Posts Tagged ‘paint’

Luminous Branches Breathe Life Into Dining Room

May 28, 2023
Before

The homeowners had this elegant wainscoting added to the bottom of their dining room when the house was built . But for seven years, the room was bland and boring . The new crystal chandelier adds glamor , but the room is still lacking .

Wallpaper to the rescue!
Now there’s soft color and soft pattern . And a little gold shimmer !

I’m encouraging the homeowners to paint that band of wall under the tray ceiling a very soft aqua color, to meld with the misty feel of the wallpaper .

It’s a soft aqua color , but enough to stand out against the woodwork . Now you see the beautiful moldings and trim work .
South wall before
South wall done
I positioned the tree pattern to fall down the mid-point of this space between the two windows .
This shot with the chandelier dimmer turned down allows you to see the pattern more fully.

This wallpaper pattern is called Luminous Branches and is by York , one of my favorite brands , in their Designer Series line.
The material has a slight raised / embossed / textured effect. It’s a non-woven product, so is strong , durable , stain-resistant , and designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece and with no damage to the wall when you redecorate later.
Non-wovens can be hung by the paste the wall method , but I generally prefer to paste the paper . NW requires no booking / soaking time , so they install a little faster , with no worries about shrinking or gaps at the seams . In fact, the seams are near-invisible .
The home is in the Braes Heights area of Houston

A Really Nice Faux Grasscloth , Suitable for Bathrooms

May 19, 2023
The homeowner wanted the look of grasscloth, but didn’t want the stains that can happen when splashed with water or toiletries.  Another displeasing feature of real grasscloth is the very visible seams , and the likelihood of color differences between panels (called paneling or shading ).  So she opted for this textured vinyl version.  She loves the look.  It is a handsome room!
Original 1990’s paper has been stripped off, Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer has been applied, and we’re now ready for paper!
This material has a pattern that matches from strip to strip, so you don’t get the eye-jarring look of broken fibers at the seams , like with real grasscloth or other natural materials. 
Here’s a close-up, detailing the texture.  About ¼ from the right is a seam – it’s barely noticeable . 
Opposite wall.  For balance, I plotted that the seams fall at the same point on each wall – 18” from the mirror frame
I’m getting ready to hang a strip that will knock against that mirror frame.  To keep paste from slopping onto the molding , I’ve applied this thin, flexible blue plastic tape along the edge.  This will keep paste off the molding while I trim that strip to fit against the molding.  Once that trimming is done, I’ll remove the blue tape and then smooth the wallpaper back into place.
Since this is a dark wallpaper, I worry about the light colored primer peeking out at the seams.  This can happen because sometimes the factory hasn’t trimmed the edges perfectly straight , or the wall may have uneven areas or bows , or some papers shrink a tad when they dry .  So here I’ve plotted where the seams will fall and have striped the area with diluted paint .
I use bottles of craft paint from the hobby store (good old Texas Art Supply !), and apply with a scrap of sponge .  And my trusty Gatorade bottle cap with water, to dip the sponge into to dilute the paint … you don’t want full strength paint under there.  Wallpaper wants to adhere to a primer made for wallpaper – not paint designed to color Christmas ornaments. 
Another and probably more important trick is to color the edges of the wallpaper.  This navy blue wallpaper was printed on a white stock / substrate , and it’s highly likely that the edges of that substrate will show at the seams .  So, again back to Texas Art Supply (or a good hobby store) for chalk or pastel , which I run lightly along the edge from the back so as not to get any color onto the surface of the wallpaper .  That little dark nub you see is my chalk… the stuff breaks easily.  It’s important that you not get oil pastels or use any kind of ink marker, as these will leech into the wallpaper and stain it, leaving you with a nasty dark line down the seam . 
I really liked this product.  It was flexible enough to wrap around a rounded / bull-nosed corner , but stiff enough to not warp .  It’s on a non-woven substrate , which contains polyester , which makes it less likely to shrink .  This stuff is also designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece with no damage to your wall when you redecorate .  Another advantage of non-wovens is that they can be pasted and hung immediately, with no booking or wait time.  Although I generally prefer to paste the paper , you also have the option to paste the wall with this material.
The non-woven backing won’t be sucking up humidity like the paper backings used years ago (or in modern lower-end products), so greatly reduced chance of seams coming loose if your teenager spends an hour steaming up the bathroom . 
The vinyl surface means that it will be resistant to stains from water , toothpaste , and little (and big!) hands . 
In addition, I liked that the material has a realistic grasscloth look, and a realistic texture , as well as a pattern that could be matched, which helps disguise the seams.  I didn’t match the pattern in the corners, though, to avoid having the horizontal bands running around every wall of the room at the same height.  Looks better to break it up a bit.  Also gave me more flexibility in placement of seams.   
The brand is A Street Prints and is in their Scott Living line  (as in the Scott Brothers of HGTV fame). 
The home is in the Champions Forest area of Houston .   
installer paperhanger

