Posts Tagged ‘quality’

Like Willie Nelson? Like Tacos? Bats? Skinny Dipping?

January 8, 2023
Dang … I forgot to take a before pic. This large powder room was originally papered in Serena & Lily ‘s Feather , in green . I stripped it off and applied wallpaper primer , which took a day, and hung the paper the second day.
Larger than usual toilet alcove .
If you’re from Austin , Texas , you recognize these things.
Barton Springs , BBQ trucks , the State Capitol , cowboy boots . Hippy Hollow isn’t on there, and I’m not sure it even still exists, but the nudist colony there was definitely part of Austin’s culture!
The pattern is in the City Toile collection by Katie Kime , which is wildly popular .
I wasn’t crazy about the quality of the paper , but it install ed OK and will hold up for many years.
It sure changes the room!
iThe home is in the Oak Forest / Garden Oaks area of Houston

More Disappointments in York Wallpaper

December 16, 2022

Large creases spanning the width of the bolt were found in several places – luckily just in one bolt / double roll of the wallpaper .
Most non-woven wallpapers are strong and durable . But some versions, such as this one, have a surface that creases easily. You have to be careful while handling it during installation . Here we see that even the manufacturer has problems with it, because these creases were deep inside the roll and caused by the factory.
Also, very common with York – printing defects . Here I have laid two different bolts of paper on top of each other, to compare the printing. Look at the green leaves on the left side. Note that the ones on the far left are closer to the edge of the wallpaper . But the ones to the right are a bit further back from the edge .
Curious, because both bolts are from the same Run (do a Search here to read more about Runs). Obviously, the factory’s trimmers / cutters or the printer mechanism have gone off track and skewed the trimming / printing .
so these two rolls cannot be used next to each other, because the pattern doesn’t match correctly , as you see here. (Also note the creases on the right.)
Actually, with this busy pattern, we could have gotten away with this slight pattern mis-match . (With the homeowner ‘s consent, that is.)
But we were lucky that I had suggested she purchase a little extra paper . So we had three rolls of the version on the left, and two rolls of the one on the right. I was able to plan out the powder room so that I used the three rolls on three walls, and then kept the last long wall for the two bolts of paper on the right.
Note that sending this material back was not a viable option. These issues are pretty common with York products, so we’d likely just be getting the same thing all over again. Disappointing, because, until just a few years ago, York was a very dependable , quality brand .
The pattern is called Wildwood and is by Rifle Paper , which is made by York .

Whale of a Good Time in Little Boy’s Bedroom

September 30, 2022
Before shot of accent wall in little boy’s room in a nicely renovated 1920’s home in the Houston Heights .
Done. This is a good background wallpaper pattern , because the colors are muted and the design is overall and relatively calm.
Bunk beds will be coming soon.
The little tyke is in to all things nautical , so whales and a little whimsey are just the ticket.
Waves , whales , turtles , fish , turbulent seas … this looks like an artist’s ink or pencil drawing .
The design is ” Melville ” and it’s by Cole & Son , a British manufacturer known for good quality and affordable non-woven paste-the-wall wallpapers . Their designs run the gamut from traditional to fun to even a bit kooky .

