Posts Tagged ‘seam’

Calm Forest Frolic

January 27, 2022
Before shot of sink room in hall bathroom in a home in the Energy Corridor / Briar Forest area of west Houston.
Symmetrical flora and frolicking fauna are a popular design concept in wallpaper. Just about everything in this home is white or cream or tan, so the homeowner’s choice of this muted color palette fits in perfectly and lends a serene feel to the space.
Close up. The seam at far right is still wet, and will be less obvious once it dries.
The pattern is called Design Woodland and is by Crown Wallcoverings, a British company. True to its roots, the material is what we call a pulp, which is basically wood pulp and ink … thick, stiff, turns mushy when wet with paste, tears easily, and no protective coating on the surface so my client will have to be careful to avoid splashing toiletries or cleaning agents onto the wallpaper. Even water will stain it over time.

Pepping Up Plain Old Vanilla

January 23, 2022
Everything else in this newish townhome in the far northwest area of Houston is generic beige.
But the homeowner envisioned something much more bold and fun for the large powder room.
The slope at the top left is the area under the stairs.
Close-up. At the far right you can see a seam … the paper was slightly shaded darker on the left edge and lighter on the right edge, resulting in this. It looks like the seam is curled up, but actually it’s perfectly flat.
The pattern is called Marigold and it’s sold by Anthropologie. The manufacturer is York, and it’s in their SureStrip line, which is one of my favorites. This is a pre-pasted material, and you activate the paste by wetting the back. The instructions suggest using a squirt bottle – ouch! Can you say wrist pain?! I sprinkle water on with a sponge and then roll it around with a paint roller. I also add a little extra wallpaper paste to the mix.

Printing Defects with Schumacher – Again

November 2, 2021

Have I mentioned that I dislike the brand Schumacher? Well, yes I have! – plenty of times. This ‘high-end’ brand seems to have a problem with their quality control, especially when it comes to printing defects.

So – here we go again. I lost a day of work, and another homeowner didn’t get her room decorated.

Two things are going on here. First, along the seam running down the center of the photo, you can see that the pattern matches in some areas but not in others. Obviously, the material was either mis-printed, or mis-trimmed at the factory.

It’s kinda a busy pattern, and you might not notice this at a distance. But – at Schumacher’s prices, why accept flaws like this?

The next is probably an even more noticeable defect … Hard to see in the photo, but this would show up very jarringly on the wall. Look closely and you will notice a slight color difference between the two strips. The strip on the right is darker than the strip on the left.

On the wall, this would present as sort of vertical strips every 27″ apart.

I was lucky to notice these issues before cutting any of the paper. I told the homeowner to send it back.

I don’t believe that a different run will solve these issues, because the problem is inherent to the printing press or trimmer. The homeowner will have to select a whole new wallpaper pattern (and hopefully a different, better, manufacturer).

Shading Issues With Hourglass Wallpaper

October 30, 2021
There is a vertical seam down the center of this picture. Look closely, and you will see that the strip of wallpaper on the right is darker than the strip on the left. The manufacturer didn’t keep the color of the ink consistent across the width of the paper. This is called shading or paneling. Even though the pattern of the horizontal hash-type lines matches across the seam, I thought the difference in color would be jarring to the eye.
In the grand scheme of things, I believe that uniform color would be more important than a perfectly matched really tiny pattern. So I used a trick called reverse-hanging to bring an even color to the seam areas. That’s when you hang one strip right side up, and then hang the next strip upside down. What this accomplishes is to place the same side of the strip next to itself. That way, a darker area, for example, is next to a darker area, and your eye doesn’t notice any abrupt color difference. It’s a simple concept, but difficult to explain. This technique is usually used on solid textures or materials like grasscloth. I was able to get away with it on this patterned paper because the design was symmetrical whether it was right-side-up or up-side-down. From a short foot away from the wall, you can’t notice that the horizontal lines don’t line up perfectly.

‘Iconic’ Woods Pattern by Cole & Son on Heights Entryway Accent Wall

October 20, 2021
Before. Getting ready to prime. Note that I have protected both the floor and the baseboards with dropcloths.
Done! Dramatic!
This bolt had been damaged in shipping, and the right edge had dings / dents. With this thick, puffy non-woven material, these could show at the seams when butted against the next strip. So I plotted the placement of my strips so this one would be on the far right end. That last strip was not the full width wide, so 8″ of the right side got cut off where it met the adjoining wall. That eliminated the worry of those dented edges showing.
I used the paste-the-wall method to hang this non-woven wallpaper. With the wall wet with paste, it would be easy to get paste all over the wallpaper if you used the traditional installation booking technique. So I’ve learned to roll the material up with the print side in, and then secure with a hairband (from the dollar store). Then you can easily carry the rolled-up strip up your ladder, remove the elastic tie, and then let the paper fall into place. Only the back side comes into contact with the paste on the wall. Once you get good at this technique, you will never have to wipe paste off a seam, nor off the woodwork or adjoining walls.
Cole & Son says that this “Woods” pattern has roots dating back to 1959. I guess that makes it truly iconic. I can say that it is quite popular – I’ve hung it a bunch of times.

