Posts Tagged ‘strip’

Innovative Kill Point – Between Moldings

August 4, 2017

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The kill point is where the last strip you hang meets up with the first strip you hung. This virtually always ends up in a mis-match of the pattern’s design. This is usually in a corner, and the paperhanger will try to place it in an inconspicuous location (such as behind a door).

But not all corners are hidden behind a door. In such cases, and depending on the design, the pattern mis-match will be noticeable, even eye-jarring.

Sometimes it’s possible to get creative and hide that kill point where it will be less visible. That’s what I was able to do today.

The first photo shows you the Chinoiserie pattern, so you get an idea of what it looks like. In this room, because all four corners were very visible, I wanted to keep the pattern intact in the corners. So I needed somewhere else to hide the kill point.

The room had a spot where the molding around the door came very close (6″) to the wall-hung linen cabinet. This was a good option to place the kill point, because it would be only 6″ wide, vs. my other option, which was a corner that was 5′ high. I’ll take a 6″ mis-match over a 5′ mis-match any day!

By manipulating the wallpaper pattern a little, it was easy to disguise the kill point and the mis-matched pattern. It’s there, in the second photo – but I’ll bet you will have a hard time spotting it.

Fun Geometric Wallpaper in a High School Teen’s Bedroom

March 3, 2017
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What 15 year old girl would not love this wallpaper pattern?! And when she leaves for college and her room gets turned over to guests, the paper will still be perfect!

One photo shows the use of my laser level, to be sure the first strip hangs perfectly plumb. I measured and centered the pattern on the wall horizontally, so it would fall perfectly behind the arched headboard, and the laser level was also useful to mark the spot for that fist strip to land.

This wallpaper pattern went on one accent wall, and the black ceiling really sets the room off! It is called “Riviera” and is by Cole & Son, a British company. It is on a thickish non-woven stock, and was a paste-the-wall install process.  Don’t tell anyone, but I think it looks a little like grasshopper heads.  🙂

The interior designers for this job are Neal LeBouef and Anthony Stransky, of L Design Group. Wonderful guys, and I love their crisp, clean, sophisticated style. The home is in West University Place (Houston).

Clever Kill Point

January 1, 2017
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The “kill point” in a room is the last corner, where your last strip of wallpaper comes to meet up with the first strip. It almost always results in a pattern mis-match, so you try to hide it in an inconspicuous place.

All of the corners in this bedroom went floor-to-ceiling, and the eye would really notice a 10′ mis-match. So I put the kill point at the top of this corner, about 2′ of mismatch. Then I wrapped the rest of the paper around the corner as I normally do, ending up at the right edge of the door molding. This way, I was able to keep the pattern matching perfectly for the lower 8′ of the corner. Where the lower paper meets the strip above the bar of the rolling door, the thick bar hides the 3″ overlap and mis-matched design .

The pattern motif below the bar does not line up vertically with the motif over the bar, but who the heck is going to notice that? And even the 2′ of mis-matched design at the top of the corner is hardly noticeable, due to the busy pattern.

Viney Floral in a Master Bathroom

June 9, 2016
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On the more traditional side, this flower-and-branch pattern worked beautifully in a master bathroom in an early 20th century home in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. The bathroom had been redone, including new slate-grey tile around the shower; the wallpaper coordinated beautifully with the tile.

The homeowner loved it. He kept saying that it was the best decorating dollars he had ever spent, and that he would have to spend the night in the bathroom, because he wanted to be able to see it every time he woke up.

The pattern has an interesting shadowed effect – it looks as if light is coming in through windows and casting shadows on the wallpaper. This is a good example of why you should always look at room-set photos on-line and in the selection books, so you can see how the pattern plays out on a large scale. If all you saw was a 10″ sample, you would not realize that the overall pattern included this shadowy look.

This wallpaper is by York, and is in their SureStrip line. I really love these ShurStrip papers. They are the newer non-woven materials, but are thin and easy to work with (as opposed to some that are thick, stiff, spongy, and … er… icky), and will hug the wall and stay in place without peeling or curling for years to come. They are also designed to strip off the wall (relatively) easily, when you are ready to redecorate.

Hanging a Pre-Pasted Wallpaper

December 15, 2015
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Pre-pasted wallpapers can be vinyl, paper, or non-woven. This particular wallpaper is comprised of a layer of solid vinyl bonded to a yellowy-brown paper backing, and is pre-pasted. This means that a thin layer of dry paste has been embedded onto the back, so all you have to do is dip it in water to activate the paste.

