Posts Tagged ‘molding’

What’s A “Fat Cut” ?

January 28, 2023
Here, I’m hanging paper from right to left, and have just come around a corner , which is in the center of the picture. You almost never wrap wallpaper around an inside corner . Corners are never straight , and the paper will buckle in the corner . And the edge will not be straight , nor plumb , and thus the next strip won’t butt up perfectly against it . And it’s also probable that the strip will torque off either up or down, causing your pattern to creep up or down the ceiling and floor lines.
The answer is to stop the strip of wallpaper in the corner , and cut a new piece for the subsequent wall.
But you can’t just trim tightly to the corner. Because most likely there will be gaps (remember I said that corners are never straight?), so some of the wall will show.
So what you do is wrap the paper just a teeny amount around the corner , and then overlap your new piece over that. This does mean that you will lose some of the pattern in that overlap.
I can’t stand that pattern mis-match, so most of the time, the way I do it, I’ll take a fresh strip of wallpaper for the next strip (to be placed on the left in the photo) and trim it so the pattern matches as perfectly as possible. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to the fat cut …
In the photo, I’ve cut my strip on the left 1/2″ wider than needed to fit this wall. I don’t want this 1/2″ of wallpaper under my overlapped new strip, because the leaves a visible ridge. But you do want a little underlap, because you need that to prevent a gap from showing in the corner.
So in the photo, I’ve trimmed off most of that 1/2″ and trimmed it down to an unnoticeable 1/8″. How on earth can you get a trim that thin and that consistent?!
I use this handy metal plate with a rolled edge (on the left).
This plate has bends and other edges of other thicknesses , rounded edges , won’t leave marks on wallpaper, so it has many uses.
Here’s a close up of the trim guide edge that allows for that 1/8″ fat cut .
Back side of the plate. (Don’t mind the blue tape – it’s just there temporarily.)
This edge is a little thinner , and would cut too close for use in a corner. But it does have a use if you need a trim in an area where you don’t want the paper trimmed tightly into the edge / corner.
You’re looking at where wallpaper meets crown molding. This join edge has gaps between the molding and the wall in some areas, and other areas have gunk and uneven areas. Trimming with my usual trim guide would cut too close and let some of these icky things show. So here I’ve used the thicker trim guide. As you can see, it allows the wallpaper to wrap ever so teeny much of a bit, so it covers the bad area, but doesn’t creep onto the molding.
Here’s another example, along door molding. At the top, I used my usual thin trim guide (see below). But this allowed a bit of a gap to show, due to decades’ build up of paint , caulk , dirt , etc.
So, midway, I switched to using the steel plate as a trim guide. This made the cut just fat enough that the wallpaper wrapped a hair and covered the icky area.
Here’s my usual trim guide . I’m guessing it’s about 9″-12″ long .
You can see that the edge is very thin . In most cases, this is ideal, because it allows for good, tight trims right smack into corners and edges.
That steel plate shown above was invented by a colleague in the Wallcovering Installers Association ( WIA ) . They are all the same length, but they come with three different degrees of angles , and can be used for lots of wallpaper installation tasks .
The colleagues has them manufactured and then sells them to us paperhangers . She sells other cool tools , too. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these , or seeing what else she has, go here https://www.facebook.com/customwallpapertools or here https://www.wallpapertoolstore.com/?fbclid=IwAR2NFrG2gWSzNClNMB0gHDiQHbnkhyNhthaOFQaK8MCaU7rBYVQhYQkO0nc
Her name is Eunice , so we call them EuniTools .

Slip Paper Behind Molding

January 26, 2023
It’s so nice when the trim carpenter leaves a little space between the molding and the wall. Rather than spending 20 minutes trimming around these multiple angles and protrusions, I will be able to merely slip the wallpaper behind the corbel (decorative molding).
Added bonuses are that there will be no worries about edges of wallpaper curling up or away from the wall .
I also believe this teeny gap is beneficial to give some ease, in the very common event of the walls shifting and moldings stretching or shrinking. All due to humidity and temperature and rain fall … and settlement of the home’s foundation, and more.

More Peel & Stick Hate

January 17, 2023
so-called peel and stick wallpaper is not nearly what the vendors’ websites make it out to be. It is neither easy to install , nor easy to remove . Nor does it hold up very long. I won’t hang it, neither will most of my colleagues across the country. Even our British counterparts have asked us to not let it slip across the pond!
I won’t work with it, but one of the clients I visited yesterday did attempt to DIY try it on her own, with quite unsatisfactory results. She was kind enough to let me take photos .
Here you can easily see wrinkles next to the door molding .
gap at seam over door, warps along side door.
hard to see, but there are large wrinkles. Plus notice on the right, paper is not adhering to the wall.
seams shrink and gap.
P&S material is not even trying to adhere to the wall.