Floaty Palm Mural in Master Bedroom

August 12, 2022
Before. Primed and ready for wallpaper .
Done. This image could be positioned so that the palm leaves push up from the floor , or, as in the photo , they hang down from the ceiling. This is a popular look right now, and very fitting to an accent / headboard wall in a bedroom .
Done. The homeowner bought one mural from Russia before she and I consulted , so it would be difficult to get another. In addition, the mural images don’t continue from right to left, so you can’t place two murals next to each other and have palm leaves continue unbroken .
The manufacturer’s picture on-line is misleading, too, because it’s been Photoshopped to look like it fills the whole wall with tropical fronds .
As you can see, the actual mural is a lot narrower than the wall, plus shorter by about a foot and a half.
The mural is placed slightly off-center on the wall , because the homeowner wanted it centered on the bed , which sits a little to the right of center .
Plans are still incubating, but she’ll probably have wooden panels or trim placed on the wall flanking the mural as well as beneath it, to give a finished look.
All in all, I think the room looks dreamy !
Close-up .
The material is vinyl and has a woven fabric – like texture .
The mural came in four panels, each about 3′ wide by about 8.5′ high .
Here I am laying them out so I can get measurements and to be sure they go up in the right sequence.
There were a lot of these little black specks of a chalk – like substance on the back , and even some on one area of the front .
Did I tell you this came from Russia ?!
Sorry, no brand name, but this was thin and very flexible and pretty nice to work with .
This is a popular design concept , and many companies are making similar patterns . Try RebelWalls.com , which is super quality and really good customer service, plus tons of designs and images to cover your walls .

Disappointing Defects in Schumacher Sisal Wallpaper

May 12, 2022
The homeowners ordered the brown colorway. So why did they send us both brown and blue??
Look closely and you’ll see that both the blue and the black lines are different thicknesses on each of these three bolts.
Close-up showing different widths of ink.
Even before I unrolled any paper, my suspicions were aroused by this … This cut was made by a hand-held scissors, not a factory machine. That tells me that perhaps an installer sliced off a few feet and then returned the paper, for whatever reason. Now I have no idea how many feet are on this bolt, what run number it is, or why the material was returned.
In addition, the five double rolls of sisal ( grasscloth ) material had no labels, no marks, no run numbers, or other typical information.

Feather Bloom is a very popular wallpaper pattern by high-end manufacturer Schumacher. This family paid several thousand dollars just for the material to cover one accent wall in their home office. Such a disappointment that I could not get their room papered today.

Schumacher is not among my favorite brands, and this is a good example of why. LOTS of printing defects, just about every time I work with it.

But this takes it to a whole new level, because obviously there was no quality control at the factory, no oversight to ensure all rolls were from the same run, nor even the same colorway.

Folks, stay away from Schumacher! As I like to say, for every high-end brand making a cool pattern in a material that’s expensive and difficult to work with, there is someone else making a knock-off that is lower priced and better quality.

Innovative Use of Wallpaper Mural in Master Bedroom Closet

April 5, 2022
The mural was to go in one wall, but that wall had several corners and turns.
Don’t be distracted by the mirror on the left, which is reflecting clothing and dropcloths. The focus is the beautiful etched-looking mural!
Before.
I love the way the trees creep along the wall and in between the mirror and door moldings.
Close-up.
Here is a picture of the mural as shown on the company’s website. Both the homeowner and I expected that the trees would reach up higher, and would be visible over the mirror and door. I was disappointed that the company printed it too short for those treetops to be visible over the door, but the homeowner was OK with it.
In the end, it worked out nicely, because the homeowner wanted another area covered that I had not measured for, and the lack of trees above the doors meant that I was able to pull that off. More on that in another post.
The manufacturer is Rebel Walls ( rebelwalls.com ), and I like their material and quality a lot. Their murals are custom-sizeable, too, which is a bonus.
This popular pattern is called Bellewood .
It’s a non-woven material and you can paste the paper or paste the wall to install.
The home is in the Memorial Villages area of Houston.

From 20 Years of Red to Sweet Light Floral

February 5, 2022
Red is a classic dining room color, and painted walls served well since the late ’90’s. This homeowner has classic taste – note the elegant moldings below the chair rail and around the windows.
The update is lighter and brighter and opens up the room, making it feel larger.
Note the wallpaper around the corner on the right.
This is the paper in the adjoining hallway, which has been in place for decades. The new pattern coordinates beautifully in theme and color!
Close-up. Roses and script.
Norwall is a very economical brand (something like $25 per double roll on sale). Not my favorite quality, because the gritty paper backing can absorb humidity and separate from the thick vinyl surface, plus the seams tend to “pouch” a bit and don’t look great. But I’ve discovered that rolling a bit of wallpaper paste onto the wall under the seam areas will help to “suck down” the edges, creating better seams. I also do believe that the manufacturer has improved the substrate.
I was pleased with the way the seams looked on this install. You’re looking at a very close-up picture. Once the paper is dried and from two feet away, these seams will be invisible. In fact, the homeowner kept walking around the room remarking how she couldn’t even find a seam. Note the slightly textured surface.