Trimming A Strip To Make Placement Easier

September 19, 2021
The width of the wall space to be covered with wallpaper is about 9″ wide. Yet the strip of wallpaper is 28″ wide. Maneuvering that wide strip of paper into this narrow space is going to be difficult, it’s going to get a lot of paste slobbered on the upper and lower cabinets, and is likely to put a lot of stress on the paper, and also create creases.
My solution was to cut the next strip of wallpaper in two, making the next strip (the left side of the split strip) just 10″ wide – enough to let just 1″ pass under and into the cabinet area.
Then I took the appropriate pattern match section from the right half of the split strip, and placed it under the cabinet. If you look closely, you can see the seam under the left edge of the cabinets.

This little trick made hanging this strip a whole lot easier, and it greatly reduced stress on the paper and the potential for creases or damage.

The red plastic tape is on the backside of the top of the wallpaper to keep paste off the cabinets.

“Shrinking” a Strip of Wallpaper, to Avoid a Bad Seam Placement

August 1, 2021
The strip on the left over the door was going to extend to the right, about 2″ beyond the door frame and wall corner. This was going to result in an awkward seam placement, and make for a difficult install of the next two strips. I could avoid this by moving that next seam to over the right corner of the door. To do this, I had to “shrink” the strip over the door. I cut along the pattern, and pulled out the right half of the strip. Then I hung the full-length strip to the right, making sure to position the motifs so they would line up with the motifs on the left.
Here I am placing that right portion of the strip next to the full-height strip on the right. I am lapping it under the strip to the left. (The blue plastic tape you see at the top is to keep paste off the ceiling paint.)
Trimmed at ceiling and molding, and smoothed into place. Because I sliced the paper vertically along the design of the tree trunk, once the pieces are smoothed back into place, you don’t notice at all that about 1″ of material and pattern are missing.

Rectifying a Mistake

July 2, 2021
Whoops! This wallpaper strip ended up too short. I suspect I forgot to add the 3″ extra for trimming at ceiling and floor. Sure would like to avoid replacing this whole strip.
I could have spliced a piece in horizontally. But that would have left a (slightly) visible horizontal seam, as well as put stress on the wall if the razor blade scored the surface. So I opted to patch in a piece. To disguise the patch, I cut along the design, and discarded the bottom piece.
Then I used scrap paper and cut along the same part of the design, making sure to leave a thin part of the design that would be overlapped (don’t want any gaps showing).
This patch was placed under the piece on the wall, with the top piece overlapping from above (less noticeable when viewed from above … the direction of lighting also affects this). Once all pieces were smoothed into place, it’s intact and homogeneous, and, best of all – undetectable.

Narrow-ing a Strip Over a Door

April 25, 2021
Strip is gonna extend 1″ to the left of the door molding. Meaning, I’ll have to add a strip of wallpaper to the left of the door, plus a pesky 1″ strip next to it.
Slicing the short strip vertically along the foliage design.
Moved the strip 1/2″ to the right, overlapping at the cut area. It’s impossible to tell that the spacing is a tad narrower. I did the same thing to the next strip (on the left). 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 1″ … so I have effectively “shrunk” the paper by 1″ in width.


Butting up my next strip along the door frame. No need to add a puny 1″ strip.
Untrimmed piece (with the blue tape at the top) overlaps by 1/2″ onto the strip to the right of it.

Hanging wallpaper strips over the door, moving to the left … the strip was going to hang over the space by 1.” This would mean that I would have to hang a wide strip of wallpaper, and then fit in a narrow 1″ strip between it and the door frame.

By “narrowing” two short strips over the door, I was able eliminate that skimpy 1″ strip, eliminate a seam, and bring the wider strip to where it butted up right against the door frame.

Shading, Irregular Strings, Bubbles – Disappointments in Walquest Faux Grasscloth

April 18, 2021
Look dead-center – the strip on the right is slightly darker than the strip on the left (Effect shows up better in person than in photos). We call this shading, or paneling. Even though the pattern can be matched from strip to strip, which eliminates the eye-jarring break in the design at every seam which you get with real grasscloth, I am disappointed that Walquest allows this color difference. I’ve noticed it on each of their colorways. It is less noticeable on this light version, but is readily apparent in their darker colorways.
At the right edge of a strip of faux grasscloth wallpaper (center in the photo), a string either didn’t get put in place, or was pushed too far to the side. Either way, when this strip on the left is butted up against the next strip to the right , this “missing string” creates a very obvious void area, which runs vertically for about 4.’

I have long loved this Walquest alternative to grasscloth, because it has the texture that clients are seeking these days. But it sidesteps many of the problems with real grasscloth. Because it has a pattern that can be matched from seam-to-seam, so you don’t get the visible breaks in the reeds at every seam as with real grasscloth. And because it’s man-made, so the color is more uniform, reducing the color differences between strips that is prevalent with real grasscloth. (Do a Search here (upper right corner) to learn more.)

Unfortunately, I am becoming disenchanted with this product. The last several times I’ve worked with it, there have been color differences (shading / paneling) between strips. And a couple of times, I’ve had issues with strings not being uniformly placed across the strips.