Posts Tagged ‘pattern repeat’

Do Not Calculate for Wallpaper Based on Square Footage

March 8, 2023
Calculating for wallpaper is not about square feet. Square feet works for paint, where you can use every bit of paint in the can to spread around the room. Not so for wallpaper.
You also have to factor in the amount of waste. Waste has to do with trimming at ceiling and floor, trimming around windows and doors and vanities and etc. And with matching the pattern.
This pattern has a 30” pattern repeat.  That means, depending on the height of your wall, you can lose nearly 3’ just to match one strip to the next.  In this photo, you can see 2’ length being cut off.  All that gets tossed into the trash.
This wallpaper is nearly 2’ wide.  That 2’ wide x 2’ long lost to match each strip = nearly 4 square feet lost to the scrap pile – for each strip. 
Here’s a look at the scrap pile.
Multiply that by 20 strips needed to get around the room. !
Here’s more. All this is going in the trash.
So, please, before purchasing your wallpaper, please let the installer measure and calculate how much you need.   I prefer to / insist on measuring in person, but some of my colleagues will calculate from your measurements, drawings and photos.
The pattern is called Frutto Proibito and is by Cole & Son .

Slight Problems With Katie Kime Wallpaper

January 11, 2023
There were eight double roll bolts of this wallpaper , to cover a large powder room in Houston.
Four were rolled so the pattern came off the top of the roll, and four were rolled the opposite way, with the bottom coming off first. This Katie Kime brand is custom-printed , so you can assume that all these rolls are from the same run , or batch . But maybe not - why are some forward and some backward ? Possibly the company substituted some returned goods, or some old stock they had sitting around the warehouse, for half of this order.
I didn't want to risk putting strips of slightly different shades on the same wall. So I had to carefully plot the room so I used the "forward" rolls on some walls, and the "backward" rolls on the others. This does eat up additional paper , so good thing I always have the homeowner purchase a little extra.
Also note the crease in the roll on the right. There were a few other creases in other rolls.

I have no idea what happened to the font in the section above, nor do I know how to get it back to the original. All I know is that I HATE this “New Editor” that WordPress foisted on us a few years ago. Perfectly HORRIBLE. And their Customer Service doesn’t care. Anyway … moving on …
Note the horizontal smudge next to the top of the capitol. Since this Austin Toile pattern has a 25″ pattern repeat, discarding this piece ate up minimum of 2′ of material (x 24″ width = 4 square feet) and potentially more, to get the correct pattern match.
Usually this brand prints on a nice non-woven / paste the wall substrate. But, like other manufacturers, Katie Kime has had supply issues obtaining raw materials . During the height of the Pandemic , they resorted to printing on some positively awful stuff. Extremely heavy , thick , un- pliable , stretched to the extent that the pattern wouldn’t match properly, and more. One was completely un-hangable and had to be sent back. I can’t find all my posts re those challenges, but here is one:
But they’ve since gone back to printing on their usual stock, and I’ve not had problems lately. So when I first picked up this box of 8 double roll bolts, I was surprised at the weight of it. Also the paper had a shiny surface and was obviously composed of vinyl . I couldn’t tell if the substrate was non-woven or paper . I feared they had gone back to printing on that bad material , or perhaps were using up what they had in the back of the warehouse .
There were no instructions included, nor any information at all – not even a brand name! Although I could find instructions on-line, you can’t be sure these are current and applicable to the rolls in the box. KK has amazingly good customer service , and you can usually get intelligent answers via phone or on-line chat … but my call to them went to voice mail , and then we got disconnected, so I gave up.
After hanging the first few strips, I figured out that this was a flexible vinyl on a non-woven substrate, so that part was good. However, the thickness of the material interfered with getting good, tight, flat seams , as you can see somewhat in the photo. The seams aren’t horrible, but a better non-woven without the vinyl usually produces almost invisible seams.
The surface was shinier than usual. Shiny tends to show every imperfection in the wall underneath. Here the thickness was a bit of a help, as it helped cushion any slight dips or pimples on the wall.
There was also an odd orange discoloration about 1.5″ long on the edge of one strip. Very faint, but I could see it, and sometimes these things end up catching your eye. I also worry that it might be some substance that will bleed into the paper and cause a larger stain over time. Of course, this popped up after I had hung a very difficult piece in a tight spot, and then hung the subsequent strip. In other words – no way was I taking it off the wall and re-doing. I cut out a design motif and pasted it over the area.
Another thing I was unhappy with has happened a number of times with KK paper. The pattern will match perfectly at the top of the wall, but begin to slide up or down, creating a mis-match , as you move down the wall. I think that a lot of it has to do with the vinyl material, because it’s stretchy. The weight of the paste and the vinyl will cause the bottom section of the strip to sag. This simply doesn’t make sense, though, because, if the paper is going to absorb moisture from the paste and expand (which many papers do), each strip should do so at the same rate, right? But not.
I finally deduced, correctly or not, that the pattern gets distorted as it’s wound into a roll. So my theory is that if you take your 10′ strips from the same position in each roll, the pattern should match. In other words, take a 10′ strip from the top of roll #1. Take your next strip from a brand new roll #2. Third strip from roll #3. Obviously, this leaves a whole lot of unused paper. For shorter areas like over doors, where it’s harder to see, and where you can fudge the pattern a bit, I used the paper from the insides of the rolls, again, roll #1 next to roll #2, etc. But this doesn’t work on every instance, so you’re gonna be stuck with many areas where the pattern doesn’t match perfectly across the seams. The solution is to match the pattern at eye-level , and then allow it to go off as it moves toward the ceiling and floor.
There were other issues with this paper that were disappointing to me. But not overwhelmingly awful. Most homeowners would not notice. But I sure hope that this was a one-time issue, and Katie Kime will go back to its former good-quality, non-woven material.

