Posts Tagged ‘run number’

Different Runs

February 8, 2019

Look at the center of the photo. See that slight color difference between the strip on the left and the strip on the right? This is most likely due to the two strips coming from two different run numbers. These can also be called batch numbers or dye lots.

This means that all paper that is printed from one batch of ink is given a run number. Three months later, when the manufacturer is ready to print another lot of wallpaper, a new pot of ink is mixed up. Chances are that that new kettle of ink won’t be exactly-dactly the very same shade as what was used previously.

This means that the two batches of wallpaper will be ever so slightly different in color. If strips of paper from the two different runs are put on the wall next to each other, you will notice the color difference. So each batch of ink, and the paper that is printed with it, is given a run number.

That way, the installer can be sure that all the wallpaper for his job will be printed at the same time, of the same run number, and all the same shade.

Checking for run number is the first thing every installer should do, before starting to hang wallpaper. In fact, in my “how to prepare for install day” info pack, I ask my clients to check to be sure all bolts are of the same run number. That way, if there is a problem, there will be time to return the bolts and get new paper that is all of the same dye lot.

If you end up with a broken run (two or more different run numbers), it is possible to use the paper, but you have to keep the different runs on separate walls… your eye will not notice a subtle color difference if the papers are on different walls. But this uses up a lot more paper.


Run Numbers Running Wild – Not Acceptable

April 4, 2018

For this job, the vendor sent FOUR different run numbers, plus two bolts that had no run numbers at all. It all had to be sent back and exchanged for new paper – all in the same run, please!

Run numbers are very important. When wallpaper is printed, each batch is marked with a run number. The next time the manufacturer makes a batch of wallpaper, a new vat of ink will be mixed up, and it will be an ever-so-slightly different shade from that which was used before. So that new batch of wallpaper will be given a new run number.

These color differences are minor – but if they are placed next to each other on a wall, you will have a very noticeable color change from one strip to the next. In the second photo, you can probably see the difference in color between the red flowers, and maybe even the green and brown foliage.

In the third photo, a smaller rectangle of the wallpaper pattern has been placed on top of a larger rectangle. All around the perimeter, you can see a slight color difference between the reds, greens, nad browns.

But it’s important to realize that the background will also be of a slightly different shade.

When two strips of two different runs are placed next to one another on a wall, the shade difference will be obvious in the form of a floor-to-ceiling slight-but-noticeable color difference.

It’s possible to work with this, by “breaking” the runs in a corner. But this uses up a lot more paper, and it’s too complicated to explain here.

This wallpaper was bought from an on-line mass-marketer. I like the quality of their products. But they seem to have no clue of how wallpaper works, and the customer service person had no grasp of what a run number was or why it mattered. From a vendor like this, you can pretty much expect that they have a bunch of stock shoved into shelves in the warehouse, and when someone buys some, a worker just goes out and pulls any old rolls from the stack, willy-nilly, with no regard to run number, damaged goods, and may not even check to ensure they are all the same product number – A coupla months ago, I got the same pattern but in two different colorways.

The bottom line is, buy your paper from a reputable source, check the run numbers when the paper arrives, and, if necessary, keep separate runs on separate walls.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

June 10, 2016

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I have arrived at the home, ready to hang some wallpaper. Notice anything?

This box of wallpaper has never been opened. That means that the homeowner or interior designer has not checked to be sure that:

1. The right pattern has been received

2. The right number of rolls have been received

3. The rolls are all of the same run number

4. The paper has not been damaged in shipping

5. Any special instructions or requirements have been taken into consideration

Shaded Grasscloth

March 10, 2016

Grasscloth, Shaded
This grasscloth displays what we call “shading” – slight difference in color between strips.

Additionally, often the dye will be darker on the right and left edges of the paper, than it is in the center.  Sometimes, the color difference starts horizontally in the middle of a strip.

This paper is still on the roll. Imagine how it will look on your wall.

When each strip on wall is a slightly different color, we call that “paneling.”

All these bolts are the same run number / dye lot, meaning they were printed at the same time with the same batch of ink.

This is not considered a defect. It is what the manufacturers call “the inherent natural beauty of the product.”

They will not replace material that looks like this.

Not all grasscloth looks this bad, but many do. If you choose any sort of natural material, be prepared for your walls to look like this.

This brand is Schumacher.

Color Difference in Grasscloth

November 27, 2015

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Here are two strips of grasscloth from the same run number / dye lot – meaning that they were printed at the same time from the same batch of ink. Notice the very visible difference in color between the two strips. Dry, on my table, the difference is noticeable. Pasted and up on the wall, the color difference can be jarring.

This is called “paneling” or “shading,” and is considered standard / acceptable when decorating with grasscloth. As the manufacturers put it, it is part of the “inherent natural beauty of the product.”

