Posts Tagged ‘osborne & little’

Going For More Of The Same

February 9, 2021

I hung the original wallpaper in 2014, when the house was first built. The PEX water lines used in the home (flexible hoses instead of PVC pipes) were new at the time. Tragically, after a few years, the lines used in this home failed and caused leaks all over the house. Replacing all the water lines required cutting holes in MANY places throughout the home.

You can see in the photos where the plumbers cut out drywall and then patched it back in. This company actually did a good job of removing the wallpaper in the areas of their repairs.

Unfortunately, with the amount of wallpaper that was left over from 2014, I was not able to do repairs. The entire room had to be repapered.

The homeowner loved the pattern and wanted to keep it. It was still available, so she bought enough to repaper the room.

For various reasons, the original wallpaper was much more difficult to get off the wall than I expected. I could have gotten it off – but it would have taken about two full days.

So I opted to hang over it. It’s important to skim-float over the seam areas. First, because the seams will leave a little ridge that will telegraph through and show under the new paper. But also, because as wallpaper dries, it shrinks and puts tension on the seams. There is always the potential that this tension will cause the the surface below to pull away from the wall, and especially so if there is a weak area such as a seam. So you always want to avoid putting a seam on top of a seam.

So I skim-floated (do a Search here to learn more) over the seams, as well as over the patched areas left by the plumbers. See photos. Then I sealed the walls with Gardz, a product that penetrates and seals porous materials – like drywall joint compound and like this traditional British pulp wallpaper. Because it soaks in and dries hard, it helps to prevent moisture from paint or wallpaper paste from soaking through, and thus prevents bubbling of the underlying surface. That’s why this product is primarily used for sealing torn layers of drywall.

Although a bit glossy for my liking, Gardz is also a good primer to hang wallpaper on.

Interestingly, the expansion rate of the new wallpaper was a bit less than the original, and so the seams fell about 1/4″ to the right of the original seams. This reduced the worry of seams falling on top of seams and causing lifting.

It was a complicated room, and the paper was thick and stiff and difficult to work with. Prep took one day, and it took me two additional days to hang the paper (16 single rolls – 8 double roll bolts).

The wallpaper is in the line of Nina Campbell, by Osborne & Little, a British company. While most British papers these days are printed on an agreeable non-woven substrate, this one is a traditional, old-school British pulp … thick, stiff, difficult to fit into turns and angles, easy to tear, easily stained, non-malleable, plus the factory’s trimming roller blades must have been dull or wobbly, because the edges were not cut perfectly straight, which meant the seams had some “gaps and overlaps.”

Still, the finished room did look pretty darned good – even if it looks exactly the same as it did in 2014.

But that’s exactly what the homeowner wanted. So all is good and mission accomplished!

Dampness in Walls = Problems with Wallpaper

December 2, 2020

Digital Image

Digital ImageI hung this wallpaper in a dining room in Tanglewood a few years ago. In that time, the house has had some settling issues, and some moisture issues.

In the first photo, you see a seam that is perfect. It is a seam on an interior wall. In the second photo, you see a seam that has separated a little – not just separated, but the surface of the wall underneath has actually pulled away from the sub-surface, creating a little curl and gap. This is an exterior wall.

I believe this happened because moisture got inside the wall, and compromised the layers of Sheetrock, paint, joint compound (used to smooth the textured wall before applying wallpaper), primer, and paper. The seams in wallpaper create a weakness in the surface, and provide an opportunity for the wall to give way, if a stressor is placed on it. Stressor? This could be expansion and contraction due to temperature, humidity, moisture, foundation shifting, etc.

Unfortunately, there is not a quick cure for this, and involves resurfacing the whole wall area. AFTER, of course, fixing the source of the leak.

This wallpaper is by Osborne & Little, a British company that prints on what we call pulp paper substrates. The interior designer is Shirley Webb, and I love her rooms and I love working with her.

Houston Heights Powder Room With Glittery Glass Bead Wallpaper

August 13, 2020


I took a “before” shot, but forgot to take an “after.” 😦

But here is a close-up pic of the fresh and clean geometric design. What takes this out of the ordinary is that the pattern is formed of teeeny round glass beads adhered to the surface.

It gives a 3-dimensional effect, and also shimmers because it bounces light around.

This product sounds cool to look at, but it was actually quite difficult to work with. In fact, I am considering declining glass bead jobs in the future.

The material is very thick, and thus hard to press into corners or ceiling lines, which means that after trimming, there may be a slight gap at the ceiling or baseboard.

In the instances where you need to overlap (turning inside corners), because the material is so thick, there will be gaps. Plus the worry that the paper does not have a solid surface to stick to (fat glass beads, thin backing material).

Worst is that the beads are virtually impossible to cut through. You can have a brand new, ultra-sharp razor blade, or the most impressive industrial-grade scissors, but still get unsatisfactory cuts. So anywhere you need to trim, you can expect to spend a lot of time sawing, and then still end up with jagged cuts or sections where the beads have fallen off.

Further, the beads fall off like crazy! So many had accumulated on the floor that I nearly slipped more than once. They get behind the paper and cause bumps. They get in the paste and contaminate other strips, and even jobs for future clients. Environmentalists scowl on them because they get washed down the drain and work their way into the ocean.

Glass bead wallpaper is not as popular as it was a few years ago. I’m glad.

This particular product is by Osborne & Little, a long-established British company, was on a non-woven (paste the wall) substrate, and came packed with extreme care to prevent damage from shipping.

Hangin’ On Island Time

June 27, 2015

Digital Image

Digital Image

to minimize and obscure the mismatch .

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Today I was working in a new home in Pirate’s Cove on Galveston Island. Just look at that gorgeous view out the window!

Inside, in the powder room, though, the view was ho-hum (2nd photo). But just look at how a little wallpaper changed the room! There is color and life, a little beach flavor, and a lot of happy cheerful feeling when you walk into this room. Pretty much everything else in the entire house is white (walls, floors, appliances, furniture), so this dash of color is very welcome.

The walls in this room were <em>very</em> crooked and bowed, and I had to pull some tricks out of my hat to keep the pattern looking matched and straight, and to prevent wrinkles in the paper.  And some additional tricks were needed to minimize and obscure the mismatch in the final corner.   No photos, sorry, but it came out great.

The interior designer for this job is Sally Farley – e-mail me if you would like her contact info. The wallpaper is a British pulp paper by Osborn & Little, called “Coralie.”