Posts Tagged ‘stiff’

Wild Wallpaper In Frames That Will Be Hung On The Wall

July 31, 2018



Here’s some really cool, custom-made wallpaper that, expectedly, costs a ton. The homeowners wanted to accentuate two rooms (dining room, master bedroom) with these patterns, but, considering the investment, wanted to be able to take it with them, should they move.

After much deliberation and investigation of backings, weight, sturdiness, etc., it was decided to mount each mural on plywood, wrap each of those with a wooden frame, and then mount them on the walls with brackets that attach invisibly to the back.

The largest one, which already has its frame attached, and which you see in the top photo, measures about 7′ x 7′, and weights 80 pounds. Imagine getting that thing up two flights of stairs!

The top photo shows the large mural finished. It consists of two panels spliced in the middle. It was trimmed in place to fit inside the good frame you see around it.

The second photo shows the smaller mural being laid out. It will be applied to the board you seeing lying on the floor in the third photo. The plywood board has been sealed with KILZ, to prevent knotholes from bleeding through, sanded smooth, and then primed with a wallpaper-specific primer. I used Roman’s Pro 977 Ultra Prime.

These wallpaper panels are custom-made to fit the project’s dimensions, and have a few extra inches “bleed” area on each side to allow for trimming and adjusting for wonky walls. The bordering silver area will be trimmed off, as will an inch or so of the printed area on each side of the mural.

On the smaller, dark mural, someone forgot to add an extra inch for the top and bottom, so the mural was centered as perfectly as possible, but a little bit of the white plywood peeked out on both the top and bottom. Don’t worry – a black frame will be constructed to cover the edges of the plywood, and it will have a lip (rabbet) that will cover this teeny gap.

The last photo shows one page of the instruction sheets, which includes drawings from the manufacturer detailing the layout and dimensions of each mural. The large mural came in two panels, which had to be overlapped in the center, carefully matching the pattern, and then double cut, or spliced.

Double cutting involves overlapping the edges of the two strips of wallpaper, while carefully matching the pattern. Then you take a straight edge and a brand new, very sharp razor blade and cut through both layers of paper. This paper was very thick, so I had to press really hard to get through both layers in one sweep. You want to avoid making multiple cuts if possible.

To keep from scoring into the plywood below (and it’s even more important if you are cutting on a wall made of drywall and / or many layers of paint and primer), I put a strip of polystyrene plastic on the plywood surface to keep the razor blade from cutting into the bottom surface. Once the double cut is made, the excess wallpaper, as well as the polystyrene strip, are removed, and the two edges of wallpaper smoothed into place. This makes for a very perfect seam.

All this takes a lot of time. It would be really cumbersome in a larger or more complicated room. But protecting the subsurface is important, because, once the wallpaper starts drying, it shrinks a little and pulls taught, and if the surface below is not intact (due to a cut from a razor blade, or from something else like dust on the surface or layers of incompatible materials such as old oil based paint covered with latex paint), these layers can come apart (delaminate), and the wallpaper seams will pull apart. This is not the paper “coming loose,” and it cannot be “glued back.” It is actually layers of the wall delaminating.

Anyway, back to today’s project, and, sorry, a little out of sequential order, but all important information. These panels were to be hung on the walls, but had not been hung yet. This allowed me to do them flat on the floor, which I think was easier. The instructions said to paste the paper, but that was extremely difficult because they were much wider than my work table. I didn’t want to crease or damage the material. Most non-woven products can be hung by pasting the wall, so that’s what I opted to do. Except, in this instance, they were laid out on the floor. 🙂

The material was a thick non-woven on a mylar plastic, and was very thick and somewhat difficult to work with. In addition, the panels were much wider than normal wallpaper, and hard for me to manipulate. I was glad that the interior designer was hanging around and was game for helping me position these pieces.

As I said, the material was thick and stiff, and no matter how hard I pushed or what extreme tool I used (metal plate), it would not press tightly into the corners of the gold frame enough for me to get a satisfactory cut – meaning that there was a slight (1/16″ – 1/8″ gap between the material and the frame. No matter… The interior designer was easy going, and said she will add a small piece of molding to the inside of the gold frame, to cover any gap, as well as to prevent the thick material from curling up. On the smaller, dark mural, the black frame to be constructed will include a lip (rabbet) that will cover the open edge and help hold it down, as well as cover the outside edge of the plywood panel.

This gutsy wallpaper is made by Calico, a husband-and-wife team out of New York City that is just a few years old – not many people have this stuff – and even fewer have the balls to put it on their walls!