Most of my friends snicker at this method, believing it to be amateur and DIY-ish. I, however, really like most pre-pasted wallpapers, and find them much quicker to hang, and sometimes I can even get away with rolling the paper out on the floor, instead of lugging in my big, loppy pasting table.

In the photo, you see my green trough filled with water, sitting on towels, on top of plastic. A strip of wallpaper has been cut to the appropriate length, rolled up, and has been inserted into the water. As the strip is unrolled, the backing is exposed to the water, activating the paste. Near the bottom of the photo, part of the wet wallpaper has been loosely folded onto itself, pasted-side-to-pasted side. This is called booking. Way to the left of the photo is a strip that has been completely pasted and booked, and is now sitting for a few minutes before being taken to the wall.

This waiting period is an important step, because it allows all the paste to become activated equally, it allows all the paper backing to absorb water and expand to a uniform width, excess water can run off, bubbling on the wall is minimized, it makes the wet, sticky, slippery material much easier to handle, as well as other benefits.

When working with pre-pasted papers, I usually run a little bit of paste around the corners, baseboards, and ceiling line, and roll a very light coat of paste onto the wall, particularly where the seams will hit, to augment the manufacturer’s paste already on the back of the paper.

Once the booked strip has sat for the right length of time, it is taken to the wall, the top portion is unbooked, positioned, smoothed, trimmed, and then ditto with the lower portion.

I find the whole process much faster than when you have to paste each strip on the table, and everything else about the installation (adhesion, workability, slip, expansion/shrinking, strength, etc.) is about the same as with hand-pasted papers.

Wiggly Waverly Waves for a Baby’s Room

November 14, 2015
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Boy, I sure am doing a lot of baby’s and children’s rooms lately!

These parents-to-be chose a cute pattern with lots of motion in a gender-neutral color, that is not too “babyish” and will be well-suited as the child grows.

This pattern is by Waverly, an older and once very popular brand that was bought by York Wallcoverings some years back. I hung a lot of Waverly in the early ’90’s, and am glad to see it still around – same nice quality, but the patterns are less flowery and much more modern and fun.

This was in York’s Sure Strip line, which is designed to strip off the wall easily when it’s time to redecorate. It is a thin, flexible non-woven material, which hugs the wall better and is much easier to work with and trim than the thick material I hung earlier in the week (read previous posts). It is also pre-pasted, which is quicker and takes less effort and mess to hang.

I wouldn’t mind hanging this stuff every day. And I’m sure the baby will be tickled with his (or her) new room!

I hung this wallpaper on an accent wall / feature wall in a new home of a young couple in Montrose, Houston. It was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Wavy Laser Line – What’s Up?!

July 29, 2015
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Wow – the line from my laser level projected onto the wall is nowhere near straight! What’s up?

The wall is bowed – in many directions … horizontally, vertically, and in various spots, but particularly in the center. I suspect there might have been a door on this wall, that was removed and Sheetrocked over, and perhaps they didn’t get the new framing straight. It was hard to float the wall (to smooth it), too, because my flat trowel kept skipping over the dipped areas.

When I moved my laser line to the left edge of the strip, I was able to get a straight line, and the wallpaper hung nice and straight and true to plumb.

Interestingly, this is the third or fourth house with bowed walls I have worked in in two weeks. Some were new homes, some were remodeled homes, and this one is a ’60’s era one that has had many improvements done to it over the years.

Fudging the Match / Fooling the Eye

June 19, 2015
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Wallpaper patterns are designed to match, when one strip is hung next to another. Usually, there is no wiggle room, and each strip has to be hung in sequential order. But this particular pattern (called Chaiva Segrete, by Cole & Son, in their Fornasetti line), is free-form enough that it can be tweaked, when need be. I used this to my advantage in three corners of this guest bathroom.

You never wrap wallpaper around an inside corner. Instead, you wrap a fraction of an inch around the corner, then cut the paper vertically, and then overlap the “new” strip on top of the existing strip, in the corner. But if that “new” strip chances to be very narrow, there is a large possibility that it will hang crooked, causing problems like gapping and overlapping with each subsequent strip that has to hang next to it on that wall. But if you don’t butt the next strip up to this narrow, crooked strip, the pattern match will be off.

In another scenario, I wanted to avoid cutting against the shower’s tile grout, which can cause an irregular, un-straight cut (in addition to devouring my razor blades), so I wanted to hang a fresh strip butted against the tile and then work back to the previously-hung corner.

