Posts Tagged ‘mis-match’

“Priming” Wall With Paste to Keep Seams Down Tight

August 3, 2021
Hard to see, but the slightly darker, shiny section of wall to the left of the wallpaper is a bit of paste that I have rolled onto the wall along where a seam will lie.
The paste has pulled the edges of the paper nice and tight to the wall. Never mind the slight pattern mis-match … this is a hand screen print, and it’s pretty common for these to be slightly off in printing and/or trimming. The pattern matched better above the door, then drifted off as the paper neared the bottom of the strip. You can also see that some of the edges are somewhat jagged and saw-dusty, due to trimming at the factory.

Some manufacturers use inks that fight with their substrates. The substrate absorbs moisture from the paste and expands, but the inked layer does not, so you end up with the bottom layer stretching and forcing the top layer to curl back, resulting in edges that curl and don’t stay tight to the wall.

Any time you smell ink that calls to mind mothballs, you can expect to deal with this issue. It’s pretty common with screen printed wallpapers.

One trick is to lightly sponge the surface with water before pasting the back. Another, which I have discussed here previously, is to paste the paper, fold and book it, and then dip the rolled-up edges into 1/4″ of clean water. Then place the rolled up strip into a plastic trash bag for the booking period. This helps to keep the edges from drying out while the paper books.

On many papers, I’ve found that it also helps to roll a light coat of paste onto the wall, just under where the seams will fall. This works amazingly well to grab the edges and hold them tightly against the wall.

What’s Going On With The Pattern Match?!

July 25, 2021

Turning this corner and moving from right to left, the pattern matched perfectly at the top of the wall (not shown). But as we get to the lower foot and a half, the pattern match goes askew. Wassup?

What’s up is a combination of un-plumb walls and bowed walls. All of the corners in this powder room were off-plumb by at least 1/2″ falling from ceiling to floor.

First, know that you don’t wrap a full sheet of wallpaper around a corner. You wrap about 1/8″ around the corner, and then use a separate strip to start as you move out of the corner; in this case, moving right to left.

If corners are simply off-plumb, I can usually make the pattern match near-perfectly … although that will cause the pattern to track up or down along the ceiling line. It’s a trade-off, depending on which is more visually important; ceiling or corners / horizontals or verticals.

But in this case, the walls were not only off-plumb, but bowed as well. You can’t hang a straight strip of wallpaper against a bowed wall …. Something’s gonna either gap or overlap. Some patterns will let me futz around and pull some tricks, but this one was not forgiving.

My only option was to let a little bit of the pattern repeat itself at the bottom of this corner.

Luckily this is between the toilet and the wall, and not very noticeable. The busy pattern further disguises the minor mis-match.

Replacement Paper a Different Run ??

June 22, 2021
Ink smudge. One of many printing defects throughout all the rolls of wallpaper
Replacement paper came in the same run number as defective paper. Not good.
Despite the label, the replacement paper (on the right) must surely be a different run. Note the pattern mis-match, as well as color discrepancy between the two strips. The motifs on the left are lighter and yellower than those on the right.

When I originally set out to hang this Anderson Prints wallpaper in a northwest Houston powder room, there were too many printing defects to be acceptable. The homeowner had the store send it back, and we requested that the replacement paper be from a different run (printed at a different time and with a different batch of ink), to ensure that the new paper would be defect-free.

The replacement paper arrived with the label stating the same run number – Run 2. But I have to question that. I think they stuck the wrong labels on the new rolls.

For one thing, notice the pattern mis-match, between the original rolls (left) and the new paper (right). This indicates that the trimming rollers were set at different points in the design – and that can only happen when the presses are set up to print off a new batch / run of wallpaper. (I’m tossing in an educated guess on that one … Another scenario could be that the trimming wheels got wobbly and rolled out of “true.”)

Either way, these two bolts of paper were not printed and trimmed at the same time.

You will also notice a pretty obvious color difference between the original paper (left) and the replacement (right).

