Posts Tagged ‘overlap’

Kill Point Over Door

May 5, 2023
If you’re hanging wallpaper around a room with four walls and four corners , virtually always when that last strip of paper meets up with the first strip you hung some hours ago, you’ll have a mis-match of the pattern . That’s why we try to tuck this in an inconspicuous place like a 1′ high corner above or behind a door.
But sometimes you don’t have a hidden corner , and all four corners are highly visible and run the full height of the wall. In these cases, it looks much better for the pattern to match floor to ceiling , as you see in this photo. But you have to put the kill point somewhere!
In these cases, a more logical and less noticeable location for the mis-match is the shorter area over the door – where nobody is going to be spending much time looking at, anyway.
My first strip is on the left, and the rest of the powder room has been papered, and I’m working my way from the right to meet up with that strip on the left.
Here it is going into place. I’ve matched the pattern on this new strip to the strip on the left . The strip is too wide, and is overlapping the strip on the right. And, as expected, the pattern doesn’t match up on the right.
As an aside, that blue plastic tape you see at the top of the strip of wallpaper is to keep paste off the ceiling. Once I’ve trimmed that excess paper off, I’ll remove the tape , and the ceiling will be nice and clean – no paste residue to wipe off or worry that it will be visible or damage the paint / cause flaking .
Here I’ve trimmed that short strip at ceiling and above the door trim. As you can see, it’s overlapping the strip on the right, leaving a bump, and plus, the pattern doesn’t match .
To be honest, with this busy pattern and this short area up over a door , this 1′ of mismatch isn’t going to be very noticeable. But I wanted to make it look better.
I’m going to splice these two strips together.
In the photo above, the left strip is overlapping the strip on the right. I don’t like the way the pattern is lining up. A splice will leave branches cut off, and will be noticeable.
So here I’ve reversed things and have overlapped the strip on the right on top of the strip on the left . Now the pattern gives a better option for a splice . I like that there is a curved vertical tree trunk that I can cut along. This will help disguise the splice.
So now to do the splice, I have push hard enough on my blade to cut through two strips of paper. But it’s important to not score the wall surface beneath. When the wallpaper paste dries and the paper shrinks a tad, it will put tension on the wall surface . If that underlying surface is not unstable or not sound, due to being cut into, or dust is another factor , that tension can cause the wall surface to pull apart , and the wallpaper can come away from the wall. Actually, it’s not the wallpaper coming away – it’s the layers of the wall pulling apart.
So I use these thin flexible polystyrene plastic strips under where the splice will be. You can’t cut through them!
Here I’ve pulled the two strips of wallpaper away from the wall and am positioning the plastic strip under where the splice will take place. Next, I’ll smooth the two wallpaper strips back into place, with the right one overlapping the one on the left.
I like to hold a single edge razor blade in my fingers , but you can use a blade holder or trim knife , too.
Here I’ve free-handed my cut , trimming along the vertical tree trunk at the top , then straight down through blank area, then through some branches, and finally at the bottom again trimming along a curved vertical tree branch. Now I’m removing the excess from the left side of the trim / splice .
Lifting the strip on the right so I can remove the excess piece that was trimmed off on the right.
Now removing the polystyrene strip.
Using my plastic smoother to gently press the two trimmed strips of wallpaper into place.
Here it is all done. Trimming along the vertical branch at the top has helped disguise the splice. The bottom area doesn’t match 100% perfectly, but I’m OK with that. I’ll work on smoothing out that teensy overlap and the seam will be nice and flat.
All done!
The wallpaper pattern is called Luminous Branches and is by York . It’s non-woven / paste the wall material , and very nice to work with, durable , stain resistant , and will strip off the wall easily and with no damage when you redecorate .
If you’re interested in the source for the splicing / double cutting strips , or the thin blue tape to keep paste off the ceiling, please email me at