A lot of these failures are due to the homeowners’ lack of knowledge and experience with peel & stick , and with wallpaper in general. For instance, the textured walls should have been smoothed / skim-coated / skim-floated before applying the material . Wallpaper wants to adhere to a smooth surface – not to the “highs and lows” of a textured wall .
Next, most P&S instructions call for application on a semi-gloss paint , which needs to cure for 6-8 weeks.
Also, read the fine print, and you’ll learn that P&S is meant as a temporary wallpaper …. you can plan on it starting to fail in less than a year. That’s where you get the failure to stick to the wall , and shrinking at the seams . Of course, here you can see that that happened within a few weeks / days.
In this case, the material will be easily removable from the wall. But in most cases, if you’ve installed it on a smooth , primed wall, well, when stripped off, it will take the paint along with it. Leaving you with a nasty , pock-marked mess to have to repair. Click the link to my page on the right, about why to stay away from P&S.

Mum Flowers in Heights Entry

January 14, 2023
Painted walls in this new-build in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston have been primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer .
Done
Just the area above the wainscoting / chair rail was papered .
Obstacles to trim around included six doors – with a total of TWELVE corners of decorative molding to trim around. In addition, there were EIGHT terminations of wood ceiling beams , also with uneven edges , to trim around.
Absolutely NO information came with the wallpaper . No run number , no installation instructions , no nuttin’. Confoundingly, the company’s website was malfunctioning, and pop-ups prevented me from getting information , or even from seeing what the pattern looked like on a large wall .
So here I am rolling the paper out on the floor , to get a scope of the pattern and layout .
Note the unprinted selvedge edge , which I’ll have to trim off using a straightedge and a razor blade. See previous posts (do a Search) to learn more about this.
The pattern is called Kanoko and the manufacturer is Relativity Textiles . This material was VERY difficult to work with. More about that in a future post.

This House is NOT Ready for Wallpaper

December 20, 2022


Two weeks before a job is to start, I send my clients a “check list” so they know how to prepare for Install Day.  It includes things like check to be sure it’s the right wallpaper pattern, how I can get into the house if the homeowner is away, how much space I need for my set-up, etc.

It also says quite clearly that all construction work has to be completed, and there needs to be electricity, light, nearby running water, and no workmen coming in while I’m working, and no workmen coming in later who might mess up the paper.

This ensures that I will have optimum working conditions (I need lights so I can see what I’m doing. I need water so I can keep your paper clean.)  And you don’t want Bubba coming to hook up a light fixture and put his sweaty hands all over the new wallpaper in the process.  Or a painter coming to touch up, who decides to “protect” the new wallpaper by putting blue tape on it.  Of course, when he removes the tape, the surface ink or  the wallpaper itself will come along with it.

Yet you would not believe how many people – innocently or desperately – tell me they are “ready” when they really are not.  Here is an example of a house that is not ready for wallpaper.  It is very likely that the paper will be damaged by tradesmen who come to “finish up.”

Baseboard is not in place.  When positioning the baseboard, it’s likely the carpenter will bang into the wallpaper.  When painting, you can bet the painter will get paint onto the new wallpaper.  Or, as mentioned above, he will use tape that, when he goes to remove it, will pull the inked surface and / or the paper itself off the wall.

Door molding is not in place.  Same issues as above.

No electrical outlet in the room.  What if I need to use a fan or heat gun?  And wallpaper will sit tighter to the wall if I can put the plate cover in place immediately.

The electrician is not finished.  This switch sticking out of the wall is just plain dangerous.  In addition, when he time comes to finish whatever it is he’s working on, he will probably put his greasy hands on the wallpaper, or lean his scratchy tool belt against the paper.

My checklist says I need clean, running water in the immediate area.  It specifically says NOT a hose in the yard.  Yet look where I had to get my water.  (I was working on the THIRD floor.)  This house had no faucets, no drains, and not even a working toilet.