Ditch the Peel & Stick! – Powder Room Re-Do

May 12, 2023
The homeowner wanted a tropical , jungle , palm , sorta wild look for her powder room .   She unfortunately had not read my link (to the right) about the perils and misleading claims re peel & stick “wallpaper.”  So she bought some and attempted to cover the walls in her powder room.
First mistake was purchasing this stuff in the first place.  Second was trying to hang over textured walls .  Third was not having a properly smoothed , sealed and cured surface.  Beyond that, just the concept of peel and stick material is a project doomed to fail.  IMO
Note wrinkles and warps in the material. Paper not adhering .
More wrinkles and warps.  Gap at seam over door .
Paper looked good when she put it up, but seam split / opened within a short time .  This is characteristic of P&S wallpaper , especially if the walls have not been prepped as spec’ed.
So now the P&S has been removed , I’ll step in and skim-float the textured wall to smooth it , prime, and then we’ll be ready for wallpaper .  REAL wallpaper !
Done.  No wrinkles , no warps , good adherence .  She found a pattern that was very similar to her original choice , but more visually pleasing , I think, because it’s less “spiky.”  A good idea of hers was to paint the sink / mirror wall , as this pattern on all four walls could have been overwhelming .
This is a traditional wallpaper , install ed by pasting the paper .   It’s good quality , seams were flat and invisible , and it was nice to work with. 
Close up.
Closer-up.
Just tossing in this photo of how I use a baby’s T-shirt to protect the toilet seat cover .
I guess I forgot to take a photo of the label, but this is made by Designer Wallpaper .  Pattern number is TA20004 .  Oddly, when I Google this, I get pattern names of Jamaica and Tortuga .  And also get the brand name Seabrook .  Wallquest took over Seabrook, but leaving the old brand name on older patterns .
My best suggestion here is, if you want this wallpaper pattern, contact Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village of Houston (713) 529-6515 .  She is the master at tracking down patterns and all things wallpaper.
The home is in the Timbergrove / Heights neighborhood of Houston .
installer