Again, it’s pretty certain that these rolls were not printed at the same time from the same batch of ink.

Disguising Kill Point Over the Door

June 13, 2021

As you hang wallpaper around a room, your last corner, where your last strip meets up with the first strip (the “kill point”), virtually always results in a pattern mis-match. That’s why we try to place this in an obscure corner, or where it will be hidden by a door.

In this room, I could have put the kill point in the corner. But that would have left us with a pattern mis-match a full 9′ long, from ceiling to floor. Yeah, when the door was open against that wall, it would have obscured it. But I thought I could give this family a better look.

I moved the kill point to over the door.

I forgot to take a picture of how the final strip of paper would fall, so can’t show how the pattern would have mis-matched. That last strip was placed moving from left to right, as it butted against the strip to the left, and then landed on top of the strip on the right.

The design on the final strip didn’t match up with the strip on the right, so we ended up with a mis-match. This pattern is wild enough, and the 20″ high section up over the door is not really very obvious to anyone standing in the small room. But I just knew that I could make it look better.

I cut along the right edge of that final strip, tracing along the outline of the design. Once that was overlapped onto the existing strip, you could not detect a pattern mis-match. I did take to my scissors again to cut out a few additional tiny appliqués that I pasted on, to obscure one or two abrupt mis-match lines.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the design squares along that last seam are a bit closer together than they should be. But – who’s going to notice that? This is far better than a 9′ long pattern mis-match running the full height of the corner.

Manipulating Kill Point to Prevent Pattern Mis-Match in Corner

May 16, 2021
“Almost” perfect kill point – but there’s a 1 1/4″ gap. Plus difference in height of gold lines.
Removed section, cutting along the design
Stripes cut from remnants will be used to fill the gap
You have to look hard to notice that one stripe is a tad wider than the others

When hanging wallpaper around a room, when your final strip meets up with your first strip, you will invariably end up with a pattern mis-match. That’s why you place this “kill point” in an inconspicuous place, as here, where it will be mostly hidden behind the door.

In the top photo, though, the pattern matches perfectly in the corner. I didn’t want this couple to have a ceiling-to-floor mis-matched corner, so I matched the pattern there.

This still left me with an unmatched kill point to deal with. So I pulled some tricks out of my hat to disguise it.

I moved it from the corner to over the door.

In the top photo, you see that this room almost did end in a perfect kill point, because the short piece over the door almost meets perfectly with the strip on the right. But there is a 1 1/4″ gap, plus the pattern has crept a tad up and down the wall, so the gold lines on the left are a little higher than the gold lines lines on the right.

It looks simple, but the solution is actually pretty complicated, and it took me about 45 minutes to figure out, engineer, practice, and then execute. Complicated to explain here, but the basics are:

I took remnant paper and cut some extra “stripes” that I could use to “expand” the width of the stripes on the wall. This looks like a simple fix. But those extra stripes are all slightly different dimensions and angles, and don’t simply fit in next the the stripe on the wall.

In addition, if I had just fit in an extra stripe, it would have resulted in one gold line being way closer to the next, and the eye would have objected to that “double vision.”

My goal was to “widen” one stripe, which would be less noticeable to the eye than a double stripe.

Second photo – I cut along the design, leaving the gold line in place.

I retained the piece I removed from the right side, because I needed that to butt up against the strip on the wall to the right. This kept the pattern intact, and it also corrected the issue of the difference in height.

I chose remnant stripes that fit the best and added them next to both the left strip and the right strip, overlapping the excess. This left me with two gold stripes that were too close to each other (not shown).

I did some splicing (what we call a “double cut”) to cut out one of the superfluous gold lines. (Note that it’s crucial that you pad the wall under your double cut to prevent scoring into the wall – if the wall is cut and un-intact, the surface can come apart later (“delaminate”) and result in a “popped” seam.) I removed excess paper above and under the splice, wiped off residual paste, and smoothed everything into place.