Cool Trick Going Around Door

December 18, 2022

I’ve finished putting short strips of wallpaper over this wide entry way . My next strip will be a 9.5′ piece going down the left side of the door molding .
The piece above the door ended 1/4″ from the left edge of the door molding. Normally, I would butt my next strip up against the existing piece. Then, as I move down the wall smoothing the paper into place against the wall, there will be a 1/4″ bit of it that laps over against the full length of the molding. I would need to use a straightedge and blade to trim this off. And then use my damp microfiber rag to wipe paste off the molding.
This non-woven wallpaper is thick and stiff , and hard to press tightly against the molding, so a bit tricky to get a sharp , tight trim cut . And also difficult to ensure that exactly 1/4″ is being trimmed off . So it’s easy for the paper to go off-kilter , and for the pattern to not line up perfectly against the molding . Not a big deal on a busy floral pattern , but with a rigid geometric, it might be noticeable .
So I decided to try this. I wanted to pre-trim the strip to take away that 1/4″ . This would save me from having to do any pressing or trimming. And also ensure that the pattern would fall perfectly straight against the doorway molding.
I measured down 16″ (the height of the ” header ” over the doorway , plus a couple of inches for trimming at ceiling and then at the top of the door molding ) .
Then I used my straightedge , razor blade , and fine ruler (from Texas Art Supply ) to measure over 1/4″ and trim it off .
Don’t think this is a simple task … It’s hard to measure exactly the width of the bit above the molding that should be trimmed off. 1/4″? 3/8″? 5/16″?
Also take into consideration that most wallpapers expand when they get wet with paste . So that 1/4″ I cut off could extend to 5/16″ or even more. That would mean a gap along the door molding.
Next, if the strip above the door is not perfectly plumb , or if the door molding below it is not perfectly straight and plumb , the wallpaper won’t butt up properly against it, and may start to show a gap or an overlap.
Sometimes you can manipulate the strip of wallpaper so that it does butt up against the door frame. But that can result in warps and wrinkles , or a pattern mis-match of the next piece . Also, like I said, this particular non-woven product is thick and stiff, and not happy about being asked to twist into another shape. Pasting the paper – instead of pasting the wall – does help to make it more pliable , so you have a better chance of manipulating the paper as you want.
Here is the strip going into place. So far, it’s butting up nicely against the molding. And no need to trim anything or wipe paste off the woodwork – except for that little bit at the top, which was my ” extra ” allowed for trimming .
FYI, that dark stripe you see along the woodwork is a shadow.
Here is the wallpaper as it falls along the side of the molding. The pattern is lining up nice and straight and precise .
To be honest, at the lower 1/3 of the wall, the paper did start to torque out of shape , and wanted to leave a gap at the molding, which was trying to grow from 1/16″ to maybe 1/4.” Not a lot – but it sure would look bad to have a 1/4″ gap between the wallpaper and the woodwork.
Trying to “mush” it to the right to butt up against the woodwork was causing warps and wrinkles .
I was a little surprised, but the paste had caused the stiff material to become softened and pliable – just enough that I was able to gently work out all those warps and wrinkles , so the wallpaper laid nice and flat against the wall. AND the left edge didn’t become distorted, but fell nice and straight enough that the next strip was easily able to butt up against it nice and tightly.
This trellis / Moroccan lantern / onion dome / geometric pattern is by Designer Wallpapers .

But ,,, But ,,, I See A Butt !

November 21, 2022
Although it’s free and loose, this is essentially a symmetrical pattern . After studying the pattern on-line , I determined that this dark berry motif with the red bird was the dominant element in the design .
I measured and plotted carefully , to plant that motif right in the center above the window molding .
This would ensure that the dark berry motif would fall evenly on both sides of the window as it moves down the wall .
What I didn’t anticipate is how the individual design elements would also play out , being divided equally on both sides of the window . Take a look …
On the left side of the window molding is the rear end of a bird . See his tail ?
And on the right side of the window , at the same height , is the front end of the bird !
The flowers and other motifs were affected the same way .
The pattern is called Apothecary’s Garden and is by C.F.A. Voysey , a designer from the turn of the last century, in the Arts & Crafts period .
This is by Lord Twig Wallpaper , out of Canada . I’ve heard all positive results in dealing with this company.
Please see previous post for more information re the wallpaper itself.

White Flowers on Black Background in Dining Room

November 13, 2022
Before. Waaay too much white. Bland, boring white! Primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime and ready for wallpaper .
Done! A small, tight design in just a few colors, as well as placing the pattern above the wainscoting (instead of papering floor-to-ceiling) keeps this from being too busy.
If these homeowners really wanted to pump it up, I could see painting those ” beams ” a semi-gloss black. Or maybe the recessed ceiling areas inside the beams . What do you think?
I love the way the white flowers play off the white molding and wainscoting.
This shot shows the true colors
This is by Rifle Paper . This brand has exploded in popularity since they expanded into selling wallpaper . And no wonder – their patterns are overwhelmingly cheerful and fun.
The material is a non-woven , and can be hung by the paste the wall method , or by pasting the paper . I usually prefer to paste the paper as it makes the material more flexible, as well as ensures that paste gets to every surface.
The home is in the Oak Forest / Garden Oaks area of Houston . I papered this couple’s nursery a few months ago, and almost immediately they were eager to enhance another room with wallpaper.

