Posts Tagged ‘photo mural’

Mecca Mural – Re Previous Post

December 1, 2020

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Here are some “finished” pics of the mural mentioned in my previous post.

This is one of the old-school (I hung this in 2013!) paper photo-murals that comes in eight panels, which are placed four across the top and then four across the bottom of the wall. See third photo, where three panels have been positioned on the wall.

The panels are overlapped about 1/2 inch at each seam. This eliminates gaps at the seams as the thin material dries and shrinks a tad. You are left with ridges along each of these overlapped seams. Not really very noticeable.

This type of material requires special powdered paste, which the manufacturer has supplied in the packet you see in the fourth photo. I use a kitchen hand-held submersion blender to mix it with water in a 1-gallon bucket. It has to sit for a half hour before using.

The material is more delicate and requires some special handling, compared to the newer non-woven material that most manufacturers are printing on these days.

This is a prayer room for a Muslim family in a suburb of Houston.

Murals – Getting the Best View

December 1, 2020

Digital ImageMost photo murals are a little more than 9′ high, to accommodate the standard height of walls in modern homes. However, many homes have 8′ wall heights. That means that some of the mural has to be cut off.

In this case, I consulted with the homeowners about what features in the scene were most important to them. They wanted to see the sky and as much of the mosque as possible, and felt that the people congregating at the bottom were less important. So here you see the bottom 10″ or so of the mural being cut off and discarded.

In this case, it worked out nicely, because virtually all of the figures were completely eliminated. That is much better than having, let’s say, a man’s head and torso, but no hips or legs or feet.

This is a good example of how pre-planning and plotting, and consulting with the homeowners, are important parts of a wallpaper installation.

Note that I hung this job back in 2013.  These days, thanks to digital printing, many murals can be custom-sized to fit your wall.  Custom-sizing eliminates the need to cut off portions of the design.

Berlin Wall Graffiti Wallpaper Today!

October 30, 2015

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Wow – isn’t this a cool wallpaper! This is a photograph of a section of the Berlin Wall, complete with graffiti. I hung this in a home office in a brand new, contemporary style home in Oak Forest, in Houston, and, boy – in a house with all white walls, it sure energizes the space!

It is produced as a photo mural by Photo Wall, and is custom made to fit this wall. It came in seven panels, with six of them being 17 3/4″ wide, and the last being a mere 2 3/4″ wide. I wish the homeowner had told me she was using a photo mural, because I would have liked to have helped her measure and order. It turned out that the mural was the proper height (including sufficient extra for trimming at top and bottom), but was a 5″ short for the width of the wall. (Note to self: Always have a professional measure the space, before ordering wallpaper.)

With a custom-made product, you can’t just go and order an extra piece that is 5″ wide. The pattern won’t match, the color will be off, and there will be a delay and possible extra expense in getting that last strip up. Ordering a whole new mural would be expensive, for replicating materials and labor.

So we opted to hang the mural in the center of the wall, splitting the difference and leaving 2 1/2″ of uncovered wall on either side of the mural. I suggested the homeowner have her carpenter apply molding around the edges, to look like a picture frame or window casing, and she liked that idea.

This mural was digitally printed, and came on a non-woven substrate, and was a paste-the-wall product. It was very difficult to get this stiff, plasticy material to wrap around the rounded, bull-nosed edges of the window, and I had to do some tricks with this mercifully forgiving pattern, to get the four corners to look good. I won’t go into all the details, but, bottom line, the window, and the room, look fantastic!

Last photo – I thought this was cute – Photo Wall even included a set of wallpaper installing tools, and even included a packet of powdered paste. They make a DIY-friendly* product, and are affordable, too boot. *Note: With these 12′ high walls, and that complicated window, this particular project would not be considered “DIY-friendly.”

Special Paste for Wall Murals

July 3, 2013

Digital ImageMost photo murals use special powdered paste, usually included with the mural. You mix the entire packet with 1.5 liter of water, mix, let sit for a period of time, then it’s ready to use.

My little trick for getting nice, smooth paste is to use a hand-held immersion blender. I pour the paste into a bucket of water very slowly, with the blender going, and the result is nice smooth paste with no lumps and no bubbles.

If, after sitting the specified period of time, I can add more water and mix again with the blender.

Murals Go Up in Panels

June 29, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageMost classic photo wall murals come in eight panels, rather than rolls or strips. They go on the wall four across the top, with another row of four below them.

Although they are numbered on the back, I like to lay them out on the floor, to be sure I have the right sequence.

Here you can see the first three panels in place on the wall. I started with Panel 3, at the top center of the wall, butted against a plumb line. Panel 4 went directly below it, also butted against the plumb line. These murals are meant to be overlapped a little at the seams, rather than butted, as most wallpapers are.  And don’t worry about the blotchy background – it will disappear as the mural dries.

Panels 5 and 6 were hung next, to the right of the first two panels. Then Panels 7 and 8 were hung next to them, and finally I moved to the left and installed Panels 1 and 2. See why it’s a good idea to lay them out on the floor first?!

The second photo shows the finished mural.

Dry Hanging a Photo Mural

August 16, 2012

Re that photo mural by Photo Wall that I put up earlier this week, it was printed on what the manufacturer calls a “non woven” backing, which is quite a bit thicker and spongier than most traditional murals.

The instructions suggested pasting the wall instead of the back of the paper. I usually ignore these instructions and paste the paper, as with a standard paper. (Some day I’ll blog about my thoughts on “paste the wall” … not fond of it, for many reasons.)

