Posts Tagged ‘strip’

Ceiling is NOwhere NEAR Level

November 29, 2022
We wallpaper hangers / installers like to have a nice straight ceiling line . Meaning, that the same pattern motif will show up at the same height on the wall on every strip . For instance, the top of the sailboat will touch the bottom of the crown molding all the way around the room.
But in old houses, poorly-built houses, or just plain old wonky houses (which are most homes in Houston! ), you can’t count on ceilings and floors being level , nor on walls being perfectly plumb .
When I used my level to check the ceiling in this 1926 home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood , I admit – I laughed out loud!
When a surface is level, the air bubble will be in the middle of the two black lines . It’s common for the bubble to be a little “off.” But this one isn’t even trying to be in the middle. Meaning – the ceiling is nowhere near level. The ceiling line is moving up and / or down as it moves across the room. The discrepancy can be as much as an inch or even more from one end of the room to the other.
Meaning, there is no way that that sailboat is going to be just below the ceiling on every strip.
Luckily, this particular wallpaper pattern was such that you aren’t going to notice much.
The other thing is, most people who live in older homes, or homes with shifting foundations , or even new homes , understand that walls and floors rearrange themselves over time . So they’re understanding if sailboats drift down the ceiling line , or if patterns don’t match absolutely perfectly in the corners.

Wanderlust? City Maps Wallpaper in Hall Bathroom

November 26, 2022
Original tile in this 1926 home goes beautifully with the colors in this globe-trotting wallpaper . I positioned the pattern to try to get the most names and maps within the area between the tile and ceiling .
The paper turned out to have a complicated multiple drop pattern match . Basically, in a nutshell, most of the time, with a straight match , a particular pattern motif (the word ” Bangkok ” for instance) will appear at the same height , such as the top of the wall , on every strip . Or, with a drop match , it’s at the top of the wall every other strip . These are the two typical pattern match types. But with a multiple drop match , the pattern will fall down and down across the wall further and further , and finally appear back at the top of the wall on the fourth , or, sometimes, more, strip. That’s why in this shot, you see the bottom half of the city names cut off by the tile, instead of the full name.
And the pattern match is different if you’re moving from left to right, or from right to left .
It’s a real head-scratcher to figure out – and you had better notice it before you start cutting strips, or you could end up running short of paper . It also eats up a lot of paper. I always measure to have a little extra , but in this case, we ended up with just barely enough to finish the 2-room bathroom .
City Maps is by Rifle Paper , which is made by York , generally a good company – although starting to have lots of printing defects – which we did experience on this installation. Also, usually, Rifle Paper is an easy non-woven / paste-the-wall material . This time, second time in a month, it was printed on traditional paper. Another surprise that added time to this job , since after pasting , each piece had to be booked and then set in a plastic bag for a few minutes to absorb the paste , expand , and relax . Best to have this occur in the bag, rather than put it immediately on the wall – which would result in wrinkles and bubbles. But it does slow the process down.
This home is in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Different Rolls = Different Pattern Match

November 17, 2022
It’s important that all your wallpaper rolls have the same run number , also called batch or dye lot . This means that they were printed at the same time with the same ink . Paper printed later with another batch of ink may be every so slightly different in color / shade . Looks bad on the wall.
The same thing can happen with trimming at the factory. Different runs can be trimmed differently from each other.
With this paper that I hung in a dining room last week (see previous post), the labels on all the rolls / bolts listed the same run number . But there was one bolt that was wrapped in not one, but two plastic wrappers. This raised an alarm in my head, because this indicates that it may have been a roll sent back to the factory, for whatever reason, and then repackaged. When this happens, you cannot be absolutely sure that the run number is actually that which is printed on the label. Somebody at the factory could have just grabbed a handy label and stuck it inside the wrapper.
I tried not to use this double-wrapped bolt of wallpaper. But on the last section of wall, I got to a point where I just needed to use it, for just two 6′ strips. I was pleased that the color of both the background and the motifs matched perfectly.
But not happy with this pattern mis-match.
It was easy to see that the factory trimmers had been placed about 1/8″ to one side, from where they had been placed when trimming the previous rolls.
It’s a busy pattern, and, from a distance, this undercut wasn’t all that noticeable.
But on the other side, there was repetition of the motif , and this will really catch your eye.
Happily, this only affected one seam, and since it was a very busy pattern, from just a few feet away you couldn’t notice it. Still, it bothered me.
So I pulled this strip on the left off the wall, laid it on my table, and used my straightedge and razor blade to trim off that repetitive leaf tip – about 1/8″ from the right edge of the strip.
The second strip, since it came off the same roll and had been trimmed the same, matched perfectly . This was also my last strip, so no more drama with mis-matched designs at the seams .
What the overall pattern looks like.
The pattern is by Rifle Paper , which has been finding its way into a lot of homes lately. This brand is usually a good quality non-woven material , and can be hung by pasting the paper or by paste the wall . It is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece, and with minimal damage to the wall , when you’re ready to redecorate . Very cute , cheerful patterns , and good price-point .
Note that the run number is printed on the label.
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Stabilizing Section Over Door

