Posts Tagged ‘light fixture’

Vinyl Faux Grasscloth in Guest Bathroom

February 3, 2023
Before. Walls primed and ready for wallpaper .
Vanity area done. This blue , brown , and metallic gold material has the warm look and texture of real grasscloth, but is much more water- and stain-resistant and consistent in color . It also has a pattern that can be matched , so the seams are much less visible than with real grass . Note that some of the lines you’re seeing in the photo are cast by the light fixture .
Going around these arched windows took a while!
Toilet wall without lights off.
With lights on, you see the true colors more accurately. Note the light fixture casting vertical stripes on the wall .
Like many thick, textured vinyl products, the edges curl back just a teeny bit, due to how the material is trimmed at the factory. Believe it or not, run your finger over this seam and you’ll feel that it’s perfectly flat. In fact, this look is typical with real grasscloth, because the edges tend to fray up a bit. From two feet away, you don’t notice any of this.
This material mimics the look and texture of real grasscloth .
Another wall, along the shower . One nice thing about grasscloth is that, since you don’t need to match pattern motifs, you don’t have to paper walls in sequence or order. We were a little tight on material on this job, so I hung my full length walls first, then went back and hung the shorter walls. This helped me plan usage – how many strips needed and how many strips I could get out of each roll / bolt of paper .
Made by York , one of my favorite manufacturers.

What Are Those Wrinkles in the Wallpaper?!

January 24, 2023

Un-Plumb, Un-Level

January 24, 2023
Shot of the finished breakfast room , for pattern reference.
Close-up view. The vertical lines are not wrinkles , but shadows cast by the macrame light fixture in this breakfast room .
The problem is, when walls aren’t plumb , and ceiling and floor and chair rail are not level , the pattern motifs won’t march across the wall at the same height on every strip . I’ve learned that, in most cases, it’s more important to match the pattern in the corner , and then allow the pattern to go off-track at ceiling or floor if necessary.
In this photo, note that the humming bird is sitting completely above the chair rail.
Here he’s dropped down to where his tail is swallowed up by the chair rail .
By the time we get to the left corner , half of the bird has dropped down and disappeared .
Here’s another bird motif doing the same disappearing act .
Feet and belly gone.
This house in the Eastwood neighborhood of Houston is nearly 85 years, so you can expect some settling and shifting on its foundation . But even brand new homes can have walls that are out of whack .
This beautiful pattern is by Cole & Son and is called Hummingbirds – it’s very popular and has been around more than 100 years … that’s older than the house!

Pretty , Airy Humming Birds on Breakfast Nook Walls

January 22, 2023
Before. Note that those vertical lines on the wall are cast by the macrame light fixture. You also see bench seating with storage underneath . There will be a wall-mounted table in the center . The wainscoting / chair rail is high enough to keep any food splashes or sticky fingers from staining the wallpaper .
Finished .

This House is NOT Ready for Wallpaper

December 20, 2022


Two weeks before a job is to start, I send my clients a “check list” so they know how to prepare for Install Day.  It includes things like check to be sure it’s the right wallpaper pattern, how I can get into the house if the homeowner is away, how much space I need for my set-up, etc.

It also says quite clearly that all construction work has to be completed, and there needs to be electricity, light, nearby running water, and no workmen coming in while I’m working, and no workmen coming in later who might mess up the paper.

This ensures that I will have optimum working conditions (I need lights so I can see what I’m doing. I need water so I can keep your paper clean.)  And you don’t want Bubba coming to hook up a light fixture and put his sweaty hands all over the new wallpaper in the process.  Or a painter coming to touch up, who decides to “protect” the new wallpaper by putting blue tape on it.  Of course, when he removes the tape, the surface ink or  the wallpaper itself will come along with it.

Yet you would not believe how many people – innocently or desperately – tell me they are “ready” when they really are not.  Here is an example of a house that is not ready for wallpaper.  It is very likely that the paper will be damaged by tradesmen who come to “finish up.”

Baseboard is not in place.  When positioning the baseboard, it’s likely the carpenter will bang into the wallpaper.  When painting, you can bet the painter will get paint onto the new wallpaper.  Or, as mentioned above, he will use tape that, when he goes to remove it, will pull the inked surface and / or the paper itself off the wall.

Door molding is not in place.  Same issues as above.

No electrical outlet in the room.  What if I need to use a fan or heat gun?  And wallpaper will sit tighter to the wall if I can put the plate cover in place immediately.