Same Grasscloth; Different Colors

November 15, 2015
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The grasscloth on the right was bought a year or so ago. It was left over and the homeowners wanted to use it on a new project. They needed additional paper to do the space, and so ordered a new bolt of paper. As you can see, there is a noticeable difference in color and texture between the two bolts, manufactured at different times. This is known as “run number” or “dye lot.”

It is also called “shading” and “paneling,” which refers to the difference in color between strips on the same wall. I had enough paper to cut all my strips from the new bolt, so there was minimal color difference on this project.

Another Example of Paneling in Grasscloth

July 2, 2015
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This finely textured grasscloth is by Phillip Jeffries, a fairly high-end brand. All the bolts were the same run number. Yet, as you can see, there is a noticeable color difference between strips. This is called paneling. Here – short strips, under and above the windows, somewhat obscured by drapes – it’s not too noticeable. But imagine if you had 9′ strips next to each other on a wide wall, with this color difference.

This is not considered a defect (and the manufacturer will not replace the wallpaper). This is normal, and it’s considered part of the “inherent beauty of the natural product.”

A Repair Today

April 26, 2015

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I hung this “Snow Leopard” animal print wallpaper almost exactly a year ago, in a great room in a new home in the Galleria area of Houston. Slowly, a pink spot began to develop near the bottom of the wall, and it turned out to be an indicator of mold – caused by moisture inside the wall. The builder came in, peeled back a few feet of paper, cut into the wall, fixed whatever was leaking, and then patched the spot (third photo).

He did a pretty good job, but I wanted the wall to be smoother so no bumps would show under the wallpaper, so I refloated the area (meaning I covered it with a thin coat of plaster-like material), then used my cool tool heat gun to get it to dry quickly. Then I sanded, primed, and used the heat gun again to get the primer to dry quickly.

I could have patched in a new piece of wallpaper about 18″ above the floor, which would have been pretty well hidden by the large TV console. But the homeowner didn’t want a patched-in piece, with the potential for a visible horizontal splice / seam. So, in the first photo, I have removed the entire strip of wallpaper from the middle of the wall. It came off easily and in one piece, with just a few bits of backing still stuck to the wall … this is printed on one of the newer “non-woven” substrates, designed to be breathable and to come off the wall easily. It did!

Usually, I will strip off the damaged strip, and then all the other strips from that point until I reach a corner, and replace all of them. That’s because wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, and each strip can expand at a little different rate, so each strip has to be hung sequentially, one after the other.

But these non-woven papers do not (generally) expand. So it is possible to remove just one strip and patch a new one into the same spot, and expect it to fit nicely. That’s what happened here.

I am not 100% thrilled with the way the seam on the left looks, because it is more visible than the other (older) seams on the wall, and even than the seam on the right side of the same strip. And I don’t know why that is. It’s possible that the strip came off a roll of a different run number. We had limited left-over paper to work with.

But the bottom line is, the homeowner was happy, and the wall is much nicer looking, now that that pink blob is gone!

Two Different Runs

January 2, 2015

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Today I hung navy blue grasscloth in a powder room in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. Eight rolls were needed to do the room. The first thing you always do is to check the run number. Wallpaper printed at the same time has the same run number. Paper printed at another time can be a slightly different color, so it will have a different run number. It’s important to use all the same run, because a color difference, although slight, can be very obvious on the wall. Look at the second photo. Imagine if the strip on the left were a little more teal, and the strip on the right were a little more blue. It would not look good.

I pulled the bolts of paper out of the shipping box. And found six rolls of Run 9 – and One roll of Run 10. !!

If this job had been all one wall, or a room with many strips next to one another, I could not have proceeded. But, luckily, in this small powder room, I was able to plot the usage of the paper so that strips from the odd run went on separate walls. You will notice a color difference between strips on the same wall, but if they are on different walls, you will not notice a slight difference.

In this case, we got lucky.

Moral: Always check the Run Number(s).

This wallpaper pattern is by Seabrook, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her

Yes, Virginia, Run Number Matters

September 15, 2014

Digital ImageI was called to do a repair (dog ate the wallpaper) on a dining room I hung about a year ago. There wasn’t enough left over paper to replace the strip, so the homeowner had to order new paper. Since time had gone by, it was not possible to get the same run number.

A run, or batch, number refers to all the bolts of wallpaper that were printed at the same time. The next time they mix up a batch of ink and print wallpaper, it’s likely the color won’t be exactly the same. So it’s important to buy paper that is all the same run number. If not, there will be noticeable color differences between strips on your walls. Not good.

Look at the photo. The darker element on the paper at the top is an aqua color. On the strip below, the color is more of a sage green.

If you can’t get enough paper all in the same run to do the whole room, it’s OK to “break” the run in a corner, because your eye won’t notice the slight color difference, because lights hits each wall differently and changes the color a little. But know that you will also have to buy extra paper, when working with two different runs.