Posts Tagged ‘match the pattern’

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!

Picasso Slept Here – Crazy Pattern in a Complicated Powder Room

November 11, 2022
This is a fairly large powder room with a sloped ceiling, as it is situated under the stairs. You can see a bit of the ceiling at the top of the photo. The room also had this odd recessed niche with “columns” on either side, and a door leading to a closet.
In addition, there were tons of the rounded / bull-nosed edges that have been common in new homes in the last 10 years or so. These are tricky to wrap wallpaper around, and equally difficult to trim wallpaper to the edge.
Here is the niche area done, with wallpaper wrapped around the columns, and cut neatly along the horizontal bull nosed edge above the entry.
Wrapping the wallpaper around this edge and onto the ceiling of the niche would have made the area way too busy and claustrophobic. Because these edges are never perfectly straight and level, it’s also quite likely that the wallpaper will go crooked, and you’ll end up with gaps or overlaps at the seams.
A better option is to paint that ceiling area. I suggested the murky green color that’s in the leaves on the wallpaper pattern.
Here’s the east wall of the room. The vanity and sink are at the bottom right.
Here it is finished. In this case, the fir-down underside was only about a foot deep, so less chance of the wallpaper going crooked, so I did wrap it around the rounded edge and underneath. Still, one of the wallpaper strips did twist askew, and there was a small gap at one seam. With this pattern, no biggie – I just cut out a leaf and pasted it over the gap.
I told you the room had crazy angles!
Note that in papering angled areas like this, you can match the pattern in some places, but there will be mis-matches in others, such as where the sloped ceiling meets the fir-down. This wild pattern is perfect for disguising any mis-matches!
Rolling the paper out on the floor, to get an idea of the pattern’s layout .
Closer look at the lemons and leaves . And angles .
It looks like a Picasso painting, don’t you think? The homeowner wanted something wild and fun , to set off the white minimalism in the rest of the home .
The pattern is called Citrus and is by A Street Prints . It’s a nice non-woven material , doesn’t expand , and can be hung by the paste the wall method , although I opted to paste the paper , as I usually do.
Non-wovens are designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, with no / minimal damage to the wall when you redecorate . They’re usually a pleasure to install . They’re more stain resistant and more able to withstand humidity than many traditional wallpapers .
The home of this busy young family is in the West University area of Houston .

Unplumb Walls and Geometric Wallpaper Patterns

March 9, 2022
You usually don’t wrap a strip of wallpaper around an inside corner. You wrap 1/8″ around, slit the strip in two vertically, and then apply a new strip overlapping that 1/8″. The trick is getting the pattern of that new strip to match up with that on the original wall.
And it helps if the walls are straight and plumb.
Here I’ve done a great job of matching the pattern in the corner. This is the top 2/3 of the wall.
But, as you move down the wall, it becomes quite evident the wall isn’t plumb. In fact, this wall had an actual bow in it, so it wasn’t flat or straight, either. So it’s impossible to avoid a pattern mis-match like this.
The standard practice is to match the pattern at eye level. Then, as it moves up and down the wall, you’ve gotta accept any mis-matches that result.
In this case, we’re lucky that the new vanity will block most of this.
This is called Hick’s Hexagon and is by Cole & Son.

