Posts Tagged ‘meyerland’

Low End Wallpaper – Not So Bad This Time

October 12, 2018


I’ve said it before – these budget-friendly, pre-pasted, manila paper-baked solid vinyl wallpaper products are generally not good quality, and the Norwall brand is about at the bottom of the list. In fact, I often will decline to hang it. Do a Search here on those terms, or click the Page to the right “Stay Away From … ” for more info.

However, this homeowner, a Meyerland neighborhood (Houston) victim of the Hurricane Harvey flooding, and a client for whom I had worked back in the ’90’s, really loved the pattern, as well as the price-point. And she wanted her entry to look as it had before the flood ravaged her home.

I was pleasantly surprised. The paper went up OK, and the seams looked fine. It’s possible that the company has improved its product. But it’s more likely that my new installation method helped.

Instead of following the manufacturer’s instructions to run the paper through a water tray, which makes the material too wet and promotes bubbling, and instead of pasting the back of the paper, which turns it into a gummy mess, I tried something new. I used a spray bottle to lightly spritz fresh water onto the back; this activated the paste, but was not so much water that it would cause bubbling or seam curling or over-expansion of the material. I booked the paper and put it in a black trash bag to sit a few minutes.

Next I rolled paste onto the wall. I started out using a very faint coat, but found that a tad more worked better. I used a brush to cut the paste into the edges and around the floor and ceiling.

When I took the very slightly dampened paper to the wall and smoothed it against the lightly pasted surface, it adhered very nicely. It was pretty easy to smooth into position, although there was some twisting of some strips, which could have been a problem in a room that required more strips next to one another.

Usually these inexpensive vinyl papers grow bubbles, because, as they dry, there is nowhere for the moisture to go (because it can’t pass through the vinyl surface), so blisters form. But today was very little bubbling.

Best of all, the seams looked good. I didn’t get any of the raised edges that are so unattractive, and that allow moisture / humidity to penetrate and cause the backing to swell and pull away from the wall.

I am not saying that I was happy with this paper. But it was a lot better than I expected. And I hope that it will continue to look good for years to come.

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Cracks in Drywall Due to Ground/Foundation Shifting

October 12, 2018


Here are pictures of cracks and wrinkles in the drywall, and also in the wallpaper over the drywall. These are caused by the foundation of the home shifting, which is pretty common in Houston, and particularly in this Meyerland neighborhood.

Rain, and the lack of rain, as well as other factors, cause the ground to swell or shrink, and that causes the home’s foundation to move – and that causes cracks like these to appear. As weather conditions (and the conditions within the ground) change, the cracks can close up again.

I used a Stanley knife to cut out the bulged areas, and then placed mesh drywall tape over the cracks, followed by joint compound, which I sanded smooth and primed, before hanging the wallpaper. The mesh tape is supposed to flex a little, and will hopefully absorb some of the strain the next time the house shifts, so, with a little luck, the cracks will not reappear.

A Really Nice Textured Faux Grasscloth

September 27, 2018


I’m not a fan of grasscloth (read the page to the right), but there are wonderful alternatives – this product is about my favorite. The layers of string on the surface provide the texture that is so popular today, while the printed pattern mimics real grasscloth. Because the design is printed, it can be matched from strip to strip, so you don’t see the abrupt breaks between panels as you do with real grasscloth. It also has a bit of a protective coating, so it is more durable than the real stuff, too.

My only complaint is that this darker colorway tends to have some shading / paneling issues. In the fourth photo, you can see that the strip on the left is darker than the strip on the right. This happened on every strip, every bolt of paper, and some were worse than others; I had to discard two strips because of this. Interestingly enough, I have hung the lighter tan version of this material and did not have the shading issues.

I hung this in the hall bathroom of a home in the Meyerland area of Houston, that had been damaged by the flood from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The house is a veritable temple to Mid-Century Modern, and the homeowner wanted the wallpaper to be era-appropriate to the style of the home.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line, and is in the Grass Effects book. It 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.

Pineapples in a Powder Room, Revisited

July 15, 2018

If this room looks familiar – it should… This week I’m working in a home in the Meyerland area of Houston where I hung paper after the home was repaired following flooding during the Tax Day Flood in April 2015. This home was flooded again during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. The homeowners wanted everything exactly the way it had been before the flood.

