps or overlaps, or edges that got cut off too much, and without disturbing the lay of the grass fibers on the paper backing (meaning, without fraying the edges of the grasscloth or causing the fibers to run either up or down. (They should lie perfectly horizontal.)

The blue plastic tape is to keep paste off the surface of the other strip.

The finished corner is shown in the second photo. I think it turned out pretty nicely. And way better than having large wrinkles, or an edge that is too crooked to butt up against another strip of wallpaper.

I am hanging grasscloth in the home office / den / library of a new home in the Richmond / Fulshear area on the southwest side of Houston. The wallpaper is by York.

Getting Very Femininidity In Here

March 9, 2017

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The homeowner calls this her “Lady’s Library.” It’s easy to see why – the room about the most frilly and feminine that I’ve ever done!

The bookshelves are backed with a light colored, finely-textured grasscloth in a lovely lavender shade. The walls are covered in a “swoopy” pattern, also in lavender, reminiscent of velvet curtains in theaters during the Victorian era.

The grasscloth is by Schumacher (#5004724), and the wallpaper is in the Ronald Redding line by Wallquest (#CB1209). The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs, based right here in Houston.