Posts Tagged ‘mirror’

Removing Mirror Rips Drywall

September 19, 2017

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This powder room in the Medical Center area of Houston had a mirror glued to the wall.  The homeowners want a different mirror, so had the original one removed.  The mirror was attached to the wall with a tar-like substance called mastic.  The glass guys use suction cups to clamp onto the mirror, then they pull it away from the wall.  Some globs of mastic will be left on the wall, and this is a problem, because these tar-like substance will bleed through the new wallpaper.

So, to prevent any mastic / tar residue from bleeding through the wallpaper, the handyman took a Stanley knife / box cutter and cut out the top paper layer of drywall that had any mastic on it.

To smooth over the uneven edges, the handyman skim-floated the area with joint compound.  The moisture in the joint compound caused the exposed paper inside the drywall to swell.

So what you are seeing in the top photo is a wrinkled section of drywall caused by moisture.  This will show under wallpaper.

So I took a Stanley knife and cut out the handyman’s patch, to remove the wrinkled drywall paper layer.  I sealed it with a penetrating primer called Gardz, which soaks in, binds surfaces together, and dries hard.

Once that was dry, I skim-floated over it (and the entire area), to get a smooth finish.  Once my skim-float layer was dry, I sanded it smooth, and then primed again with Gardz.

The Gardz did its job, and did not allow moisture to penetrate into the exposed drywall, so no more wrinkles developed.  See the second photo.  Now the wall is nicely prepared and ready for wallpaper.

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Don’t Write in Ink on the Wallpaper – or the Wall!!

August 25, 2017

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The contactor added wall light sconces on either side of the sink, and he also hung the heavy mirror.  For some reason, he roughed in where these objects were to be placed by marking the walls with a Sharpie ink marker, or something similar.

Folks – NEVER write on the wall with ink.  Nor with crayon, ballpoint pen, or the like.  The substances will eventually work their way through the wallpaper (as well as paint, wall texture, or a myriad of other surfaces), and will end up looking like ghost shadows.

Pencil is OK, and so is a light snap from a chalk line.  These materials won’t bleed through the new top layer of wallpaper.

Bright Chinoiserie in a Heights Powder Room

August 3, 2017

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This homeowner loves wallpaper, but their newish house in the Houston Heights had none. Her first venture into the world of wallpaper was in the downstairs powder room – a room that you can get pretty dramatic with, because the door is closed most of the time and because you don’t spend a whole lot of time in there.

The color of the new wallpaper is bold, but the overall effect is not overwhelming, because the pattern is very traditional and because the scale and contrast are fairly subdued. In other words – you COULD spend a lot of time in this room, quite comfortably.

The pattern is called a Chinoiserie, a classic theme that includes Asian figures in various scenes from daily life.

It was a difficult room to hang, because of various fixed features that don’t show up on these photos (pedestal sink, over-and-under window, mirror attached to the wall, eight points of decorative molding to cut around)… let’s just say that the wall with the mirror and sink took two full hours.

The finished room turned out beautiful, and the client is happy beyond words. Where previously there was a bland beige room, now there is color, life, movement, and a happy feeling, plus some color contrast that showcases the beautiful wood trim.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, called “Fishing Village,” and has what I call a “satiny feel.” The seams are invisible, it is fairly washable, and it will stay flat and bright for years to come. It was a positive delight to work with. That pretty well makes up for the difficulty of working around the room’s many challenging features.

The paper 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.

Towel Bars & Light Fixtures … Homeowner Input

July 13, 2017

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Before I start a job, I ask the homeowner if she is going to use the same towel bars, toilet paper holder, mirror, light fixtures, etc., or if she plans to replace them. Then I know if I should save the mounting hardware and replace the fixtures, or if I should remove these things and fill in the holes in the wall.

This homeowner was away from the house when I arrived, so she left good instructions as to what she wanted done. She marked the fixtures she plans to reuse, and she also marked the mirror hangers that are not to be reused. She used Sticky Notes, which will not damage the wall, and which will not cause marks that will bleed through the new wallpaper (like ink or a Sharpie will). She also arranged to have the mirror removed, because it was too heavy for me to handle. (Isn’t it nice to have a husband and a teenaged son around the house? 🙂 )

Glass Bead Wallpaper in a Powder Room

May 21, 2017

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So, O.K., it’s a hard room to photograph. All I can show you is the papered wall behind the beautiful light fixture and the really cool mirror.

This wallpaper is embedded with tiny glass beads, which give it dimension, texture and sparkle. In the 2nd photo, you can see how the beads shimmer when the light hits them.

This wallpaper is by Antonia Vella, for York Wallcoverings. It is a non-woven material and is a paste-the-wall product. It is very thick and stiff, and difficult to manipulate, and very hard to cut through, especially the beads. Used lots of razor blades today.

I hung it in a powder room in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston. The interior designer is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope designs.

Mirror “Tar” Will Bleed Through Wallpaper – Prevention

May 17, 2017

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Originally, this powder room in a newish townhome in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston had a mirror that was glued to the wall. Removing it left globs of mastic (tar-like adhesive) stuck to the wall. See Photo 1.

Mastic is petroleum-based, and it, like other similar substances such as grease, oil, and crayon, as well as other compounds like blood, rust, water, tobacco tar, and others, will work their way from behind the wallpaper up through it and then onto the surface, causing an unsightly stain.

KILZ Original oil-based primer and stain blocker is a superb product for sealing these substances. However, I feel more confident if the suspect material is removed entirely.