Kill Point Over Door

March 29, 2023
aaHere’s what this flowing viny wallpaper pattern looks like in this dining room in the Garden Oaks / Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston . The bottom 1/3 of the wall is block paneling / wainscoting , so the wallpaper on just the area above is not overwhelming .
A kill point is the place in a room where your last strip of wallpaper meets up with the first strip you hung . this virtually always results in a pattern mis-match . So we try to hide that in an inconspicuous place, such as in a corner behind a door .
In this room, all of the corners are very visible . A mismatched corner of 7′ high would be very noticeable .
So in this room, I was able to cleverly disguise the mis-match in a much shorter area, over a door . This is only 6″ high . Here my first strip is on the left, and my last strip is on the right, with two short strips needed to bridge that gap .
Here the strip on the right has been put into place.
Here’s the piece that will butt up against the strip on the left. Eeek! It’s 1/2″ too narrow to cover the gap. Also, as you can see, there is an obvious pattern mis-match at that seam on the right.
look at this tree branch . I’m going to use that to my advantage.
Here I’ve taken another piece and have matched the pattern on the right side. Note that it’s not matching on th left.
Here I am, back to that strip we saw a few photos ago, that will match with the strip on the left. Remember tha tree branch I pointed out? Here I’ve trimmed the wallpaper vertically along that tree branch .
Here I’m putting it into place, butting it up against the strip on the left, and overlapping the strip on the right. But that’s going to leave a vertical ridge under this strip, where the strip underneath it ends on the left.
But you won’t notice that overlap if it runs under a design motif . Here I’m using a pencil to trace the outline of that tree branch, bringing it in so that the tree branch will overlap just 1/8″ – 1/4″ over the strip on the right.
Note that since the surface of this paper is vinyl , and wallpaper paste doesn’t always adhere well to slick plastic , I’ve used a special border paste or vinyl over vinyl or seam repair adhesive just on this small 1/8″ overlapped area .
Strip on the right trimmed to conform to the curves of the tree branch.
Tree branch piece being put into place.
Tree branch strip trimmed and finished.
SDone and viewed from below. OK, so the pattern doesn’t match 100% perfectly the way the designer intended. Some of the motifs are closer together than they “should” be. From here, who the heck is going to notice?! This looks pretty darned good – and it looks way better than having a 7′ long mis-match in a very visible corner .
The pattern is called Twining and is by Graham & Brown . It has a very light texture , and also a slight
metallic sheen on the branches . It’s a non-woven / paste the wall material , and will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate . I like their papers a lot .
You can purchase G&B from Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village . Call first, as hours vary. (713) 529-6515 .
Here’s another cool thing … Go back to that first photo. Since I started hanging paper by centering the pattern between the two windows on the wall to the right (not visible in the photo), by the time I worked my way around to the wall between the windows you see in front of you, the pattern was not going to be centered in between the windows. I thought it would look better if it was balanced symmetrically. So I positioned the dominant part of the tree branches in between the windows. And then I used the same overlap-and-disguise trick over the window on the right.

Using One Strip to Cover Two Areas Saves Wallpaper

March 23, 2023
This wallpaper is 20″ wide . My next strip to the left needs to be 20″ wide above the window – but only 1.5″ wide down the side of the window. I hate to use a whole 6′ long strip for this area. Because, as you can see, most of the strip will be where the window is, and will be cut off and thrown away.
But here’s a plan. The same thing is happening on the right side of the wall, on the window to the right. About 10″ of the wallpaper has extended over the window, leaving about 10″ of the lower portion to be cut off and thrown into the trash.
NNo! Since I need a 1.5″ width of a right edge to finish my area on the left side of the wall (see previous photo), I can use this discarded lower 10″ of wallpaper to cover that 1.5″ to the left.
Planning ahead and measuring carefully, I removed the lower section of wallpaper that would have been hanging over the window / shutters . I left plenty of overlap to allow for trimming along the top and along side the window molding. Added bonus – because I’m now not wrestling a 20″ wide strip of paper next to this window and shutters, it keeps a lot of paste from slopping onto the window molding and shutters .
zin this photo, you see the 10″ wide strip I’ve removed. And also the 1.5″ wide strip from the left right edge, that will be put against the strip to the left.
Here’s my 1.5″ wide strip.
And here’s where I’m going to put it. Note that I cut a short strip to fit over the window . It’s 20″ wide – the width of the roll of wallpaper . I cut it long enough to come down the side of the window to where there’s a design element – in this case, a horizontal branch – to disguise the juncture of these two pieces of wallpaper .
About to go into place .
Positioned. Note the overlap of the branch, trimmed along the lines of the motif. This makes the overlap way less noticeable than a straight horizontal patch, or even a splice.
Note: I don’t like to splice / double cut in situations like these – cuts into the wall surface below and can cause the paper to come away from the wall. I don’t mind overlaps in these situations. They’re up high where no one can see, and also much stronger and more stable than a butted edge .
Teimming off excess along the window molding / trim .
The tree and leaf pattern is called Twining and is by Graham and Brown . Like most of their materials, it’s a non-woven material and can be installed by pasting the wall – although I usually paste the paper . It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate . The seams are invisible .

