Posts Tagged ‘schumacher’

Stretching the Paper to Avoid a Pattern Mismatch / Color Shading in Grasscloth

October 28, 2018

Two things about this photo. First, you can easily see the color difference between the narrow panel on the left, and the one to its right. You can also see that the color of the grasscloth darkens 2/3 of the way down the middle strip.

This variation in color is normal – even expected – in grasscloth, and is called “shading,” or “paneling.” It’s referred to as the “inherent beauty of this natural product.” But, personally, I don’t care for it.

Read my informative page to the right, to learn more about grasscloth.

Another thing to note … this corner is the last corner in the room to be papered. Virtually always, this last corner ends in a pattern mis-match – which can jar the eyes. So I placed it up over the door, in the least conspicuous space I could find.

Indeed, since the distance between the motif on the final strip did not sync with that on the first strip, the pattern was going to end up with a floral stem being split in the corner, leaving half of the greenery visible and half cut off. I didn’t want any cut off flower stems.

So I “grew” the paper. The distance between the flowers was supposed to be 5″. I used some scraps of paper to cut a strip 3.5″ wide, and another 4″ wide. This gave me an expansion of 7.5″ – wide enough to bridge the final distance without cutting off any flowers, but not wide enough for the eye to detect that the spacing was not exactly as the artist originally plotted.

The pattern is “Acanthus” and the manufacturer is Schumacher.


Metallic Ink Causing Curled Seams – Revisited

April 10, 2018

A year and a half ago I hung this wallpaper in a powder room. I complained then about how the metallic ink caused the seams to curl, just a tad, everywhere the ink crossed a seam. I was hoping that once the paper was good and dry, the seams would lie down flat.

Well, I was back at the home today because it was on the Heights Home Tour. I was disappointed to see that the ink was still curled at the seams. With the way the sconces threw light on it, I thought it was very noticeable.

Of course, everyone else was looking at the beautiful pattern and the lovely room. Still, I wish Schumacher (and all manufacturers) would pay more attention to how their products perform in people’s homes.

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)

Tight Trellis Forms a Muted Backdrop in a Heights Sitting Room

January 29, 2018

Here is an example of a bold pattern that doesn’t feel heavy at all. Because the design motifs are small, and because the color palette is kept to just two colors, the overall effect is not overwhelming. Instead, it creates the perfect backdrop for the light sconces and other furniture (not pictured) in this sitting room in a new home in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

This wallpaper pattern is a classic, and is made by Schumacher, who has been manufacturing wallpaper for more than a hundred years. Look closely, and you can see the “raised ink” texture to the paper. The interior designer is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. She works primarily on new-builds or whole-house remodels. Her look is fresh and crisp, but with a lot of warmth and living for real life tossed in.

The Fifteen-Hour Foyer Install – Whew!

October 29, 2017

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This was one of the most difficult installations I’ve ever done. Many reasons … The grasscloth came un-trimmed, so I had to trim off the selvedge edge by hand for every strip. This is tedious and time-consuming enough with paper, but with grasscloth it’s harder because you have to press hard to get through the thick material. The room itself presents some time-eating elements, namely the intricate molding above the columns, and it takes time (like 20 minutes each) to cut the paper neatly into the curves. There were six of these curved points, plus four angled blocks in the center of the arches.

I told the homeowner to buy 10 single rolls. But the design studio where she bought it told her 8. So she bought 8 – and we were short. So I had to save every scrap, plot and plan, and spend extra time cutting and piecing slivers of left over paper, so we would have enough to do the areas over the arches. I also had to fudge on the pattern match, in order to have enough paper to do the whole room. This pattern is forgiving, so it’s not noticeable.

But the main difficulty was the extreme thickness of the gesso-like material on the paper. It was virtually IMPOSSIBLE to cut through. I mean, on the side of one doorway, on a 6′ drop, I spent a full 30 minutes, pressing with all my strength, and went through a good couple of razor blades, just to trim off the excess paper. Every other cut was equally difficult. Where the razor blades would not cut it, I used my $50 Japanese high technology scissors – which I am sure needs to be replaced after the workout it got last night.

The paper was also uncooperative when it came to wrapping it around two inside corners. It took a lot of work and heavy pressing on it with a special metal plate tool I have, just to get it to look nice and tight in the corners.

Other inside corners where the material was cut, there were small gaps between the thick layers of gesso. All of these were at the top of the walls, so were not very noticeable.

This room should have taken me about five hours to hang, if it had been a regular wallpaper. This couple was kind enough to let me work late to get the room finished. However, I was stunned when I finished, loaded up my van, and got in the driver’s seat – I had not realized how very late it was at night.