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 !

Multiple Drop Pattern Match

October 18, 2022
The label said this was a drop match . But the pattern match turned out to be a multiple drop .
On a straight match , you’ll find the same tulip, for example, at the top of the wall on every strip. On a drop match , that tulip will be at the top of the first strip, then on the second strip it will drop down half the length of the pattern repeat . On the third strip, it will be back at the top of the wall . On the fourth strip, it will drop down again. And so on.
But on a multiple drop pattern match , also called a quarter drop , that tulip drops down bit by bit over a span of four strips , before it appears again at the top of the wall. Actually, some multiple drops, the motif can traverse more strips before it’s back at the top.
These patterns are extremely tricky to figure out , and to calculate rollage for. I’m really glad that I rolled the paper out on the floor of this empty nursery , before cutting anything. If you assume that what you have in your hands is a typical pattern match and go and cut all your strips ahead of time, you will have a whole bunch of strips that won’t match up, and will have ruined all that paper.
by Serena & Lily . This is a non-woven material, also called paste the wall .

Thibaut Aster Fun Floral in Powder Room

August 17, 2022
This is a textured stringcloth material, similar to grasscloth . The pattern is comparable to the popular Feather Bloom by Schumacher , but MUCH more affordable , and with a less wasteful pattern repeat , too.

Open the Pool Bath Door and – SURPRISE!

May 28, 2022
Sink wall primed and ready for wallpaper.
Sink wall done. (except for a 1″ wide sliver on the left)
A larger view of this pattern. Don’t know why it’s showing pink here … it’s not.
The craze started years ago with the ” iconic ” Martinique tropical pattern, which has graced the walls of the Beverly Hills Hotel since 1942.
The design is fabulously lush, and overscaled.
Makes an unmistakable impact when you walk from the pool and into the adjoining bathroom and are met with – WHAM! Deep in the tropics!
My client was drawn to Brazilliance by Dorothy Draper. And of course, there’s the original Martinique. Both these versions are screen prints made with bad (IMO) inks on uncooperative substrates, and result in puckering within the wallpaper and curling at the seams. Do a Search here to read my experience hanging the Martinique.
In addition, these high-end papers are notoriously expensive. And a very long 41″ pattern repeat means there’s potentially a lot of waste – meaning, a lot of paper that is cut off and thrown away in order to match the pattern.
My client was open to suggestions, and happily found a much better option. This Daintree Palm by Graham & Brown is equally huge and stunning, but at a fraction of the price.
In addition, it’s printed on a non-woven substrate, which is much easier to work with, the vinyl surface is much more resistant to splashes and dirt, and it will strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.
I want to make the point that while this pool bath is not part of the main house, it does have air conditioning and heat – climate control are imperative to ensuring that wallpaper stays on the walls, and stays free of mildew and other issues.
The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston.

Making the Best of Plumbing Problems

May 22, 2022
OK, so this master bathroom suffered a water leak, and the plumber had to cut through the drywall in the potty room in order to access the shower fixtures.
Here the contractor has replaced the cut-out piece of Sheetrock. He did a really nice job. For the most part. Of course, he didn’t bother to remove the wallpaper before doing his repairs. This is vinyl paper (thick, slick, slippery, backing absorbs moisture) and really should have been removed first.
But I was able to work around the patched-in area.
The prep for this small room was a lot more involved than I anticipated, and required an extra day. Too complicated to get into, but there were two layers of wallpaper, and no primer by either of the previous installers. Original install dates back to the ’80’s. It took me a day and a half just to do the prep on this small commode room.
The room finished. Note the stripes centered nicely on that back wall.
The pattern and material were chosen to coordinate with the green stripes in the main area of the master bathroom.
Kill point (final corner) over the door. I “shrank” some sections in order to get even widths and maintain the pattern repeat and match.
The plumbing problem also damaged an area on this wall outside the water closet. So this area around the door needed to be replaced. The homeowners didn’t have any left over paper, so they chose something similar in color, style, and composition to the green striped paper you see to the right.
Here is that transition door wall finished.