There is one short area where I had to cut a 1″ piece of gold stripe and paste it on top to disguise a narrow gap.

The result is a white stripe that is a tad wider than its neighbors, but barely noticeable from down on the floor. And way less noticeable than an 8′ long mis-matched corner.

Wild & Crazy & Fun Tiger Wallpaper

April 28, 2021
Before. The textured walls have been skim-floated and sanded smooth, and then primed.
Welcome to the Jungle!
Notice the watercolor-y look of this design. It reminds me of impromptu sketches by artists who work in “plein aire.”
“Frida” by Pepper Home

The homeowner was browsing Pepper Home’s website and was instantly smitten by this rather uncommon theme and design. It’s called “Frida.” It sure is fun!

This paper is sold by the yard, was custom-printed, and came in one continuous bolt (54 yards!). It had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand (see future posts). The inks are clay-coated, which imparts a rich matt finish, and the substrate is way better than what many other companies are printing on.

I positively loved working with it. The trim marks were spot-on, minimizing a pattern mis-match at the seams. Once pasted and booked, the material became very supple and flexible, and it could be “worked” much better than standard brands. Even better – the seams virtually melted away (became invisible).

I ran silicone caulk along where the wallpaper meets the top of the sink. This will prevent splashed water from pooling on the sink and then wicking itself up into the new wallpaper – which could cause the new wallpaper to curl and peel away from the the wall.

The home is in the Memorial area of Houston.

Bowed Wall – Corner Not Straight

March 10, 2021

We’re looking at a corner where two walls meet, over the vanity in a powder room.

Top photo – bottom of the picture … See how the wall bows away from my yardstick? And in the second photo, you can see gaps between the wall and my yardstick.

The walls are not just out of plumb – they are bowed.

The strip of wallpaper that I am about to hang will go on the wall to the right. This strip gets wrapped a tiny 1/16″ around the corner.

The next strip will go on the wall on the left. This strip will overlap that tiny 1/16″ wrapped area. This results in a tiny 1/16″ pattern mis-match in the corner.

I have a few tricks to minimize this pattern mis-match in corners.

BUT … if the wall is bowed or is not straight, as in the photos above, not all of my tricks will work, and it’s going to be impossible to get the pattern to match 100% perfectly from ceiling to floor.

Usually, no one notices this kind of minute detail but me. But still, it’s always good to have realistic expectations, and plan to accept a few pattern mis-matches around the room.

Printing Defects – Serena & Lily Wallpaper

March 6, 2021

Obviously, the factory’s printer or its trimming rollers got off-kilter, creating this pattern mis-match at the seams.

It might have been possible to use a straightedge and razor blade to trim off 1/16″ from one edge. But since the mis-match ran off at a diagonal and was inconsistent throughout the bolt, that would have been extremely difficult and time consuming.

We sent the paper back, and requested new paper from a different run. When the paper arrives, I will visit the clients’ home before the install date to check the paper to be sure the pattern matches correctly.

What a disappointment! The walls are all prepped, the homeowners have dismantled the powder room, and were anticipating a beautiful, fresh new look by the weekend. 😦

S&L is one of my favorite companies, so this is doesn’t make me happy. But it appears that the company is quick to rectify problems with minimal hassle. New paper, from a different run, is already on its way!

ADENDUM: The new paper – from a different run – did arrive. I checked it, and it also had the same printing defects, although not as severe. Very disappointing. Interestingly enough, I have another client using this same pattern but in a different color just yesterday (March 17th). Her paper had NONE of these defects. It’s hard to understand what the colorway has to do with printing problems… But I guess that is a factory issue. See my post of March 20, 2021 to see how this finally turned out.

Repairing Damage from Remodeling

March 5, 2021

I hung this paper in a little boy’s bedroom about two years ago. Now a new baby is coming, so Son #1 is moving from the nursery to his “Big Boy’s Room” next door. In the process of the shuffle, the parents had the connecting Hollywood bathroom updated, and this involved moving a door – which meant messing up the wallpaper.