Geometric on Tricky Outside Corner

March 21, 2023
OK, never mind the ’80’s-era toilet paper holder that’s recessed into the wall here and is not removable – which presents a challenge all its own. My issue is adding the next strip of wallpaper to the left, turning the corner, and keeping the pattern matched as well as possible in both the inside corner and around the outside corner.
Usually, when turning inside corners, you wrap the paper around the corner 1/8 of an inch, and then cut a new strip of paper, match the pattern, and then overlap it that 1/8″ . That helps eliminate issues like mis-matches or wrinkles due to crooked corners or uneven / bowed / out-of-plumb walls . (no walls are ever perfect )
But in this case, we also have an outside corner to wrap. Even though it’s only about 2″ wide, that edge can cause the pattern to go off-plumb , or to create wrinkles in the wallpaper .
Going against most rules of wallpapering , I’ve decided to wrap the next strip around this 2″ wide wall and then onto the wider wall to the left .

Here I am, starting to position that next strip. I’m not going to try to wrap a full 27″ wide strip around this turn. Instead, I’ve trimmed it vertically along a horizontal stripe , which makes this strip narrower and more easy to handle , and also will help in placement of the next strip.
Now I’m pushing it into place into that corner. Note how the paper is wrinkling, both on the wide wall, and as it comes around the 2″ wall.
Another shot of the placement and wrinkles .
Using my plastic squeegee smoother to press the paper tightly into the inside corner. Note that, since the corner isn’t perfectly straight or plumb, there were a few areas where I couldn’t press the paper tightly into the wall, but had to leave a bit of a gap or air bubble, in order for the left edge to wrap around the turn.
The plastic smoother can also be used to gently push out wrinkles on the larger body of the strip of paper to the right. Don’t press too hard , nor overwork , because you don’t want to stretch the paper – that will cause more wrinkles.
The plastic smoother took care of the inside corner. Here I’m using my damp microfiber cloth to tightly press the paper around this outside corner .
OK. Paper’s wrapped tightly around this corner – but, because the corner isn’t straight , we’ve got wrinkles and warps .
Sometimes, you need to take a scissors to make relief cuts to help ease the paper around the corner . Try to make your cuts along an element of the design , to make the slit less noticeable.
here is that little narrow bit, finally wrapped around the outside corner. Now we need to add the next strip to the left of this. Note that this narrow strip isn’t straight nor plumb nor equidistant from the corner that we just turned. Nor is it equidistant from the next corner we have to deal with, which is to the left (not pictured).
Since we want the wallpaper strips to match in the corners, it’s important that the wallpaper pattern fall in the corner to the left at the same point from ceiling to floor. Complicated to explain.
So I’m taking a fresh strip of wallpaper , made sure the pattern matches correctly , and have trimmed it vertically along the tan stripe . Now placing it along this wrapped edge.
Because I’m overlapping instead of butting , I’m able to pull the new strip to the right or left, to keep it equidistant from the right outside corner . Or, from the inside corner to the left.
Actually, I don’t care much about the right side. The eye won’t notice if the new strip isn’t perfectly plumb . Nor will it notice if the pattern match isn’t 100% perfect . But it will notice if the pattern doesn’t match perfectly in the inside corner to the left.
So I’m pulling and manipulating and overlapping the strip a bit, so that the left edge of it is exactly 10-3/4″ from the left edge. This ensures that the pattern motifs fall all at the same point into that corner on the left.
Do I can cut my next strip, trim it vertically so the design matches with that in the corner, and get a perfect pattern match in the corner. Kinda difficult to explain, but I hope you can follow what I’m describing.
Note that this overlap is causing a bit of a ridge under the paper . Hard to see here, but when the paper dries and shrinks tight against the wall, it will be a little more obvious. But I’d rather have a ridge on the right, than a pattern mis-match in the corner to the left.
Oh, and never mind that little pattern mis-match to the right … that’s the paper wrapped around the corner, so you’re looking at different dimensions, not a pattern mis-match.
Here is that strip finished. The vertical strips isn’t perfectly plumb, but no one can tell that.
ut the pattern is perfectly straight in the inside corner to the left . So when I take my subsequent strip and trim it vertically to remove the right edge by approximately 10-3/4″ , the pattern should match perfectly in this inside corner. (It did!)
This “sort of” Greek key trellis geometric design is by Thibaut , one of my favorite brands. It was on a triditional paper substrate , and was hung via the paste the paper method .
It was purchased from my favortite source for wallpaper in Houston , Dorota Hartwig at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village , who has more selection books than anywhere else in the city – and knows what’s in every one of them! Call before heading over (713) 529-6515 .
The home is in the Champions Forest area of northwest Houston.

