Posts Tagged ‘shifting foundation’

From Drab to Spa-Like

April 17, 2021
Before: Semi-gloss paint on bad texture job.
Virtually the same color, but texture and pattern add a warm and calm feel.
Before: Khaki paint
After: Serene, even Zen-like.
Close-up shows pattern that can be matched so seams are disguised, as well as string fibers that add texture and dimension.

Nearly a full 100 years old, this cottage in the Norhill neighborhood of the Houston Heights has seen many updates and treatments. The master bath suffered from various dubious renovation attempts, as well as the aftermath of acts of nature, such as shifting foundation, leaky windows, humidity. The whole room just had a sort of “last chance” look about it.

Most of the room’s ails could be solved by ripping everything out down to the studs and then starting anew. But on most budgets – that ain’t agonna happen!

So I skim-floated the walls and sanded smooth. Just having smooth walls free of the drab khaki paint color helped left the pervasive glum feeling.

The homeowner chose this faux grasscloth, which is a stringcloth product made by Walquest, in their EcoChic line. I like this because, being a man-made material, the pattern can be matched from strip to strip, so you do not notice the seams like you do with a natural fiber material like real grasscloth. Also, the vertical strings on the wallpaper give texture and dimension, which is a look that many homeowners are craving these days.

The label insert tells you straight off that this material is not washable (they say you can gently vacuum it occasionally). Yet it is still more resistant to stains than true grasscloth.

This wallpaper was purchased from Ted at the Shade & Drape Shop on Kirby at Richmond. (They have another location on Voss near San Felipe.)

Shifting Foundation = Twisting Corners

September 19, 2012

Twice this week, I’ve looked at jobs that had issues with one of Houston’s primary banes of existance… shifting foundations!

When a house’s foundation shifts (generally due to lack of or excess of moisture in the soil underneath), the whole structure moves. When walls move independently of one another, they take the wallpaper with them. Meaning that one wall moves up and one wall moves down, and so does the wallpaper, resulting in twisting of the paper in the corner.

Sometimes, the drywall tape in the corner also shifts and twists, causing a thicker, deeper wrenching of materials.

Wallpaper strips are split, and then the first strip is wrapped around the corner just 1/8″ or less, and the second strip is lapped on top of that first one. (This is explained in more detail in another post.) Since the strips are adhered to one another by paste, they are fused, and so end up twisted and unsightly when the walls move.

Usually, both walls have to be repapered. In one of the homes I mentioned above, the plan is to leave the corners un wrapped. Meaning, instead of wrapping the paper that 1/8″ around the corner and then overlapping, we have agreed to just cut the paper at the corner. This means there will be a slight gap in the corner between the two walls. But the homeowner feels this will be preferable to haveing ugly twisty paper bulging from the corners.

I might try a trick – wrapping the paper around the corner that 1/8″, but not pasting the next strip where it overlaps the first one. That way, there will be paper under the corner, which will eliminate a gap, but the strips will not be adhered to one another, so, if the house moves again, hopefully the two walls will move independently of one another, and will not cause twisting or ugly blemishes in the corners.