This paper went in the powder room. The pineapple is the universal symbol for hospitality, which is fitting for this household, because the homeowners are friendly, down-to-earth, and welcoming.

This pattern melds nicely with the faux grasscloth that went in the entry (see previous post), both in color and appearance. The background of this paper looks like grasscloth, but it is not. It is a printed paper, with a very slightly raised ink texture. It is a wonderful alternative to the real stuff, and has none of the color variation or visible seam issues of real grasscloth – and it will hold up to the occasional water splash, too.

The chair rail will be painted and attached soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the workmen don’t mess up the new wallpaper in the process.

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallpapers, 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.

Wonder Faux Grasscloth Finishes off a Flood House Rebuild

July 15, 2018

If this room looks familiar – it should… This week I’m working in a home in the Meyerland area of Houston where I hung paper after the home was repaired following flooding during the Tax Day Flood in April 2015. This home was flooded again during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. The homeowners wanted everything exactly the way it had been before the flood.

This paper went on one wall in the entry.

I LOVE this product! I HATE real grasscloth (read my page to the right, and do a search here to learn more), so when people even breathe the word, I steer them to this instead. This is a printed paper product, so it has a pattern that that can be matched, so you will not have the abrupt visible seams that come with real grasscloth. The color is uniform, so no worries about the disagreeable shading and paneling (color variations) that are rife with the natural grasscloth products.

And the manufacturer has attached vertical strings, which add a natural element and a textured effect that people are craving these days. It’s reasonably priced, too.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line, 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.

Raising Homes to Lower Risk of Flooding

July 15, 2018


The Meyerland neighborhood in Houston has flooded severely three times in five years, with 2017’s Harvey being the worst. Here is what people who want to stay in their neighborhood and their home are doing, to be safe from future floods. These are ’50’s & ’60’s era ranch-style homes.

They will add skirting around the bottom. All new construction, which tend to be larger 2-story homes, must be built up high. It’s major expensive to lift a house, so many of the ’60’s era homes have been patched up, but left on the ground. I’d say that at least 50% of the homes are still unoccupied, a year after the flood. Some have been raised, and some have been razed.

Contractors and Painters Should NOT Prep Walls for Wallpaper

July 14, 2018


This home in the Meyerland neighborhood of Houston was flooded during Hurricane Harvey, and has been redone, and is now ready for final touches, like decorating, i.e. – wallpaper!

The first three photos show how the contractor left the walls. It’s hard to conceive how anyone could think these walls are “ready for wallpaper.”

What you are looking at is where the contractor ripped off the top, inked layer of the original wallpaper. Most of them don’t realize that there is a backing layer of paper that is left on the wall, that should be removed, too. Simply soaking this with a wet sponge will reactivate the paste and allow the paper to be removed easily, and with no damage to the wall (esp. if there is a good primer underneath the paper). Read my page to the right “How to Strip Wallpaper” to see how this should be done.

Instead, this contractor left the paper backing on the wall. Some of this porous backing is exposed. Other areas have been covered with the paint that was used on the woodwork. This solvent-based paint “raises the grain” of the surface it’s applied to – see all the hairy fibers from the wallpaper backing that have gotten stuck in the paint and raised up? Some of them are more than 1/4″ high. They create a gritty feeling on the surface, like really coarse sandpaper.

The surface is uneven, and the bumps will show under the new paper. The unevenness also means that areas of the paper will not be able to contact the wall, so there will be gaps and air bubbles and poor adhesion. The backing of the original wallpaper has been exposed, and when new, wet, pasted wallpaper gets placed on top of that thirsty paper backing, it will absorb moisture, expand, and bubble.

I had three missions. 1.) Seal the surface 2.) Smooth the surface 3.) Prime with a wallpaper-appropriate primer.

I rolled on a coat of the penetrating sealer Gardz to seal the surface, so that my following treatments would not cause the paper backing to bubble. When that was dry, I skim-floated the wall with a coat of joint compound. In the areas where the hairs were 1/4″ high, the skim coat was pretty thick, and took a good while to dry. Once that was dry, I sanded it smooth, then vacuumed the dust of off the floor, used a damp sponge to wipe residual dust off the walls, and then followed up with another coat of Gardz. It will soak into the joint compound and dry hard, forming a stable surface for the new paper to adhere to.

