Posts Tagged ‘seam’

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.

Narrowing Wallpaper Strip to Fit Width of Door

April 6, 2021

Top photo: At 27″ wide, my next strip was going to extend past the door top molding a few mere inches, leaving me with a seam in an awkward place.

Second photo: I’ve drawn a pencil line parallel to the door molding, showing where that seam would fall. This means I would need two strips to fill that space, and both of them would be narrow, and thus wobbly and hard to keep straight.

If only I could make that next strip less wide…

Third photo: VoilĂ ! The pattern was such that I was able to slice one of the motifs out of the center.

Fourth photo: This made my strip about 5″ narrower, while keeping motifs intact. It also kept the turtle at either end; important because it will be matched up to the turtle on strips on either side.

Last photo: My engineered strip lands just shy of the edge of the molding. Now I only need one strip to fill the space between it and the corner.

“Shrinking” the Pattern, to Avoid a Seam

February 2, 2021

If I had hung this paper the way the pattern sequentially worked its way around the powder room, the width of the strip over the door would have forced me to place two strips to the left of the door frame – with a seam down the middle. See where the arrow is pointing.

Sometimes it’s best to avoid seams when you can, for a variety of reasons. Especially at eye-level on a dark paper that is likely to shrink as it dries and thus expose the white edges of the substrate and the white wall beneath it all. Seams in an area that can be splashed by water have the potential to wick in moisture and cause curling. And in this case it would have also meant cutting all of the fish motifs into fragments.

After taking careful measurements, I used my straightedge to cut off the fish on the left (third photo), creating a new vertical edge.

Then I took the next strip of wallpaper and butted it up against the newly-narrow strip over the door. Even though the horizontal pattern repeat meant that we were missing a fish (that green one that got cut off), and that the very faint horizontal waves of shading in the design would not match across the seam – neither of those instances was detectable at all, when looking at the finished wall. See last photo.

The fish motifs also are dispersed in a pleasing way as they move down the wall.

This non-woven, easy-to-remove wallpaper is by the British company Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line, and is titled Acquario.

Beautiful Seams – York Sure Strip

January 22, 2021

For many reasons, I love the Sure Strip line by York Wallcoverings. Here you see how invisible the seams are. Even I had a hard time finding them!

Yes, there is a seam in the center of the photo. Good luck detecting it!

Strengthening a Tenuous Seam

December 13, 2020

Most people don’t use phone or cable connections in the wall anymore, so it’s common for me to remove the cover plates, stuff the wires into the box, and cover the hole with the wallpaper.

In this case, the seam was going to fall where there really wasn’t going to be enough wall for the wallpaper to be able to grab ahold of (see top photo). I was worried about the seam coming loose and gaping open.

My solution was to tear a bit of backing from a piece of scrap paper and use it to bridge the area over the hole where the seam would fall. This way, the wallpaper would be able to grab hold of the paper, and the seam would not pop open.

I had to separate the non-woven backing from the textured vinyl surface of the wallpaper. This gave me a thin piece that was not likely to cause ridge under the new wallpaper. It also got rid of the vinyl surface – wallpaper adhesives don’t like to stick to vinyl or other slick surfaces.

I tore the strip because the edges were then slightly feathered, which makes any slight bump under the wallpaper less noticeable.

I put plenty of paste on both sides of the patch strip, so it would stick to both the wall behind it and to the new wallpaper going on top of it.

No photo of the finished area, but it worked perfectly, with the paper and the seam stuck tightly and invisibly to the wall.

Betcha Can’t Find The Kill Point

December 9, 2020

Usually, when hanging wallpaper, you start in a corner, work your way around the room, and end up on the opposite side of that same corner. This virtually always ends up in a pattern mis-match. So we try to place this in an inconspicuous place, such as in a corner behind a door.

But this powder room didn’t have any hidden corners. All four of the corners were very visible to anyone in the room. I didn’t want an 8′ high corner of half-flowers and mis-matched motifs.

So I decided to put this kill point in the least noticeable space – the 1′ area above the door.