The electrician is not finished.  This switch sticking out of the wall is just plain dangerous.  In addition, when he time comes to finish whatever it is he’s working on, he will probably put his greasy hands on the wallpaper, or lean his scratchy tool belt against the paper.

My checklist says I need clean, running water in the immediate area.  It specifically says NOT a hose in the yard.  Yet look where I had to get my water.  (I was working on the THIRD floor.)  This house had no faucets, no drains, and not even a working toilet.

Modern Electrical Technology Makes Hanging Paper Easier

November 10, 2022
Bad photo, but I’m to put wallpaper in this room, including the tall and deep fir-down at the top right, which has two recessed light fixtures in it. You want the paper to go behind the light fixtures, not cut around them, if at all possible. In the photo, at the far middle left, you can see one fixture dangling by it’s wires below the fir-down.
Some of these recessed fixtures are tricky to take down (many won’t come down at all), but these ones turned out to be held in place by tension springs, which fit into sideways hooks, which you can see at the left inside the hole.
Here’s a closer look. These are the same type springs that hold the vent covers to exhaust fans in place. As you push them upward, they spread apart and hold the fixture securely in place. Easy-peasy! You can also squeeze the springs together and remove them from the mounting housing, which lets the fixture dangle from its electrical wires.
That’s what I’ve done here. Now it’s much easier to work the wallpaper around the fixture. But it could be made even easier – by removing the light fixture all together.
Most light fixtures have black and white wires coming from inside the wall that connect to black and white wires on the electrical fixture and are connected and held in place by a twist-on screw cap or wire nut. What’s very cool about this particular fixture’s electrical connections is that it’s made by this orange plug, which fits into the orange receptacle – no wires to twist or cap, and no need to cut off the power. It’s all simple and perfectly safe.
Here I’ve disconnected the two orange parts.
With the light fixture completely out of the way, it’s much easier to install the wallpaper, and no paste gets slopped onto the fixture.
Here’s the wallpaper installed and trimmed around the inside of the opening.
Oh, and don’t mind the slight pattern mis-match on the left … there were issues with un-plumb and un-level walls coming into play.
And here I’ve reconnected the orange plug parts, and placed the spring back inside those hooks, then pushed the light fixture up and back into place. Look at how nicely the flange (outer ring) of the fixture covers the cut edge of the hole and the wallpaper.

Wrong Electrical Boxes for These Sconces

August 13, 2022
This is the mounting bracket for a sconce / light fixture . The fixture itself is exactly the same size as the bracket.
So it’s unfortunate that the electrician used an electrical box that is too large . As you can see, the blue box shows on both the left and right sides of the light fixture.
(I will also add that I think this light fixture is narrower than most – I suspect it was made overseas where boxes and codes are different from here.)
In addition, the blue box juts out from the wall and will create a bump under the wallpaper , plus prevent the paper from adhering tightly to the wall . The jaggedly cut drywall will leave impressions under the paper, too.
Here the plastic electrical box is recessed better into the wall. But there are still gaps on the left and right sides of the bracket.
To get the wallpaper around the brackets without gaps showing , I removed the brackets, and then brought the wallpaper in to cover the electrical junction boxes by about 1.” (no photo)
If the electrician needs more space for his wires , he can always trim the wallpaper back a little.
In the instance of the box in the top photo, there will still be wallpaper that can’t sit tight to the drywall , but once the sconce is replaced you really won’t notice.
I also had the option of leaving the mounting brackets in place and then placing the wallpaper over the metal plates. But first of all, I think this is against building Codes. And second, if the sconces are changed out later, or if someone needs to access the electrical connections, removing the mounting plates would most surely tear the wallpaper in the process.
So, best to have the wallpaper behind the plates, rather than pasted on top of them.

