Posts Tagged ‘pattern’

What’s Going On With The Pattern Match?!

July 25, 2021

Turning this corner and moving from right to left, the pattern matched perfectly at the top of the wall (not shown). But as we get to the lower foot and a half, the pattern match goes askew. Wassup?

What’s up is a combination of un-plumb walls and bowed walls. All of the corners in this powder room were off-plumb by at least 1/2″ falling from ceiling to floor.

First, know that you don’t wrap a full sheet of wallpaper around a corner. You wrap about 1/8″ around the corner, and then use a separate strip to start as you move out of the corner; in this case, moving right to left.

If corners are simply off-plumb, I can usually make the pattern match near-perfectly … although that will cause the pattern to track up or down along the ceiling line. It’s a trade-off, depending on which is more visually important; ceiling or corners / horizontals or verticals.

But in this case, the walls were not only off-plumb, but bowed as well. You can’t hang a straight strip of wallpaper against a bowed wall …. Something’s gonna either gap or overlap. Some patterns will let me futz around and pull some tricks, but this one was not forgiving.

My only option was to let a little bit of the pattern repeat itself at the bottom of this corner.

Luckily this is between the toilet and the wall, and not very noticeable. The busy pattern further disguises the minor mis-match.

1″ X 5′ = 9 sq ft of Lost Paper

July 18, 2021

For all the prospective clients who think they can pull out their calculator and slide rule and then meticulously calculate that they can cover their walls with 186.7 sq ft of wallpaper – WRONG!

Here is a good example of waste, and why you can’t purchase wallpaper based on square feet alone.

Here we are working with a non-woven material that is packaged in 21″ wide x 33′ long.

In the photo, that narrow 1″ wide strip of wall on the left needs to be covered with wallpaper.

That’s 1″ wide x 5′ tall. That comes out to .41 square feet of wallpaper.

Sounds negligible, doesn’t it? But in real life, a whole lot more wallpaper will be called into play – and tossed into the trash – in order to cover this miniscule space.

Although I stockpile all scraps, there is nothing in my remnant pile that is long enough, nor the correct pattern match, to cover this space.

So I must cut a new length from a bolt of wallpaper.

The pattern has a 25″ repeat, so I had to cut off almost this much in order to come up with the correct pattern match. That’s 25″ long x 21″ wide … so already, we are nearly 4 square feet cut off and thrown onto the trash pile.

Now that I have the pattern matched correctly, I need 5 running feet of it to cover the length of wall in the photo. That’s 60″ long x the 21″ wide width of the wallpaper. That calculates to 8.75 square feet of paper.

Of those 8.75 square feet, remember that I need only a 1″ wide strip. As previously mentioned, that comes to .41 square feet.

So, 8.75 sq ft – .41 sq ft = 8.33 sq ft of paper that can’t be used anywhere else, and will be tossed onto the discard pile.

That’s 8.33 sq ft of waste. Considering that the average single roll of wallpaper contains 28 square feet (but in reality, only 22 square feet of useable paper), this leaves you with only 19.75 square feet of useable paper.

In double roll speak, this means a bolt with 56 square feet, which is better calculated at 44 useable square feet, after hanging this one puny 1″ wide strip, you are left with 47.7 sq ft of useable paper – nearly 10 sq ft lost for just one 1″ wide strip!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into pattern repeats, trimming at ceiling and floor, going around windows, vaulted ceilings, stairs, multiple drops, expansion when wet with paste, and all sorts of other factors.

Bottom Line: We paperhangers know the ins and outs of this stuff.

And homeowners don’t. Nor do contractors, painters, handymen, nor even engineers. Most of all, NOT engineers. (I love ’em all,,,, but they tend to get bogged down in details, and overlook the grand scale.)

Bottom, Bottom Line: Let the paperhanger measure the space and calculate how much wallpaper to order.

Tight Pattern in Fleur-De-Lis Mimics Texture from a Distance

July 11, 2021

My “after” full-wall photo didn’t turn out, so you’ll just have to look at the close-up shots.