We decided to use the stripe to define the ‘break’ between the two patterns.
The alternative would have been placing the stripe against the door molding … but I felt that would be too repetitive, plus it would have left a cut-off section of flowers running along the side of the green stripe, and same on the opposite side of the door frame.
And, yes, the wall definitely is not straight, square, or plumb.
And here is that opposite side of the door frame, with the stripe running nicely along the shower tile.
Some overlapping was involved in this job. Since the wallpaper is vinyl, and vinyl is slick, you need a special paste to be able to grab ahold of the glossy surface. These days, I sure don’t use often border paste, also sometimes called VOV or Vinyl Over Vinyl . But I was mighty glad to find this 10+ year old container deep in the bowels of my van. Still fresh and sticky, too!
Besides borders not being popular today, these “satin” and “silk” look wallpapers are not very common. But this is exactly what the homeowners were looking for, to coordinate with the existing, 30-year-old paper in their master bath. Saved them having to replace all the wallpaper in both rooms!
This paper is very economical, too. The couple shopped with Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village, and she was able to track down the perfect material, pattern, and color.
Now, aside from all the positive things I just said about this paper in this current application, I do want to make clear that I am not at all fond of this type material. Without getting into a long schpiel here, please click and read the page link to the right “Stay Away From Pre-Pasted Paper-Backed Solid Vinyl …. ”
I will also add that I’ve developed a technique to work with these materials, and so far the installs, including today’s, have been going nicely.
One double roll bolt had some of these blue mark printing defects running through about half of it. Luckily, most of these were on a section of paper that was cut off in order to turn a corner, so was discarded and not put on the wall.
Exclusive Wallcoverings is the manufacturer. Usually I work with their non-woven or traditional paper products, which are quite nice.
The home is in the West University area of Houston.

Classic Chinoiserie in Heights Powder Room

February 10, 2022
Before. The previous installer did a beautiful job with this earthy grasscloth. But it didn’t suit the homeowner’s taste, nor did it fit with the feel of this 1939 cottage in the historic Norhill section of the Houston heights.
Done! The dark towel and mirror really set off the pattern and colors.
Wall behind the toilet. This Asian-influenced design, with its pagodas and minstrels, is referred to as a Chinoiserie . These designs have been popular for centuries.
Close-up. The green and blue tones coordinate beautifully with adjoining rooms in the house.
I rolled the wallpaper out on the floor, so I could see the full-size design. This one has a 46″ pattern repeat, which is awfully long, and means there can be a lot of waste. This design had a straight pattern match, and came packaged in a 24″ x 33′ bolt, like traditional wallpaper. It did not come as an A-B set, as many M&K products do.
I couldn’t find a full-size room-set photo on-line, so I availed myself of the Milton & King ‘s ” chat ” feature … I was connected with a live and knowledgeable representative in mere seconds, and he very quickly sent me a link to a picture of this pattern in a room.
In the photo, I’m using my yardstick to determine a centerline of the design motifs.
As are most of Milton & King ‘s wallpapers, this one was on a non-woven substrate. Rather than paste the wall, I chose to paste the paper, which works best in a bathroom with things to cut around and tuck paper behind. mi
The pattern is called Mulberry . Milton & King’s bolts come packed individually in protective boxes – no worries about banged edges with this outfit!

Multiple Drop Pattern Repeat

January 9, 2022
Re my recent installation of this pattern … Interestingly, this was a multiple drop pattern repeat, which is pretty uncommon, and mostly found in pricey boutique brands. Multiple drops can be pretty brain twisting to figure out. In a nutshell, moving horizontally, on a typical half-drop repeat, a design motif repeats itself on every other strip. Meaning, the blue tree will be at the top of the wall on the first strip. On the second strip, it will drop down, for instance, 10″. On the third strip, it will be back up at the top of the wall.
On a multiple drop repeat, that blue tree drops down 10″ on the second strip, then down 20″ on the third strip, and then finally appears back at the top of the wall on the fourth strip.
If you study the photo really closely, you will note that all those blue trees are not the same. Some lean to the left and some lean to the right. Across the nine strips it took to cover this wall, that blue tree appeared at the top only twice.
This is an easy thing to miss, especially when all the motifs look pretty much the same. Many a wallpaper installer has assumed he was working with a traditional pattern match, and cut all his strips at the beginning of the job – only to find the strips don’t match!