Posts Tagged ‘smoothed’

More Peel & Stick Hate

January 17, 2023
so-called peel and stick wallpaper is not nearly what the vendors’ websites make it out to be. It is neither easy to install , nor easy to remove . Nor does it hold up very long. I won’t hang it, neither will most of my colleagues across the country. Even our British counterparts have asked us to not let it slip across the pond!
I won’t work with it, but one of the clients I visited yesterday did attempt to DIY try it on her own, with quite unsatisfactory results. She was kind enough to let me take photos .
Here you can easily see wrinkles next to the door molding .
gap at seam over door, warps along side door.
hard to see, but there are large wrinkles. Plus notice on the right, paper is not adhering to the wall.
seams shrink and gap.
P&S material is not even trying to adhere to the wall.

A lot of these failures are due to the homeowners’ lack of knowledge and experience with peel & stick , and with wallpaper in general. For instance, the textured walls should have been smoothed / skim-coated / skim-floated before applying the material . Wallpaper wants to adhere to a smooth surface – not to the “highs and lows” of a textured wall .
Next, most P&S instructions call for application on a semi-gloss paint , which needs to cure for 6-8 weeks.
Also, read the fine print, and you’ll learn that P&S is meant as a temporary wallpaper …. you can plan on it starting to fail in less than a year. That’s where you get the failure to stick to the wall , and shrinking at the seams . Of course, here you can see that that happened within a few weeks / days.
In this case, the material will be easily removable from the wall. But in most cases, if you’ve installed it on a smooth , primed wall, well, when stripped off, it will take the paint along with it. Leaving you with a nasty , pock-marked mess to have to repair. Click the link to my page on the right, about why to stay away from P&S.

Take A Walk In Central Park. Dinner Party Guests Chime In

December 2, 2022
Before. Most of this home is in the white / beige / neutral decorating scheme. The homeowner wanted something with pizzazz to snazz up the powder room. Textured walls have been smoothed, primed, and are ready for wallpaper.
Definite WOW! factor!
Toilet corner before.
Toilet corner done.
Another view
Close up.
Closer up. The textured background you see is the non-woven material this is printed on. It has a 20% polyester content, and is thus somewhat similar to fiberglass. Very hard to tear, resistant to stains , and designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece , with no damage to the wall , when you redecorate .
It can be hung by pasting the wall , or by pasting the paper . I generally prefer to paste the paper .
Rolling it out on the floor , to see the overall pattern , and to decide what element I want to place at the center of the focal wall as well as at the top of the wall . This pattern is so wild and crazy and over-all, that it ultimately doesn’t matter about pattern placement . That’s pretty rare .
The pattern is called Central Park and is made by Thibaut . The home is in the Galleria / Tanglewood area of Houston .
What’s very cool is that the homeowner had ordered large samples of three colorways , but couldn’t decide which she wanted to go with. So she taped them to the wall, threw a dinner party , and asked her guests to vote for their favorite. This bright and colorful one won, hands down!
Now she’ll have to invite them all back again, to see the finished room!
I think the color and the design go super nicely with the weathered-white , deeply carved front of the vanity .
installer installation

Serena and Lily ” Feather ” Brightens a Laundry Room

November 6, 2022
This project has been in the works for more than a year, and the young family was chomping at the bit to get it done! Here is the “before” pic, after I have smoothed the textured wall and primed. See other post for info on the smoothing process.
Done!
The homeowner had gotten some left over paper from a friend, and only had one full double roll plus 20′ on another roll. I would have liked more paper, but I was up to the challenge, and was able to pull some tricks out of my hat and get the room done with what we had – with about 13″ left over!
Close-up.
I love raised-ink papers like this. They add just a tad of texture to the room.
The manufacturer is Serena & Lily . I love hanging most of their papers. This ” Feather ” pattern is very popular, and comes in many colors.
The home is in the FM 1960 / Cypresswood area of Houston .

Jagged Abstract Flowers for Baby Girl’s Nursery Accent / Feature Wall

October 21, 2022

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Original wall was white, as was the rest of the room, and also the furniture.
Here I’ve smoothed and primed the wall, and waiting for everything to dry before installing the paper.
Finished. The first-time mom-to-be loves the subtleness of this soft pink color. Note that the pattern, that might seem busy up close, really fades to a background, sort of a texture, when viewed from a distance.
The mom-to-be commented that this pattern and color will grow with her daughter and be suitable for many years.
Close up and at an angle.
The paper has an embossed vinyl surface , providing a light textured look and feel .
This wallpaper is by A Street Prints and comes on a user-friendly non-woven / paste-the-wall substrate.
This stuff is MUCH better than the peel & stick options that are popping up.
When you’re ready to redecorate, this will strip off the wall easily and in one piece, with no damage to the wall.
When a pattern is popular , manufacturers will figure out a way to create something similar , without infringing on copyrights.
I believe this design to be in response to Thibaut’s Aster , and also to the very popular Feather Bloom by Schumacher.
This option is affordable and user-friendly .

