Posts Tagged ‘solid vinyl’

Making the Best of Plumbing Problems

May 22, 2022
OK, so this master bathroom suffered a water leak, and the plumber had to cut through the drywall in the potty room in order to access the shower fixtures.
Here the contractor has replaced the cut-out piece of Sheetrock. He did a really nice job. For the most part. Of course, he didn’t bother to remove the wallpaper before doing his repairs. This is vinyl paper (thick, slick, slippery, backing absorbs moisture) and really should have been removed first.
But I was able to work around the patched-in area.
The prep for this small room was a lot more involved than I anticipated, and required an extra day. Too complicated to get into, but there were two layers of wallpaper, and no primer by either of the previous installers. Original install dates back to the ’80’s. It took me a day and a half just to do the prep on this small commode room.
The room finished. Note the stripes centered nicely on that back wall.
The pattern and material were chosen to coordinate with the green stripes in the main area of the master bathroom.
Kill point (final corner) over the door. I “shrank” some sections in order to get even widths and maintain the pattern repeat and match.
The plumbing problem also damaged an area on this wall outside the water closet. So this area around the door needed to be replaced. The homeowners didn’t have any left over paper, so they chose something similar in color, style, and composition to the green striped paper you see to the right.
Here is that transition door wall finished.

We decided to use the stripe to define the ‘break’ between the two patterns.
The alternative would have been placing the stripe against the door molding … but I felt that would be too repetitive, plus it would have left a cut-off section of flowers running along the side of the green stripe, and same on the opposite side of the door frame.
And, yes, the wall definitely is not straight, square, or plumb.
And here is that opposite side of the door frame, with the stripe running nicely along the shower tile.
Some overlapping was involved in this job. Since the wallpaper is vinyl, and vinyl is slick, you need a special paste to be able to grab ahold of the glossy surface. These days, I sure don’t use often border paste, also sometimes called VOV or Vinyl Over Vinyl . But I was mighty glad to find this 10+ year old container deep in the bowels of my van. Still fresh and sticky, too!
Besides borders not being popular today, these “satin” and “silk” look wallpapers are not very common. But this is exactly what the homeowners were looking for, to coordinate with the existing, 30-year-old paper in their master bath. Saved them having to replace all the wallpaper in both rooms!
This paper is very economical, too. The couple shopped with Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village, and she was able to track down the perfect material, pattern, and color.
Now, aside from all the positive things I just said about this paper in this current application, I do want to make clear that I am not at all fond of this type material. Without getting into a long schpiel here, please click and read the page link to the right “Stay Away From Pre-Pasted Paper-Backed Solid Vinyl …. ”
I will also add that I’ve developed a technique to work with these materials, and so far the installs, including today’s, have been going nicely.
One double roll bolt had some of these blue mark printing defects running through about half of it. Luckily, most of these were on a section of paper that was cut off in order to turn a corner, so was discarded and not put on the wall.
Exclusive Wallcoverings is the manufacturer. Usually I work with their non-woven or traditional paper products, which are quite nice.
The home is in the West University area of Houston.

From 20 Years of Red to Sweet Light Floral

February 5, 2022
Red is a classic dining room color, and painted walls served well since the late ’90’s. This homeowner has classic taste – note the elegant moldings below the chair rail and around the windows.
The update is lighter and brighter and opens up the room, making it feel larger.
Note the wallpaper around the corner on the right.
This is the paper in the adjoining hallway, which has been in place for decades. The new pattern coordinates beautifully in theme and color!
Close-up. Roses and script.
Norwall is a very economical brand (something like $25 per double roll on sale). Not my favorite quality, because the gritty paper backing can absorb humidity and separate from the thick vinyl surface, plus the seams tend to “pouch” a bit and don’t look great. But I’ve discovered that rolling a bit of wallpaper paste onto the wall under the seam areas will help to “suck down” the edges, creating better seams. I also do believe that the manufacturer has improved the substrate.
I was pleased with the way the seams looked on this install. You’re looking at a very close-up picture. Once the paper is dried and from two feet away, these seams will be invisible. In fact, the homeowner kept walking around the room remarking how she couldn’t even find a seam. Note the slightly textured surface.