Re-Doing Accent Wall in Powder Room

May 7, 2023
The homeowner’s contractor’s guy hung this accent wall in an under the stairs powder room . He did a good enough job. But there were some bubbles / wrinkles . Depending on where you’re standing in the room, and where light is coming from, the bubbles were somewhat noticeable , even with this busy patterned wallpaper . It bugged the homeowner , and she wanted it to look better.
Dry-stripping the wallpaper resulted in this. The paper came off in an intact sheet, as the mfgr promises. But it took some of the primer along with it.
Let’s examine this. It’s a good thing, at least, that the previous installer used a primer, and hopefully one made for use under wallpaper. But, to be honest, a wallpaper primer is designed to let go of the wallpaper when you start to strip it off the wall. So maybe this is just paint, or a paint primer .
Second, I have a suspicion that, after skim-floating and then sanding the wall to smooth it, dust was left on the wall , and then trapped between the wall and the primer. That’s a likely reason why the primer / paint pulled away from the wall so easily. Nothing sticks to dust! So it’s imperative that, after vacuuming , you take a damp sponge – rinsed frequently – and wipe down the entire wall, and then let dry , before priming. The primer also has to dry completely, before wallpaper goes up.
I switched to wet-stripping the remaining wallpaper, and had less damage . But was still left with a wall with lots of irregular and un-smooth areas . So to prepare it for wallpaper , I first sealed loose or dusty areas with GARDZ , which is a penetrating and hard-drying sealer for torn drywall or other unstable surfaces . It’s pretty cool stuff.
After that dried, I applied a very thin skim coat of joint compound (which we call mud ). Once that was dry, I sanded smooth , vacuumed , wiped off residual dust with a damp sponge, let dry, and then primed with Roman Ultra Prime Pro 977 and let dry.
Here’s what it looked like when I was done with the prep .
And here it is with the new paper up.
I switched to wet-stripping the remaining wallpaper, and had less damage . But was still left with a wall with lots of irregular and un-smooth areas . So to prepare it for wallpaper , I first sealed loose or dusty areas with GARDZ , which is a penetrating and hard-drying sealer for torn drywall or other unstable surfaces . It’s pretty cool stuff.
After that dried, I applied a very thin skim coat of joint compound (which we call mud ). Once that was dry, I sanded smooth , vacuumed , wiped off residual dust with a damp sponge, let dry, and then primed with Roman Ultra Prime Pro 977 and let dry.
This single wall was a bit of a challenge, for many reasons. For one thing, we really didn’t have enough paper. Luckily, the previous guy had kept the left over scraps, and I did need to use some of those. It also was OK to mis-match the pattern when necessary, as the design is very forgiving. The rounded bull-nosed edges around and over the window are a PITA. This pattern was forgiving in that respect, too, as well as the layout of the area over the window. There were also some printing defects , which will be addressed in a future blog post .
Oh – and I, also, got bubbles ! In fact, I hung this same brand a few weeks ago and got bubbles then, too. Some I got rid of by making a tiny cut with a razor blade and then pushing the air out with my plastic smoother . But, usually, with these pre-pasted materials, once they get good and dry, small bubbles dry flat and disappear. Not sure why the other guy had problems with this. But I will say that the bubbles were larger than typically show up with these papers.
Close up.
The pattern is called Brownstoner , and is by Flavor Paper . I am not a fan of their vinyl products, and definitely not their peel & stick . But I do like their EZ Papes , which is a pre-pasted material . Not crazy about the bubbles, though.
The home is in the Eastwood neighborhood of Houston .
installer

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 wallpaperlady@att.net

Primer Drying Inconsistently

April 28, 2023
Here I’ve rolled on my favorite wallpaper primer , Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime . Since I’m going over flat water-based paint, I expected my primer to dry smoothly and quickly.
So I was surprised when I looked back 30 minutes later and saw that some areas were wet and had actually thickened up a bit and pushed away from the wall.
Here is looks like it’s actually sweating . This is most likely due to what is on the surface below – including below that surface. In other words, I think somewhere along the line, the wall was painted with semi-gloss paint. The gloss finish won’t allow moisture to pass through it, so the moisture stays on the surface longer. Possibly also, something in one or more of the base surfaces holds on to moisture , so that it is not allowed to dry and evaporate into the air . These principles would hold true even if another coat paint , even matt finish paint, was applied on top.
I ended up bringing a fan in from my van and aiming some moving air onto that wall to speed dry time .

Waiting To Trim The Skinny Strip

April 26, 2023
Here I am, hanging wallpaper from left to right . I’ve just placed the narrow strip on the left – but have not trimmed it against the door molding all the way down. This is because skinny strips like this are often unstable and can twist to the right or left, or fall with an edge that’s not straight . This makes it difficult for the subsequent strip to butt up against it perfectly .
The strip on the right is still folded and booked , and I’ll release it and position it in a minute .
So I’m going to hang that next, full-width strip now. Because it’s wider, it’s more dimensionally-stable , and will fall ceiling-to-floor without warping or twisting . Especially true since this is a non-woven material, which are quite strong and stable .
Note I’ve striped a little thinned pink paint under where the seams will fall, to prevent the white wallpaper primer from showing, in case there are tiny gaps at the seams (which can be common).
Here you see that there is, indeed, a gap between the full-width strip on the right and the narrow one on the left. Because I have not yet trimmed that narrow strip on its left edge against the door molding, I’m able to move that narrow strip a teeny bit to the right, to eliminate that gap.
Here it is with the gap closed.
Note, that little bump on top the baseboard on the left is caused by caulk or debris or something – it’s a near-100 year old house with decades of build up of paint and whatnot. Not a biggie. The homeowners love their historic home !
Here’re both strips trimmed and smoothed into place.
Oh, and also my standard go-to tools .
The pattern is called Indienne , in the Amaranth colorway .
Manufacturer is House of Hackney . Good quality paper , and innovative patterns and colors .
wallpaper installer houston wallpaper lady