Alligator Accent Wall

April 29, 2022
Here’s an accent wall in a home office.
Textured wall has been smoothed, primed, and is ready for wallpaper.
Finished. Sorry – the bright light coming in the windows makes for a dark, crappy photo. But the wall looks really good!
This gives you an idea of the realistic pattern and texture.
A bright piece of artwork will hang on this wall between the windows.
Close up of texture.
Manufacturer is Super Fresco Easy from Australia. Pattern is Crocodile
This non-woven material is thin, strong, flexible, and a joy to work with. In addition, it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate.

Finished Pearland Floral Master Bath

April 14, 2022
Before, with walls skim-floated smooth and primed .
So fun! So much personality and energy!
The door on the left opens to the water closet / potty room, which was papered in a coordinating plain gold, textured material. See previous post for photos.
Long wall behind his & hers vessel sinks.
Tub area, with shower area behind. Wallpapering all these little nooks and crannies took a lot of time!
The opposite side of the tub area.
This non-woven wallpaper is made by York and was purchased from the Ballard Designs showroom in Montrose / River Oaks ( Houston ).
It was nice to work with, the seams are nearly invisible, and it will hold up for many years to come.

The Big Easy On The Walls

March 5, 2022
West wall smoothed, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
The homeowner used to live in New Orleans, and she tells me that signs like this are very common in local convenience stores and neighborhood dives. Transplanted to Houston, these signs are very dear to her heart as a reminder of her roots – and the funky lifestyle in the Big Easy.
She wanted the signs recreated somehow to cover the walls in their newly-renovated powder room in the Houston Heights. I suggested she contact rebelwalls.com , who custom made the paper and sized it specifically to fit each wall in the room individually. I measured and made drawings, and a designer named Simon at RebelWalls laid it all out.
North wall before. This is the wall with the toilet and sink.
There were a couple of glitches, the first being that the strips were printed about 10″ longer than I requested. No biggie – I’d rather have too much paper than come up short.
But the main glitch being that I had asked for this “sign” to be centered over the toilet, which meant that the center of the sign (I used the middle fleur-de-lis) would land at 17.5″ from the wall to the left. But somehow it got printed to where the left edge of the pattern was 17.5″ from the wall … That left a whole lot of white space between the wall and the design, and also pushed the words too close to the mirror, which will hang over the sink to the right.
After careful measuring, calculating, and testing, I determined that if I used my straightedge and razor blade to take off a 12″ wide slice from the left side, the “sign” would move to the left such that its center would fall over the mid-point of the toilet.
VoilĂ ! As you see in the photo, now the words are nicely balanced on this section of wall, and will not crowd the mirror which will be hung to the right.
The rest of the wallpaper moving to the right is unprinted, so as to leave a blank slate for the mirror to hang on. Here you see that wall, and also the wall to its right. This east wall has the same sign, but in a smaller scale, sized to fit the narrower wall. It’s also placed at a different height
Graphic designer Simon used my drawings and measurements to get the words nicely centered on this wall. The area above the door to the right (not visible) is left blank.
Here is the west wall (on the right) abutting the south / window wall.
The bull-nosed / rounded edges / corners such as you see around the window are really a pain with wallpaper, especially when they go both around the sides and the top, and can lead to some impossibilities. Too complicated to get into here. But I was pleased with the way this worked out. And the placement of the pleated shades toward the front of the opening helped a lot, too.
One interesting thing to note is that the thickness of this non-woven wallcovering (along with the joint compound I used to smooth the textured wall) is enough that it narrows the space inside the window just a tad,,, and that makes it a bit tight for the shades to fit back in,,, and that opens the potential for abrading the wallpaper as the shade is raised and lowered over time.
Another point … even though the widths of the wall spaces to be covered were different, we requested that the size of the font on the “sign” lettering be the same on the west wall and the north / mirror wall, and ditto for the window wall and the door wall.
I also made sure that the “signs” started at the same distance from the ceiling. This then ensured that each “sign” would land at the same distance from the tile below it.
Synchronizing the size of the fonts as well as the spacing between ceiling and tile helps immensely to lend a feeling of unity and order to this room.
I spent a full 2 1/2 hours plotting, measuring, testing mock-ups, and going back to the drawing board, before I ever cut any paper.
Prior to that, there were two visits to the home to get measurements and kick around options with the homeowner. In addition, she spent countless communications with the manufacturer and with our specific designer.
All this futzing is important, because, with murals, there is no second chance. There’s only one of each panel, and if one gets screwed up, there are no more to pull off the bolt, like you’d have with regular rolled goods.
RebelWalls is the manufacturer. I’ve had lots of great installs with this company.
What was inside our box, including Simon’s dimensions and lay-out.
Basic installation instructions. Ours was a bit – a whole lot – more complicated, because it covered not one but four walls. In our case, it worked best to have each wall be a separate mural, so to speak.
RebelWalls includes free wallpaper paste. I prefer to use my own pre-mixed vinyl adhesive, which is SureStik Dynomite 780. Recently bought by Roman, so the name has changed to just 780.
Certain pastes have been known to ” stain ” non-woven wallpapers (areas look wet but never dry out). I think that a high moisture content in the paste has a lot to do with this. So I’m hesitant to use a powdered paste that needs to be mixed with water.
I’ll squirrel away that RebelWalls powdered paste for another, better suited job. For this home’s install, I’m sticking with my tried and true 780.
A coupla more notes.
One, this project was a study in vision, desire, anticipation, and patience. The homeowner first contacted me in July 2021. It took nearly eight months to come to fruition. Granted, they had a whole kitchen remodel in the middle, which also included an update to this powder room. But just speaking for the wallpaper, there were several site visits, many emails, and then innumerable communications with the design team at RW.
In fact, since I’ve hung lots of RebelWalls and am familiar with their process, I thought I could lay out the design. But this project of separate “sign” motifs for each wall section was taxing my skill set. Finally I laid down my pencil and paper and said, “Stop doing what you yell at your clients for doing, which is trying to do something you don’t have expertise in! RebelWalls has designers who are trained to figure all this out. So let THEM do the math and placement and calculating and layout.” So we turned it over to them, and within a short time they had it all worked out perfectly (except for those few glitches I mentioned). Their customer service was amazing.
All this was crucial to ensuring that mural pieces fit the wall perfectly and that the final product looks stunning.
I also want to mention that the RebelWalls quality is excellent. It’s a non-woven material which has many advantages (too numerous to go into here, but you can Search). The seams melt together like butter and are invisible – even on areas with all that bare white space with no pattern. On a simple accent wall, you can paste-the-wall to hang it. In this (and most) cases, I pasted-the-material, which gives more flexibility and also ensures that paste gets into hard-to-reach areas – like behind a toilet.
In addition, the non-woven material is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when you redecorate.
The company offers scores of patterns, from cute to sophisticated, and, as we did this time around, can make custom creations.
Super customer service, too.

