Posts Tagged ‘seabrook’

Corresponding String Cloth in Adjacent Room, on Bookshelves

March 19, 2015

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Wow, I have not hung string cloth in at least a decade! It is a paper-backed product with actual string fibers on the surface. That’s why there is a somewhat fuzzy aspect to the look.

Here you see the bookshelves primed and waiting for paper, and then the finished job. I took care to place the darkest stripe in the center.

There is an interesting story with this job, and a good lesson to me. I had just finished hanging the coordinating wallpaper in the adjoining exercise room. That paper was a paste-the-wall product on a non-woven backing. I started to work with the striped paper, and assumed it was the same material. I had the first bookshelf done, three strips, and noticed bubbles in the wallpaper and puckering at the seams. I could “chase” these out – but they kept coming back.

Puckering and bubbling are usually caused by the paper absorbing moisture from the paste, and does not happen with non-woven materials (not usually, anyway – I have had it happen). So I dug around and found the instructions. Turns out, this pattern, even though it was a companion to the one I had just finished hanging, and was the same color and printed on seemingly the same substrate, this one was specified to have the paper pasted (not paste the wall). And, they recommended a 10-minute booking (relaxing) time, to allow the paper to absorb the paste, expand, and relax.

Hmmm. Lesson to self: Even if you’ve hung 10,000 rolls of paper, including this same brand, ALWAYS read the instructions. 🙂

Because I had a good primer (Gardz) under the paper, I was able to pull off the strips without damage to the wall. And because it was printed on the non-woven substrate, and had not gotten completely dry, the paper came off in one piece, totally intact.

I didn’t have time to haul in and set up my table, so I laid down some drop clothes on the floor, spread the paper out on them, rolled on paste, booked, (no need for relaxing time, since the paper had already had time to absorb moisture and expand), and then hung the paper.

Whew! It as a bit of a mad dash, but it was the right answer. The newly pasted and hung strips went up perfectly, no bubbles, and the seams were nice and flat. The paper did stretch a little bit, though, horizontally, but not vertically, so I had to trim a little off one side, and it did throw off my placement of the center stripe in one of the bookcases, but, in the end, it looked great.

All this took a little time and more work, but I am glad that I noticed the bubbles and went through the steps to get rid of them. Sometimes, they disappear when the paper dries and shrinks. But you can’t plan on that. So I am glad I took the extra effort to make the job look perfect. The homeowners loved it. (They did not know any of the drama involved in getting a smooth, flat, bubble-free surface.)

This wallpaper design is by Carl Robinson, made by Wallquest which is made for Seabrook, and was hung in a family room in a house in Bunker Hill Village.

A Fancy-Dancy Exercise Room

March 18, 2015

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Isn’t this about the fanciest-schmanciest exercise room you’ve ever seen? What a delight to work out in this room! The wallpaper is a damask with a trellis/lattice pattern, by Carl Robinson, for Wallquest, for Seabrook, in blue and silver, with a little sparkle tossed in the mix. It is printed on a non-woven substrate, and was a paste-the-wall product (rather than paste the paper).

The first pic is after I smoothed the textured wall, and primed with a clear primer called Gardz. It’s not as pretty as when I use a white primer, but for floated walls, Gardz is the best primer. The original paper had a printing defect, so I could not hang it that same day, and they had to reorder a different run.

Two weeks later, the paper had arrived and I was able to finish the room. I plotted the layout so the “X” of the lattice design would line up with the center vertical mullion in the window.

The treadmill and the exercycle were heavy, too heavy to move, so it was a little tricky working around them. I could not get my ladder to straddle the treadmill, so had to dig a stool out of my van and set that on the treadmill, so I could reach the top of the wall.

This house is in Bunker Hill Village, and is home to an active family with teenage girls and a real, live cowboy husband!

Oh, and … the wife plans to yank all that exercise equipment out of the room and bring in a pretty desk, a crystal chandelier, and turn it into a nifty home office. Hubby doesn’t know that yet. Not many men read my wallpaper blog, so I’m sure the wife’s secret plot is safe. 🙂

Flaw of the Day – Misprint

February 27, 2015

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This wallpaper patterns is by designer Carl Robinson, for Seabrook wallcoverings. It’s a somewhat pricey paper (but in this case, you are paying mostly for the designer’s name).

So I got the prep all done, was rolling the paper out, got my first strip cut, then, into the second strip, discovered this misprint. It ran most of the way through this double roll bolt. I’m lucky that I discovered it when I did, because the other double roll did not have this flaw, and so I might have gotten half of the wall done, then not have been able to finish.

The homeowner is trying to have the paper (a different run, so we have a better chance of not having the same printing defect) express-shipped so the wall can be finished this week. It’s kind of doubtful, though, because of shipping delays due to weather in the east, and happening close to a weekend, etc. We’ll know tomorrow!

I LOVE It When the Pedestal Sink is GONE!

February 10, 2015

Digital ImageWow, was I happy to come to work today, and discover that the homeowner had removed the pedestal sink. These free-standing sinks are real buggers to hang paper around, and under, and around all those pipes.

Not having it there meant saved me about 40 minutes of time, gave the homeowners a neater look around the pipes (a decorative escutcheon will go around the pipes and drain to dress it up a little more), and it meant that there is no cut edge at the top of the sink, which eliminates the worry of splashed water causing the wallpaper to curl.

This textured peacock pattern is by Ronald Redding by York Wallcoverings, and was sold by Ethan Allen’s Friendswood (Bay Brook) location. It went in a powder room in the Clear Lake / Seabrook area.