Stabilizing Section Over Door

November 8, 2022
I wanted to position this pattern so that the stripe ran right up along the right side of the door frame. That would be more visually pleasing than having half-sections of those angular motifs.
The stripe did run along the outer edge of the wallpaper strip, so I could have easily butted the edge along the door molding.
But that would have put a vertical seam running right up over the corner of the door. My experience has shown that this area gets a lot of stress, especially in the case of shifting foundations and walls. So I really avoid letting a seam fall there.
My solution was to take a strip and move the seam over – easy to do with this striped pattern.
We had very little paper for this job, so before cutting anything I made sure that reducing the width of this strip by one section of diagonal motifs would still allow me to reach the corner on the far right (not shown).
So I measured down a little more than the height of wall above the the door and kept that intact and full-width. The rest of the length of that strip I cut along the strip in the design, all the way down to the floor.
Here that strip is in place. Leaving the top portion a little long ensured that I had enough to cover this area, and then all I did was trim off the extra 1″ or so, just as you normally would trim around a door frame.
The best part is that we now have the paper reaching across that “danger zone” above the top right corner of the door, with no seam to split open or gap should the wall shift.
Here’s a close-up of the irregular strip as it falls alongside the door molding.
Here’s the left corner of that door. I did some tricks to get that strip straight along the edge of the door frame, too. No pics, but, in a nutshell, I cut vertically along the lines in the design over the door, to cut the sections apart. Then I overlapped the sections about 1/4″, with the vertical stripe disguising the overlap. This made each section of diagonal motifs narrower. Once I had narrowed the whole area by removing about an inch, I had pulled the full-height strip on the left over to the right far enough that the tan line lined up along the door frame, and above the door it butted up with the left edge of the last section of diagonal motifs.
Note that this is a very easy pattern to play tricks with, because, although there is a pattern match, it really doesn’t matter much if you ignore it. Also, the lines are not perfectly straight, but a bit squiggly, and that makes it much more forgiving.
In fact, because we were really short on paper, the only way to get the room done was to mis-match the design in most places. The homeowner was OK with that. In fact, she (and he) were delighted with how the room turned out.
This very popular pattern is called Feather and is by Serena & Lily . Just about everything they make, I love hanging. (not so fond of their non-woven / paste-the-wall option) This comes in many colors, and you can purchase directly from them on-line.
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Two Color Rhythmic Print for Heights Breakfast Nook

September 7, 2022
Before. Grey and boring .
The built-in banquette seating has been removed.
Finished.
Closer look.
Showing the pattern centered on the wall, and with the shutters. The dimensions of the paper not corresponding well with the width of the window, along with logistics of pattern placement at the ceiling line but starting my first strip under the window all created some plotting and engineering challenges. Fun, but time consuming. But it turned out great!
The original idea was to just paper the nook area, ending at the vertical door molding. But it would have looked odd to stop the wallpaper above this doorway. So the homeowner and I decided to run the paper along the top of the doorway, and then down the left side (not shown), which dead-ends into some cabinets and the granite countertop. It looked good and was the right call.
It tickles me that this is quite obviously a riff on the very popular Strawberry Thief wallpaper pattern by William Morris , which is quite popular right now (do a Search here to see my installations of it). When a company comes up with a hit, you can be assured that a competitor will soon be making its own version of it.
The original has a lot more color, but this version is limited to just two colors. Even though there is a lot of contrast between the black and the white , the pattern doesn’t feel busy, because the design is so close and tight .
There is a lot of symmetry , repetitiveness , and balance in Wm Morris and similar styles .
I love the raised ink texture to this material .
Whoops! A slight pattern mis-match . The overall design is busy enough that small imperfections like this (as well as some color variations / shading ) are not really noticeable .
It’s odd to me that the printing defects are different in different strips / rolls of the wallpaper . You’d think that if the print roller was out of whack, it would create the same image every time it strikes the wallpaper surface. Or maybe it’s the trimmers that are off. If they had cut 1/16″ more off that left edge, we might have a perfect pattern match .
The manufacturer is York , one of my favorites , in their Sure Strip line, also one of my favorites.
It’s in the Magnolia Home collection , by, yes, Joanna Gaines , of HGTV fame with the show Fixer Upper .
SureStrip is a pre-pasted , thin , flexible , non-woven material that is easy to hang . It’s also easy to remove when you’re ready to redecorate , because it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your walls .
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