Leopards Prowl Inspired Powder Room

August 5, 2022
Vanity wall was originally textured and painted with a semi-gloss . Here it’s been skim-floated , sanded , and primed – ready for wallpaper.
Finished. There’s a cool light-up mirror that will hang on the brackets under the light fixture .
Opposite corner before.
Finished. This room wouldn’t have half the impact without the black moldings and ceiling. The homeowner said she envisioned a jewel box – all tufted and lined with velvet . Well, I’d say she nailed the look!
As the dark and mysterious wallpaper moved from left to right, the room began to take on a mood . I love the juxtaposition between a clad wall and a bare wall.
Close-up.
Detail.
The husband is handy, and I really appreciate that he removed the vanity and sink . This made it a lot faster and easier for me, and ensured better adhesion of the wallpaper around the plumbing pipes . And also eliminated stress and creases on the paper that can happen when bending and folding to work it around obstacles.
Here is the modern looking vanity that will go into the powder room .
To keep white primer from showing at the seams , I striped black paint on the wall under where each seam would fall. Do a Search here to read previous posts about this technique.
I use matt finish craft paint from the hobby store , a scrap of sponge , and a bottle cap full of water . Do a Search here to read previous posts about the process and materials .
I also run chalk along the edges of the wallpaper, to cover up the white substrate , to ensure there will be no white peeking out at the seams . Again, do a Search on key words to learn more about this technique .
Dang it! I forgot to take a picture of the label! But this wallpaper is by York and is called On The Prowl .
It’s vinyl on a non-woven backing . The instructions said you could paste the wall for installation . But I pasted the paper, and I think with this product it’s better, because it did seem to want to expand a bit. If you paste the wall and then the paper stretches, you’ll end up with buckles at the seams or bubbles within the strips .
The material was fairly flexible , which was nice because it allowed me to “mush” the paper to conform to some pretty un-plumb walls.
Although York is one of my favorite brands , I wasn’t real crazy about this particular wallpaper. Still, it seamed up nicely, didn’t shrink, has a vinyl surface that will resist splashes and fingerprints , and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate .
This is a townhome in the Rice Military area of central Houston .

More William Morris Strawberry Thief in Houston Heights Hall Bathroom

June 24, 2022
Because I feared unstable walls in this 1920’s bungalow in this neighborhood (do a Search for previous posts), before hanging the decorative wallpaper, first I hung a non-woven liner paper on all the walls. That’s the white material you see in the photo.
The liner was hung horizontally so its seams can’t line up with the decorative paper. The idea is to disperse tension from drying wallpaper and changes due to humidity and etc., so as to deflect tension away from sketchy wall surfaces, and thus prevent delamination of multiple unstable layers deep inside the wall. Again, do a Search here to learn more.
Finished vanity area, with pattern centered on the light fixture.
Corner shot.
This colorful and symmetrical pattern is quite popular; I’ve hung it a number of times just this year.
Englishman William Morris designed wallpaper and fabrics during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The styles then were Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts. This design reflects a bit of each.
Wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, and then can shrink just a tad as it dries. The liner helps prevent that, but you can still end up with teeny gaps at some seams.
To prevent the white backing from showing through, I run a stripe of dark paint under where each seam will fall.
I use matt finish craft paint from the hobby store, diluted with a little water (in the orange bottle cap) and smeared on the wall with a scrap of sponge. Use a ruler or level and a pencil to mark where you want to stripe the dark paint.
Remember to allow for that expansion as the paper absorbs moisture from the paste. Meaning, if the paper is 20.5″ wide, and expands 1/2″, you’ll want to run your line at about 21.” And make sure that your painted swath is about an inch wide.
I also run a bit of dark chalk along the edges of each strip, to prevent the white substrate from showing at the seams (no photo).
Morris & Co. makes this iconic Strawberry Thief.
Interestingly enough, most times when I’ve hung a Morris paper, it’s been a non-woven paste-the-wall material.
Today’s option was a surprise – a traditional British pulp . This is a pretty basic and somewhat old-fashioned type of substrate . Sort of like construction paper, or the pages of an old family Bible .
The paper is very fragile , and can tear easily. You have to keep using new razor / trimming blades, because the material dulls blades quickly, and when dull they will drag and tear the paper.
Pulp papers also require a soaking / booking time after pasting , to allow time for the material to absorb the paste , soften a bit, and expand . The edges of the strips like to dry out , so I’ve learned to dip about 1/4″ of the booked ends ( booked means the pasted side of the wallpaper strip is folded onto itself, bottom edge folded up and top edge folded down to meet in the middle), into a bucket of clean water.
Then it goes into a black plastic trash bag to soak and relax for a few minutes before hanging. I use this opportunity to paste the next strip.
Non-woven wallpapers have advantages, because they do not expand when wet, and therefor you can get accurate measurements. They also can be pasted and hung immediately, with no waiting time. Alternately, you can paste the wall .

Sweet Floral in Baby’s Nursery

May 6, 2022
Two accent walls and a bump-out ‘column’ are primed and ready for wallpaper.
Finished!
This is a little more sophisticated than many babies’ rooms. But that’s good, because this wallpaper pattern will be suitable through many stages of the little girl’s growth.
The woven rattan light fixture is the perfect complimentary accessory!
The pattern is by Lake August and is called Nasturtium . That printing you see is the selvedge edge and has to be trimmed off by hand. The material was superior quality wallpaper and was really nice to work with.