Posts Tagged ‘mis-match’

Easing the Look of the Kill Point

May 10, 2020

When hanging wallpaper, the last corner (kill point) of a room virtually always ends in a pattern mis-match. That’s why you try to tuck it in an inconspicuous corner, like a short strip over a door.

In this case, I was going to end up with a medallion that got chopped in half vertically. Not horrible, because that is just the nature of the beast. But I had an idea to make it look better.

Using my straightedge, I sliced off the medallion. Then I found a scrap of wallpaper that was plain white (the background color) and trimmed that to fill the width where the medallion had been. Success!

But there was still a quarter medallion showing at the ceiling line on the adjacent wall.

My solution was to again take some left over wallpaper. I cut a shape that mimicked the motif on the wall, and pasted it on top. Nice!

Only problem is, the paper is somewhat translucent, and so a “ghost” of the image under the paper is showing through.

No problem. I cut another patch, just slightly larger to “feather out” the light bump from the difference in heights of the patches. Once it was pasted on top, it occluded the “shadow” of the medallion. From the floor, you can’t see a thing.

In the final photo, the distance between the medallions is wider than it “should” be – by maybe as much as 2.5″. But this is barely noticeable, and is way better than having a chopped-in-half medallion below plus a quarter medallion above.

Cloud Mural in Baby Girl’s Nursery

May 8, 2020

Want a room that will suit a child of either gender, and also grow with him/her into the teen years? This “Nuage” cloud mural by Anewall (A New Wall) checks off all the boxes!

This mural was not custom-sized, but came in pre-set dimensions. The product came in six strips, and the overall size was a bit taller and wider than the wall. In the third photo, I am laying out all the strips on the floor. This is very important, because you want to be sure you are grabbing strips in the correct order before you paste them to the wall.

Also, laying out the mural on the floor enabled me to see the whole design, so I could decide how much of the excess to cut off at the top and bottom. And I could also determine where the center was (break in the clouds), so I could position it where the parents would be placing the baby’s crib against the wall.

The material was pre-pasted, so I didn’t need to lug in my big table and pasting equipment. The paste is already on the back of the paper, and is activated by water. Some people spray the back with a squirt bottle. But I find this messy and sporadic. I prefer the old-fashioned water tray method. It’s quick, easy, and gives the most uniform water coverage.

In the fourth photo, you see my plastic dropcloth protecting the floor, two towels on top of that to absorb water splashes, and then my green water tray. Each rolled-up strip will be placed in the tray, and then unrolled and pulled out on top of the towels. This exposes the paste to water, which activates it. Then each strip is folded pasted-side-to-pasted-side (booked), and set aside to absorb the water/activate the paste/expand/relax.

In the next shot, I have aimed the red line of my laser level along the center of the wall. I am hanging my first strip, butted up against the red line. On we go, until the wall is covered with clouds!

In the close-up, you see that the design has a sort of tufted “quilty” look to it.

HOWEVER, I did experience some excessive vertical expansion / stretching between some of the strips. This means that some strips became wet with water and expanded more than others. And that means that the pattern on some strips did not match up perfectly with the previous strip. The protocol is that you match the pattern at eye-level, and then as the paper moves up and down the wall, the pattern will fall out of match.

The good thing is that this pattern is so scratchy and “quilty” that the eye will never notice a 1/8″ or even 1/4″ mis-match, especially not from a distance. With a more precise and visible pattern, this would be an issue.

This home is relatively new, and is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Sneaky Trick for Working Around Pedestal Sinks

March 7, 2020

These new-fangled non-woven wallpapers have their advantages. But they have disadvantages, too. One is that many are prone to creasing, even with just the littlest stress on the surface (such as when booking (folding) the material). Look very closely at the top photo to see my pencil pointing at a slightly damaged area.

Papering around obstacles like this pedestal sink require a lot of folding and cutting and manipulating, and it’s a pretty sure bet that creases will appear.

Well, I thought up a trick that reduces stress and overworking on the paper, and eliminates most of the potential for creases.

Instead of trying to wrap a full strip of wallpaper over, around, and under the pedestal sink, I brought the paper to just a few inches below the top of the sink, and then cut it horizontally, leaving the bottom section to be hung later. To minimize visibility of this horizontal cut, I made sure to make my cuts follow the black lines in the design.

Once the shorter strip over the sink was up, instead of filling in the remaining part of the strip in its place under the sink, instead I hung the full-height strip to the right. It was important to hang this full-width strip before I positioned the pieces under the sink, because wallpaper will often twist out of plumb and out of shape, which makes it hard to butt up future strips, and which throws off the pattern match, too. The larger the piece, the more stability it has, so this full-height-and-full-width-strip hung nice and straight.

