Posts Tagged ‘relief cuts’

Workin’ On Ridding A Wrinkle

January 30, 2018


Even though this is a brand-new house, erected by a skilled custom builder, all of the walls, floor, and ceiling were off-plumb / unlevel. That’s not such a big deal when working with a wild abstract pattern or a typical floral. But when a geometric wallpaper pattern like this is applied to out-of-kilter walls, the resulting pattern match is going to be very visible.

In the top photo, the wall to the left is bowed. Trying to get a straight strip of wallpaper to fit into the crooked corner resulted in two very large (24″ high) wrinkles near the floor. That makes it difficult for my next strip of wallpaper to butt into the corner tightly, and to match the pattern, and still maintain its straight edge on the right side. This edge has to stay straight, because subsequent strips of wallpaper will be butted up against it.

My solution was to make some vertical “relief cuts,” following along the design motifs (top photo), from the baseboard up to the point where the wallpaper begins to torque out of shape. Because the wrinkles were so big, I had to make two vertical cuts, instead of just one, to ease the resulting pattern mis-match out over several inches, so it would be less noticeable.

When smoothed back into place, you could not see any pattern mismatch at all. (second photo)

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Wall-Mounted Faucets & Wallpaper

January 11, 2017
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Trimming wallpaper around plumbing fixtures can be tricky, and with fancy-dancy wall-mounted faucets and handles, it can be a real trial. The builder of this new home understand that. Plus he wanted the wallpaper to be as seamless as possible, without a lot of relief cuts (cuts made in the paper to allow the installer to work it into difficult positions).

So he let me put up the paper before the faucet and handles were installed. It was much easier for me, and it gave him an intact wallpaper surface, so no worries about visible cuts or about water finding its way into seams and causing curling.

Sorry the 2nd photo is so dark. There are some visible relief cuts in the paper, but they are small and close to the pipes, and will be covered by the plumbing fixtures.

Trimming Grasscloth Inside a Curved Arch / Working Clean

December 19, 2016
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As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, here is how I trimmed the stiff, rectangular grasscloth to fit the arched top of the bookcase back. You see slits in the excess paper, which we call “relief cuts,” that allow enough ease that the paper can be tucked against the wall, and then trimmed with my razor knife.

The blue stuff is a trick I used to keep paste off the painted areas around the bookcase. This is nice because it saves having to wipe the paste off. It is also important, because with grasscloth, you can’t get any paste or water on the surface of the paper, because it will leave a stain. So even wiping paste off the woodwork with a damp cloth, which is commonly done with most wallpapers, could cause water from the cloth to get onto the grasscloth and stain the natural material.

The blue stuff is a special 2″ wide thin plastic tape, invented and sold by a colleague who is also a member of the Wallcovering Installers Association (WIA). The tape has other uses, like to keep paste off the flat paint on ceilings, and when overlapping and splicing (double cutting) strips of wallpaper.

What’s Going On Here? – Thick, Stiff Paper

February 25, 2016

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Here I am, about to end this wallpapered accent wall in a corner. Normally, you push the wallpaper against the wall and into the corner, position the straightedge, and trim.

But this paper is printed on the newish non-woven substrate, and this one is relatively thick and stiff. On the flat accent wall, it was nice enough to work with. But when it came to a corner, and then the double angle where the corner met the baseboard, the stiff paper did not want to cooperate. It was difficult to press the paper tightly into the corner, and I had to make several “relief cuts” in the bottom left corner, to ease the paper so I could get it to press tightly against both the corner of the wall and the baseboard.

It’s important to press the paper tightly against these angles before trimming, because if not, you could end up with a trim cut that is shy of the actual corner or baseboard.

Non-woven substrates are the new “darling” of the wallpaper manufacturing world. I very much like the thin, flexible non-wovens (like Sur-Strip). But these thick, stiff, and unyielding papers shouldn’t be put on walls, IMO, and could use a little research & development and reinvention at the manufacturer’s.

Keeping Paste off the Light Fixtures

May 14, 2015

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Usually, I remove light fixtures, so the wallpaper can go behind them. But this one was a little complicated, plus I knew that the wallpaper pattern would allow me to disguise “relief cuts” so I could pull the light fixture through the wallpaper. But doing that would mean the light fixture would be exposed to the paste on the back of the wallpaper.

So, as you can see, I wrapped the sconce in plastic. This kept it clean while I maneuvered the wallpaper around it and into place.