Plumbing Up Coming Out Of A Corner DRAFT

January 29, 2023
Here I’m hanging wallpaper, moving from right to left, preparing to turn this corner . You don’t wrap a strip of wallpaper around an inside corner (see previous post for more information). So I’ve cut a new strip, trimmed off excess on the right so the pattern on the new strip matches that on the existing strip, and am getting ready to proceed to the left.
But corners are never straight or plumb , and chair rail and ceilings are never perfectly level . So if I butt the new strip right up into the corner, if that corner is off-plumb , it will cause the new strip, and all subsequent strips, to be off-plumb. And that means that the design motifs will start tracking up or down hill as we move across the wall.
You want all the motifs to be at the same height along the ceiling and chair rail – within reason, of course, because if those features are not level, the motifs can’t help but move up or down.
Anyway, the best you can do is to hang your new strip perfectly plumb . So here you see I’ve shot my laser level at the wall at the far edge of the new strip. I’m butting my new strip up to that red line. I’m also using my 2′ bubble level as an extra guide.
Note that sometimes this means the new strip will not butt up perfectly in the corner, because it may tilt a bit to the left or right. When that happens, you just trim off the slight overlap. This means you may end up with a slight pattern mis-match in the corner. Usually not too noticeable.

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 or here
Her name is Eunice , so we call them EuniTools .

Lots of Wallpaper in Nov/Dec Issue of American Farmhouse Style Magazine

November 1, 2022
Including right here on the cover! And a real coup! … A magazine that’s pretty much dedicated to the all-white or all-grey trend in decorating, as well as minimalism … it’s so exciting to see some pattern and color in the ” farmhouse ” themed homes. Let’s take a look …
Textured grasscloth behind bookshelves in a living room .
Two-tone classic toile on one wall as a background to a stairwell . It warms up the space, without hitting you in the face.
Soft , cloud – like feel behind this credenza . Look carefully right above the baskets , and you’ll see an overlapped seam. Some commercial murals are hung like this, as well as the very popular patterns by Spoonflower , which is a budget-friendly and DIY – able , good quality material and brand . (But ONLY their ” prepasted smooth ” option. Do NOT get the ” traditional pebble ” nor their ” peel and stick . “
More of the toile pattern , in the entry , with batten board wainscoting and a chair rail , in a mud room . Also called rear back door entry . : )
Floral pattern in the laundry room . I’m getting lots of queries for wallpaper in laundries … must be trending right now!
Soft two-tone floral in small bathroom .
Textured grasscloth behind desk in home office .
Apologies for the sideways image … WordPress used to be easy to use, and I could correct this. But they “upgraded” their program and made many, many features much more difficult to work with. I tried tutorials on how to fix this, but after reading and watching tons of info and videos, I gave up. It used to be just one click !
Anyway, note the cheery breakfast room. Colorful without being overwhelming .
Closer picture.
Very innovative use of floral pattern with subdued color around the archway / entry to another breakfast nook . Note that the back of the nook also wears a textured wallpaper .
Sorry for the out-of-order picture … another frustration from the “upgraded” WordPress Editor . This gives an idea of what the afore-mentioned breakfast area looked like pre-wallpaper.
The magazine didn’t mention a brand, but this sure looks like one of Serena & Lily ‘s designs . Of course, when one company makes a popular pattern , many other companies make their own versions .
These days, usually you see pattern on the accent wall behind the headboard . So it’s a little unusual to see wallpaper on all four walls of this master bedroom . But it works, because the pattern is simple and the colors are kept to only two , so the overall feel is calming , rather than busy .
Fooled me! I thought this headboard accent wall was done in tile – but it’s wallpaper !
The same paper on a kitchen cabinet .