As you can see in the top photo, when the last strip of wallpaper came to meet up with the first strip, the pattern wasn’t going to match.

I didn’t want to have flowers cut abruptly in half vertically. So I decided to do some double cutting – a paperhangers’ term for splicing.

By cutting along the flowers in the design, I knew I could prevent an abruptly cut off flower. I padded behind the strips to protect the wall from being scored. Then I overlapped the new strip onto the first strip.

Then I took a sharp new razor blade and used it to cut along the motifs, pressing hard enough to cut through two layers of paper – but not cut into the padding and definintely not into the wall behind it all.

Once the excess paper was removed and the strips smoothed back into place, the seam is flat and smooth, and you could never tell that the designs is a marriage of two sets of motifs.

November 17, 2020

Printing Defect – Shading Issue

Look at the seam, which runs down the center of the page. It is clear that the right side of these strips of wallpaper is darker than the left side.

Unfortunately, this homeowner’s paper is not going up today. And she will have to wait for the company to use up its current stock, and then make a new production run. (Do a Search here on “run” to learn more.)

And then we have to hope that the new run does not have the same defect. Once the paper arrives, I will run by the store and check it, before the client picks it up.

This has to be a fluke, because York, and their SureStrip line, is one of my favorite brands.

Nubby Grasscloth / Not-So-Nubby Grasscloth

January 21, 2020


Grasscloth is made from natural fibers, and you never know quite exactly what you will get from bolt to bolt, and even from strip to strip.

In the first photo, you see a lot of “nubs” or knots – where the individual grass fibers have been tied together. You also see a seam, and see how uniform this particular material is. Quite often, the seams are a lot more visible. (see previous posts)

Back to nubs … In the second photo, a strip taken from the same bolt, there are far fewer knots.

Nothing right or wrong with either scenario – just showing how the material can change in appearance, even within the same bolt.

Personally, me, I prefer the more nubby texture.

Just an aside – most of this stuff is made in China. It is made by hand. And there really are workers who harvest tall reeds of grass, lay them in the sun to dry, and then come the little ladies who sit all day and grab handsfull of the grass and knot the reeds together, so these can then be sewn onto the paper backing and turned into wallcovering.

Tenuous Place for a Wallpaper Seam

January 5, 2020


Sometimes, you can’t plot ahead for where a seam is going to fall.

These rounded corners are not a good place for wallpaper seams, because they are hard for the paper to grip ahold of, and because they are never perfectly straight, so you end up with gaps and overlaps at the seams, as well as warped edges on the strip coming out of the seam, and other reasons, as well.

So, instead of trying to keep a strip straight along the full 6′ long rounded corner, including a wobbly 3″ wide portion along the side of the door frame, I cut the strip only to the height of the door, and made sure that it ended on the left side of the door along a design element (the orange vine trunk).

Then, when I hung the strip to the left (not shown), it was easy to butt it up against the 3′ long strip over the door. Then I let the right edge of this new strip fall as it wanted to, along the rounded edge of the wall.

Then it was simply a matter of taking a narrow strip of paper from the scrap pile and fitting it in (not shown). Because this strip was narrow, it was easy to twist and bend it as needed, to butt up with the right edge of the preceding piece.

1′ of Kill Point is Better Than 8′

October 21, 2018


When you hang wallpaper around a room, the last corner will result in a pattern mis-match, because the design on your final strip won’t match up with the design on the first strip, when the two meet up in the last corner. So I try to hide this “kill point” in an inconspicuous place, like behind a door.

But this powder room didn’t have any corners that could be hidden by a door – all of the corners were very visible. I didn’t want to end up with eight feet of a mis-matched pattern.

So I chose to kill the pattern over the door, where the mis-match would only be one foot high. But having the last strip meet the first strip with a straight seam would show an abrupt break in the design. Even if it were only one foot high, it would still jar the eye.

I knew that a pattern mis-match that followed the curves of the leafy motifs would be less visible. So I overlapped the last strip onto the first strip, and spliced the pieces together by cutting along the swirly pattern.

In the final picture, it looks like the pattern matches perfectly.