Posts Tagged ‘strips’

Turning an Inside Corner With Wallpaper

August 15, 2021

When bringing wallpaper around an inside corner in a room, you virtually never should wrap a full sheet around the corner.

That’s because corners are never absolutely straight, walls are never perfectly plumb, wet wallpaper stretches and twists… Coming out of the corner, the outer edge of the paper will never be straight, so the next strip won’t butt up properly. And the strip could be thrown off-plumb, meaning that the design will start tracking up or down the wall. Oh, and you will probably get wrinkles and warps, too.

To prevent all this, you split the strip in two vertically, and allow just 1/16″ or 1/8″ to wrap around the corner. See top photo. This tiny bit of wrap is important, because, if you cut exactly into the corner, you would end up with a visible cut edge, plus gaps in the corner.

Your next strip is then overlapped on top of this narrow wrapped edge, as shown in the second photo.

Note that when you do this, you will cover up and lose some of the design.

To minimize this, I have my clients buy a little extra paper. Then I can use a fresh sheet to split vertically, while matching the pattern as perfectly as possible. Yes, it uses more paper and costs a bit more … but for a visually seamless transition from one wall to the next, that you will be enjoying for the next many years, it is a good pay-off.

This new strip that gets overlapped and hung coming out of the corner … It is important that it be hung plumb. Because if it’s not, then all subsequent strips will fall more and more off-track.

In the last photo, I am using the red line of my laser level to ensure that the right edge of this new wallpaper strip is perfectly level.

Often, this means you have to “adjust” the strip in the corner … and that often means that you will have to trim off some, in order to get it to lie nice and tight in the corner. And, yes, that means losing a bit more of the design.

This is inside corners, pretty much in a nutshell. Of course, there are a lot more details and nuances not covered here.

wrap

overlap

lose pattern

laser level to plumb up

Ivory Coast by Copper Corners

February 5, 2021

Slightly African in feel, “Ivory Coast” makes a bold statement in this under-the-stairs powder room in a home in the Heights (Houston). Yet, due to the subdued colorway, the look is not overwhelming.

The wallpaper is by Copper Corners, and is a pre-pasted product that comes in strips of various set sizes, rather than rolls. It was nice enough to work with, although I did have a few printing defect issues.

I suspect this wallpaper is (secretly) made by York (yorkwall.com) as it sure looks and acts like their SureStrip line. One of my favorite brands.

The interior designer is Katie Hilburn Interiors.

Fudging To Get The Height Right

December 27, 2020

Because of various reasons too complicated to get into here, in order to keep the pattern matched in the corner to the right (not shown), the wallpaper strips moving to the left torqued off-plumb. And thus the pattern started tracking upward at the ceiling line, which meant that the navy blue flower I positioned just under the crown molding started moving upward and was getting cut off at its top by the molding.

I needed to pull the pattern down. I took advantage of the short space over this doorway to make adjustments. I cut the strip in two vertically, trimming along motifs in the design.

Then I pulled the section on the left down to where the flower hit the crown molding just where I wanted it to. By pulling this strip a little to the right to where it overlapped the previous strip just a bit, I was able to cover any gaps caused by the trimming.

I used my laser level on the left edge to ensure the strip was plumb. This would keep the pattern straight along the crown molding as I continued to hang strips moving to the left and around the room.

Because this is up so high over the door, and because I trimmed along the design motifs, no one will notice the slight ridge caused by the overlap, nor any small mis-match in the pattern.

Disappointing Flaw of the Day – Printing Defect

November 10, 2020

Whoa-ah! I was rolling out my very first strip of wallpaper for this master bathroom in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston, and discovered this.

This err of the printing press meant the loss of almost an entire double roll bolt (33′). That is two and a half strips of wallpaper.

In addition, this wallpaper pattern had some additional printing faux. No pic, but there were some minor pattern mis-matches across the edges of the strips. This was a relatively busy pattern, so these were not all that crucial.