The last photo shows the wall once I finished.

Sunny Starburst Entry

July 19, 2017

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The walls in this 60’s era Meyerland-era entry may have been white, but they did nothing to lighten the small room. The homeowner’s vision of a gold-on-white sunburst medallion motif brightened things immediately. The feel is crisp and playful.

The homeowners plan to change the light fixture in the room, and I am trying to convince them to go with a gold one that is spherical and spoke-like, and resembles the sunburst design.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, printed on a non-woven substrate, and was intended to be a paste-the-wall installation. However, the paper behaved better and the seams looked better when I pasted the back of the paper, instead of the wall.

was bought at below retail price from 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.

Step Back Into The ’70’s!

February 18, 2017
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This 1959 home is in the Meyerland / Westbury area of Houston, and is decidedly Mid Century Modern. The master bathroom had been nicely updated with granite countertops and sleek, honey-colored cabinets. But the dark grey walls studded with pimply home-handyman texture made the room dreary and uninviting. “I hate my bathrooms,” said the homeowner.

Well, we can change that. 🙂

What a fun pattern! This “mod” design screams Mid Century (can you say Nancy Sinatra and “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”?, and the color perfectly compliments the color of the cabinets. Once the paper went up, the whole room sprang to life – and it felt larger, too.

The homeowner totally loved the transformation!

This paper is by Graham & Brown, and has a durable vinyl surface on a thin non-woven substrate. The material is thin and pliable, clings closely to the wall, and was lovely to work with.

The walls themselves, though, were another matter. The extremely heavy texture had to be smoothed, which took two days. And hanging this rhythmic geometric pattern was greatly complicated by the un-plumb walls, un-level ceiling, un-straight outside corner … you get the picture.

Difficult to explain, but after a lot of fretting and experimenting and twisting paper and rehanging a couple of strips, I realized that I could not fight the irregularities of the room’s construction. So I opted for the theory of “keep the pattern motifs intact, even if they go off-kilter at the ceiling or outside corners.”

Fast forward to the finished room … It looks great. Most of the “imperfect” areas I was fretting over are not even noticeable. The homeowner loves it.

Hey – she loves it so much that she said she wants to spend the rest of the night in her new bathroom!

Ogee Petals Wallpaper Pattern in a Powder Room

February 7, 2017
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“Ogee” means double continuous “S” pattern. This wallpaper pattern sure has them! It is also reminiscent of flower petals, and so has been called “Petals” in some of its incarnations. I hung the glass bead version a few months ago. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/swoopy-trellis-of-glass-beads-brightens-a-powder-room/ This no-bead paper was not as difficult, but it still was a tedious install.

My before shot disappeared, and so did my prep shot, so please just enjoy the pics of the finished project. Note the careful centering of the pattern on both the sink faucet. This was very time consuming, because I had to start with the strip to the left of the one over the sink, and carefully plot the width of the pattern and the rate of expansion of the wet paper; I won’t go into explaining it here, but I think it was well worth the 45 minutes it took to accomplish. The pattern is also centered nicely over the toilet.

The strip to the right of the mirror also took about 45 minutes, thanks to un-plumb walls, bowed walls, stiff unyielding paper, and more, in order to get the pattern to match at points both above and below the mirror, all the while keeping the right edge plumb, and straight enough for the next trip to be able to butt up against.

In the close-up shot, you see a slight pattern mis-match at the seams. The manufacturer had a mis-print issue, which was more noticeable in some rolls than others. I followed paperhanger protocol, and matched the pattern where it would be seen at eye-level, and I let points above and below fall out of match as they happened. Once the job was finished, I took some brown craft paint and a VERY tiny paint brush, and colored some of the mis-matched areas, to make them less noticeable to the human eye. It looked great.

I also ran a bead of clear caulk around the top of the backsplash, to prevent splashed water from being wicked up under the paper (which could cause curling).

This wallpaper pattern is by A-Street Prints, which is made by Brewster. I hung it in the powder room of a new home in the Meyerland neighborhood of Houston. It is a non-woven material, and it is meant that you paste the wall, rather than pasting the wallpaper.