The home is in the far west area of Houston.

Solid Vinyl Wallpaper = Not a Good Choice in Humid Rooms

February 4, 2022

I hung this wallpaper 30+ years ago in a 2-room bathroom. In the sink room, the paper held up beautifully. In the toilet / tub room, over the shower and in a few areas up high (where humidity collects), some seams had curled back.

What’s the difference? Two main things – composition and humidity.

In the sink room, the wallpaper was a solid vinyl. But the backing was a thin paper, or possibly a thin non-woven (part synthetic) material. In the tub room, the backing was a gritty yellowish manilla type material.

This stuff is thick, and it will continue to wick up humidity through the seams, and that leads to expansion and then shrinking as the moisture dries. Over time, that will cause the paper to curl back on itself. Sometimes, the vinyl surface actually delaminates and separates from the paper backing. In this case, both backing and surface have curled away from the wall.

I really dislike these low-end papers, and encourage clients to not purchase them. Especially not for wet areas in bathrooms. In addition to the potential to curl up, the seams never look good.

Luckily, there are plenty of viable alternatives. Wallpapers with a paper backing, or a non-woven , will hold up much better.

Stripping Wallpaper

February 3, 2022
Wallpaper is comprised of two layers – the top, decorative layer, and the bottom substrate layer. The first step in stripping the paper is to remove the top layer. In this case, the material is a solid vinyl. These solid vinyls usually separate easily from their backing and come off in one large strip.
The next step is to soak the backing with water. I use a bucket of warm water and a sponge. You will need to wet and re-wet the backing several times. This water will reactivate the paste. Once it’s wet enough, the paste will let go, and, if you’re lucky, the backing will pull away from the wall easily and in large pieces.
Sometimes you have to work a little harder, and use a stiff putty knife to gently scrape the paper off the wall. A good primer underneath will facilitate this process, as well as protect the wall. I hung this original paper 30+ years ago, and once it was all off, the walls were in perfect condition, and I was able to hang the new paper with no additional prep. This is the sink room.
In the tub room, the paper was the same brand, but the backing was different. This is a gritty, thicker, manilla type paper backing. This stuff usually absorbs the water nicely and lets go from the wall easily. Not so in this case. First, the top vinyl layer wouldn’t pull off, but had I had to get under it with the putty knife, and then it came off in small pieces, maybe 5″ square.
The backing also didn’t let go easily. Even when very saturated with water, it held tight, and I had to use the putty knife to gently scrape it off the wall – mostly in small chunks. Talk about eating up time!
All you need to remove wallpaper is a bucket of plain water, a sponge, and a stiff, 3″ putty knife. I know some folks are fond of their additives. But I don’t think they speed the process at all. Plus, I don’t want any residual chemicals left on the wall.
Oh, and don’t forget the dropcloths!

Don’t Use Paper-Backed Solid Vinyl Wallpaper in a Bathroom

November 4, 2021

You are looking at seams in a bathroom that are curling and opening up. This is due to a combination of things.

1, Probably the walls were not prepped properly. Wallpaper should be hung over smooth walls primed with a product designed to be used under wallpaper. Not paint primer and not bare Sheetrock and not glossy paint overspray around the woodwork.

2, Humidity is the great enemy of wallpaper. Especially in a small enclosed bathroom with poor ventilation. If your home has this environment, make sure to run the exhaust fan while showering, and leave the bathroom door open for ventilation, so the humid air can circulate out and fresh, dry air can venture in.

3, Manufacturers tout solid vinyl wallpaper as ” bathroom ” paper because splashed water will run off it. But this is misleading. What’s also going to happen is that humidity will find its way in between the wallpaper seams and then into the gritty manila-type paper backing. Once that backing absorbs moisture, it will expand. When that happens, it will push away from the surface, creating the curled seams you see here.

Taking it a step further, often this paper backing will actually delaminate from the decorative vinyl layer.

Tjhis is not a ” loose seam ” and cannot be glued back down. Your bet bet is to strip off all the wallpaper, properly prep the walls, and hang new paper.

