Posts Tagged ‘smudges’

Wallpaper Woes in Chinese Restaurant

April 10, 2022
While waiting for my order to be ready, I couldn’t help but notice problems ….
Wallpaper starting to curl at the seams.
Wallpaper twisting in corners as the building shifts and drywall moves. This is pretty common in Houston.
Other signs of poorly maintained building and/or climate control issues.
Seam curling back. I believe this to be a lower-end solid vinyl wallpaper on a gritty paper backing – one of my least preferred types.
When the walls are not prepared correctly, and the paper is not hung properly, and when there is a lot of humidity (door left open, steam from kitchen getting into waiting area, A/C not running or turned off at night), humidity can enter into the seams and be wicked up by the paper backing. The paper expands and pushes away from the wall, causing the edges of the wallpaper to curl back.
The next step is that the vinyl surface can actually delaminate (come apart) from the paper backing. This is pretty impossible to repair.
At the very bottom, you can see the vinyl separating from the paper backing.
The wallpaper has been wrapped around this outside corner, and a new piece of paper overlapped on top of it. When this is done, with vinyl material, you’re supposed to use special vinyl-over-vinyl ( VOV ) adhesive, because regular wallpaper paste isn’t formulated to adhere to vinyl / plastic .
But even if the installer had used the correct adhesive, under humid conditions or with improper wall prep, the odds are that this wallpaper job will start to fail.
Also note dirt along the ceiling, and along the chair rail in the previous photo. General lack of maintenance and I am really suspecting lack of climate control.
The black smudges appear to be mildew coming from underneath the paper. Again, probably related to humidity.
Vinyl wallpaper is a sheet of plastic, and moisture can be trapped behind it. That can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
So why use vinyl wallpaper? Mainly because the surface is much more washable than most other types of wallpaper. In a business, washability is attractive.
But these property owners chose a low-end vinyl product, most likely skipped proper wall prep such as a wallpaper primer, and have not provided a hospitable environment for the paper.
There are other vinyl wallcoverings that would have held up better. For instance, vinyl on a scrim ( woven fabric ) backing, or the newer backing called non-woven , which has a 20% polyester content, and therefore less likely to wick up humidity.

Defects in Today’s Wallpaper

May 26, 2021
Yellow strip along right side of strip at top of photo. Grey strip just to the right of my pencil in the second photo.

Horizontal yellow stripe about center in this photo
Hard to see, but this photo shows “ghosting” of the print from the instruction sheet showing through the surface of the wallpaper. The instructions had been rolled up inside the paper. Somehow, the ink transferred onto the wallpaper. This ruined about 2′ of the bolt of wallpaper – multiplied by three bolts.
Edges splayed / curled up, probably due to a trimming glitch at the factory. In addition, several feet of this affected area had a darker color – which would have showed up as a stripe along one edge of the wallpaper.
This Candice Olson wallpaper is made by York. York is normally one of my favorite brands. But today was disappointing.

Once I discovered these printing and trimming defects, I contacted the homeowner. After kicking options around, she decided to NOT have the wallpaper hung. Why spend all that money for paper and labor, and have a less-than-stellar result?!

She will present these problems to the company. There is a good chance that she can avoid defects in the replacement paper, IF she gets them to send a different run.

Here is another reason why I am glad she purchased from a “real” wallpaper company (in this case, she bought from Burke Decor), instead of a middle-man company such as Wayfair, Etsy, Ebay, and even Amazon.

A wallpaper-focused company will be able to ferret out problems. And they will be knowledgeable of Run Numbers and etc. So the replacement they send will be free of printing and other types of defects.

This wallpaper is by York, in the Candice Olson line.

Avoid Damaging the New Wallpaper – Have All Work Done BEFORE the Paper Goes Up

October 8, 2020


See those dark smudges and scrapes on the wall, on both sides of the corner? The homeowner had crown molding installed, and this resulted in damage to the walls.

Either scraping while manipulating the wood into place, or the carpenter letting his sweaty hands touch the walls, or maybe leaning against the wall with his keychain rubbing on it.

So, best to have work like this done before the new wallpaper goes up.

Always Buy Extra Paper – Damaged Material

September 3, 2020


Unlike with paint, you cannot use every square foot of wallpaper on the roll.

This photo shows unusable paper at the beginning of two bolts – the one on the left has ink smudges, and the one on the right has creases.

Flaws like this are pretty much expected, and it’s very common that several feet will have to be cut off and discarded.

Farrow & Ball Paint on Wallpaper – Smudges, Splatters

March 13, 2018


Farrow & Ball is a British wallpaper and paint manufacturing company. They are unique in that, instead of using ink to print their wallpapers, they use their paints. It is a hand-screened process.

Any type of hand-done work means that there can be human error. (Well, you can have errors with machine-produced goods, too, but here we’re focusing on higher-end, artisan-inspired, hand-crafted goods.)

Anyway, here you can see a few smudges, and a few platters of paint on the wallpaper. All of these are considered typical and normal for a product like this.

While you are looking closely, I encourage you to notice the three-dimensional quality of the ink on the paper. It’s almost as thick as gesso. This gives the paper a subtle dimension, and ensures that every screen will be a tad different from the others.

Flaw of the Day – Smudges / Misprint

October 10, 2017

Digital Image


The vertical line just in front of my finger is a misprint. In addition, there were regular smudges through every bolt of paper, in the same spot on the pattern design – both obviously printing defects by the manufacturer.

With this busy pattern, none of these defects were very obvious, so I went ahead and hung the wallpaper.

This wallpaper pattern is by York, in their Sure Strip line, and was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.