November 8, 2022
I wanted to position this pattern so that the stripe ran right up along the right side of the door frame. That would be more visually pleasing than having half-sections of those angular motifs.
The stripe did run along the outer edge of the wallpaper strip, so I could have easily butted the edge along the door molding.
But that would have put a vertical seam running right up over the corner of the door. My experience has shown that this area gets a lot of stress, especially in the case of shifting foundations and walls. So I really avoid letting a seam fall there.
My solution was to take a strip and move the seam over – easy to do with this striped pattern.
We had very little paper for this job, so before cutting anything I made sure that reducing the width of this strip by one section of diagonal motifs would still allow me to reach the corner on the far right (not shown).
So I measured down a little more than the height of wall above the the door and kept that intact and full-width. The rest of the length of that strip I cut along the strip in the design, all the way down to the floor.
Here that strip is in place. Leaving the top portion a little long ensured that I had enough to cover this area, and then all I did was trim off the extra 1″ or so, just as you normally would trim around a door frame.
The best part is that we now have the paper reaching across that “danger zone” above the top right corner of the door, with no seam to split open or gap should the wall shift.
Here’s a close-up of the irregular strip as it falls alongside the door molding.
Here’s the left corner of that door. I did some tricks to get that strip straight along the edge of the door frame, too. No pics, but, in a nutshell, I cut vertically along the lines in the design over the door, to cut the sections apart. Then I overlapped the sections about 1/4″, with the vertical stripe disguising the overlap. This made each section of diagonal motifs narrower. Once I had narrowed the whole area by removing about an inch, I had pulled the full-height strip on the left over to the right far enough that the tan line lined up along the door frame, and above the door it butted up with the left edge of the last section of diagonal motifs.
Note that this is a very easy pattern to play tricks with, because, although there is a pattern match, it really doesn’t matter much if you ignore it. Also, the lines are not perfectly straight, but a bit squiggly, and that makes it much more forgiving.
In fact, because we were really short on paper, the only way to get the room done was to mis-match the design in most places. The homeowner was OK with that. In fact, she (and he) were delighted with how the room turned out.
This very popular pattern is called Feather and is by Serena & Lily . Just about everything they make, I love hanging. (not so fond of their non-woven / paste-the-wall option) This comes in many colors, and you can purchase directly from them on-line.
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Fiberglass Wallpaper ?

October 29, 2022
This is the back of a strip of non-woven wallpaper , that has been torn. This type of material is minimum 20% polyester content. Some of my colleagues have called it fiberglass. I’m not sure that’s true, but there sure are fibers visible when the material is torn. In fact, on a lot of these, you can look at the backside and see masses of fibers pressed together to make the substrate.

Preserving the Life of Your Laser Level Battery

October 15, 2022

I love this cool tool. It eliminates the need for a standard level and pencil line.
It projects a perfectly vertical line on the wall. Here I’m butting my first strip of wallpaper against the red laser line.
But the batteries can wear out quickly. That’s because they’re continually passing their juice around the terminals and connectors, even when the unit is not turned on.
To save battery life, when not in use (such as when it’s stored in my van), I either take one of the batteries out, as seen here. Or turn one of the batteries around, thus disrupting the connection and preventing electricity from flowing and being eaten up / wasted.

Falling Floral Mural in West U Dining Room

October 13, 2022
Two opposing accent walls , above the paneled wainscoting , will be papered in this dining room .
Here’s the south wall finished. Super cool how the flowers tumble from the sky downward .
This was actually two murals put together . Before you purchase , it’s important to make sure that one mural can be placed next to the other and have the pattern continue from one to the next .
Instead of starting in a corner and working across the wall , I plotted to put the fullest part of the mural in the center. This will nicely frame a buffet, or other furniture used on this wall.
Since this is a mural and each strip of wallpaper is different, and because I’m starting in the center with Strip #3, and then working left to right, and then going back to the center starting with Strip #2 and working from right to left, and because with a mural you have only one of each needed strip, so if you screw something up there is no more backup wallpaper to bail you out … So it’s important that you measure and plot and re-check everything before you cut anything and before you take any strip to the wall.
So here you see all my strips cut and positioned as they will be placed on the wall. This is a paste-the-wall non-woven material , and note that I have rolled each strip backwards with the top coming off first, and secured with an elastic hairband from the dollar store. This both gets rid of the ” memory ” of the paper wanting to stay tightly curled up , and also keeps the printed face of the wallpaper from bopping into the pasted wall .
Here’s the north wall, before.
Instead of centering the pattern on the full width of the wall, I centered it on the left section.
First strip going up butted against the vertical red line of my laser level .
Bosch brand , less than $100 at Lowe’s .
This wallpaper is called Artemis Climbing Walls and is in the Blackthorn collection .
Manufacturer is House of Hackney . This outfit makes some mighty nice wallpaper , and they have some very fun an innovative designs.
Most are sold as a 4-panel set mural , and can sometimes be tricky to measure for.
It’s a nice non-woven material , durable, and the seams are invisible . I used the paste the wall installation technique .
wallpaper installer houston