The interior designer for the project is Elizabeth Maciel, and the location is a newish home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.

Advertisements

Textured, Metallic Glamor in a West U. Powder Room

May 27, 2018


This beautiful wallpaper features an abstract foliage design with the texture of gesso in a soft aqua color on a shimmery silver background. Something with this much glamor is by Candice Olson, of course. 🙂

The second photo shows you the raised texture, which is much like gesso used in art paintings. I hung this in a powder room in West University, Houston.

This wallpaper pattern is by York, and is a fairly stiff, non-woven material. It was made more pliable by pasting the paper (rather than the alternate installation technique of pasting the wall). It is designed to strip off the wall later in one intact piece, with minimal damage to the wall.

It 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.

Etched Forest Mural in a Baby Girl’s Room

January 4, 2018

Wallpaper - Mural - Etched Forest Close Up


No pink dollies for this baby girl (still a few months away!). This foresty mural is far more interesting. The “etched” appearance of the design brings to mind an old-world lithograph, and adds depth to the image. The green and gold colors are muted, and coordinate with the mom’s planned color scheme of grey, taupe, and dusty rose.

The first photo shows laying the mural out on the floor, to be sure the panels match, and to be sure they are in the right sequence. This also allows me to check dimensions of the mural against those of the wall, and to plot placement of the design.

This mural is from Europe. It came in 8 panels, and was custom-sized to fit the wall. It was a non-woven material, and was installed via the paste-the-wall method. This particular material was stiff and felt even brittle. I wasn’t thrilled working with it, but once it was up on the wall, it will be fine.

I hung this in a baby girl’s nursery in a home in West University (Houston). The manufacturer is Rebel Walls.

Ogee Petals Wallpaper Pattern in a Powder Room

February 7, 2017
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


“Ogee” means double continuous “S” pattern. This wallpaper pattern sure has them! It is also reminiscent of flower petals, and so has been called “Petals” in some of its incarnations. I hung the glass bead version a few months ago. https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/swoopy-trellis-of-glass-beads-brightens-a-powder-room/ This no-bead paper was not as difficult, but it still was a tedious install.

My before shot disappeared, and so did my prep shot, so please just enjoy the pics of the finished project. Note the careful centering of the pattern on both the sink faucet. This was very time consuming, because I had to start with the strip to the left of the one over the sink, and carefully plot the width of the pattern and the rate of expansion of the wet paper; I won’t go into explaining it here, but I think it was well worth the 45 minutes it took to accomplish. The pattern is also centered nicely over the toilet.

The strip to the right of the mirror also took about 45 minutes, thanks to un-plumb walls, bowed walls, stiff unyielding paper, and more, in order to get the pattern to match at points both above and below the mirror, all the while keeping the right edge plumb, and straight enough for the next trip to be able to butt up against.

In the close-up shot, you see a slight pattern mis-match at the seams. The manufacturer had a mis-print issue, which was more noticeable in some rolls than others. I followed paperhanger protocol, and matched the pattern where it would be seen at eye-level, and I let points above and below fall out of match as they happened. Once the job was finished, I took some brown craft paint and a VERY tiny paint brush, and colored some of the mis-matched areas, to make them less noticeable to the human eye. It looked great.

I also ran a bead of clear caulk around the top of the backsplash, to prevent splashed water from being wicked up under the paper (which could cause curling).

This wallpaper pattern is by A-Street Prints, which is made by Brewster. I hung it in the powder room of a new home in the Meyerland neighborhood of Houston. It is a non-woven material, and it is meant that you paste the wall, rather than pasting the wallpaper.

Adorable Pattern; Difficult Install

January 27, 2017
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Many people love this pattern, but few have the chutzpah to put it on their walls. The owner of a new home in Spring Branch (Houston) took the leap and had me put it in her powder room – and it looks fantastic.

So the finished room looks great – getting the paper up on the walls was another story.

The problem was the extremely stiff non-woven material the wallpaper is printed on. The manufacturer, Cole & Son, uses a softer, more flexible non-woven material for others of their patterns, such as “Woods,” and it’s pretty nice to work with. This stuff I hung today is the opposite.

If you are only hanging wallpaper on an accent wall, this stuff would have been OK. But in real life, you will be working around angled ceilings, light fixtures, door and window moldings, toilets, water supply lines, vanities, and the most trying of all – pedestal sinks. Trying to maneuver and manipulate the stiff and unyielding wallpaper into position without getting any creases or overlaps or gaps or cuts or abraded areas was a huge challenge.

