Posts Tagged ‘pattern match’

Seams on Vinyl Faux Grasscloth

February 6, 2023
Like many thick, textured vinyl products, the edges curl back just a teeny bit, due to how the material is trimmed at the factory – probably by hot rollers that caused the plastic to melt a tad and thus curl back. Believe it or not, run your finger over this seam and you’ll feel that it’s perfectly flat. In fact, this look is typical with real grasscloth, because the edges tend to fray up a bit. From two feet away, you don’t notice any of this.
To support my hot-trim-roller theory, here are two strips that, because I needed narrower strips, and because it was over a door where the pattern didn’t have to match perfectly, I used my straightedge and razor blade to trim off one side from each strip. This seam is the join of those two trimmed edges. No curled edge.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this – it’s just part of the manufacturing process, and it’s what you can expect to get, with the heavier textured vinyl products. Seems especially prevalent with the new-ish non-woven backings.
The wallpaper is made by York .
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Gold Geometric on Black Accent Wall in Kitchen Area

January 18, 2023
” Floating ” accent wall between kitchen and dining room . The homeowners originally considered a mural for this area . But with help from the wallpaper sales guy, they landed on this.
Both husband and wife love this. The black color plays beautifully off the black cabinets in the kitchen , butler’s pantry , and mud room . The gold geometric lines keep everything lively .
The specs say this is is a 25″ pattern repeat. But from looking at it, you’d think it was much shorter … the narrow lines match up with the narrow lines, and the fat sections line up with fat sections. Maybe 4″ repeat. But – not. I’ve hung this before, so I was already aware that those lines and sections are not all the same distance apart. It’s essential that you lay your strips next to each other and make sure you’ve got the pattern match correct. Because if not, you could end up with tiny 1/8″ mis-matches across the seams between some of those gold lines .
This is a Jaclyn Smith design by Trend . It’s a paste-the-wall / non-woven material , and is strong and durable , and resistant to stains and tears . Flexible and easy to install . Will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate .
It has a raised ink / lightly textured surface .
The wallpaper was purchased from Calico / Calico Corners on W. Alabama in Houston , with the expert knowledge and interior design assistance of Ron Dillon , whom I’ve known for about 25 years .
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston.

1/2 Inch Width = A Full Strip

December 15, 2022

I’m fixin’n to hang faux grasscloth on this accent / headboard wall in a master bedroom in the Spring Branch area of Houston. The textured wall has been skim-floated , sanded smooth , primed , and is ready for wallpaper .
The material is 20.75″ (20 and 3/4″) wide . So here I’m measuring off how many strips of wallpaper I’ll need.
I’ve counted out seven strips across the wall, and have come to my last (8th) strip. Look at my pencil mark – it’s at 21.” Remember that the paper is 20 3/4″ wide. This means that, to cover that last, scant 1/4″ width , I’ll have to use a ninth strip. Which will be a whole 9′ high strip that’s 20.75″ wide.
Useing a 1/4″ wide strip off a 9′ long length leaves us with a whole lot of waste – paper / square footage just going into the trash.
This is, again, why you should not purchase wallpaper based on square footage. It’s more a matter of determining how many strips you will need – factoring in the pattern repeat, etc.
Even better , have the wallpaper installer make a site – visit and calculate for you.
Going a step further … Since this is a (faux) grasscloth and has not pattern match , the seams will all be visible . So we try to balance the panels on the wall. Meaning, the wall will look better with panels of equal-widths, instead of, for instance, eight panels at 21″ wide and one at 1/2″.
For the record, it also looks better to not have a seam fall at dead-center on the wall. Better to have that center panel straddle the mid-point.
With this particular install, that’s what I chose to do. I took the first (let’s just call it 21″ wide for ease) … I took the first 21″ wide panel and used my laser level to line it up so 10 1/2″ fell on either side of the center line on the wall. So, this first panel was straddling the center line.
From there, I used full-width (21″) panels one either side.
Until I got to the last panel on the left, and the last one on the right. These two ended up each being about 15″ wide. So I had seven panels that were 21″ wide, and then two flanking on either side that were 15″ wide. This gave the wall a nice, balanced, uniform look.
Yes, I could have hand-trimmed each strip to 19″ wide or whatever the math would have worked out to. But my option was simpler, faster, maintained uniformity between the majority of the panels, as well as uniform width on the two outer panels, eliminated the worry of gaps at the seams due to unevenly trimmed rigid vinyl goods, and the 6″ width difference wasn’t very noticeable. And, also, since this was a faux grasscloth and color variations were minimized, you could hardly see the seams, nor the width of the panels, anyway.
From 5′ away, this wall looked perfectly homogeneous .