Narrower-ing A Strip For Better Seam Placement

October 11, 2022
Here I am moving from right to left across this wall, fixin’ to put wallpaper over, around, and then under this window .
The distance from the existing strip to the corner is 20.” The width of the wallpaper is 18.” This means that my next wallpaper strip is going to fall 2″ short of reaching that wall to the left. So another strip will be needed to cover that last 2.” That’s two full length, 9′ long strips to cover that small bit of wall space. And there will be a seam down the middle.
I’d like to use less paper and have less waste. And I sure would like to avoid having a seam down the middle. Both because installing it is a PITA and also because it would look better and be more stable without the seam.
If I could just make that next strip over the window narrower, it would pull the full-length strip a bit to the right, eliminating the second strip and the seam.
Each 18″ wide strip has two stripes of flowers running down it. There’s a little gap between these stripes, so it’s possible to split the strip in half vertically between the rows of flowers. Then I’ll have a 9″ wide strip filling the gap over the window, instead of an 18″ wide strip.
So here I’m using a straightedge and razor blade to split the strip. (Normally I do this on my table with my 76″ straightedge , but today I’m working on the floor and with different tools .)
Here is the piece viewed from the front. The pink bit of flower on the right side is going to match up with the corresponding flower on the existing strip over the window . I made sure that the left edge of this 9″ wide strip has no flowers or motifs crossing over the left edge. That way there is no pattern to match across the seam, so I can choose any piece I want for the final strip that will go in between the window and the corner.
Here it is in place. Now I have only 11″ of width to cover with wallpaper , and no seam down the middle .
Same procedure for under the window. Except I’m not trimming this piece to 9.” I’m leaving it about 2″ wider. One reason is because that full-height strip coming down between the window and the corner is likely to twist or stretch a bit, and thus won’t line up absolutely perfectly with the strip under the window. Having this strip under the window be wider will allow the strip coming down the side of the window, when it gets down to under the window, it will overlap the strip under the window by about 2.” So I’m going to double cut / splice these two pieces together.
I’m also not adhering this piece to the wall yet, because I don’t want the paste to start drying, as I will need wet paste and paper that is easy to pull off the wall, in order to do the double cut.
OK, so here we are over the window, getting ready to put in our long 11″ wide strip down alongside the window. Actually, I’m cutting this piece 12″ wide, to allow for trimming along that left edge in the corner. This will also accommodate if the paper twists or shifts over that 9′ drop from ceiling to floor.
I chose a flower to put at the top of the wall that is different from what’s on the existing strip, so there won’t be repetitive motifs. But the right edge of this strip of paper has a design part that is meant to match up with the corresponding flower on the left edge of the previous strip.
But we don’t have that corresponding flower, because I cut that strip down from 18″ wide to 9″ and thus lost the left edge of the paper, along with the corresponding flower.
I don’t want this half-motif to be hanging in the middle of nowhere. Even 9′ up above the window, it might catch your eye.
No problem. I took my straightedge and razor blade and trimmed off 1/2″, which got rid of that design element.
Note that I did this before I trimmed this long strip to 12.” If I had trimmed it off before, then this strip would have ended up 11.5″ wide instead of 12″ and might not have fit the space since wallpaper can twist and shift during that 9′ drop.
Sorry, no photo of that strip butting up to the piece over the window and then dropping down the space between the window and the corner.
So that strip is in place now, and here we are under the window, with that 9″ wide gap to fill.
So I take the strip I had set aside for under the window and position it next to the strip on the right. Remember that I cut this middle strip about 2″ wider, so it overlaps the strip on the left. I need this overlap to do the double cut / splice.
When splicing on the wall, it’s important not to let your blade score into the wall. If the wall surface becomes compromised, the torque created when the paste dries and the wallpaper shrinks a bit can tug at the wall and cause layers of paint or etc. to pull away from the wall, resulting in an open seam.
So I’m padding behind where my cut will be made with this strip of flexible Lexion plastic. It’s thin enough to not make much of a bump under the paper, but thick enough that you can’t cut through it with a razor blade.
If you’re interested in this cool stuff, email me and I’ll hook you up with the guy who sells it.
There it is on the wall.
Now I put the two layers of paper over it . Note that this is a paste-the-wall wallcovering, so there is no paste on the strip on the right, so nothing to stain the paper below it. If this were a regular paste-the-paper material, you can use thin plastic strips (like painter’s plastic) to cover up that paste.
Trim guide in place, and I’m getting ready to make the cut with a new single edge razor blade. You have to press hard enough to get through both layers of paper in the first try, but not so hard as to cut into the wall.
I’ve plotted where my splice will go, to not cut through any flower motifs, and to be sure to cut off that little bit of flower you can see shadowing through from the wallpaper piece underneath – just to the left of the large flower.
Once the cut is done, I remove the excess paper on the left.
Then reach underneath and remove the excess paper from the bottom strip.
Another shot of pulling out that excess bottom paper. Next I removed the Lexion strip. I set those in a bucket of water to keep the paste wet until I can wash in the sink.
Bringing the two strips to meet up and then smoothing into place. No paste got on the surface, so no need to wipe the seam.
A double cut / splice makes the absolutely most perfect and invisible seam, because both pieces have been cut together and butt perfectly.
Here it is finished. Technically, due to slicing the strips in half vertically, the floral strip on the far left is about 1/2″ further away from the strip on the right than it “should” be. But – eh – who the heck is going to notice that?!
What’s important is that no flower motifs got cut in half, no identical flowers ended up next to each other, here’s no seam down the middle of that space, and only one 9′ high strip of wallpaper was required (instead of two).
Done. Oh my gosh – now I’ve got to do the same thing on the opposite side of the wall!!
The pattern is called Sweet Pea and is by Serena & Lily .
This went in a nursery in a home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston .

“Sweet Pea” Wallpaper for Sweet Baby Girl

October 9, 2022
Nursery window / crib accent wall before, primed and ready for wallpaper .
Done. Pattern is nicely centered on the wall .
The pattern is called Sweet Pea .
Has the look of hand-painted watercolor .
Made by Serena & Lily .
I usually love their papers, and I usually love non-woven / paste the wall materials . But not this stuff. For starters, it’s practically transparent . This means you can’t make marks on the wall – like my measurements or strip placement . Also any color irregularities on the wall will show through. A pigmented wallpaper primer is a must .
Here you can see the flower from underneath showing through the paper on top.
In addition, the paper was VERY stiff and difficult to work with. Creased easily fitting it into the areas around the window molding and where the paper met up with the corner. I had these same issues the last time I hung a S&L non-woven (most of their wallcoverings are paper). There are so many good quality N-W substrates out there, makes you wonder why they don’t switch to something better.
The label said this was a drop match . But the pattern match turned out to be a multiple drop .
On a straight match , you’ll find the same tulip, for example, at the top of the wall on every strip. On a drop match , that tulip will be at the top of the first strip, then on the second strip it will drop down half the length of the pattern repeat . On the third strip, it will be back at the top of the wall . On the fourth strip, it will drop down again. And so on.
But on a multiple drop pattern match , also called a quarter drop , that tulip drops down bit by bit over a span of four strips , before it appears again at the top of the wall. Actually, with some multiple drops, the motif can traverse more strips before it’s back at the top.
These patterns are extremely tricky to figure out , and to calculate rollage for. I’m really glad that I rolled the paper out on the floor of this empty nursery , before cutting anything. If you assume that what you have in your hands is a typical pattern match and go and cut all your strips ahead of time, you will have a whole bunch of strips that won’t match up, and will have ruined all that paper.
The home is in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston . installer

Translucent Wallpaper

October 4, 2022
Beware that some papers are thinner and more see-through than others.
Look closely, and you can see the shadow of the wallpaper inked pattern underneath this top layer of wallpaper.
Nothing wrong with this. Just something to be cognizant of.
So just be sure to not write too heavily on the wall,* nor to make dark pencil marks on the back of the wallpaper.* Because they may telegraph through to the surface after the wallpaper is up.
*For instance, I write measurements, and also notes like strip sequence on the wall. And on the back of the paper, I always mark the top of each strip, and also the number / sequence each strip should be placed on the wall.
Also just a note – always write in pencil , or chalk. NEVER make marks on the paper or on the wall in ink or marker – these substances bleed through wallpaper, paint, and other materials, and will leave a nasty stain on the surface of the paper.