Posts Tagged ‘seam’

Grasscloth in Tiny Bookshelf Cubicles

February 3, 2018

This neutral-hued grasscloth sure warms up the look of these display shelves, adding both soft color and texture. The homeowner’s books and decorative items stand out much better.

None of the shelves was removable, so I had to cut and install TWENTY FIVE separate pieces of grasscloth wallpaper for the backs of these bookshelves.

To minimize trimming inside those small, tight cubicles, I took careful measurements and then pre-cut my pieces. I used a straight edge, razor blade, and one of those “self-healing” cutting mats that are used for sewing and crafts. The mat was marked both vertically and horizontally in inches (and graduations) and had easy to see right angles.

I cut all my pieces a mere 1/2″ larger than the dimensions of each cubicle. I used the craft mat and straight edge to cut a right angle in the upper left corner of each piece of grasscloth. I could position this in the upper left corner of each cubicle, which also butted it up perfectly against the top and left sides of the cubicle.

Then all I had to do was use my razor knife to trim the grasscloth on the right and bottom sides, to fit into the cubicle.

I spent a full four hours priming, then measuring and labeling each cubicle, and then cutting and pre-trimming each of the 25 pieces of grasscloth. Look at the photo of my measurements!

All this effort paid off, because every single piece of material went into its cubbyhole perfectly, and required trimming on just two sides (instead of four). The install still took a full eight hours. But it was fun and challenging, and a different work-out for the brain from hanging paper on tall, flat walls.

This grasscloth wallpaper is by Thibaut. I forgot to take a photo of the label, but it was a really nice paper, and, even though I had only one seam (in the TV niche), for once there was no issue with shading or color differences – in fact, that one seam is all but invisible. I hung this in a living room in a townhouse in the Rice Military / Camp Logan neighborhood of Houston.


If You Buy Grasscloth, Expect To See The Seams

November 12, 2017

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Grasscloth is popular right now, but buyers must be aware that, because there is no pattern that can be matched, all the seams will be visible. In addition, color variations are to be expected.

The top photo shows a slight color difference between two strips. This is called shading or paneling. This is not a defect. It is considered “part of the inherent beauty of the natural material.”

The second photo shows a lighter colored line that often appears at the far edges of the grasscloth strips, due to irregularities in the dying process. This can often be minimized by trimming off the edges of the material. But sometimes the lighter area extends beyond the area that can be trimmed off. And if you trim off too much, you will have narrower strips, and may well run out of paper before you finish the room.

The bottom photo shows a seam where the lighter colored edges were successfully trimmed off, and a nice butted seam resulted.

Puckered Seam Due to Material Expanding

January 24, 2017
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This is a popular wallpaper pattern, and the previous times I’ve hung it it was called “Wood” by Cole & Son. It has a matt finish and has always gone up beautifully.

But today I hung the same pattern, this time curiously with a label from “Blooming Wall.” The material had shiny surface. Both brands are a non-woven substrate and a paste-the-wall product. Because the material is dimensionally stable, it will not expand when it gets wet with paste like regular wallpapers will. So you can put paste on the wall instead on the back of the paper, and hang your strips immediately, with no booking / soaking or waiting. The Cole & Son performs as it’s supposed to.

But this Blooming Wall product did soak up moisture from the paste, and shortly after I put it into the paste on the wall, it expanded just a little, causing puckers at the seams. It also warped and twisted a little, and created bubbles that had to be worked out or cut open.

Once I figured out what was going on, my solution was to lightly dampen the back of each strip with water, to allow the material time to absorb moisture and expand before it got to the wall. This did help eliminate the seam puckers and the warping.

Last Corner – “Kill Point” – On a Trellis

April 5, 2015

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I apologize for the dark photo, but this is actually pretty cool. The kill point is the last corner in a room, and the wallpaper pattern virtually always ends here in a mis-match. But today, the last corner matched absolutely perfectly. That is VERY rare! It is just a chance of fate that the pattern on the right got cut off at exactly the same point as the pattern on the left, so when they met in the corner, the match was perfect.

But, well, it didn’t exactly happen all that easily.

If you look closely at the wall on the right, you will see that the pattern is a little lower than the pattern on the left. That is because the corners of the room were not plumb, causing the wallpaper to hang crooked, and when that happens, the pattern will travel up or down hill at the ceiling line. I think it’s more important to match the pattern in the corners as precisely as possible, even if it means that the pattern is not straight along the ceiling line. Because this is so common, we try to make the pattern match best at eye level, and hope that people don’t spend too much time looking at the ceiling line.

Anyway, as you move around the room hanging paper, the other walls may be out of plumb, too, causing the subsequent strips of wallpaper to go off-plumb, and then their pattern will also travel up or down hill. That means that, by the time your last strip butts up against your first strip, your horizontal lines may not line up.

And that’s what happened here. But you hardly notice. Why? The wall on the right has a seam about 2″ from the corner – right were the two motifs meet. When I had the pattern perfectly matched across this seam, the silver “ring” at the join point matched perfectly with the one on the previous strip, but the black lines from the trellis on the right did not line up with the black lines on the left.

So what I did was, I carefully removed the narrow 2″ strip of paper and slid it a little higher on the wall, matching it to the black lines on the pattern on the left side of the corner. This threw off the match of the silver rings on the wall on the right. But, hey, it is only slightly off, and it’s 7′ high and over the door, so who’s gonna notice? But if those black lines on the trellis motif mis-matched, people would notice.

This was a small adjustment, but it made a world of difference in how the finished room looks.

I realize that this is the kind of post that only a paperhanger could follow and appreciate. But I was just so excited today, to be able to have a perfectly matched kill point!

Dark Paper Printed on Dark Backing

November 2, 2014

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The manufacturer wisely printed this dark green and brown wallpaper on a dark stock. This is good, because wallpaper often shrinks just a wee bit when it dries, and you can then see the edges of the paper, if not the wall behind it. But, since the manufacturer took the care to print the paper on a dark substrate, instead of white, there is much less chance of your eye being assaulted by a glaring, white vertical line at every seam.

This wallpaper is in the Cary Lind line of York Wallcoverings, and was pre-pasted, which you don’t see quite so often these days. I like this brand a lot, and even have some raised-ink print Cary Lind in my master bathroom.