Railroading and Fudging the Pattern

March 4, 2022
Well, dang it! Not all my pictures turned out, so you will have to use your imagination to visualize as I try to explain.
This room had two long doorways that had only about 5″ above them where the wallpaper would go. In the photo above, look to the right and see this narrow space.
It would take about four strips of wallpaper to get across that width of space. With the pattern match being about 2′, that would eat up about 8′ of wallpaper, with most of it going in the trash. It also would take a lot of time to hang those four strips, and create seams which always present the potential to come away from the wall at some point.
This wild floral pattern allowed for some playing, so I decided to railroad the material (run it horizontally) over the doorways. This was quick and eliminated seams. Best of all, I could use some scrap wallpaper from the trash pile. In the photo I am using my straightedge and a razor blade to trim a strip that is just 3/4″ higher than the height of the wall space over the door. That extra 3/4″ will accommodate any irregularities in the height of the area, and will be trimmed off once the strip is in place.
Here the strip has been installed over the doorway to the left. I butted it against the crown molding and then trimmed off that extra 3/4″ with a trim guide and razor blade.
Because I cut this strip from a random scrap, and because I ran it horizontally, the flowers didn’t match the pattern on either wall – neither the wall on the left nor the wall on the right. No big deal. As I said, the pattern was forgiving and easy to disguise the mis-match. All I did was to cut around some of the flowers and leaves and then overlap them onto the paper on the wall. In the photo, in the top left corner, it’s the grey peony and the green leaves above and to the right of it, and also the green leaf under it. Trimming around the shape of the flowers looks so much better than making a straight cut.

Solution to Spacing Discrepancy

January 8, 2022
Re previous post ,,, this wallpaper came with an 1/8″ strip of pattern on the right side of the paper. That little diagonal nub of an arm was posed to complicate matching the pattern to the next strip. Too complicated to get into here. I determined that it would be easier and faster to match the pattern and hang the paper if that nub were not there. And losing 1/8″ of black background would not be noticeable.s
My solution was to take my fancy new straightedge and a razor blade and trim off that 1/8″. This gave me a new edge that ended right along the outer side of the gold line.
Trimming 12 rolls (six double roll bolts) is meticulous work and it took me about an hour and a half. But it saved me time in matching up the pattern, and eliminated minute mis-matches at the seams.

Waste from One Day’s Job

July 7, 2020


People often don’t realize that you can’t use every square foot of paper that the label claims to include. Much paper is lost to ‘waste.’

Today, I hung a 14-single roll breakfast room with three large windows.

This is a picture of all the wallpaper that was cut off and thrown into the trash, in order to match the pattern, turn corners, and etc.

The large roll on the floor, and the one behind it, are both rolled tightly and are larger than they appear in the photo. LOTS of paper that ends up being unusable.

Always consult the paperhanger for accurate measurements, before ordering your paper.

Hiding a Mis-Matched Pattern

May 3, 2020

Digital ImageDigital ImageHere is some detailed explanation from the girls’ bedroom I wrote about yesterday. The idea was to create a McKenzie Childs look. There is a loud blue & pink floral pattern at the top, and a leopard print at the bottom, which will be divided by a 4″ wide black & white checkered ribbon. I prepped the room and hung the bottom of the room the first day.

When I arrived at work the next day, expecting to paper the top 2/3 of the walls with the blue floral, I was told that the older girl really liked the leopard print, and she wanted to see more of it in the room. Gee, why can’t you tell me this while I was working with the leopard print?! Working retroactively the next day to add more of the print was a bit of a challenge – but I’m usually up for a challenge, and it was pretty fun figuring out how to get the most punch with the 27 running of paper (at 20.5″ wide) I had left from yesterday.

Running an extra strip around the room just above the existing leopard print was out, because 1.) there was no way to match the pattern, 2.) it would add too much height to the bottom part of the wall, throwing the balance and proportion off, 3.) there wasn’t enough paper left, anyway.

Another option was to paper the upper half of one of the walls. I nixed this, too, because 1.) that wall was pretty solid and the dark paper would look dark and overwhelming, 2.) a flat-screen TV was to hang on that wall, and that dark mass, plus the dark paper, again, would have been too overwhelming.

So I opted to wallpaper the window wall (sorry there’s no picture), which had three windows, with about a foot of wall space between them. This was the best option because 1.) the large windows would break up the “heaviness” of the dark paper, 2.) the windows looked out onto beautiful trees, combining with the jungle-y paper for a very nature-like look, 3.) putting the blue floral paper around the windows would have been pretty taxing, because of the way the strips and seams fell among the sections of window – the leopard print could be mis-matched in certain areas without being noticeable, which made papering around the windows MUCH simpler than the floral. Besides, there would be curtains and rods hiding much of the mis-match.