The installation took twice as long as it should have, and there are some aspects I am not happy with. (Don’t worry – the homeowners love it.) I would be happy if I never saw it again.

Oh, did I mention that I am hanging the same paper next week? Well, at least I have been warmed up and know what I’m in for.

This wallpaper pattern is by Cole & Son, a British company, and is called Acquario.

Shiny Faux Tortoise in a Powder Room

September 22, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


To be honest, this painted dark brown powder room in a newish Bellaire home was so blah that I didn’t even take “before” photos. And I wasn’t really crazy about the new wallpaper selection. But when it started going up, I found myself loving it … The lighter color, along with the mottled design and the silver mylar shimmer, have mightily transformed the room.

A few words about the wallpaper. It is by Thibaut Designs, and is called “Faux Tortoise.” It is a thick, stiff vinyl, which probably has some Mylar content to support the shimmery pearlized effect, and is on a non-woven or Osnaburg backing. On a flat wall, this paper would have been fine to hang. But in this chopped-up powder room, let’s just say that I did not enjoy myself today.

The instructions say the material is “scrubbable” and can be cleaned with a scrub brush and soap. Well, it does stand up nicely to water. But I found that it could be marred easily, even with a fingernail.

Because there is no pattern, and because it’s a thick, stiff material, all the seams show. I “balanced” the width and placement of the strips, meaning that I trimmed the material so that all the strips on any given wall would be the same width. The finished effect was that it looked like sheets of metal applied to the walls.

The wallpaper was thick and stiff and very difficult to cut and manipulate. It did not turn inside corners well, and it would not turn outside corners at all. I had one wall with three outside corners on it, and I probably spent two hours on just that one wall. The whole room, all eight single rolls of it, took me six or more hours, most of it wrestling unhappily with the stiff Mylar material.

When it was all said and done, the finished room looked wonderful, and the homeowners loved it.

I, on the other hand, would be happy if I never saw this product again. 🙂

Chinoiserie in a Small Bathroom

June 8, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Here is a classic Chinoiserie (Oriental design) that went in a guest bathroom in a new addition to a 1950’s ranch style Mid-Century Modern home in Shepherd Park Plaza / Oak Forest.

The aqua background coordinates nicely with the grey marble vanity. I lined up the figure holding the umbrella with the center spout on the sink, for a balanced look. The two circles at the top are the bases of light fixtures.

The pattern is called Shantung Silhouette, and is by Schumacher.

Schumacher used to be known for quality, higher-end wallpapers. But these days, the quality has slipped. This install did not have any printing defects, but they are pretty much de rigor with Schumacher products. I did encounter some other problems, though.

For starters, the instructions said this was a paste-the-wall non-woven material. It was not. It was paper, and needed to have paste applied to the back of the wallpaper, not to the wall.

And the material was thick and stiff and difficult to handle on my table, and difficult to manipulate into corners and tight areas. Going around the multiple curves on the backsplash was tricky and time consuming. Pasting the wall did not allow the paper to expand and relax, so bubbles appeared on the wall. Because the paper was dry and stiff, it did not meld to the contours of the vanity top, and was difficult to trim neatly. In fact, I was unhappy with my first attempt, and ripped it off and started over.

A good reminder to always buy a little extra paper.

I also was not happy with the seams. They weren’t bad, but a thinner substrate would have given tighter seams that held closer to the wall.

Overall, though, the room looked wonderful – light and airy with a sense of uplift from the parasols and tight ropes. The monkey adds something to smile at.

The interior designer for this job is Rachel Goetz.

What’s Going On Here? – Thick, Stiff Paper

February 25, 2016

Digital Image

Digital Image


Here I am, about to end this wallpapered accent wall in a corner. Normally, you push the wallpaper against the wall and into the corner, position the straightedge, and trim.

But this paper is printed on the newish non-woven substrate, and this one is relatively thick and stiff. On the flat accent wall, it was nice enough to work with. But when it came to a corner, and then the double angle where the corner met the baseboard, the stiff paper did not want to cooperate. It was difficult to press the paper tightly into the corner, and I had to make several “relief cuts” in the bottom left corner, to ease the paper so I could get it to press tightly against both the corner of the wall and the baseboard.

It’s important to press the paper tightly against these angles before trimming, because if not, you could end up with a trim cut that is shy of the actual corner or baseboard.

Non-woven substrates are the new “darling” of the wallpaper manufacturing world. I very much like the thin, flexible non-wovens (like Sur-Strip). But these thick, stiff, and unyielding papers shouldn’t be put on walls, IMO, and could use a little research & development and reinvention at the manufacturer’s.