Posts Tagged ‘primer’

Skim-Floating to Smooth a Textured Wall

January 25, 2023
Wallpaper is to go on the top 2/3 of the walls in this large dining room. But the walls are textured, and that texture will show through the new paper. Which looks pretty bad , IMO , especially since most the design is plain white background. So here I am applying a skim-coat by skim-coating / skim-floating the wall to smooth over the texture.
Close up. A lot of people use a wide broad knife or drywall taping tool . But I prefer the control I have using this trowel . There will be ridges and valleys and imperfections . But tomorrow, when the smoothing compound is dry , I will sand everything smooth . I have to say, I’m pretty darned good at smoothing walls . 🙂
I like to use the Plus 3 Joint Compound by the Sheetrock brand. It’s much easier to sand than the standard joint compound . Do NOT use the ” quick set ” version – coatings such as primer , paint , or wallpaper don’t like to adhere to this stuff . It’s made for small patches , not covering entire walls. BTW, for short, we simply call this ” mud .”
Once the walls have been sanded smooth , all the dust vacuumed up, and residual dust wiped off the walls with a damp sponge , then I will apply my favorite primer, Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime , made specifically for use under wallpaper .

Mum Flowers in Heights Entry

January 14, 2023
Painted walls in this new-build in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston have been primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer .
Done
Just the area above the wainscoting / chair rail was papered .
Obstacles to trim around included six doors – with a total of TWELVE corners of decorative molding to trim around. In addition, there were EIGHT terminations of wood ceiling beams , also with uneven edges , to trim around.
Absolutely NO information came with the wallpaper . No run number , no installation instructions , no nuttin’. Confoundingly, the company’s website was malfunctioning, and pop-ups prevented me from getting information , or even from seeing what the pattern looked like on a large wall .
So here I am rolling the paper out on the floor , to get a scope of the pattern and layout .
Note the unprinted selvedge edge , which I’ll have to trim off using a straightedge and a razor blade. See previous posts (do a Search) to learn more about this.
The pattern is called Kanoko and the manufacturer is Relativity Textiles . This material was VERY difficult to work with. More about that in a future post.

Bright and Cheery Accent Wall for Toddler Girl

January 12, 2023
Just about every wall and surface in this home is white . This super fun , super colorful pattern really energizes the little girl’s room / nursery .
Before, with my tinted- blue wallpaper primer Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime applied.
I love contrasting the colorful wallpaper to the plain “before” look.
Red flowers centered under the window , so it will look nice falling around the crib .
Close-up .
The manufacturer is the popular Rifle Paper , made by York . I love this brand – but beware of printing defects , which have been popping up more and more these last few years. Also, Rifle Paper is usually a DIY-friendly non-woven or paste the wall material . So I was surprised today to find this is a traditional paste the paper product . Actually, I’ve had a good handful of RPs lately that were paste the paper .
These two materials call for completely different installation methods. The PTP takes more time and equipment , too.
The home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Signing My Work for Posterity

January 6, 2023

Digital Image

Digital Image

When the next paperhanger comes along and strips off the wallpaper I hung today, he will find this.

It’s a note (in pencil, because ink will bleed through wallpaper) telling who hung the paper (me!), and on what day. Many of my friends leave it at that, but I like to also include info about the paper, and also what wall prep I did and what primer and paste I used.
To be honest, I usually forget to do this.  But it’s a cool concept, and would be helpful to the next installer .

Teeny Dots Could Stain Wallpaper

December 27, 2022

Top photo … my razor knife is pointing at pin point-sized specks on this wall. I found similar in multiple spots around the room. What’s interesting is that I have seen these exact same size, color, and configuration of specks on at least one other job.

What’s scary is that I fear these are made of something that will stain the wallpaper. There are lots of substances that can bleed through – through paint, through primer, and through the wallpaper and appear on the surface.

These could have been splashed onto the wall. But my feeling, especially since I have seen it in other homes, is that they are coming from within the wall surface. Maybe something contaminated the painter’s materials, or something inside the drywall.