Narrower-ing A Strip For Better Seam Placement

October 11, 2022
Here I am moving from right to left across this wall, fixin’ to put wallpaper over, around, and then under this window .
The distance from the existing strip to the corner is 20.” The width of the wallpaper is 18.” This means that my next wallpaper strip is going to fall 2″ short of reaching that wall to the left. So another strip will be needed to cover that last 2.” That’s two full length, 9′ long strips to cover that small bit of wall space. And there will be a seam down the middle.
I’d like to use less paper and have less waste. And I sure would like to avoid having a seam down the middle. Both because installing it is a PITA and also because it would look better and be more stable without the seam.
If I could just make that next strip over the window narrower, it would pull the full-length strip a bit to the right, eliminating the second strip and the seam.
Each 18″ wide strip has two stripes of flowers running down it. There’s a little gap between these stripes, so it’s possible to split the strip in half vertically between the rows of flowers. Then I’ll have a 9″ wide strip filling the gap over the window, instead of an 18″ wide strip.
So here I’m using a straightedge and razor blade to split the strip. (Normally I do this on my table with my 76″ straightedge , but today I’m working on the floor and with different tools .)
Here is the piece viewed from the front. The pink bit of flower on the right side is going to match up with the corresponding flower on the existing strip over the window . I made sure that the left edge of this 9″ wide strip has no flowers or motifs crossing over the left edge. That way there is no pattern to match across the seam, so I can choose any piece I want for the final strip that will go in between the window and the corner.
Here it is in place. Now I have only 11″ of width to cover with wallpaper , and no seam down the middle .
Same procedure for under the window. Except I’m not trimming this piece to 9.” I’m leaving it about 2″ wider. One reason is because that full-height strip coming down between the window and the corner is likely to twist or stretch a bit, and thus won’t line up absolutely perfectly with the strip under the window. Having this strip under the window be wider will allow the strip coming down the side of the window, when it gets down to under the window, it will overlap the strip under the window by about 2.” So I’m going to double cut / splice these two pieces together.
I’m also not adhering this piece to the wall yet, because I don’t want the paste to start drying, as I will need wet paste and paper that is easy to pull off the wall, in order to do the double cut.
OK, so here we are over the window, getting ready to put in our long 11″ wide strip down alongside the window. Actually, I’m cutting this piece 12″ wide, to allow for trimming along that left edge in the corner. This will also accommodate if the paper twists or shifts over that 9′ drop from ceiling to floor.
I chose a flower to put at the top of the wall that is different from what’s on the existing strip, so there won’t be repetitive motifs. But the right edge of this strip of paper has a design part that is meant to match up with the corresponding flower on the left edge of the previous strip.
But we don’t have that corresponding flower, because I cut that strip down from 18″ wide to 9″ and thus lost the left edge of the paper, along with the corresponding flower.
I don’t want this half-motif to be hanging in the middle of nowhere. Even 9′ up above the window, it might catch your eye.
No problem. I took my straightedge and razor blade and trimmed off 1/2″, which got rid of that design element.
Note that I did this before I trimmed this long strip to 12.” If I had trimmed it off before, then this strip would have ended up 11.5″ wide instead of 12″ and might not have fit the space since wallpaper can twist and shift during that 9′ drop.
Sorry, no photo of that strip butting up to the piece over the window and then dropping down the space between the window and the corner.
So that strip is in place now, and here we are under the window, with that 9″ wide gap to fill.
So I take the strip I had set aside for under the window and position it next to the strip on the right. Remember that I cut this middle strip about 2″ wider, so it overlaps the strip on the left. I need this overlap to do the double cut / splice.
When splicing on the wall, it’s important not to let your blade score into the wall. If the wall surface becomes compromised, the torque created when the paste dries and the wallpaper shrinks a bit can tug at the wall and cause layers of paint or etc. to pull away from the wall, resulting in an open seam.
So I’m padding behind where my cut will be made with this strip of flexible Lexion plastic. It’s thin enough to not make much of a bump under the paper, but thick enough that you can’t cut through it with a razor blade.
If you’re interested in this cool stuff, email me and I’ll hook you up with the guy who sells it.
There it is on the wall.
Now I put the two layers of paper over it . Note that this is a paste-the-wall wallcovering, so there is no paste on the strip on the right, so nothing to stain the paper below it. If this were a regular paste-the-paper material, you can use thin plastic strips (like painter’s plastic) to cover up that paste.
Trim guide in place, and I’m getting ready to make the cut with a new single edge razor blade. You have to press hard enough to get through both layers of paper in the first try, but not so hard as to cut into the wall.
I’ve plotted where my splice will go, to not cut through any flower motifs, and to be sure to cut off that little bit of flower you can see shadowing through from the wallpaper piece underneath – just to the left of the large flower.
Once the cut is done, I remove the excess paper on the left.
Then reach underneath and remove the excess paper from the bottom strip.
Another shot of pulling out that excess bottom paper. Next I removed the Lexion strip. I set those in a bucket of water to keep the paste wet until I can wash in the sink.
Bringing the two strips to meet up and then smoothing into place. No paste got on the surface, so no need to wipe the seam.
A double cut / splice makes the absolutely most perfect and invisible seam, because both pieces have been cut together and butt perfectly.
Here it is finished. Technically, due to slicing the strips in half vertically, the floral strip on the far left is about 1/2″ further away from the strip on the right than it “should” be. But – eh – who the heck is going to notice that?!
What’s important is that no flower motifs got cut in half, no identical flowers ended up next to each other, here’s no seam down the middle of that space, and only one 9′ high strip of wallpaper was required (instead of two).
Done. Oh my gosh – now I’ve got to do the same thing on the opposite side of the wall!!
The pattern is called Sweet Pea and is by Serena & Lily .
This went in a nursery in a home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston .

Grasscloth Engineering and Logistics – Technical Details Post

August 21, 2022
Grasscloth is a natural material that cannot be matched from strip to strip, so all the seams will be visible . In addition, there is usually a slight but noticeable color difference between strips / panels (called shading or paneling ) . So it’s important to plot the layout of the strips to give the most visually pleasing overall look. Usually this means balancing the width of strips so they are all equal , at least on the same wall . We call this engineering .
This wall presented particular challenges , due to the widths of the elements. Grasscloth comes 36″ wide . You can use your straightedge and a sharp razor blade and trim it down to any width you want.
The width of both the large wall spaces to the right and left of the bank of windows was 34.” The width of each window was about 35.” The width of the two spaces in between the windows was 7.”
So you’d think I could trim my panels on either side of the windows, and then over the windows, to about 34″-36″ – give or take a few inches (or fractions thereof).
But that would leave me with two 7″ wide strips between these 35″ panels. Although the look would be uniform and mirror-image from the center outward, moving from right to left you’d have: 35,” 35″, 7,” 35,” 7,” 35,” 35,” … those 7″ breaks were just not going to look right.
One option was to determine the width of the wall (189″) and make each strip an equal width. This worked out to six strips, each at 31.5″ Not good, because this would mean a seam down either far side. And since those sides were 34″ wide, that would mean a 31.5″ wide strip and a strip 2.5″ wide. Not attractive at all, and it would use up an extra strip of wallpaper.
This six strips @ 31.5″ wide scenario might also land with a seam smack in the middle of those 7″ wide interludes in between the windows. Not attractive at all.
So I decided to make the two outer strips 35″ wide. That left 119″ of wall space above the windows to be covered with wallpaper. Do some math and you get four panels of 29.75″ wide. This gave a balanced and uniform look to the area over the windows, and also prevented seams from landing between the windows.
Moving right to left, I cut and hung the full length outer strip first. Then I cut and hung the strip over the window on the right. Then I measured to find the centerpoint of the window in the middle. Turns out it was a bit less than 29.75″ away. So I trimmed that next over-window strip accordingly.
Once that was in place, I measured from that center point above the middle window out to where my left full-height panel would fall, 35″ out from the wall. Took the resulting measurement and divided by 2. Lo and behold, each of the next two panels over the window was going to be a bit wider than 30.” No problem. No one (but a paperhanger or maybe an engineer) is going to notice a 1/4″ or even a full 1″ difference in widths between this strips over the windows.
Another thing to point out … it’s important that I took measurements before cutting these strips for this second left-hand section. Because, since grasscloth comes at 36″ (and walls can be wonky), if my strips had been narrower (say, 28″), that last full-height panel on the left might have ended up needing to be 37″ wide – and that wouldn’t work because it only comes 36″ wide – plus you need at least 1/8″ to wrap around the corner.
Luckily I had the flexibility to be able to trim the panels over the windows to any width needed, to accommodate all this.
If you’ve followed all this so far, let me also toss in that we also need to figure how to get paper in between those windows. More on that below.
In this scenario, I’m moving from right to left.
Area beneath the windows needs to be treated in the same way, and preferably with widths that match what’s going on above the windows. In addition, it’s tricky because after you move across 12′ of wall space, the strips above and below the windows are going to twist and torque out of shape, so that last full-length panel on the far left might not butt up perfectly with the last strip under the windows.
The grasscloth is black , and my wallpaper primer is white . It’s common for teeny gaps to appear at the seams . In this case, it’s likely that white wall would peek out from those gaps. So I like to stripe under where the seams will fall with dark (diluted) paint . This takes measuring , plotting , and also a heat gun to get the paint to dry before the wallpaper hits it, to avoid staining. You can do a Search here to read more about this technique .
Now let’s talk about getting wallpaper in between those windows.
As you can see in the photo, if I hang a 30″ wide strip, a whole lot of paper is going to be cut off and thrown away. Also, a whole lot of sticky, pasted paper is going to bump against that window molding and maybe even the window glass. A lot to clean up! And unwieldy, to boot.
My solution was to stop the wallpaper just a little below the tops of the windows. Then I would patch in a 7″ wide strip in between the windows. This is trickier than it sounds, because, if it were a paper wallpaper, I could simply cut along a design motif and overlay the 7″ wide piece. But grasscloth is thick and overlaps don’t look good. Also grass has no design elements , and the reeds of grass don’t necessarily fall perfectly horizontal , and even if you cut everything perfectly true to square , if the window molding is a teeny bit off-plumb , then your edges won’t butt up perfectly.
So that’s a good reason for striping the black paint under where the butt join will occur.
Same thing for the sections under the windows. I measured and positioned the strips so that the top edge (which I had trimmed to be perfectly horizontal) fell between the narrowest part of the windowsill molding, for less visibility.
I admit, instead of butting the two pieces, here I did overlap the 7″ wide strip about 1/4″ onto the piece under the window, right at that narrow junction. It’s only about 3″ wide, and I figured no one is going to be examining it that closely, anyway. This saved me about a half an hour of measuring, trimming, testing, repeat, repeat.
This is my second window interlude, and by this time I had realized that it’s hard to trim stiff grasscloth around intricate moldings precisely . So I used paint to fill in the edges around the window molding, just in case there might be any gaps between the grasscloth and the molding, so you would see black instead of the white molding paint. I did this with a small sponge; if I had used an artist’s brush it would have been a bit neater and tighter to the conforms of the molding. But sometimes you’ve gotta relax and realize that no one’s going to be scrutinizing the insides of moldings below shin-level.
Area over windows finished, with drapes back in place.
Turns out this particular grasscloth is so uniform in color (quite unusual, I will add), that you can’t really see the panels , nor their equal widths , anyway. I’m still glad I took the time to do all this math and trimming.
Area below the windows, done. That last seam on the left bears some explanation, too. Moving across the top of the windows, I measured that that last strip – the full-length strip – would need to be exactly 35″ wide. It butted up nicely to the last strip above the windows.