The home is in the far west area of Houston.

Defects With Schumacher – As Usual

August 25, 2021

Schumacher may have a high-end name and price tag, but I am not impressed with the quality. Some of their materials are very difficult to work with. Another thing is, you can almost always count on printing defects.

In this case, there were a few tiny specs of black here and there. Most were on the back, but at least two appeared on the pink surface of the paper.

I am thinking maybe an oily chalk of some sort. And they were “active.” Meaning, if I tried to wipe them off, either dry or with a dap cloth, or attempted to lift them out of the paper with a razor blade, they smeared. That would not wipe off, so we would be left with a visible smudge on the paper.

Updating A ’90’s Bathroom

September 18, 2020


Resembling a watercolor painting, this wallpaper looks even better in person. The colors are gorgeous, and the pattern is invigorating. The homeowner is in love with this update to her 30 year old guest bathroom in the Katy neighborhood of Houston.

This is the finished look to the room in yesterday’s post. The wallpaper is by Designer Wallpapers, a company that makes very good quality paper. It was purchased from Southwestern Paint (see Where To Buy Wallpaper link on the right).

Farrow & Ball – Disappointing Quality

October 10, 2019


First three photos – Burnish marks from smoothing paint-coated paper to wall. Read below.

Last two photos – Fat seams caused by poor trimming and thick paper and paint. You man need to enlarge the photo to see clearly. Read below.

I’m disappointed in the quality of the Farrow & Ball paper I hung recently. (See my post from September 1st.) For a high-end brand, their quality-control is definitely lacking.

The seams are thick and dark, and many areas had to be repasted because they didn’t hold to the wall. As one of my highly-skilled, decades-long installer buddies put it: “This is a common problem caused by …… incompetence of factory trimming and poor choice of substrate. This substrate is thick and the trimming from F&B often gives us a “rounded” edge, for want of a better word.” Another installer described the seam edges as “scalloped.” You can never get a good, tight seam with thick paper and paint, and improper factory trimming.

Another disappointment was a sheen on the paper. F&B is proud of their paint, and, instead of using ink (like other successful manufacturers do), they coat their wallpaper with their paint. To get wallpaper stuck to the wall, to eliminate bubbles, and to set seams, you need to use tools, notably a smoothing brush (“sweep”) and/or a plastic smoothing tool.

No matter how gently I swiped with the brush, the paint burnished (left a sheen). Using the plastic smoother to try to coax the cantankerous seams to stay down left worse sheen along the length of each seam. I tried covering the smoother with soft T-shirt cloth, but that didn’t help. This sheen is caused by sensitivity of the paints. I hung three different F&B patterns, and had the same problem with each.
I worked as cleanly as possible, because trying to wipe even a small speck of paste off the surface left another shiny spot. The sheen was more noticeable when the paper was viewed from the side, with light hitting it at an angle.

If other manufacturers use inks that are designed to bond to paper, and that will withstand the light brushing and occasional wiping during the installation process, why does Farrow & Ball persist in using paint on their wallpaper??! Matt-finish paint is designed to be looked at, not rubbed or wiped or washed. And why use a thick, poor-performing substrate, when so many other companies have found wonderful papers to print on??

One solution for the sheen might be to coat the paper with a matt-finish varnish or other product that will even hide the shininess. As for the fat, noticeable seams, there is no solution. For now, we’re leaving everything as it is, because the client doesn’t see what I see, and she is delighted with her new wallpaper.