Beating the Odds

February 3, 2015

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I hung this easy-on-the-eyes wallpaper on all four walls in a TV room in Westbury (Houston) several years ago. They had a water leak, and one wall plus a portion of another wall were damaged, and the contractors had to remove the wallpaper in order to do their repairs to the Sheetrock. As you can see in the top photo, they were able to salvage just one strip of the wallpaper.

When I consulted with the homeowners, I looked at the left-over paper they had stashed away (Note: Always buy a little extra paper, and store it in a climate-controlled place, as these people did, since you never know when you may have to call it to service.) They had only two full length drops on one bolt, and then a lot of shorter strips. The wall required six single rolls of wallpaper. I told them there was not enough to rehang the wall. Adding to the problem was that the wallpaper was discontinued and no more was to be found.

They loved the paper, didn’t want the expense of repapering the entire room, declined to use a company that could reproduce it – and didn’t want to live with a mis-match of patching all the odds and ends together.

Well, nothing I could do for them.

But, they were determined, and so sat on the floor one evening with the scraps of left over paper spread around them, measuring tools in hand, and spent a good couple of hours playing, measuring and plotting – and determined that the wall COULD be rehung – IF a few areas down low were left unpapered (the sofa would hide this).

I was skeptical, but went there today to see what I could do. Amazingly, they had put all the pieces of the puzzle together, and most of the wall could be covered with wallpaper of the correct pattern match. There were three strips that did not come all the way to the floor. But, rather than leave them with bare wall in those spots, I took some scraps and spliced them. Even though the pattern didn’t match, the mis-match was not very noticeable, and, besides, the sofa would hide it.

All in all, it was a rewarding day.

The wallpaper pattern is by Antonia Vella for Seabrook Wallpaper. It adds warmth and pattern to the room, yet is muted enough fade into the background, and works perfectly for this TV / reading room. BUT – don’t go trying to buy some… As I said, the pattern has been discontinued. 😦

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

After 15 Years, It’s Time for a Re-Do

November 23, 2014

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Fifteen years ago, I hung the natural colored grasscloth you see in the first photo, in the powder room of a townhome in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. It has held up perfectly all this time. But the homeowner wanted an update. He had a new vanity installed, in dark stained wood with a white quartz countertop. He fell in love with the idea of navy grasscloth, and researched many brands, ordered samples, and finally settled on this one by Seabrook.

I was very pleased with his choice. It was thin(ish) and turned corners well, it trimmed nicely, and there was no paneling or shading (difference in color from strip to strip, which is pretty common in many brands and colors). It was not color-fast, however, and the blue ink came off on my hands (sorry, no photo). I had to keep my hands absolutely dry, and had to “work clean” to be sure no paste got on the surface, because it would have been impossible to wipe any paste residue off the surface without causing blotching or having some of the dye lift off the surface.

In the second photo, I have stripped off the top grass layer of the material, and have soaked the paper backing. Once the old paste reactivated, this tan paper backing came away easily, with no damage to the surface underneath. That’s because I used a wonderful primer, KILZ Original, an oil-based product. It has terrible fumes, but it works really well under wallpaper.

The next photos are shots of the new, navy blue grasscloth.

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

Gesso-Like Texture on Wallpaper

August 27, 2014

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Digital ImageThis wallpaper has a wonderful texture, something like an artist’s gesso on a canvas painting. When light hits it from the side, as in the 2nd photo, you can really see the thickness and texture.

Textures are popular these days, and are usually embossed in heavy vinyl goods, or printed on a heavy non-woven backing, which is the case here.

Because the backing is so thick and stiff, it works best on a flat wall with little decorative elements – no turns or corners, not intricate moldings to cut around. Also, as you see in the last shot, the seams can be visible, although in this case they are not too bad.

This beautiful peacock pattern is by Ronald Redding for York Wallcoverings, and was sold by Ethan Allen’s Friendswood (Baybrook) store. I hung it in a powder room in Clear Lake / Seabrook, that previously had a dark red / black faux finish paper. This pearlized tone-on-tone design was a welcome and brightening update.

More Glass Beads – This Time a Faux with More Sparkle

June 22, 2014

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Digital ImageThis large scale medallion pattern in subdued tones went on a long dining room accent wall in the home of a newly-wed couple in Oak Forest (Houston). In the second photo, you can see that the motif has glitter, when the light hits it just right.

This paper is on a non-woven backing, which is very durable and should peel off the wall in one piece, when it’s time to redecorate. I did two other rooms in the last two weeks in papers with glass beads. This paper is similar, but has no actual glass or sand components – it’s all synthetic.

I have to say, I like this the best of the three. It was light weight, was easy to cut and did not dull my blades or ruin my scissors like cutting through the real glass beads. There were no tiny beads falling all over the client’s floor or getting behind the paper to cause pimples.

I like the slight shading effect, too, in the medallions. But most impressive, I think this definitely had way more glitter and pizzaz, than either of the other two. Add a little side- or up-lighting, and that wall will really POP!

This paper is by Seabrook, Questex, pattern #SBK24448, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. By appointment. (713) 520-6262 or

Yesterday’s News – A Cool Wallcovering Design

January 31, 2014

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Digital ImageVery much like grasscloth, this cool wallpaper is called “yesterday’s news” because it’s made from old newspapers and magazine pages, cut into strips and sewn onto a paper backing. What an innovative way to recycle!

Like grasscloth, though, it panels, or shades, from strip to strip. In the first photo, three strips and two seams are visible. But the first seam, on the far left, is not too noticeable. The seam on the right is quite noticeable, due to the difference in color between the strip on the left and the strip on the right.

This is not a defect; that is just how it is, if you choose grasscloth or this strips-of-magazine-pages material.

This paper is by Seabrook, # EL343