But, due to twisting , shifting , expansion , unlevel and unplumb walls and ceilings , and other factors, there is a really good chance that that last 35″ wide strip would not butt up perfectly with the last 30″ wide strip under the window . So I planned to splice these last two strips together.
Yeah, the drapes are hanging there, I coulda overlapped the two strips about 1/2″ and the drapes would have covered it. With a thin wallpaper, I probably would have done this. But grasscloth is thick, and an overlap would be visible , and also the adhesive / paste can’t be trusted to adhere as well to grass as it would to paper .
So I plotted for a splice. Instead of trimming my last strip under the window to 30″ (read above), I trimmed it to 32″ wide. That way, when I hung the last full-length strip to the left, which was 35″ wide, it overlapped the piece under the window by a few inches. Then I did a double cut and spliced the two pieces. See below for details about that technique.
Grasscloth is 36″ wide, and this wall area is wider than that. So two strips were needed. This means you’re going to have a seam, and since grasscloth seams are always visible, it looks best to plot to have the seam fall down the center. It uses more wallpaper to do this, but it looks much better than having, for example, a 36″ wide strip next to an 8″ wide strip.
As mentioned above, in case you get thin gaps at the seams, a dark stripe of diluted craft paint under where the seam will fall, will prevent white wall from showing through.
Rounded / bull-nosed edges and corners have been popular in new construction for at least 10 years. I wish they’d go away. They’re very difficult to trim around, and hard for the paper to conform to and adhere to.
It’s very hard to trim around that rounded edge, because the paper is hanging over and blocking your view, because grasscloth is thick and stiff and your fingers can’t feel through it, and because the edges aren’t necessarily true and plumb so a laser level or other level won’t help you much.
I use this little gadget as a trim guide. It’s actually a small section of the same corner bead material that drywallers use when they assemble these walls. Cut to about 1″ long and notched in different places where you might trim along the edge of the wall.
It’s intended that you place your trimming knife in one of the notches and slide the gizmo along the edge and make your cut. I find that awkward and also inaccurate. So I prefer to use the notches as a guide and mark where I plan to trim with a pencil. Since this wallpaper is black, I used this marking pencil from my home sewing kit instead. Chalk might work, but I was afraid it might now wipe off completely.
The pink pencil line was barely visible, but it was enough for me to use a scissors to trim along the grasscloth. I like this better than using a razor blade as I can see better, and also less chance of scoring into the primer or wall. Which raises its own set of issues – do a search here to find previous posts.
Inside view of the trim guide.
Finished arch. Note the four panels of equal width above the arch. And two flanking full-height panels also the same widths.
I was lucky that there was no pattern to match, so I was able to butt my two flanking strips right up to the edge of the bull-nosed corner. No trimming needed! Then I measured the remaining width between these two strips (the area over the arch), divided by four, and cut four strips of equal widths.
I hung the two on the left, and then one on the far right. This left one strip still to be positioned to the right of center. So the pieces are going to meet over the arch, rather than the last strip falling in a corner.
Same as the last strip under the window (discussed above), it’s really difficult to get your last piece to fit in here perfectly. I’ve done it, but it takes a lot of measuring, trimming, testing, retrimming, and often starting all over again.
So I did a double-cut / splice.
A double cut involves cutting each strip an inch or so wider than it should be, and overlapping the two. Then you take a straight edge and sharp razor blade and cut through both layers. This handy tool is a wonderful non-slip guide for this process. It was invented by an installer colleague in the Wallcovering Installers Association ( WIA ) and she has them fabricated in various lengths (along with other cool tools ) and sells them on-line. Contact me if you’re interested.
Anyway, it takes a lot of strength to cut through two layers of grasscloth, so somewhat difficult for lil’ ol’ me.
You also want to be sure to not cut / score into the wall, because the tension of drying wallpaper can tug at the wall and cause it to actually come apart, leaving an open seam that’s difficult to repair.
So you’ve got to put some padding under the wall where the cut will take place. I use special strips of polystyrene (hard but flexible plastic) to pad the wall. Also invented by a colleague in the WIA , who also sells other cool tools and supplies. Contact me if you’re interested.
This black grasscloth was printed on a white substrate. If the seams aren’t absolutely tight, there can be worries about the backing showing through to the front. So sometimes we’ll take a piece of chalk or pastel (never oil pastel or permanent markers because they bleed and stain ) and run it along the edge of the paper – from the back, and taking care to not get chalk on the surface.
I do this frequently with dark papers ( do a search here to see previous posts ) but opted not to do it with this grasscloth. It wasn’t necessary, and might have stained the porous reeds of the grass. It was beneficial, though, to have striped dark paint on the wall under the seams, as mentioned above.
Ugh. Grasscloth comes 36″ wide, and this section of wall is 38″ wide. It’s not visually pleasing, nor is it easy from an installation point of view, to have a 36″ wide strip next to a 2″ wide strip. Or to use scraps and put a 25″ wide strip next to a 13″ wide strip.
So best to plan two strips of equal widths. Two strips, each 19″ wide, with the seam down the middle.
Actually, the strip on the left was 19″ wide, but I trimmed the strip on the right to 21″, because I like the wallpaper to extend 2″ over the top of the door molding. This provides a more stable surface in case of shifting foundation or walls, and less likelihood (knock on wood) of the seam opening up should the house / drywall experience shifting.
Note that design “rules” caution against seams down the middle of spaces. But it would have been more visually distracting (and used up more paper) to have made three strips of each 12.75″ wide. And would have looked even dumber to have used scraps left from other walls and put together two strips of disparate widths.
So the homeowner and I discussed during our initial consultation , and she was happy with the center seam. Once it was all finished, this particular grasscloth was so even in tone that you barely see the seams, anyway. Win-win!
This did use up additional paper, though, as noted in a previous photo above.