Next came the piece that fit under the sink. Actually, to make it easier to work around the pedestal and the plumbing poking out of the wall behind it, I slit this strip in two vertically, at the point where the wallpaper would encounter the pipes.

I was able to match the pattern to that on the wall to the left, and also to the strip on the right. Any resulting mis-match between the two strips under the sink, then, was hidden behind the pedestal.

Faux Agate Kill Point Over Door

December 1, 2019

When you hang wallpaper around a room, the last corner virtually always ends up in a pattern mis-match, because the last strip will be split vertically to fit gap between it and the first strip that was hung. The pattern on it won’t line up with the pattern on the first strip that it is butting up against. Difficult to explain.

Anyway, as you see in the first photo, if I had let this be the last corner (the kill point), the horizontal lines would not line up as they do in the photo, and there would have been an 8′ high, eye-jarring mis-match of lines.

So I chose to put the kill point over the door, an area that is only 7″ high, and that not too many people look up at.

The pattern came together over the door pretty nicely, but the design on the left piece was a bit higher than the design elements on the piece on the right, so there is a bit of a mis-match.

If I could bring the design on the left down a little, it would match up much more nicely with that on the right.

To do that, I took a straight edge and a razor blade and trimmed off a wedge-shaped sliver of paper from the left edge. The wedge was wider at the bottom than at the top. This created a gap at the bottom of the strip. When the strip was positioned to where it butted up against the previous strip, closing that gap forced the upper portion of the strip to lean downward, which brought the horizontal lines on the left strip down to where they met up nicely with the horizontal lines on the right strip.

At this point, the left strip is overlapped on top of the strip on the right. The thickness of the under-lying strip shows as a ridge under the upper layer of paper. I would have been OK with this, because the strip is over the door where no one is going to be looking.

But I thought I could make it look better.

So I did double cut. A double cut is a paperhanger’s term for a splice. Before cutting through the two strips of overlapped paper, it’s important to protect the wall, because if the wall gets scored into, when the wallpaper dries and pulls taught, the layers of paint and drywall and etc. inside the wall may give way (delaminate), and leave irreparable curls at the seams.

In this case, I used a few layers of scrap wallpaper placed behind where I would make my splice. So when I cut through the two left and right pieces of wallpaper, my razor blade did not go all the way down to the wall surface.

Once the cut was made, I removed the cut-off remnants on either side of the cut, and smoothed the remaining paper into place. As you can see, the pattern now lines up pretty darned well.

There were still a few lines that didn’t match up, so I took my trusty No. 2 pencil and drew a few “enhancements.” Voilà!

Matching the Pattern – Horizontally or Vertically?

November 22, 2019

See that funny jut-out near the top of the photo? That is the underside of a stair, cutting into the sloped ceiling of this powder room.

As I hung wallpaper around this room, at first I thought I would match the pattern of this 10″ high stair-area to the pattern on its left.

But then I realized that the vertical (striped) element of this design was pretty noticeable. And that it would look better if the stripes below the stair area lined up with the stripes on the stair area.

This caused a slight pattern mis-match in the corner to the left. But I think it looks much better to have the vertical foliage elements line up, as well as to maintain the sequence of birds and leaves.

Also, instead of matching the bird motif to the bird under the stair, (which no one would see), I chose to line up the bird figures so they would be continguous as you viewed them from standing-height as you entered the room.

As for the slight pattern mis-match to the left … I took a part of a bird that matched the design, and appliquéd it over the corner. Now all you see is a bird, and no one notices that a few leaves don’t match up perfectly.

Wallpaper jargon, and too complicated, I know. Just look and note that the pattern continues vertically from floor to ceiling. This didn’t just “happen.” It all was planned out and engineered.

Jimmying the Kill Point

November 3, 2019

This is a shot of the last corner in a room, a spot we call the kill point. Almost always, this last corner results in a pattern mis-match.

In this case, the heavy vertical tree trunk was going to land just 5″ away from the identical tree trunk, which was originally close to the corner in the photo.

Two heavy tree trunks, both curving in the same direction, covered with the same leaves and flowers, would be very obvious to the eye. Not a big deal, because this is in a far corner up over a door. But, still, I thought I could remove the repetitiveness and make it look better.

Without going into a lot of detail, I took some scrap paper that did not match the pattern, and tucked its right side under the vertical tree trunk.

