Posts Tagged ‘ngpp’

Very Cool Wallpaper Design – Storm Clouds!

April 16, 2013

Please click the link below – I promise it’s worth it!

Every time I think I’ve seen the world’s coolest paper, I discover another on.. Here’s one that a buddy in the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) just installed. If you go to our Facebook page, you will see his photos of the finished room, and entryway.

It’s by the British company Cole and Son, the subject is rolling storm clouds, and it looks like an old etching, like from Dante’s Inferno.

Vintage Wallpaper for My Own Home

April 2, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageI just picked this up from the Post Office today.  This is the real deal, actual paper from the 1940’s.  This is from Hannah’s Treasures, an on-line site that sells vintage papers, from the ’20’s through the not-so-vintage-in-my-eyes ’80’s.

This is going on one wall in my entry.  I have a “new” circa 1930’s/40’s curio cabinet that will go in front of it, and that will hold a collection of 1930’s/40’s panther statuary and mantle clocks.

Need I say, in another life, I think I lived in the 1930’s & ’40’s.

When we had our wallpaper & paint store in St. Louis (now decades gone), the basement was full of rolls and rolls of paper like this.  And my father and uncles would rewallpaper my grandmother’s apartment above the store again and again, with gorgeous patterns and rich colors like this.

The paper is somewhat brittle from age.  I have previously used a wheat paste, which is pretty much what was available back when these papers were made, but friends in the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) have hung similar papers using modern pre-mixed clear vinyl paste.  I’ve not decided yet what I will use.

The selvedge edge is still intact, meaning that the paper has to be hand trimmed before hanging.  You can see the unprinted selvedge in the photos.   Again, in the past, I have trimmed only one edge of the paper, and overlapped the other.  This eliminates the chance of gapping if the paper shrinks, but it leaves a raised area along the length of every seam.  But that’s how it was done “back in the day,” and back then they were often hanging on a sort of cheescloth tacked over ship lapped wooden walls – which is not the case in my house!

I will probably hand-trim both edges and butt the seams instead, which is how modern papers are hung, and which will eliminate the ridge along the seam.  I don’t expect shrinking with this paper, and see no reason why butted seams would not work.

Along the selvedge is printed, “Water Fast.  Union Made.”  The paper is from Hannah’s Treasures, which is definitely worth a look, if you like vintage.

A Little Decorating Humor

March 31, 2013

Courtesy of my buddy in the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) Louis Katz:

No Rx from RX-35

March 13, 2013

One seam on one wall in a small bathroom I did recently failed, and I was glad that the homeowner notified me and that I was able to wrangle a day to get over there and fix it for her, so she could put her home back together and begin using the newly-decorated room. Here’s my take on what happened:

The first installer had floated the walls smooth, then primed with wallpaper primer, and then hung the paper.  Good, just what he’s supposed to do.

The original wallpaper was a paper-backed solid vinyl, probably a pre-pasted product.  It had started to curl just a little at the edges, which is pretty typical of those types of papers, which is one reason I don’t recommend them for humid rooms such as small bathrooms in older homes with poor ventilation.  On the other hand, this paper had been in place for many, many years, so you can’t blame it for getting old and tired after a while.

When you strip this type of paper (like most papers), the top vinyl layer peels off and leaves the paper backing on the wall.  Then the backing gets soaked with water to loosen the paste beneath it, and then is peeled or scraped off the wall.  Only in this case, when I removed the paper backing, what was underneath was not nice smooth wall, but gummy, rubbery, lumpy residue from the first installer’s primer.  He had used a primer called R-35, or perhaps RX-35 (there are two versions of this product.).  Some of my paperhanger buddies use it and love it; others refuse to use it.

That didn’t leave a good base for the new wallpaper.  So one option was to strip off the old paper and backing, let the walls dry, then skim float over the lumpy residue, sand, prime, and then hang the paper.  But all that would add an extra day and an extra day’s expense to the job, which we didn’t have.