From a distance, this small, tight pattern with subtle movement looks like a textured wall. It forms a comforting backdrop to the furnishings and activities in this large central area in the home.

This is a clay-coated, hand screened print, and is made by Relativity, a small outfit operating out of Chicago.

The wallpaper went up nicely enough.

Overlapping At The Seams

June 30, 2021

Re my previous post … the strips on this 6-panel mural are intended to be overlapped, by about a full inch.

There are advantages to this. Since wallpaper shrinks as it dries, it an result in gaps at the seams. Overlapping the seams prevents that.

Wallpaper that is drying and shrinking is also tugging at the wall behind it, which puts stress on the surface. If that surface is unstable, this tension could cause the layers inside the wall to give way and pull apart, resulting in open seams and a delaminated sub-surface. Overlapping the paper redistributes and minimizes the tension, and it also eliminates an open area where the two sides of the seam could pull away from the wall.

A disadvantage of the overlap method is that you can see the cut edge of the paper (see photo), and you also end up with a 1″ wide ridge running under the paper the full length of each seam. In this case, with such a busy pattern, you are not going to see that ridge.

Compensating Around A Window

June 29, 2021

Going around windows, especially wide windows, can be tricky. Wallpaper expands, it twists, the design can travel up or down from the ceiling line – and all this can go on independently of each other, with the sections over the windows moving out of whack at a different rate than the strips below the window.

The challenge then becomes, when the next full-length strip is hung, joining the strips over the window with those under the window … getting the pattern to line up and the strip to lie flat on the wall without torquing out of shape.

In this case, the pattern lined up pretty well. But strips under the window ended up being wider than those over the top. So there was a 1/2″ overlap, which would mess up the pattern match. This 1/2″ also caused the full-length strip to warp and develop a wrinkle.

This was an easy pattern and placement for dealing with such issues. All I had to do was cut along one of the palm tree stems, slide the strip up so the palm leaf pattern lined up, straighten out the full-length strip and work out the warp, and overlap that 1/2″.

All that sounds simple. But the truth is, I probably spent the better part of an hour getting it all to work out.

Rolling Out The Paper Out To Get An Overall View

June 18, 2021

Rolling out two bolts of wallpaper side-by-side on the floor is a good way to see the overall pattern. This helps me gauge where I want to place certain elements of the design on the wall. I can also observe the pattern match. And I can determine what motifs I want to place at the top of the wall – or, in some cases, at the top of a chair rail or wainscot.

Disguising Kill Point Over the Door

June 13, 2021

As you hang wallpaper around a room, your last corner, where your last strip meets up with the first strip (the “kill point”), virtually always results in a pattern mis-match. That’s why we try to place this in an obscure corner, or where it will be hidden by a door.

In this room, I could have put the kill point in the corner. But that would have left us with a pattern mis-match a full 9′ long, from ceiling to floor. Yeah, when the door was open against that wall, it would have obscured it. But I thought I could give this family a better look.

I moved the kill point to over the door.

I forgot to take a picture of how the final strip of paper would fall, so can’t show how the pattern would have mis-matched. That last strip was placed moving from left to right, as it butted against the strip to the left, and then landed on top of the strip on the right.

The design on the final strip didn’t match up with the strip on the right, so we ended up with a mis-match. This pattern is wild enough, and the 20″ high section up over the door is not really very obvious to anyone standing in the small room. But I just knew that I could make it look better.

I cut along the right edge of that final strip, tracing along the outline of the design. Once that was overlapped onto the existing strip, you could not detect a pattern mis-match. I did take to my scissors again to cut out a few additional tiny appliqués that I pasted on, to obscure one or two abrupt mis-match lines.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the design squares along that last seam are a bit closer together than they should be. But – who’s going to notice that? This is far better than a 9′ long pattern mis-match running the full height of the corner.

Created Wallpaper “Border” to Separate Bookcases from Wall

June 12, 2021

thought the left edge where the wallpaper meets the molding of the bookcase was too much white-on-white.