Stay away from the low-end pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid-vinyl papers. A better option would be a thin acrylic-coated paper (not vinyl) or one of the newish non-woven (part polyester) papers.

DFor more information and details, read my page on the right https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/stay-away-from-pre-pasted-paper-backed-solid-vinyl-wallpapers/

Trees Brighten and Lighten a West U Powder Room

April 16, 2021
Plain paint in a khaki color is just drab.
A white background and “movement” from the tree forms brightens and energizes the space.
Almost looks hand-painted.

Most wallpapers by Exclusive Wallcoverings are traditional un-pasted paper, so I was surprised to find that this one was a paper-backed vinyl, and pre-pasted, too.

I am usually not a fan of the lower-priced pre-pasted, paper-backed solid vinyl (read my page to the right). But this brand has figured out how to make a quality product, and I was pleased with it.

Best of all is how the white background lightens up the space, and the intertwined branches bring a lively feel to the room.

The home is in the West University Place neighborhood of Houston.

Why Are These Seams Pouching Up?

November 4, 2020

There are a couple of issues going on in this master bathroom, causing the wallpaper to curl at the seams and the layers to delaminate.

For starters, the previous installer did not bother to remove the original wallpaper, but hung on top of it. He did prime over the original wallpaper, which is good,,,, but that primer felt too slick to provide a good surface for the new wallpaper to stick to. I have a feeling it was not formulated for wallpaper.

Second, there has been a lot of steam and humidity in this room over about 15 years. This particular type of paper does allow moisture to find its way into the seams, causing curling and delaminating.

These pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl wallpapers are among my very least favorites.

Read more about this material by clicking the link below.

https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/stay-away-from-pre-pasted-paper-backed-solid-vinyl-wallpapers/

Cute Tiny Gold Dots on Blood Red

May 23, 2020

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The first photo shows the original “cloud blue” wallpaper (along with some damage to the wall from when the pedestal sink was removed. I repaired that damage before hanging the new paper.) It was on a “satin” textured solid vinyl material, and both the pattern and the type of paper were very common back in the ’90’s.

Unfortunately, these paper-backed solid vinyl papers don’t hold up well, and have a tendency to curl at the seams and at baseboards, moldings, etc. Plus the shiny look is just … uh… a bit tacky.

Time for an update. The new paper is a complete 180* change – it’s dark and playful, with a small pattern that is more of a backdrop than a focal point in itself. The mirror and hand towel will help set off the paper.

In addition, this paper is on a non-woven substrate, which should not present the curling problems that the vinyl did. And the non-wovens are designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate.

This wallpaper pattern is by York, in their Sure Strip line, which I like a lot, 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.

Solid Vinyl Paper Pooching at Seams

May 15, 2020


Today I stripped off this paper. It was dark and dated. But also, it had started curling up a bit at the seams.

The homeowners said this started after Hurricane Harvey, when they were without power for two weeks, and the lack of air conditioning allowed humidity to permeate the house.

So here we have paper-backed, pre-pasted, solid-vinyl wallpaper doing what it does best – succumbing to humidity, by allowing moisture to wick in behind the seams, which causes the paper backing to swell, pushing the vinyl surface back in a curl. Sometimes, the paper backing actually delaminates (comes apart from) the vinyl layer.

My main reason why I encourage people to steer away from these materials. The price point is attractive, but the quality and longevity is not.

Interestingly as a side note, it looks like the previous installer did not pay attention to the pattern match. Well, no biggie. On this design, it is not very noticeable, and the homeowners have lived with it happily for 20 years or more.

Solid Vinyl Wallpaper is Not Good in Humid Areas

September 18, 2019


I don’t recommend the economical (i.e. lower end) pre-pasted, solid-vinyl wallpapers in humid rooms. Yes, the vinyl will resist water and stains if it gets splashed. But that gritty paper backing sucks up moisture, even moisture in humid air. When it does, the paper expands. The top vinyl layer does not. So the expanding paper pushes the plastic surface away from the wall, as you see in these photos.

In a further scenario, the two layers actually delaminate (come apart) from one another. This sort of seam cannot be glued back down.

It’s best to avoid this type of paper.