As you can see in the top photo, instead of taking the time and effort to remove the wallpaper, the workmen put their patching compound right on top of it. I don’t like hanging paper on top of paper, for many reasons. There are adhesion issues. And also, for one thing, it’s not good to have seams fall on top of seams. For another, because the new paper is somewhat thick, you would have a visible ridge from top to bottom along the edge of the new strip.

So I took a razor knife and cut roughly around the workmens’ patch. Then I stripped off the paper around it, up to the edge of the adjoining strip. I did this on both sides of the corner.

This wallpaper is of a non-woven material, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate. I was pretty disappointed that that turned out to not be the case.

On the other hand, I was happy that it didn’t. Stripping paper that way puts a lot of stress on the wall surface, and you can end up with delamination (coming apart) of various layers under the paper (primer, skim-float, paint, drywall).

So I used a more labor-intensive, but lower-impact method. Click my page to the right for more info on the process. I first stripped off the top, inked layer of paper. That left the white backing still adhering to the wall. I used a sponge to apply plenty of water to this backing. The idea is to reactivate the paste that is holding it to the wall. Once that paste was wet enough, the backing pulled off the all cleanly and easily.

I was really pleased that my primer from the original install held up perfectly under all this soaking and tugging. I had worried that it might “rewet” and pull away from the wall, which had been my experience with it before. I had used Gardz, a penetrating product designed to seal torn drywall. It’s also good at sealing new skim-coated walls. And wallpaper sticks to it nicely, so all the better!

One photo shows you the stripped off area next to the edge of the remaining strip. You can see the thickness of this existing strip. The new wallpaper will butt up against this, and there will be no ridge because the thicknesses of both strips are the same.

Another photo shows my stripped-off area next to the contractor’s patched area. There is a difference in height between the newly revealed wall and the patched area – and that will show as a ridge or bump under the new wallpaper.

To eliminate that difference in height, I skim-floated over the area. In one photo, you can see the wet (grey) smoothing compound. I set up a strong floor fan to assist in drying. My heat gun also came in handy.

Once it was dry, I sanded it smooth. Now you don’t see any transition between the newly exposed wall and slightly higher patched area. I applied Gardz to the all the newly patched areas. Set up the fan again. And once it was dry, I put up the replacement paper.

It’s a good thing the family had paper left over from the original install. If they had had to purchase new paper, it could have come from a new Run (slight difference in color shade), and that would have meant stripping off and replacing three walls.

We had barely enough paper. The corner was out of plumb by as much as 1/2″ from floor to wainscoting, on each side of the corner. That adds up to an inch out of whack. That one inch meant we needed a whole new strip of wallpaper, to get the paper on the wall to the left to match up with that on the wall to the right.

Long story short, the whole thing turned out great. There is a bit of a mis-match in that corner, but it’s not very noticeable at all.

The wallpaper is by the Scandinavian company Boras Tapeter.

The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

Fudging To Get The Height Right

December 27, 2020

Because of various reasons too complicated to get into here, in order to keep the pattern matched in the corner to the right (not shown), the wallpaper strips moving to the left torqued off-plumb. And thus the pattern started tracking upward at the ceiling line, which meant that the navy blue flower I positioned just under the crown molding started moving upward and was getting cut off at its top by the molding.

I needed to pull the pattern down. I took advantage of the short space over this doorway to make adjustments. I cut the strip in two vertically, trimming along motifs in the design.

Then I pulled the section on the left down to where the flower hit the crown molding just where I wanted it to. By pulling this strip a little to the right to where it overlapped the previous strip just a bit, I was able to cover any gaps caused by the trimming.

I used my laser level on the left edge to ensure the strip was plumb. This would keep the pattern straight along the crown molding as I continued to hang strips moving to the left and around the room.

Because this is up so high over the door, and because I trimmed along the design motifs, no one will notice the slight ridge caused by the overlap, nor any small mis-match in the pattern.