There are stain blockers that can be used to seal these dots. My favorite is shown in the second photo. Oil or shellac-based work best. The problem is, wallpaper paste won’t stick to them. If just daubing onto a teeny dot, I wouldn’t worry about it. But when a larger area needs to be treated, you have to let that dry, and then follow up with a wallpaper primer.

Actually, depending on the stain, I don’t always trust the blockers. For these very tiny specks, I used my razor blade to dig into the wall and actually remove the affected area. The resulting holes were small enough that I didn’t worry about dents showing under the wallpaper.

In some instances, I did go back and cover them with KILZ.

Period-Correct Arts & Crafts Frieze in Dining Room

December 21, 2022

Before. Walls painted with a deep, murky teal blue. I’ve measured the width of the border and then applied my wallpaper primer 1/4″ narrower than the border. That’s the white you see around the top of the room.
I love the way the teal / blue walls coordinate with the green in the border (a tall , vintage border like this is called a frieze ). Painting the walls the same color as the border would have been too much, IMO. Plus, you can never get the color exactly perfectly the same – so it looks like what I call a “near-miss.” Better to opt for complimentary colors , as this homeowner did. The color in some of the leaf detail also coordinates with the avocado green in the adjoining living room – you can see a snatch of this color at the far left of this photo.
The camera is making this color brighter and greener than it actually is, but you get an idea of the design . Once the Victorian era faded away, the Arts & Crafts movement came to be in the very early 1900’s , with less fru-fru and more nature , clean lines , whimsy , and stylized designs .
The home also has furniture and decor that hark back to this time period .
The pattern is called Apple Tree Frieze , and comes in several colorways .
The manufacturer is Bradbury & Bradbury , in California. They are the go-to company for 19th & 20th century historic patterns . Delicious stuff on their website!
Bradbury can be tricky to install, so not for novices . Different colorways can call for different adhesives / pastes , so be sure to read the instructions before starting .
The bungalow home in the Houston Heights dates to 1920 (possibly earlier) which is just smack in the middle of the Arts & Crafts decorating style .
I hung another period-correct border in this room for this family 10 years ago. Now they’ve done some updating with new colors and, of course – a new wallpaper border frieze . It was a pleasure to be back and help bring new life to the place!

Textured Faux Grasscloth on Master Bedroom Accent Wall

December 9, 2022

Before. I’ve skim-floated the textured wall , sanded it smooth , wiped off the residual dust , and then primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer . Now we’re ready for wallpaper !
Done! Just a bit of texture , and a little neutral color to add some warmth to this large , mostly-grey , master bedroom . Oh – and some subtle sparkle . See following photos .
It looks like real grasscloth . But it’s a faux! To help these homeowners avoid the disappointing color variations and low durability of real grasscloth , I encouraged them to consider textured vinyl products that recreate the look and texture of the real stuff , but without the drawbacks. Please click and read my link to info about grasscloth on the right of this page.
Real grasscloth , and the fauxes , as well, have visible seams (very minimal issue with the fauxes). So it’s important to balance the strips , so you have equal widths of panels as you traverse the wall. In other words, you don’t want five 36″ wide strips and then one 20″ wide strip.
And you’ll want to center those strips on the wall. Position them so you have an equal number of equally-sized strips on both the right and left sides of the wall.
Another design concept is to not have a seam fall down the center of a wall. Rather, it just feels better aesthetically to have the strip straddle the center line .
Here I’m hanging my first strip, having already calculated where the center of the wall is, the center of the wallpaper panel is, measured over to where the seam should fall, and then placed the red line of my laser level so it will guide where I should butt the edge of the wallpaper against.
That’s my Bosch laser level gizmo sitting on the top of the headboard, shooting its red light beam onto the wall.
Another shot. I’m using the vertical light beam ; the horizontal beam is not relevant in this install .
This textured vinyl material does a pretty darned good job of recreating the look and feel of real grasscloth . This photo is from about 6′ away.
A closer look. Note the bit of silver shimmer in the background , that adds a luxe look to the overall effect .
The wallcovering is by York , one of my preferred brands . It’s on a non-woven backing , which has many advantages over traditional paper-papers. It’s breathable , stain-resistant , will strip off the wall easily and in one piece with minimal / no damage to the wall when it’s time to redecorate .
It can be hung by the paste-the-wall method (which is what I did today) or the paste the paper technique (which I use most of the time).
I felt that the seams laid down better and had less ” rebound ” edge curl from factory trimming than many of the heavier vinyl faux non-woven backed materials I’ve worked with. In other words, I liked this product pretty much!
this particular material was also thin and flexible , so it was easy to work with and manipulate if needed.
The home is in the Spring Branch area of Houston.