I used its left side to paste on top of / cover up the tree trunk that was originally in the corner.

Instead of cutting exactly in the corner, I allowed some leaves and flowers to wrap around the corner, trimming around them with a scissors so they were not cut off abruptly, but wrapped naturally around the corner in a continuation of the motifs.

Slight Pattern MisMatch

October 1, 2019

I’ve encountered this pattern mis-match both times I’ve hung this wallpaper.

If you match the diagonal lines from one strip to the other, then the horizontal lines don’t line up perfectly. And vice-versa … line up the horizontal lines and then the diagonal ones don’t match up.

Because the horizontal lines are wider, a mis-match would be more noticeable there. So I opted to match the horizontal lines, and let the diagonal lines land as they will. From a distance, you really can’t tell that the diagonals don’t line up.

This pattern is by Eijffinger.

Chinese Hand-Painted Silk Mural

June 27, 2019

Here is some delicious stuff! This is silk wallpaper, hand painted in China with these beautiful bird, butterfly, and botanical motifs. Look at the close-up shots to see the gorgeous paint detail.

There are some historic companies who make these murals, like Zuber, Gracie, Fromental, and de Gournay, and they can run $500-$1200 per panel. (This wall took seven panels.) But my client found another manufacturer who was way more reasonable.

The mural was custom-sized to the homeowners’ wall. The studio added 2″ to the top and bottom, and a little more to each side, for trimming, and to accommodate walls that are not perfectly plumb and ceilings that are not perfectly level. (Never order a mural to the exact dimensions of the wall, and always best to have the paperhanger measure before ordering.)

There are a lot of things that make an install like this much more complicated than a traditional wallpaper. For starters, the silk can easily be stained by just about anything … wallpaper paste, water, hands. So it’s important to work absolutely clean. You will NOT be able to wipe off any errant bit of paste. The paper also had a half inch “bleed” of excess paper along the edges that had to be trimmed off by hand (no photo).

The material was thicker than expected, wanted to stay curled up as it had been in its shipping tube, and the backing was very absorbent, which meant that it sucked up paste and was almost dry by the time it was finished booking and got to the wall… So it required extra paste on the edges to get them to stick tight, while, once again, taking care to not get any paste on the surface of the paper.

The company provided precious little information. Well, actually there was information, but it came in Chinesnglish, and, bless their hearts, was virtually indecipherable. The company was very responsive, but, unfortunately, was unable to provide adequate information about paste recommendations, booking time, was a liner spec’ed, if the substrate was paper or non-woven, if the silk had a protective coating, and even whether or not the goods had to be hand-trimmed or came pre-trimmed. There was a lot of other mysterious content on their instruction sheet that ended up best being disregarded.

So I used common sense and traditional installation methods, and it turned out great.

In one photo, I am rolling out the panels, to be sure they are in the correct sequence. Even though the manufacturer had told me the panels were pre-trimmed and ready to butt on the wall, while rolling them out, I discovered that if I did that, the pattern match would be off. This is when I discovered that 1/2″ had to be trimmed off one side of every strip.

This also meant that each strip would be 36″ wide, rather than 36.5″, so my measurements and layout calculations had to be revised. This was particularly important because that first area to the left of the window was barely more than 36″ wide – and I didn’t want to end up having to piece in a 3/8″ wide strip of this delicate material.

Two other pictures show some crinkles in the material. I believe these happened at the factory or during shipping, because the same defects appear in two consecutive panels, at the same position. They were both up high, and, once the material got wet with paste, expanded a little, and then applied to the wall, these flaws were not detectable.

The last photo shows what you should expect from hand-painted products. They probably had one guy working on Panel 6, and another working on Panel 7, and each probably had a different size paint brush, and possibly their stencil (or whatever they use) was a bit off. Either way, this mis-match is not considered a defect, and is part of the beauty of a hand-crafted mural. There were really only two areas that matched this poorly, and they were both low toward the floor. In the upper areas where branches crossed the seams, the pattern matched very nicely. Really, it’s quite incredible that their precision can be as good as it is.

I’ve never worked with this brand before, but overall, I was pleased with the quality and the installation. You can find the manufacturer by Googling World Silk Road. It comes from England, but is made in China. (Gee…. why can’t they have one of those British guys translate the installation instructions?!)

This mural went on one accent wall in a master bedroom of a home in Idylwood, a small, idyllic, and very desirable neighborhood of 1930’s and 1940’s homes on Houston’s east side. The homeowners love vintage as much as I do, and are keeping most of their home true to its original state.