Here’s how I hid the pattern mis-match: I railroaded the wallpaper (ran it horizontally. with no seams) across the top of the windows, from wall to wall. This gave me enough length to wrap the undersides of the three window casings. Now all that was left was the four vertical sections of wall around the sides of the windows.

To eliminate seams, I wanted to run the strips vertically. This means there was no way to match the vertical strips with the horizontal strip above them. But a leopard print is pretty forgiving, especially from a distance.

To minimize the mis-match, I cut around various spots at the top of each strip. See the top photo at left. As you can see in the second photo, once the vertical strip is overlapped on top of the existing strip, you can hardly notice that it doesn’t match perfectly. Add a little distance, some white curtains, a curtain rod, and a whole lot of flashy furniture around the room, and no one is going to give these leopard spots a second look.

This little trick enabled me to paper that wall with the 27 running feet left on the roll from yesterday, plus I used two 6′ long scraps that were 10″ and 4″ wide, also left from yesterday. All that’s left is an 18″ long piece. Whew!

The girl was VERY happy with the completed wallpaper job, and with her leopard print impact wall.

You Can’t Make the Pattern Match if the Corners are Wonky!

September 8, 2019

Here I am holding my 2′ level against a wall, trying to determine if the walls are plumb and if the corners are square.

See the air bubble in the vial? It’s supposed to be smack in the middle of those two black lines. As you can see, it is nowhere near there!

That means that the walls and corners are way out of plumb – and the floor and ceiling were, too.

And that means that there is no way you can keep a wallpaper pattern straight along the ceiling or floor line, and no way you can match the pattern perfectly in the corners – and if you do, the pattern will track off-kilter along the ceiling and floor.

In this case, the homeowner is well aware of the movement in the walls and foundation of this house – there are lots of areas where cracks have formed and been repaired – over and over again.

She’s understanding, and is OK with a little imperfection in the pattern match, and even anticipates that the walls will eventually crack (and take the wallpaper along with them).

Wonky Walls = Mis-Matched Corners

April 29, 2018


When wallpaper turns an inside corner, you split the strip vertically and place the first half of the strip so that just a teeny tad wraps around the corner, and then you overlap the remaining strip into the corner, using a level to plumb this strip. This keeps all your subsequent strips nice and plumb, and running straight at the ceiling and floor lines (assuming that these lines are truly level).

But when walls and corners aren’t plumb, wallpaper patterns will get distorted. The rule of thumb is to match the pattern at eye level, and then let it fall as it will above and below that point.

This pattern is busy enough that the mis-match is not all that noticeable.

Give Me An Extra Bolt of Wallpaper, And I’ll Give You Perfect Corners

October 17, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

When hanging wallpaper, when you get to a corner, you’re supposed to cut the paper vertically in the corners.  You leave a little bit, like 1/8″ of the paper, wrapped around the corner.  Your next strip is overlapped onto this wee 1/8″ strip.

The bad thing is, by overlapping the two strips, you will have lost some of the pattern – like the 1/8″ mentioned above, running from floor to ceiling.  That is infuriating, but it’s also distracting to the eye, because you will be left with a rather obvious pattern mis-match.

However – I can often make the corners look much better.  If you buy a little extra wallpaper (at least 2 single rolls, which will come packaged as one double-roll bolt), there will be enough to cut the next piece from a whole new strip, and then that strip can be trimmed to match the pattern on the wall as closely to perfect as possible.  See photo.

Note: This does not mean that every corner is going to be absolutely “perfect.” Unplumb walls, bowed walls, paper expansion, to name a few factors, will all come in to play there. The goal is to get them as close to perfect as possible, and if not, then to at least look perfect.