Soft and Sweet Pattern for Accent Wall in Baby Girl’s Nursery

November 24, 2022
The crib will go on this wall. Originally it was textured grey paint , as you see on either side .
Here is the wall after I’ve skim-floated / skim-coated it, sanded smooth , and primed with a wallpaper primer called Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime . I have them put a little blue tint in it, so I can see where I’ve rolled it on.
This wallpaper comes in one continuous roll ordered by the yard , as you see on my table , as opposed to double roll bolts as most brands are packaged.
This cute pattern is called Thatcher . It looks like a simple repetitive pattern , but it was actually fairly complicated . Not all those starburst motifs , and especially not the fan shaped lines around them, are the same.
Looks hand painted with a paintbrush .
The paper has a clay coated surface , which give it a beautiful matt finish.
It’s lovely stuff to work with – seams melt away like butter , and trim lines are spot-on. (Many companies’ are not.)
This brand’s papers come with an unprinted selvedge edge that has to be trimmed off by hand.
You use a straightedge and single edge razor blade , and follow the manufacturer’s trim guide lines , to remove the selvedge. Today trimming this one bolt to do one wall took a full hour.
The brand is Pepper Home .
The home is in the Woodland Heights area of Houston .
installer

Contractor Prepped Walls – But Left Dust

November 20, 2022
I usually insist on prepping the walls for wallpaper. But we had a time crunch here, and the homeowner asked her paint contractor to strip the old wallpaper and smooth the walls.
He did a good enough job of skim-floating and sanding the walls smooth.
Unfortunately, he neglected to wipe residual dust off the walls.
The problem is that nothing sticks to dust. Not paint, not primer, and not wallpaper. Over time, stress, humidity, and other factors can cause the wallpaper to expand and contract, which puts tension on the seams. This tension tugs at the seams , and if the wall surface underneath is unstable ( dusty ), the layers can pull apart ( delaminate ), and you end up with failing seams.
So I wiped down every square inch of wall, using a sponge and bucket of water. I rinsed the sponge frequently, to prevent build up of dust on the sponge.
Here’s drywall dust wiped off in just a few swipes. In the background, you can see tracks of my damp sponge along the wall. These damp areas will need to dry thoroughly before I can apply my wallpaper primer. A heat gun helps speed that process along.
One fear that I have is because, as you see in the photo, the contractor spray painted the woodwork, and in so doing, got a lot of overspray onto the wall. This can be painted over without much problem.
But, as mentioned above, putting wallpaper over this can open a can of worms.
Even with a good wallpaper primer underneath, the drying / shrinking wallpaper can put stress on the seams. If the wall underneath is dusty, the layers may let loose of one another and result in a popped seam .

White Flowers on Black Background in Dining Room

November 13, 2022
Before. Waaay too much white. Bland, boring white! Primed with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime and ready for wallpaper .
Done! A small, tight design in just a few colors, as well as placing the pattern above the wainscoting (instead of papering floor-to-ceiling) keeps this from being too busy.
If these homeowners really wanted to pump it up, I could see painting those ” beams ” a semi-gloss black. Or maybe the recessed ceiling areas inside the beams . What do you think?
I love the way the white flowers play off the white molding and wainscoting.
This shot shows the true colors
This is by Rifle Paper . This brand has exploded in popularity since they expanded into selling wallpaper . And no wonder – their patterns are overwhelmingly cheerful and fun.
The material is a non-woven , and can be hung by the paste the wall method , or by pasting the paper . I usually prefer to paste the paper as it makes the material more flexible, as well as ensures that paste gets to every surface.
The home is in the Oak Forest / Garden Oaks area of Houston . I papered this couple’s nursery a few months ago, and almost immediately they were eager to enhance another room with wallpaper.