So I decided to remove the vinyl top layer, and leave the paper backing on the wall, then skim float over that.  When you do that, sometimes the paper absorbs moisture from the joint compound and bubbles, but, once it’s dry, you can sand it and it will be nice and flat again.  Then I seal everything with oil-based KILZ, which soaks into the mud and paper and forms a nice, hard surface that is resistant to water.  A latex- or acrylic-based primer (both of which are water-based)  tends to allow moisture to pass through it, which could cause the paper backing to bubble.  That’s one reason why I like the oil-based primer.

This process still took a long time, much of it waiting for the mud to dry, but I was able to get the floating, priming, and hanging done in the one (loooong) day the client had available.  The new paper was one of the newish “green” papers on a non-woven substrate.  When I finished, the room looked great.

But a day or two later, the homeowner contacted me with a photo of one seam that had “pouched” up.  Sorry, I can’t figure out how to paste the photo in here.  It was clear that the surface below the seam had loosened from the wall, and, when the new paper dried and pulled tight, it pulled some of the backing along with it, pulling everything away from the wall.  The new paper was stuck to the surface, but the surface was no longer stuck to the wall.

After consulting with my buddies on the Facebook page of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP), I learned that R-35 / RX-35 doesn’t stick to joint compound.  Evidentally, it stuck well enough to support the original paper for many years, but wasn’t holding tight in the particular area where this certain seam had fallen.  It’s funny, because I had taken care to plot that seam so it did not fall where the original seam was, to reduce stress on that area.  Oh well.

The other factor is that the moisture from the paste on the new paper was somehow able to penetrate my KILZ primer and get to the backing paper, which then stretched and pulled away from the wall.  That loose area was enough to create the “pooch” along much of the seam that had failed.

How did I fix it?  I ripped off the new paper, two strips, then found the loose areas under the floated-and-primed surface, scraped those off down to the original wall, floated several coats, speeding dry-time with fans and a heat gun, then sanded and primed, and finally hung the paper.  It worked great, and the finished wall looked great.

Total time:  About six hours.

Incidentally, my NGPP buddies insist that a product called DrawTite will penetrate both joint compound and paper (and torn drywall, as well) and seal it completely and not allow water to pass through.  I got a sample quart of it when we had a paperhangers’ meet-up a year ago; maybe now I’m encouraged and enbravened enough to give it a try.

I love when I get a chance to learn something new.  Here is more info on the product:]]

Addendum, March 15, 2013:

Interestingly, where I am working right now, the old wallpaper came off beautifully, and the walls were left in perfect shape.  I could tell that he had used an oil-based primer, probably KILZ, just like I do.  The more I worked my way around the room, I saw just a few tiny things that led me to realize that he had done exactly the same thing I had done in the above scenario… Unable to get the original paper paper off, he skim floated over it, then primed with the KILZ.

Why did his hold up better than mine?  Here are my hypotheses… First, he may have KILZed the paper first, to seal it and prevent the wet mud from soaking through and bubbling.  More likely, the original paper was probably put up directly on the Sheetrock, with no primer.  In that case, practically NOTHING will make it bubble, so he could float right over it with no problems.  Thirdly, if the original installer did use a primer, it surely was something other than RX-35, because it held nice and tight to the wall.  And lastly, he may have used a thicker coat of KILZ, two coats, or let it dry longer.

Again, always interesting when I can learn a little something, either from my own work or from the previous installers.

Faux Gravel Wallpaper

March 10, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageHere’s some unusual wallpaper I hung today. It’s a faux stone paper, with lightweight vinyl masqueraiding as stone, with some real chips of mica tossed in, and even a bit of actual rock here and there.

At first I was worried that the material might be too thick to bend enough at the ceiling, baseboard, and door mouldings to be able to get a good tight cut. Some buddies in the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) had suggested using a heat gun to get the vinyl pliable enough to fit into the corners tightly. That turned out to be unnecessary, though, because the material was thin enough that I could press it tightly against the corners and make a good cut.

Unlike grasscloth, the color was quite uniform, so there was no paneling or shading between strips, nor between bolts.

