Posts Tagged ‘matt finish’

Farrow & Ball – Disappointing Quality

October 10, 2019


First three photos – Burnish marks from smoothing paint-coated paper to wall. Read below.

Last two photos – Fat seams caused by poor trimming and thick paper and paint. You man need to enlarge the photo to see clearly. Read below.

I’m disappointed in the quality of the Farrow & Ball paper I hung recently. (See my post from September 1st.) For a high-end brand, their quality-control is definitely lacking.

The seams are thick and dark, and many areas had to be repasted because they didn’t hold to the wall. As one of my highly-skilled, decades-long installer buddies put it: “This is a common problem caused by …… incompetence of factory trimming and poor choice of substrate. This substrate is thick and the trimming from F&B often gives us a “rounded” edge, for want of a better word.” Another installer described the seam edges as “scalloped.” You can never get a good, tight seam with thick paper and paint, and improper factory trimming.

Another disappointment was a sheen on the paper. F&B is proud of their paint, and, instead of using ink (like other successful manufacturers do), they coat their wallpaper with their paint. To get wallpaper stuck to the wall, to eliminate bubbles, and to set seams, you need to use tools, notably a smoothing brush (“sweep”) and/or a plastic smoothing tool.

No matter how gently I swiped with the brush, the paint burnished (left a sheen). Using the plastic smoother to try to coax the cantankerous seams to stay down left worse sheen along the length of each seam. I tried covering the smoother with soft T-shirt cloth, but that didn’t help. This sheen is caused by sensitivity of the paints. I hung three different F&B patterns, and had the same problem with each.
I worked as cleanly as possible, because trying to wipe even a small speck of paste off the surface left another shiny spot. The sheen was more noticeable when the paper was viewed from the side, with light hitting it at an angle.

If other manufacturers use inks that are designed to bond to paper, and that will withstand the light brushing and occasional wiping during the installation process, why does Farrow & Ball persist in using paint on their wallpaper??! Matt-finish paint is designed to be looked at, not rubbed or wiped or washed. And why use a thick, poor-performing substrate, when so many other companies have found wonderful papers to print on??

One solution for the sheen might be to coat the paper with a matt-finish varnish or other product that will even hide the shininess. As for the fat, noticeable seams, there is no solution. For now, we’re leaving everything as it is, because the client doesn’t see what I see, and she is delighted with her new wallpaper.

Cole & Son Woods / Stars for a Baby Boy’s Nursery

December 15, 2017


See that top photo? This newborn baby was doomed to a boring, blaagh, unstimulating nursery. But Mom wanted more for her first-born son. Pastels and teddy bears wouldn’t do it. Mom found this innovative design in an un-baby-like color – and, boy, does it look great!

In the top photo, I am in the process of applying smoothing compound to a textured wall. Once dry, it will be sanded smooth and then primed, making it ready for wallpaper.

I hung this in a new home in the Bridgelands area of Cypress / Katy (Houston). The manufacturer is Cole & Son, a British company. It is a thick, fairly stiff non-woven material. It is intended to be installed with the paste-the-wall method, and it works nicely for single accent-wall projects like this.

But that thickness and stiffness means that it would be less suitable if it had to turn corners or meld into cuts around intricate moldings. That means it would be difficult to get to look great in rooms that have a lot of angles, edges to wrap, or detailed cuts. (bathrooms, kitchens, rooms with decorative moldings, etc.)

I don’t have a finished-room shot of this baby’s room, but, as you can see, the crib accent wall looks fantastic.

I like this matt-finish charcoal blue color much better than the more common black-on-white designs I have seen. And the gold stars really amp up the appeal.