Posts Tagged ‘string’

Man-Tailored Linen/Stringcloth/Grasscloth in a Former Boys’ Room

February 23, 2019

This large 2nd floor room in a 1934 home in the West University neighborhood of Houston was home to two boys, who took it on a 20+ year ride through crayons, toy cars, sports, school projects, first dates, college entrance forms, and professional careers. Now that the sons are grown and gone, Mom is calling the room her own. She got rid of the dorm look and is going for something calming and sophisticated, with a farm-house twist.

On the ceiling, I hung wallpaper that looks like ship-lapped wood… Joanna Gaines “Magnolia” book by York, in their SureStrip line.

To augment that, the homeowner chose another York pattern, this soft brown / charcoal linen weave stringcloth. It’s a textured material that resembles the fabric of a man’s tailored suit.

It’s beautiful with the wood plank look on the ceiling, and creates a snug, cozy feel in the large room.

I wasn’t happy with the quality of the product. See my previous post about the mismatches at the seams.

In addition, the material was thick and difficult to trim, and difficult to turn around corners. But worse, whatever backing the manufacturer used sucked up paste like the dickens. I pasted the back and booked according to directions. Yet when I went to hang a strip, it didn’t want to stick to the wall. There was virtually no paste on the back … it had all been sucked up into the backing, leaving little on the surface to hold the strip onto the wall. The strips also had a lot of memory, and wanted to keep curling up.

Although the instructions said the substrate was paper, I believe it was a non-woven material. That means it was dimensionally-stable and didn’t need to book or sit for any period after pasting. I tried various installation techniques and finally settled on lightly misting the back of each strip with water , rolling it up and letting it sit for a few minutes while I rolled paste onto the wall (not the back of the paper). Then I applied the paper to the wall.

The misting relaxed the paper and stopped the curling, and also made the material more pliable. Pasting the wall made sure that paste was there to hold the paper to the wall, instead of letting the thirsty substrate soak it all up.

Even so, this has been a difficult install. The paper is thick and hard to trim, and there are issues with the seams that do not make me happy (see yesterday’s post). I worked an 8-hour today and only got two walls done. So I have to go back tomorrow, and the job will take a day longer than I had planned for.

The wallcovering is made by York. I usually like their products, but, like I said, I am a bit displeased with this stuff. The homeowner, however, loves it.


A Really Nice Textured Faux Grasscloth

September 27, 2018

I’m not a fan of grasscloth (read the page to the right), but there are wonderful alternatives – this product is about my favorite. The layers of string on the surface provide the texture that is so popular today, while the printed pattern mimics real grasscloth. Because the design is printed, it can be matched from strip to strip, so you don’t see the abrupt breaks between panels as you do with real grasscloth. It also has a bit of a protective coating, so it is more durable than the real stuff, too.

My only complaint is that this darker colorway tends to have some shading / paneling issues. In the fourth photo, you can see that the strip on the left is darker than the strip on the right. This happened on every strip, every bolt of paper, and some were worse than others; I had to discard two strips because of this. Interestingly enough, I have hung the lighter tan version of this material and did not have the shading issues.

I hung this in the hall bathroom of a home in the Meyerland area of Houston, that had been damaged by the flood from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The house is a veritable temple to Mid-Century Modern, and the homeowner wanted the wallpaper to be era-appropriate to the style of the home.

This wallpaper pattern is by Wallquest, in their EcoChic line, and is in the Grass Effects book. It was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Fantastic Faux Grasscloth

June 29, 2016
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If you’ve spent any time on my blog, you know that I am not a fan of grasscloth. I don’t like that you can see all the seams, there are too may issues with color differences between strips (paneling) and even within the same strip (shading), plus it stains easily, and dogs and cats love to tear it up. There are faux grass products out there, and you can read about some of my favorites by doing a Search on this blog.

However, today I hung a new product, and it was fantastic! I think the surface is vinyl (at least it smelled like vinyl), and has a realistic print that mimics grasscloth. Then the manufacturer attached string to the material, as would be used to attach grass reeds onto real grasscloth wallpaper. This creates the texture that has such appeal to people, and bolsters the realistic look.

Even better, this product has a pattern repeat, so, unlike real grasscloth, the strands of “grass” can be matched from strip to strip, so you will never see a seam.

After this paper was purchased to cover one accent wall in a TV room, the homeowner decided to add a couple of walls (three, to be exact), so I had to pull out my “paper stretcher” and make one wall’s worth of paper cover four. I spent about an hour measuring and plotting and remeasuring, but managed to squeak by – with only one piece left, that was only 28″ long. !!

If I had matched the pattern, it would have used up a lot more paper, and we would have run short. So I hung the paper as if it were real grasscloth, where the seams do not match. Because the product is so uniform in color and pattern, the unmatched seams look far better than real grasscloth.

On the final wall, which needed only two strips, I was able to match the pattern, and this is what you see in the last photo. Meaning, you absolutely cannot see the seam.

The paper was very nice to work with, too. It trimmed easily and didn’t gobble up my razor blades or damage my scissors like coarse grasscloth will do. There were no strings hanging in mid-air, and the material was nice and malleable and allowed me to position it as I wanted.

Because it appears to be vinyl, and because I think the strings are treated with a sealer, I believe this product is somewhat stain resistant and washable – which real grasscloth definitely is not.

I am really happy to have discovered the paper, and I hope to recommend it to clients who are interested in grasscloth. It is in a book called “Grass Effects,” and comes in many colors and different textures, and even has some options that feature a Moroccan trellis on top of the textured paper.

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