lottery , money order , checks cashed , household supplies

Graffiti Garage Doors – Boys’ Room

January 19, 2022
Boys’ accent wall smoothed, primed, and read for wallpaper.
Just – WOW!
Close-up. This really looks like a painted metal industrial door!
Each boy has a bed shaped like a race car. Temporarily tumped on its side while the mural goes up.
Standing on end, until the Wallpaper Lady finishes.

The mural was purchased on-line from one of those middle-man sites that I recommend against. There was scant information, and no installation instructions. But it turned out to be a very nice product and I enjoyed working with it.

Affordable Version of Trendy Wallpaper Pattern

January 2, 2022
Accent wall in this guest bathroom in the Houston Heights has been smoothed and primed, and is ready for wallpaper.
Schumacher makes a popular version of this design called Queen of Spain. Rebecca Atwood makes something very similar named Dashes. Both of those are expensive brands, and the papers require hand-trimming, as well as other special installation techniques. The Queen comes in an unwieldly 54″ width.
This option by A Street Prints , though, is very similar but much lower in price. I prefer this pattern, too, because it’s not as ” stripy ” as the other brands. The name is Rune Charcoal Brushstrokes.
This is a non-woven material, and can be hung via the paste-the-wall method.

As I like to say – for every high-end company making a cool pattern that is costly and also difficult to install, there is someone else making a knock-off that is more affordable and of better quality.

Tropical Foliage Re-Do – Peel & Stick Debacle UnDone

November 26, 2021
Re my previous post about an under-the-stairs powder room that the homeowners attempted to install an argumentative peel & stick material … here is the finished room after I stripped off the P&S, smoothed the walls, and hung the new wallpaper choice. I engineered to place the sole philodendron leaf down the center of the ceiling.
Where the under-the-stairs ceiling met the area over the door, the two surfaces came together in a very sharp angle. It was difficult to get in there and work, and to get the paper tight into the joint. Fingers can be too fat, so this is where tools can squeeze in there and save the day. This is also my kill point . Do a search here on that term for more info. A long story and maybe an hour or more of work, but you will note that there are no pattern mis-matches here. The homeowners were out of town, so I felt unpressured and could take as long as I needed to make these three areas look seamless.
I love the hand-painted, water colory look of this pattern.
This photo shows the joint where the walls meet the sloped under-the-stairs ceiling. A wallpaper pattern will never match perfectly in these situations. At first, I tried a few tricks to ” fool the eye .” But I decided it looked crisper and less distracting to just trim the two papers where they met. Here, we had the advantage that the tropical foliage pattern was busy enough that, I mean, really, when you step three feet back, who’s gonna notice a minor pattern mis-match, anyway? The pattern does match in the corners on either side behind the toilet, though (see photo). Even though this only 4.5″ high, it does lend subtle continuity to the room.
When I see Candice Olson, I fast forward to glitz and glam and glitter and shimmer. Here her tropical foliage design is a bit more main stream. York is the mother company, and I love their products.

This home is in the Heights neighborhood of central Houston.