What to do?!

My solution was to create a new piece that looked like it matched, even if it didn’t. I found a place in the pattern that had only leaves, making sure that no motifs (the keys) would be cut up. I carefully cut around the leaf motifs, creating an irregular edge to the strip of wallpaper. (Photo 2) Then I hung the strip of wallpaper, allowing the irregular edge to wrap around the corner, overlapping the previous strip of wallpaper. Once it was smoothed into place, you would not see that this was not the intended pattern match. (Photo 3)

In another area (no photo), I used the same technique to bring a narrow 6″ strip along the side of a closet door up to meet (but not perfectly match) the wallpaper over the door.

With the right pattern, this trick works well. It saves paper, saves time, and eliminates gaps and overlaps.

In fact, in the last photo, in an entirely different corner, floor to ceiling, I have employed the same technique – and I’ll bet you cannot spot the area that is not the factory match!

Flaw of the Day

January 21, 2012

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Bashed edges, which is common. Gee, why can’t they put a little BUBBLE WRAP around the edges of the rolls, before cramming them into the paper wrapper and sending them on their way with the big burly UPS guy?

Also, there was one semi-colon shaped smudge of ink near the left edge of one roll. This occurred on a short piece that I was using over the vanity, and I was able to put it on the left end of that wall, which allowed me to cut off that part since the full width was not needed.

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wallpaper installation houston

Squeezing Every Spare Inch

June 4, 2011

This week, I had a close call. We “almost” ran out of paper. To be more accurate, we DID run out of paper.

But, by saving scraps, splicing, plotting – and a little sweating – I managed to finish the room.

(Disclaimer here – the family had measured and ordered the paper on their own, before I ever saw the job. If I had done the measuring, I would have suggested buying an extra double roll.)

It was a typical small bathroom in a cute mid-century (1954) ranch style home. They had chosen a delightful Cole & Son paper in a sort of trapazoid / diamond pattern.

As I got further into the job, I started feeling there wasn’t going to be enough paper. I plotted the pattern match, counted strips, and realized that I was running out of paper. I would be short one 4′ length, plus one 1′ long strip needed to fill the space over the door.

The plotting began in earnest. Because walls are never straight, normally you don’t wrap a strip of wallpaper around an outside corner. Indeed, this corner bowed out a little at the top. But if I wanted to get maximum use out of the strip, I HAD to wrap it around the corner.

To solve the problem of the paper twisting and warping due to the bowed corner edge, I cut a slit that went from the ceiling down about 6″, to below the level of the bowed corner. This allowed the right edge of the paper to hang straight, so the next strip would abutt it correctly with no gapping or overlapping.

But, this strip was the length of the space over the shower, but it fell short of the length of the wall it was now wrapped around to. I needed about 10″ more paper, and it had to match the pattern, too.

I never throw any paper away until I have finished a job. I solved the problem of this short strip by taking a piece I had on my discard-later pile. It had come from over the window, and I had split the strip in two, using the left side over the window, and saving the right side “just in case.”

Well, it happened to be just long enough, and to contain just the right pattern match, to fit the short area on the new wall. Since the pattern was an angular geometric, it was a simple matter of splicing in along the jagged edges of the diamond pattern. This disguised the splice much better than if I had cut it straight across.

Now, what to do about the the missing short strip over the door? I had one strip the proper length, but needed a piece the same length, but about 10″ wide.

What I did was, the next strip to be hung, which would abutt the one I had wrapped around the corner, would hang over the space heater built into the wall. The space heater was a little taller than the length needed to finish the area over the door.

So I pasted the strip, placed it on the wall, and carefully cut away the paper that was hanging over the space heater. This piece would normally be discarded, but I knew it was just what I needed to finish the room.

I made sure to not let any dust, rust, or grit from the hole where the space heater was in the wall get onto the back of the paper – grit causes bumps under the paper, and dirt and rust can bleed through, staining the new paper. I folded (booked) the piece pasted-side-to-pasted-side to keep it wet, and set it aside while I hung the next two strips.

When I finally got to the final strip over the door, the right edge of the strip that had come from the space heater area matched perfectly with the left edge of the strip over the door.

Room finished – and not a scrap to spare! I’m serious – there was only about 9″ left on the last roll of wallpaper, and that didn’t include even one full pattern repeat.

The homeowners were very pleased, and I was quite proud.