Posts Tagged ‘straightedge’

Metal Leaves Marks on Wallpaper

July 31, 2017

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There are some wallpapers that can be marred by metal… In the photo, I have purposely run a metal trim guide over the surface, so you can see how it looks.

The bad news is, we paperhangers use a lot of metal items – scissors, trim guide, smoother, and even things like a ring or bracelet could leave a mark, and even my expensive magnesium straightedge, which I bought because magnesium supposedly will not leave marks on paper, will, in fact, leave grey marks where it moves against the paper.

The good news is that most of the time, these marks will wipe off the surface with gentle rubbing with a damp cloth. Of course, you don’t want to overdo that.

The other good news is that, with some extra attention, it is possible to avoid most of these blemishes. Leave your jewelry at home. Blue painter’s tape will seal off the ends of the straightedge, and plastic trim guides can be substituted for metal for some tasks. And care should be taken when using scissors and other equipment to not slide it across the surface of the paper.

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Trimming Wallpaper With a Selvedge Edge

December 20, 2016
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Many of the higher-end wallpapers come with an unprinted selvedge edge, which has to be trimmed off, so that the seams can be butted together on the wall. The first photo shows this selvedge, along with the proofs for ink colors that are used in the design.

The second photo shows my straightedge, razor blade, and some of the selvedge that has been trimmed off. The trimming process is exacting, tedious, time consuming, and not always as accurate as I want it to be.

The third and fourth photos have poor lighting, but look closely and you will see the deep red dotted lines forming much of the pattern.

This wallpaper was bought on-line from Grow House Grow, and I hung it in a rear entry in a Mid-Century Modern home in the Highland Village neighborhood of Houston.

Crooked Walls = Wrinkly Paper

December 3, 2016
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Walls in homes are usually never perfectly plumb, just as ceilings and floors are never perfectly level. Not a problem if you’re painting. But if you are hanging wallpaper, that wallpaper wants to hang straight, and so it wants a straight wall to hang on to.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that if a wall is crooked, bowed, or off-plumb, wallpaper will have difficulty hanging butted up against it.

In this case, I had turned a strip of wallpaper around an outside corner – very tricky for several reasons, and more so because virtually no outside corner is perfectly plumb, which compounds the trickiness. If you wrap wallpaper around a wall / corner that is not plumb / straight, the far edge of the wallpaper will likewise become bowed or un-straight. So when you go to butt the next strip of wallpaper against this one, one straight edge will not be able to find another straight edge to “marry with,” and the strips will want to gap or overlap. Not good.

So what I did was, once I got around the outside corner, I made sure that the far edge of the strip of wallpaper was plumb and straight. I used a 6′ magnesium straightedge and a 4′ level as guides.

But making the far edge of the wallpaper strip comply to plumb caused the body, or central area, of the wallpaper strip to become wrinkled due to excess material. Thankfully, this was a forgiving pattern.

What I did was, I cut along some lines of the wallpaper design motif. This created some relief, so I could ease out the wrinkles and smooth the paper against the wall. VoilĂ ! The wrinkles and stress on the paper are gone; cuts, splices, and overlaps are invisible, and the the far edge of the paper is straight and ready to butt against the next strip of wallpaper.

Hand-Trimming Wallpaper

October 4, 2016
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Two wallpapers I hung this week came untrimmed, with the unprinted selvedge edge still intact. This means that the paperhanger has to take a razor blade and a straightedge and trim off the selvedge, following trim marks from the manufacturer, or an element of the design.

It’s tedious and time-consuming, and you have to be mindful of what you are doing at all times, or risk getting a crooked cut, or a seam that won’t butt together properly.

Usually, it’s the higher-end papers that come untrimmed. Hmmm… you pay more for the paper, but the manufacturer puts in less work on his end. Hmmm.

Non-Skid Straightedge

October 8, 2014

Digital ImageMy magnesium straightedge is worth its $100 price tag. It is nice and straight and makes for neat cuts. It’s flat and holds tight to the cutting table. It won’t mark the wallpaper, like other metals will. BUT – it’s slick surface allows paper to slide, and that can mean a bad cut.

So – a little non-slip tape on the bottom edge is all that’s needed, to hold the guide and the paper in place. A fellow paperhanger friend in Knoxville, Tennessee, Bill Armstrong of Armstrong Wallcovering, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Armstrong-Wallcovering/262306247124122, generously sent me this self-stick grip tape, which he got at his local Ace Hardware. It is working GREAT! Thank you, Bill!

Metal Mars Wallpaper

September 9, 2014

Digital ImageSee the black smudges and scratches on this wallpaper? They were caused by metal coming into contact with the paper. I’m not talking about rough-handling the paper – I’m talking about my straightedge, or my scissors, or even a razor blade, brushing across the surface of the wallpaper. It’s not uncommon for certain papers to be marred with a black mark when this happens. And it can happen down the road, too, if someone happens to brush against the paper with something metal – purse strap, zipper, or a piece of jewelry.

Luckily, usually, these marks can be removed by rubbing lightly with a damp rag. I have invested in a (expensive!) straightedge made of magnesium, and that metal will not leave marks on wallpaper. I also take extra care when working with material like this.

The $1 No-Slip Fix

June 24, 2014

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageHere is a picture of my 6′ magnesium straightedge, used to trim wallpaper. A trimmer is no good if it slips, even a micro-nano of a millimeter. And metal coated with glossy paint is slick.

So I went to the dollar store and got some non-slip shelf liner, trimmed it to fit the base of the straightedge, and used my favorite all-purpose adhesive, clear silicone caulk, to attach it to the straightedge.

No slips = great straight cuts.