Wasting a Lot to Get a Little. A Lesson in Pattern Repeat. AKA: Don’t Order Wallpaper Based on Square Feet DRAFT

November 27, 2022
This is the tail end of a roll, and is too short to use on a full-height wall . So I save these pieces for use over doors , under windows , etc. (I never throw scraps away until the job is finished.)
This piece is about 3′ long . I need a piece 8″ high to go over a door . In order to get the right pattern match , I have to cut my 8″ piece from about the center of this 3′ long scrap . As you can see, that leaves us with more than 2′ of length of wallpaper that cannot be used . It’s too short to fit most spaces , plus the pattern repeat is not in the right position.
Let’s see … roughly 2.5′ of length multiplied by the width of the paper (27″ but we’ll call it 2′ for ease of mathematics ) comes out to 5 square feet of wallpaper . That cannot be used anywhere. It just goes on the scrap pile.
This is another example of why you can’t order wallpaper based on square footage . Wallpaper isn’t like paint – you can’t use every square inch. You have to plan for the waste factor . And the waste factor changes, based on the length of pattern repeat juxtaposed against your wall’s height .Most websites that sell wallpaper mention the square footage of a roll / bolt . But they fail to give adequate information on how to factor in for accommodating that waste . Some say to add 1% or even 10%, but that’s not adequate . What to do? Contact the wallpaper hanger / installer before you order your paper!
This cheery pattern is by Rifle Paper , made by York . Rifle is very popular right now. And now wonder – those flowers and visual movement are mighty attractive !

Stabilizing Section Over Door

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

September 28, 2022
East wall before
Same wall covered with soft tan, lightly textured wallcovering .
This material is an embossed vinyl replicating the look of a woven grasscloth .
The texture and color doesn’t overpower , but is just enough to give the feeling of warm and cozy . Plain paint can’t do that.
West and north walls before.
Finished – but the color washed out for some reason … it’s really a peaceful tan .
Close-up of the woven textured look .
Manufacturer is Thibaut .

Random means that this material has no pattern match at the seams . Because no wallpaper is cut off in order to match the pattern , there is very little waste , and you often get an extra strip out of each roll / bolt of paper.
Like most textured wallpapers , be they made of natural materials like grasscloth or sisal , or a faux like this of embossed vinyl , it’s suggested that you reverse hang every other strip – in other words, Strip #1 is hung right side up, and Strip #2 is hung upside down, then Strip #3 is right side up, etc. This helps minimize shading and paneling between strips , by ensuring that the same edge of wallpaper is hung against itself . Do a Search here to read previous posts and get a clearer idea of what I’m talking about!
This home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Two Color Rhythmic Print for Heights Breakfast Nook

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

August 16, 2022
Here I’m hanging wallpaper , moving from left to right. The wallpaper is 21″ wide . The width between my last strip on the right and the wall is 15″.
That means that I will have to cut off 6″ width of paper – which usually ends up on the trash pile. Here I am using a straightedge to cut that off.
Since that strip of wallpaper is 9′ long, we’re losing 4.5 square feet just in this one small area.
(Another reason to always buy a little extra wallpaper … you can’t use every square foot !)
Note that I’ve actually cut my strip to 15.5″, so I’ll have a little excess for trimming at that right wall.
Back to that 6″ (actually 5.5″) wide strip on the trash pile. I never throw anything away until the job is finished. Because I just might be able to use a piece somewhere. As in this case …
After the right side of the wall was finished, I started moving to the left. When I came to the left corner, my last strip needed to be 1.5″ wide.
Instead of cutting a whole new 9′ long strip off the roll of wallpaper, I reached for that scrap pile and pulled out that narrow 5.5″ piece that had been trimmed off the opposite edge of that strip on the other side of the wall.
This was the correct pattern match to meet up with the strip on the left side of the wall in the photo above.
Here I am trimming a 2″ strip (1.5″ + .5″ for trimming allowance) off the appropriate edge of that scrap piece. Note: Be certain you are trimming from the correct side of that scrap! Or the pattern won’t match and you’ll have to cut a fresh 9′ length after all. 😦
Here the wall is finished. For the two corners, only one strip was used, due to being able to cut both a right and a left piece out of only one strip of wallpaper.
Now I’m going to get into a little more technical stuff, that usually only a paper hanger will understand. The pattern above is what we call a straight match . This means every strip is the same. And that a particular design motif (like the pink flower) hits the top of the wall at the same position on every strip. My right-left trick above only worked because this was a straight pattern match.
But … you can make it work with a drop pattern match, too. A drop match means that every other strip is the same. On a drop match, the pink flower will be at the top of the wall on one strip, but drop down a few inches (half the length of the pattern repeat ) on the second strip. By the third strip, it will be back up at the top of the wall.
This also leads to using A and B strips. Confusing – but we wallpaper installers get it.
Anyway, my trick explained above works for straight matches, with all A strips. But if your right corner of the wall ends in an A strip, and the left corner needs a B strip, your scrap from the A strip won’t match the pattern repeat needed on the left side of the wall. So you’re gonna have to cut a whole new 9′ long strip, just to cover that 1.5″ gap at the left corner.
But – WAIT! – there is a trick to outsmart this. If you plan ahead, and count your strips, and plot the layout, and engineer your project, you can avoid needing that 9′ long strip.
When you’re cutting off from the bolt that last A strip for the right corner, just cut it a little longer. Cut it long enough to include the B pattern match. Do a little math and then do some visual checking to be sure you’ve got it right. Then cut your strip.
When you get to trimming off the 15.5″ wide right edge, it will be a few inches longer than the previous strips. So you’ll throw away a tiny bit more when you trim at the bottom of the wall than if it were a straight match.
Correspondingly, the 5.5″ wide scrap left over, from which you will cut the 2″ wide strip needed for the left corner, will be a few inches longer at the top of the wall than needed.
So by juggling the A & B pattern match / repeat , you’ve saved a whole 9′ long strip. This is good, because you always want a bit left over, in case of need for repairs down the road.
This fun pattern is by Missoni Home , which is made by York . It’s a textured embossed vinyl on a non-woven , paste the wall backing and was a very good paper.