To create some definition between the two surfaces, as well as to continue the them of the wallpaper, I took some scrap paper and custom-cut a strip of blue. I cut the right edge straight, Then I used a razor blade to trim along the irregular outline of the design.

I pasted the strip, and then appliquéd it over the wallpaper in the corner.

Now there is a visual break between the two walls. Even though the blocks on the left edge of the wallpaper are less than full width, your eye doesn’t notice it.

The eye is fooled into thinking it’s seeing a complete panel of the wallpaper pattern.

This is called “Feather” and is by Serena & Lily – one of my favorite brands.

“Her Room” Goes Bright & Colorful

May 30, 2021
Walls smoothed and primed, ready for wallpaper
Flowers, birds and – COLOR!
Reminds me of this Pierre Frey which I hung in a nursery a few weeks ago.

Home office, craft room, veg-out room – whatever the “official” description, this room in the front of the house belongs to the lady of the house. She loves birds and flowers and bright colors, and was thrilled to find this wonderful wallpaper pattern on Anthropologie.

Most of Anthropologie’s papers are by York, in their SureStrip line, which is one of my favorites. The material is pre-pasted. I like to sprinkle water on the back and then spread it around uniformly with a paint roller, and then book for a few minutes in a plastic trash bag.

The paper goes up beautifully and the seams are invisible. SureStrip is designed to pull off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

Manipulating Kill Point to Prevent Pattern Mis-Match in Corner

May 16, 2021
“Almost” perfect kill point – but there’s a 1 1/4″ gap. Plus difference in height of gold lines.
Removed section, cutting along the design
Stripes cut from remnants will be used to fill the gap
You have to look hard to notice that one stripe is a tad wider than the others

When hanging wallpaper around a room, when your final strip meets up with your first strip, you will invariably end up with a pattern mis-match. That’s why you place this “kill point” in an inconspicuous place, as here, where it will be mostly hidden behind the door.

In the top photo, though, the pattern matches perfectly in the corner. I didn’t want this couple to have a ceiling-to-floor mis-matched corner, so I matched the pattern there.

This still left me with an unmatched kill point to deal with. So I pulled some tricks out of my hat to disguise it.

I moved it from the corner to over the door.

In the top photo, you see that this room almost did end in a perfect kill point, because the short piece over the door almost meets perfectly with the strip on the right. But there is a 1 1/4″ gap, plus the pattern has crept a tad up and down the wall, so the gold lines on the left are a little higher than the gold lines lines on the right.

It looks simple, but the solution is actually pretty complicated, and it took me about 45 minutes to figure out, engineer, practice, and then execute. Complicated to explain here, but the basics are:

I took remnant paper and cut some extra “stripes” that I could use to “expand” the width of the stripes on the wall. This looks like a simple fix. But those extra stripes are all slightly different dimensions and angles, and don’t simply fit in next the the stripe on the wall.

In addition, if I had just fit in an extra stripe, it would have resulted in one gold line being way closer to the next, and the eye would have objected to that “double vision.”

My goal was to “widen” one stripe, which would be less noticeable to the eye than a double stripe.

Second photo – I cut along the design, leaving the gold line in place.

I retained the piece I removed from the right side, because I needed that to butt up against the strip on the wall to the right. This kept the pattern intact, and it also corrected the issue of the difference in height.

I chose remnant stripes that fit the best and added them next to both the left strip and the right strip, overlapping the excess. This left me with two gold stripes that were too close to each other (not shown).

I did some splicing (what we call a “double cut”) to cut out one of the superfluous gold lines. (Note that it’s crucial that you pad the wall under your double cut to prevent scoring into the wall – if the wall is cut and un-intact, the surface can come apart later (“delaminate”) and result in a “popped” seam.) I removed excess paper above and under the splice, wiped off residual paste, and smoothed everything into place.

There is one short area where I had to cut a 1″ piece of gold stripe and paste it on top to disguise a narrow gap.

The result is a white stripe that is a tad wider than its neighbors, but barely noticeable from down on the floor. And way less noticeable than an 8′ long mis-matched corner.