Anyway, because this photo mural had a glossy surface, and because there was little pattern to hide flaws, I worried that pasting and then booking (folding pasted side to pasted side) might cause creases on the front of the mural.

So I went ahead and did the paste-the-wall technique, something I’ve only done a time or two previously.

It went well, surprisingly well. Since it was a simple accent wall, there were no toilets to paste behind and no cabinets or decorative molding to paste around, so pasting was fairly easy – although it meant extra trips up and down the ladder.

The mural panels unrolled nicely without creasing, and they adhered to the paste quite well, while still being able to slide around when I needed to reposition them. The seams butted together perfectly, and not too much paste got onto the edges, which was a concern of mine. The pattern match was spot-on, and the material absorbed the paste nicely without bubbling or swelling.

My only complaint is that the clay paste dried faster than I wanted it to. With the paste-the-wall technique, you paste a section the length and width of each strip, extending just a little beyond the width, to be sure there is paste at the edges of each strip. It was this extra 1/2″ or so that tended to dry befor I could finish hanging the first strip and get the next one to the wall.

It ended up looking great, and the homeowners are delighted.

Houston wallpaper hanger

I Almost Screwed Up Yesterday

August 16, 2012

I was hanging a photo mural by Photo Walls, a Swedish company.  It was a glossy surfaced photo printed on a “non-woven backing,” which is somewhat thicker and spongier than most murals.  We’re seeing more and more of these non-wovens, due, IMO, to manufacturers trying to go “green.”

The instructions called for a “low moisture” or “20% solids” paste….meaning, clay-based paste.  Clay is a paste I don’t like, but it does have its uses.  So on the way to work, I stopped at Sherwin-Williams and picked up a bucket of paste ($50 for something I will probably never use again), and then hit Home Depot for primer and other supplies.

While I was skim floating the textured wall to smooth it, I was mentally going through what other steps I would have to install this mural.  My mind went to priming.  Then it hit me – I can’t use my old standby primer with this installation – clay paste won’t stick to my oil based primer!  It will delaminate and simply fall right off the wall.

Aren’t I the one who blogged about it for a week when I ran into just this situation, back last November?  Good thing I remembered this before I started the hang.

While the mud was drying, I ran off to find a Sherwin-Williams in the neighborhood.  Their store brand wallpaper primer ($35 – I hope readers are getting a feel for the investment that a workman has in each job…and we ain’t even mentioning gas, advertising, tools, etc.) was water-based, and just what the paste manufacturer suggested.  It was very similar to something I used to buy occasionally from Wallpapers to Go.  It went on smoothly, no odor, no drips, and  dried quickly.

When it came time to hang, the primer worked great with the mural’s stock, allowing me to slide the panels around as needed, and holding the paper tight.  I did have a slight issue with lifting (the primer pulling away from the wall when I needed to repostion a sheet of paper), but it was one small area and didn’t cause any problems.

The finished job was super, and the clients loved it.

Getting the Mural to Stick

May 23, 2012

My last couple of posts have been about hanging this mural in a garage.

Before I could hang the new mural, I had to remove the old one.

Photo murals are generally hung with a cellulose paste, which is about the lightest paste you can get. And with the hot humid conditions of a west-facing garage in Houston, you could assume there would be some interaction between the paste and the climate, over time. Indeed, the 8 panels of the old mural came off easily, by simply pulling up one corner and then the whole thing came off in one sheet.

This left behind a loose, gritty, sandy substance that was probably paste residue. BAD, because the new mural would never stick to an unstable surface like that. The loose sandy parts would simply seperate from the wall and the new mural would fall to the floor.

So I sanded the wall to remove all the loose old adhesive. Then I went back and wiped it with a damp sponge, to be sure there was no sand or powdery residue left. Once that was dry, I primed the wall, to further ensure a stable surface, and to seal any paste residue that could bleed through the new mural.

Then I was finally able to hang the new mural!

Sunset Mural – Size Matters

May 20, 2012

Yesterday I hung a photo mural depicting a Caribbean sunset

The owner had had another mural in the same place, and this was to replace it. The size of the original mural was 12′, 6.5″ wide, and that is the width listed on the package of the new mural. Perfect, because there was moulding on either side where the mural was to be placed, and so the new one had to be the exact same size.

Only – it wasn’t! The new mural measured only 12′ in width. Luckily, I had checked measurements before starting to hang it, so I was able to bring the homeowner in to make a decision about where to place the mural on the wall – or even not to hang it.

She elected to center the mural in the space, and would find some 4″ wooden trim to fill in on either side.

Interestingly, when I look at the pic of the mural on the Mural Superstore website, the width is listed as 12′, 1″, which is about what it actually was. But the box it came in clearly said 12′, 6.5″

Wallpaper Making a Comeback, So Says the National Association of Realtors

September 1, 2010

From the website of the National Association of Realtors, No. 7 of the Top 12 Hot Home Ideas:

Interior wall treatments other than paint….

Why trendworthy:

Easier to install; more personalized patterns, colors, textures.

Less popular in recent years, wall treatments other than paint are making a comeback, says Atlanta-based interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn, who cites several reasons: New bolder graphic wallpaper patterns, some in shiny metallics and textured leathers, and easier and less costly application due to new primers.

Wallpaper is cropping up on a single focal, or accent, wall, which saves money.

Flynn predicts more home owners will cover an entire wall with an enlarged photo mural printed in sections.