Making A Corner Look Straight When It’s Not

March 25, 2022
Here I’m hanging wallpaper from right to left, working around this corner. I’ve wrapped the paper 1/8″ around the corner, and then cut a new piece that will overlap that 1/8″ and continue to move to the left. (Search here to learn more about turning inside corners.)
This is a 100 year old house, and this corner is way off-plumb – on both the right side and the left side. The chair rail, however, is perfectly level.
Here, the pattern matches nicely at the bottom of the wall. But as it moves up, the crooked corner takes over, and the pattern becomes mis-aligned.
By hanging the paper crooked, I can match the wallpaper pattern perfectly in the corner. But that will skew the left edge of this new strip off-plumb by slanting it to the right. That means that every subsequent strip will track off-plumb … and the motif at the top of the chair rail will start to climb uphill.
Since the chair rail is so prominently visible, I think it’s more important for the pattern motif to be straight along the chair rail, than to be perfectly matched in the corner.
But I didn’t like the way the pattern was getting un-matched at the upper part of the wall. I thought I could make it look better.
This design gave me something to fiddle with.
One option was to cut the paper vertically between the two rows of “swoops.” Then I could match the pattern in the corner, and pull the excess paper to the left, overlapping one strip on top of the other about 1/4″ at the top and tapering down to nothing at the chair rail. It’s a thin paper in a room with not-great lighting, so this overlapped lip would not be very noticeable. Still, I thought I could make it look better.
I could make the overlap invisible by trimming the paper along the design. Here I’ve removed that corner piece.
On the left is the strip I’ve cut off.
Here I’m putting the strip into place, and making sure that the pattern matches nicely in the corner. This pushes the upper part of this cut strip further to the left, so it overlaps the other strip of paper just a little
Now, instead of a visible straight overlap the full height of the strip, the overlap comes along the rounded edges of the design. That black line disguises the overlap beautifully!
Here it is nicely matched in the corner, with invisible overlap along the curved black line.
The excess still needs to be trimmed off at the ceiling and chair rail.
Mission accomplished! The design matches nicely in the corner, the paper moving to the left is hung perfectly plumb, and the motifs are all at their proper heights along the chair rail and ceiling.
This fun retro mid-century modern pattern is by Designer Wallpapers.