The best way to do this is to take a Stanley knife (utility knife / box cutter) and cut around the stain and into the wall. Then you can use a stiff 3″ putty knife to peel up the top layer of drywall, taking the staining material with it.

This leaves a patch of Sheetrock without its protective top layer. See Photo 3. These layers of torn Sheetrock will absorb moisture from anything you put on top (paint, primer, joint compound, etc.), and will swell, creating ugly bubbles that will mar the finished job.

So I brushed on Gardz, a penetrating sealer / primer by Zinsser. This is cool stuff, because it soaks into the surface and then dries hard, binding everything together.

In Photo 4, I have skim-floated over the areas where I have cut out the mastic. To skim-float, I trowel on a smoothing material called joint compound. Once that is dry, I will go back and sand it smooth, creating a perfectly smooth surface ready to accept the new wallpaper.

Wallpaper Chinoiserie in a Powder Room – South Sea

April 27, 2017

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The powder room in this 20-year old home in the Houston Heights was originally painted a deep avocado green. It was beautiful but claustrophobic, and the new homeowners wanted an updated change. This two-toned Chinoiserie in grey and white is lighter and brighter, has an uplifting feel, trends modern yet is timeless (Chinoiseries never go out of style), and visually expands the room.

This was a difficult room to wallpaper. Due to its location under the stairs, it has a sloping ceiling. There is a window smack in the middle of the focal wall, there was a wall-mounted mirror and a wall-mounted cabinet, there were four points of intricate molding to cut around, there were obtuse wall angles (more tricky than right angles), the width of the wallpaper strips didn’t correlate to the dimensions of the walls, door, or window, and there were numerous areas where the paper had to go from floor to ceiling, instead of the traditional ceiling to floor – all to name a few challenges in this room.

The wallpaper rolls had shards of shavings left on its edges, which I scrubbed off with a toothbrush, and then used a sanding block to really clean the edges of each strip. Still, there were rough edges so that not all the seams fit together quite as nicely as usual.

Instead of being set in the ceiling, the exhaust fan was set in the wall. This directed it straight outside which is nice, but it left the ugly vent cover smack in the middle of the wall. To disguise this, I covered the appliance with wallpaper. This took about an hour, and presented challenges in itself. See other post (do a Search) for more info.

This wallpaper pattern is called “South Sea,” by Thibaut Designs, and 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.

Unusual Mounting Bracket for a Bathroom Mirror

November 24, 2016

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It’s best to take accessories off the wall before installing the wallpaper, so that the wallpaper can go behind them, and leave a smooth, uniform look. “Accessories” can mean anything from light switch plate covers to towel bars to light fixtures to artwork to, as in this case, mirrors.

This mirror (not shown) was supported by a bracket that held it a few inches away from the wall, and allowed it to swivel up and down. I had not seen one like this before, so it was interesting to me to figure out how it worked and how to get the mirror off the wall – and then back onto the wall, after the wallpaper was up.

This mirror was affixed with “female” mounting receptacles that fit over the “male” rods protruding from the bracket on the wall. Then there was a largish hex-shaped set screw that fit into the top and joined the rod and the receptacle together and held them tight – with the help of an allen wrench. Now the apparatus is ready to support a heavy, framed mirror.

Modernizing, But Staying True to Colonial Roots

November 10, 2016
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This 1958 ranch-style home overlooking the jogging trail along Braes Bayou in central Houston has a strong Colonial flavor, and that is reiterated by the collection of antique furniture and accessories. In the powder room, the previous sweet tan-on-cream toile wallpaper pattern fit in perfectly.

But, over years of raising kids and careless splashing of water onto the wallpaper, some of the seams were curling (see first photo and my previous post). And, come late 2016, the homeowner was ready to update the home and bring in a more modern feel. But she didn’t want to fight the bones of the house.

She shopped at my favorite store (see below) and found the perfect pattern! A trellis is a classic design, dating back hundreds of years. But this version edges toward a contemporary feel. And the color is perfect with the unique shade of the woodwork.

I engineered the room so that the trellis pattern would be centered on the sink / faucet, and so it would look nicely balanced around the mirror and light sconces (4th photo).

The homeowner was ecstatic. She kept saying that it looked even better than she hoped it would.

This is my third time to paper this powder room, over 15-20 years. I have seen their kids grow up! 🙂

This wallpaper is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line. I like this brand a lot. This paper was bought at a discounted 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.

Prettying-Up a Bland Bath

August 10, 2016
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The homeowner said she just couldn’t make herself love the powder room in her new townhome near the Galleria (Houston), with its bland, blah, boring walls. She had a vision, but her husband was having a hard time seeing it.

Well, once the wallpaper went up, Hubby got the vision, too – he said it looks fantatic. It’s clear that the wife’s idea for this room was a wonderful choice. No more boring walls, the hue brings life to a home that has little other color, the somewhat scratchy background works well with some distressed furniture in the adjoining rooms, and the ever so slightly Oriental theme echoes the theme of the artwork (elephant in silver frame, not shown).

In fact, I was trying to talk the homeowner out of replacing the small framed pictures, because I thought they would not work with the paper, and would be too small against the medallion design (and because I hate putting holes in my new wallpaper 🙂 ). But I put the picture hangers back in their original spots and rehung the artwork and – man, was it a perfect compliment!

You can see how the silver frame on the mirror compliments the wallpaper, as well as the chrome faucet and soap dispenser. Here is an example of a homeowner with a good eye for what she wanted, went out and found it, and ended up with a fantasticly lovely powder room.

The wallpaper is by Thibaut Designs. It was a paper product with a satiny feel to the ink, and was nice to work with.