Paint Around Intricate Moldings

April 25, 2023
I’ll be hanging grasscloth / sisal wallcovering today. This material is thick and stiff and difficult to see and feel through, and equally hard to cut through.
In addition, the backing on this particular product (by Phillip Jeffries ) pretty much turns to mush once it gets wet with wallpaper paste , so, under the blade, it drags and tears and pulls away from the grass fibers , leaving gaps .
All of which means that it’s tricky to get tight, clean trims when you’re going around intricate moldings such as in the photo.
So here I’m using paint of a complimentary color and shade to fill in around the molding edges. That way, in case the wallpaper won’t trim perfectly tightly against the molding, my white wallpaper primer won’t show through.
I use plain old matt finish acrylic craft paint from Texas Art Supply (which is close to me) or any craft store , and a small, angled artist’s brush .

Adventurous Color And Pattern For Artsy Family

April 20, 2023
Hall leading to bedrooms and bathroom in 1936 bungalow with classic floor plan found in these age and style homes . No, the family doesn’t spend a lot of time in this tiny space , but the homeowner wanted to jazz it up.
Here you go – funky , fun , and colorful ! Makes the space feel larger , too.
The room has five doors , and the bold wallpaper really stands out against the white paint .
Close up .
The pattern is called Indienne and is by the House of Hackney . This installer – friendly non-woven material comes in one large roll that you cut apart into four panels or strips , and then hang in sequence . In the picture above, you see how the four panels look placed next to each other. The final width is about 6′ and the height is 10′ 4″. Most people have shorter walls , so the wallpaper can be trimmed to your ceiling height .
Non-woven wallpapers can be hung by pasting the wall , but I usually prefer to paste the paper . They will strip off the wall easily and with no damage to your walls when you redecorate later .
This company custom-prints your paper when you order .
Here’s their instruction sheet . The printed instructions come in about 10 different languages , and the print is miniscule . But the diagrams are universal!
The home is in the Eastwood neighborhood of Houston . installer

Tailored Menswear Textured Wallpaper for Entry Foyer

April 15, 2023
Before. Way too much white!
A handsome new look. The homeowners are going to paint the bottom area below the chair rail a softer white. They were waiting for the wallpaper to be in place before making a decision on a coordinating paint color .
Looking toward dining room and family room .
Coat closet and hall leading to bath s and bedroom s.
I like to say that a texture like this is reminiscent of a man’s tweed suit . The material itself is an embossed vinyl , so has actual texture to it. It’s color is pretty consistant . This is a great alternative to real grasscloth – a product that presents many disappointing variations in color .
Close up of texture and color . Note the bits of gold that reflect light . The homeowners hung a large mirror with a dark gold frame , which really set off against the wallpaper. (dumb me didn’t think to take a picture!)
The wallpaper is by A Street Prints , under the Brewster umbrella. It’s a non-woven / paste the wall product , and was easy to install . Because NW contains 20% polyester , it is strong and durable . The vinyl surface is resistant to stains . It’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece and with no damage to the walls when it’s time to redecorate .
A very good alternative to real grasscloth or other natural materials .
This purchased through Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village. Wed – Sat , call first, please. (713) 529-6515 The homeowners made an appointment and then brought Dorota photos of their room, the floor , the mirror , along with their vision for the space. Dorota immediately went to the shelf and pulled out the selection book and opened it to this option. The couple loved it immediately! They did look at and consider other patterns and also ordered samples , but ultimately went with their first choice – this one.
The home is in the Tanglewood / Galleria area of Houston . installer

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