Inexplicable Pattern Match

July 17, 2022
This happens not infrequently, and it’s puzzling to me. At the top of the wall, the pattern match drops down to the right.
Yet at the center of the wall it matches perfectly.
But get to the bottom of the wall and it drops again, but this time to the left.

Yes, some papers do stretch / expand when they get wet with paste. But that’s not the situation here, because this is A.) a non-woven material, which generally do not expand, and B.) every strip was treated the same way. In other words, if every strip is pasted, booked, and left to sit for the same length of time, ALL the strips should expand the same amount, right? And the pattern should match at the top, middle, and bottom. Right?

But even that argument doesn’t apply, because this, again, is a NW / non-expansion material, and, besides, I didn’t paste the wallpaper but pasted the wall instead. So the material had no chance to get wet or swollen with paste.

I believe this is a factory trimming issue. Somewhere along the line, the trimmers got off-track, or started trimming on the bias, just enough to throw off the pattern match.

In cases like this, the rule of thumb industry standard is to match the pattern as best as possible at eye level (middle of the wall) and let nature take its course, as they say, on the upper and lower sections.

Luckily this particular pattern only had one motif area that matched across the seams, and there were only three of those per the height of each strip. So the two slight mis-matches were both way above and below eye level, so not very noticeable.

This pattern is called Palm Leaves and is by Cole & Son . Other than this printing snafu, it’s a good quality wallpaper. See previous post

Reverse-Hang Wallpaper Strips for Uniform Color

May 1, 2022
Here I am trying to find and understand the pattern match on this very difficult to see faux reptile pattern.
All this is more confusing because the little box toward the left on the bottom of the manufacturer’s spec sheet says this is a drop / offset match. It is not – it’s a straight match .
The instructions also say it’s 64cm (25 in). That’s not true, either. It’s more like 12.5″
The pattern also repeats itself once horizontally across the strip.
Found the match!
Problem is, when I followed the manufacturer’s instructions and hung the material as a matched pattern, I got paneling . This means that the material is darker along the left edge than along the right. Therefor, when you place one strip next to another, you see an abrupt color change , as shown in the photo.
The pattern may match, but this color variation is pretty unattractive.
So I followed what’s pretty standard protocol for textured and natural materials (such as grasscloth , paperweaves , cork , etc. and even this vinyl .) I took that strip off the wall, repasted it, and hung it again – but this time upside down.
By doing this, you’re hanging the left side of one strip against the left side of another strip. Because it’s meeting up with itself, there is no or minimal color difference.
Hard to explain, and if I could figure out how to draw some arrows or diagrams …. well, I can’t, so you’ll just have to try to follow along.
Bottom line – you hang one strip right-side-up and the next strip upside-down . Keep track of which is the top on each of your wallpaper strips, and mark on the wall (in pencil) which direction each strip should be hung.
Made by Super Fresco Easy , called Crocodile . Really nice material, and affordable.