Tricky Twisting To Make Wonky Walls Look Straight

May 30, 2019

The townhouse where I worked today (Timber Grove area of Houston) had walls that were more like trapezoids than rectangles. Trapezoidal walls make wallpaper run off-kilter. With this rigid geometric print, that meant that the pattern would either mis-match badly in the corners, or start tracking (going downhill) badly along the ceiling line.

So I did this little trick, to keep the pattern straight and nicely matched in the corners. You’re looking at the strips laid out on my table; sorry, no shots of the paper up on the wall. But the pics will give an idea of the process. And it turned out perfect.

I split the strip of wallpaper in two vertically, using a straightedge and a fresh razor blade to follow along the pattern. When applying the paper to the wall, I was able to slightly overlap the left side of the second strip on top of the previous strip, with less overlap at the top and more at the bottom. This enabled me to keep the same design element in the corner to the right (not shown), all the way from the ceiling to the floor. When the next strip went up, the design matched perfectly.

Since the width of the overlap wasn’t more than 3/8″, the black lines of the design disguised any ridges that might be created by the overlap.

Overlapping like this caused some of the vertical lines to be closer to each other than they were supposed to be. See second photo. But the eye notices this much less than if the pattern were very broken up in the corners, which would effect both the horizontal and vertical elements.

City Scape Zig Zag Lines

April 26, 2019

I love this headboard. The homeowner and his father-in-law made this from scratch, and they made the bed frame, too. I think it’s supposed to look like rough ship-lapped wood … but to me, it looks like the skyline of a major city.

Realizing that the dark navy paint on the accent wall behind the headboard was flat and boring, the couple went to Dorota (read below) and found this fun and lively wallpaper pattern. It echoes the shape of the headboard, while adding a modern, urban edge to the room. And I think it looks like a city skyline!

Note that this pattern very much resembles one by York, in the Candice Olson line, which I have hung a number of times. I guess there is nothing wrong with a company riding the tide of trends, and making a knock-off of a proven design winner.

This is in a master bedroom in a newish townhome in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of Houston. My photo of the label didn’t turn out (Note to self: Always check your phone’s photo log before leaving work for the day.), but I can tell you that the manufacturer is Designer Wallpapers.

The material is a crisp, stiff, medium-weight non-woven material. This stuff has a fiberglass content, so it does not expand when it becomes wet with paste, and it also is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

This material would have been more flexible if I had pasted the paper. But since this was one solitary accent wall, with no corners or toilets or sinks or windows to cut around, and since I didn’t feel like lugging my 7′ long and 30lbs table up the three flights of stairs to the master bedroom, I chose to paste the wall.

Because it was a dark paper adhered to a white backing, I used artist’s chalk to color the edges of the strips, so that the white backing would not peek out from the seams.

After cutting the non-woven strips, I roll them up backwards, with the colored surface rolled up inside, and the top coming off the roll first, and then secure it by wrapping an elastic hairband around it. This way, after paste is spread on the wall, when I climb up the ladder with the paper and unroll it, the printed surface will not come in contact with the paste on the wall.

Pasting the wall is a clean way to work, because no paste gets on the woodwork or ceiling, so there is nothing to wipe off. And the excess paper that is trimmed off at the ceiling and baseboard has no paste on it, so it’s clean and won’t stain anything it might fall onto.

The paper went up nicely, and the seams were positively invisible. Oddly enough, because the paper was supposed to not stretch or expand, I did have a little trouble with the pattern match dropping – the pattern matched at the top of the wall, but as you followed it down the 9′ high wall, the pattern began to rise. In order to accommodate this, I had to lower the pattern and allow a slight mis-match at the top of the wall, which permitted me to have a perfect pattern match at eye-level.

Also odd, since the paper was supposed to not expand, even though I hung my first strip against a plumb line (laser level beam), as it moved down the height of the wall, the pattern started to track to the right. As subsequent strips were hung, the paper became more and more off-plumb, until I reached the far left corner, and it was out of whack by more than half an inch from ceiling to floor.

If this had been some wild floral pattern, it would not have mattered. But with a rigid geometric pattern, and especially a vertical one like this, and on a dark background, even with a mere 1/8″ discrepancy, you’re going to notice when things get crooked.

Since the paper is not malleable, I was not able to stretch it into plumb. But I was able to pull a few tricks out of my hat to make it look like the paper was perfectly parallel to that left wall. I didn’t take photos, so no sense in my trying to explain it here. 😦

This wallpaper pattern is by Designer Wallcoverings, 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 She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.