This product is by Schumacher. As usual, their quality control was poor. The homeowner had to send back the entire first batch, due to the gesso being smeared. There was one section in the new batch that was messed up, too.

The finished room does look great, though, and the thick texture adds a unique and warm look to this West University entryway. I plotted the pattern so that it would fall in the center of the archway that’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door.

Lavender Grasscloth Wallpaper on Bookshelves

March 8, 2017

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A simple but dramatic change … This softly-colored grasscloth has a fine texture, but it’s just enough to set off the books and decorative items that will be displayed on the bookshelves.

The shelves could not be removed, so I had to work in tight spaces, with each strip being less than 12″ high. The bottom shelf was at floor level!

In order to eliminate a visible seam down the center, I “railroaded” the grasscloth – ran it horizontally. I used a sewing / crafting self-healing cutting mat to pre-trim the right side of each strip, making sure it was perpendicular to the edge that would be the top of the strip.

This made for less trimming at the wall, less paste smeared on the woodwork, and reduced the chance of paste getting on the surface of the paper, which could stain it.

The manufacturer of the grasscloth is Schumacher, and the pattern number is #5004724.

The interior designer for this job is Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs in Houston.

Silvery Trees in a Powder Room

October 2, 2016
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This soft and silvery paper coordinates beautifully with the Carrera marble counter top and the tile floor in this guest bathroom in a nicely remodeled older home in the Houston Heights. (The builder is Ridgewater Homes, and I was very impressed with the quality of their work.)

As usual with the brand Schumacher, I had some printing defects, and also some smudging on the back of one roll (4th & 5th photos). Also, with their moth bally-smelling ink, as with other brands that use this ink, the seams curled at the points were the ink hit the seam (3rd photo). This is because the ink absorbs moisture from the paste differently from how the paper absorbs moisture, so they expand at different rates, causing curling at the seams.

Once the paper was good and dry, these areas mostly laid down, but there were still quite a few seams that were not perfectly flat.

The wallpaper pattern is named “Twiggy.” The interior designer for this job is Rachel Goetz, who works in the Heights area a lot, and has a soft, clean, uncluttered, fresh look to the rooms she decorates.

Chinoiserie in a Small Bathroom

June 8, 2016
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Here is a classic Chinoiserie (Oriental design) that went in a guest bathroom in a new addition to a 1950’s ranch style Mid-Century Modern home in Shepherd Park Plaza / Oak Forest.

The aqua background coordinates nicely with the grey marble vanity. I lined up the figure holding the umbrella with the center spout on the sink, for a balanced look. The two circles at the top are the bases of light fixtures.

The pattern is called Shantung Silhouette, and is by Schumacher.

Schumacher used to be known for quality, higher-end wallpapers. But these days, the quality has slipped. This install did not have any printing defects, but they are pretty much de rigor with Schumacher products. I did encounter some other problems, though.

For starters, the instructions said this was a paste-the-wall non-woven material. It was not. It was paper, and needed to have paste applied to the back of the wallpaper, not to the wall.

And the material was thick and stiff and difficult to handle on my table, and difficult to manipulate into corners and tight areas. Going around the multiple curves on the backsplash was tricky and time consuming. Pasting the wall did not allow the paper to expand and relax, so bubbles appeared on the wall. Because the paper was dry and stiff, it did not meld to the contours of the vanity top, and was difficult to trim neatly. In fact, I was unhappy with my first attempt, and ripped it off and started over.

A good reminder to always buy a little extra paper.

I also was not happy with the seams. They weren’t bad, but a thinner substrate would have given tighter seams that held closer to the wall.

Overall, though, the room looked wonderful – light and airy with a sense of uplift from the parasols and tight ropes. The monkey adds something to smile at.

The interior designer for this job is Rachel Goetz.

A Twitter With Birds in a Powder Room

May 13, 2016
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The homeowner was ecstatic with this cute and lively wallpaper. In fact, she said she has other bird-themed accents for her home (like framed Audubon prints), and worries that people might call her the “Crazy Bird Lady.” Well, no fear of that! This wallpaper pattern is very popular, and I have hung it many times in several colors.

This went in a powder room in the Heights, which has beaded-board paneling going about 4′ up the wall, a brick floor, a hanging pendant light fixture, and 12′ ceilings. The builder is Dee Todd-Simmons of HDT Builders, who works primarily in the Heights, and who does phenomenal work and exceptional quality on custom and spec homes – plus, she is great to work for.

This wallpaper pattern is called “A Twitter,” and is by Schumacher, 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.

Because it was Schumacher, I anticipated printing defects, and I was not disappointed – I had to discard a certain amount of paper due to printing flaws, and other strips I was able to engineer so that the flawed area would be cut off by door frames, etc.

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.