Another concern with products like this is that the seams will be noticeable, because the material cannot be matched from strip to strip, and because thick papers can have more obvious seams. But that was not a problem, either, and the seams were barely noticeable. And silly me – I had spent a lot of time centering the largest piece on the wall, and then meticulously measuring the two outside pieces to ensure that they were the same width, like I do with grasscloth, so the wall would look balanced.

The homeowners are very “earthy” people, and the rest of the décor in the building included natural materials, like stone knobs on the cabinet doors, a hollowed out rock for a vessel sink, round black river rock embedded in the shower walls, a view out the window into a natural landscape complete with a pond, framed by rough linen curtains. Oh – and a crystal chandellier. You gotta have THAT!

The overall look was of serene Nature and and Zen.

This product is by TWIL, and the number is HBD9020.

Fabulous Arts & Crafts Wallpaper

March 9, 2013

Chris Murphy of Atlanta, Georgia, a fellow member of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) shared a link to this company, Trustworth Studios.  Click “Wallpapers” on the left, and then scroll through their wonderful collection of actual designs, mostly from Mr. Voysey.

I am crazy about the “Bat & Poppy” and also the one with the fish.

Wallpaper on Extreme Home Makeover – My Buddies Put It Up!!

November 28, 2012
Some of my friends (Bill Armstrong, to be specfic, from Knoxville, TN) from the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP) installed the wallpaper and murals you see in the background of many rooms in this news clip.

Paperhangers’ Guild Going to be on TV

November 14, 2012

Actually, not the Guild itself, but some members of the Guild (the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers, of which I am a member), participated in an Extreme Home Make Over on HGTV.  Here is a post from our Facebook page:

Be sure and set your DVR 11/26/12 at 9 PM ET for this two-hour special and see what your fellow NGPP members in Tennessee did to add color texture and beauty to this home with wallpaper!

My hat is off to these guys!  ….  I was contacted twice this year to be on TV shows, and turned them down.  I was afraid there would not be time enough to do the job the way I would want it done, plus I just work better when it’s nice and quiet and I have plenty of space all to myself.  These guys are real pros, so I know they did not cut any corners in the work they did for this family.

The show’s more than a week away … I hope I remember to set my DVR!!

Wallpaper Murals and Southern Charm

November 12, 2012

The current issue of Southern Living Magazine (November 2012) is all about entertaining and hosting big dinners. There is a several-page-spread showing how three different interior designers like to dress up a dining room for a Thanksgiving dinner. Following that is a page of another designer’s tips on setting up a bar.

Sure, the cocktails looked great. But what caught MY eye is the beautiful wallpaper mural behind the bar. It’s a positively gorgeous scene of a pond with water lilies and storks, foliage in the background, all in shades of turquoise and ice blue.

What’s timely is that two members of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers have been posting on our FaceBook page about their recent install of a Zuber brand 21-panels-at-$1000-each hand-painted mural in a dining room, complete with photos.

I have seen a good number of such murals in older River Oaks homes, many of them dating back to when the home was built (1920’s-’40’s). This is a truely classic look that I just love, and I’m glad to see it continuing in traditional styled homes.

The FB page of the NGPP is open to the public, BTW. Discussions tend to get a little technical, but you might want to take a look.

Houston Independent Paperhangers Comraderie

February 21, 2012

Yesterday, for the first time ever, a bunch of us (9) independent Houston area paperhangers got together – to meet one another, network, talk shop (wallpaper, primer, techniques), talk business (marketing, inventory, expenses), swap war stories, and discuss benefits of being members of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers.

Five others had RSVP’d but were unable to attend, and I’m sorry about that.  Oddly, although I contacted several times some of the “chain” type sales and installation companies, none of them attended our meet up.

We have been talking about this for at least a decade, so it was great to finally have it come about. Everyone felt comfortable right away, and we had a grand time. For 3 1/2 hours, the conversation never ebbed – not even when our food orders came out and everyone started eating.

Although we all earn our livings in the same general area, there was never a sense of competition or jealousy or resentment. Just sincere desire to meet one another, hear of others’ experiences, share tips, and honestly try to help one another out.

It was a very positive experience, and I’m sure we will be getting together in the future, and perhaps starting a chapter of the NGPP here in Houston.





wallpaper installer houston