In other areas, a black “accent” line got shifted to the left, making it more of a shadow than an accent. Again, this was very difficult to detect, and didn’t grossly affect the look of the project.

From these, it was obvious that the printing press had gotten off-register, and was stamping certain colors about a quarter inch to the left.

As far as that swervy line in the photo, I have no idea what went wrong at the factory. But it rendered a significant amount of paper unusable.

Another reason to always buy at least one extra double roll bolt of paper.

“Easy Removal” of So-Called “Temporary” Wallpaper – Peel & Stick

July 29, 2020


This homeowner did a nice job of smoothing and priming the walls in her powder room.

Installing the peel & stick wallpaper – the so-called “removable” new innovation in wallcoverings – was not so successful.

No wonder – that stuff is the Devil to work with. I won’t hang it, and virtually none of my colleagues around the country will, either. Click the link to my page on the right.

So she pulled off the woeful strips and, well, yes, it came off easily enough.

But the manufacturer neglected to mention that the “easy to remove” wallpaper would also take much of the paint along with it.

I had to skim-float and sand this section of wall, before priming and then hanging her new choice – a traditional paper wallpaper made by a long-standing and reputable company.

Fiberglass Fibers in Non-Woven Wallpaper

June 11, 2020


I have just measured and torn a strip of wallpaper off the bolt. See those fuzzy whiskers at the torn edge?

This paper is made of non woven. I’m told that it has a high fiberglass content. And what you’re seeing in the photos is strands of that fiberglass.

Why put fiberglass in wallpaper? There are many advantages to the non-woven wallpapers.

The fiberglass strengthens them. Among other benefits, this makes it possible to pull intact strips off the wall when it’s time to redecorate.

Because there is no traditional paper content (cotton, wood pulp), the material is dimensionally-stable. This means that it won’t expand when it becomes wet with paste. This means that your measurements will be accurate. And that there is no booking time – so you can paste a sheet and put it on the wall immediately. It’s rare to worry about a non-woven shrinking or gapping at the seams as it dries.

Same Run? Different Color?

July 18, 2019


Top photo. Look carefully. You are looking at the start of a printing run on two separate bolts of paper. On the bolt to the left, the color looks pretty uniform.

But on the bolt to the right, you can see a horizontal line where the background has been colored. It’s faint, so look closely. In addition, you can definitely see that the paper on the right is darker than the paper on the left.

If there were more fish present, you would also see that on the right, the greys are a little darker and the reds are a little stronger. There are also more brown speckles in the background of the grasscloth on the right.

What happened was, too little paper was ordered (a simple mix-up between rolls and yards), and so more had to be ordered, and then custom-printed.

The interior designer stressed to the manufacturer that the new paper had to be the same run number (all bolts printed at the same time out of the same batch of ink). The manufacturer’s reply was that their precision printing and ink-mixing was such that there would be virtually no difference in color between what we had already, and what they would print fresh and send to us.

As you can see, that is not the case. Although these differences are minor, if strips from these two bolts were placed next to one another on the wall, the color difference would be pretty noticeable.

So, accommodating for this color difference, we lost about three yards of (expensive) wallpaper.

Three-Dimensional Square “Dots” on Pale Neutral Grasscloth

April 2, 2019


Thibaut’s “Union Square” wallpaper pattern is a response to the popular Phillip Jeffries’s “Rivets.” Thibaut’s looser design and pattern placement make it much easier to align with the walls and woodwork – including rooms that are out of square and out of plumb. Which is just about every house in every neighborhood in every state.

The 3-D squares are made of some kind of plastic stuff, and are virtually impossible to cut through with a razor blade or a scissors (such as when trimming at the ceiling door or window moldings). I was able to engineer the room so that I did not have to cut through any of those rivets! Because the PJ pattern is much tighter, this would have been virtually impossible.

Also, I found that my soft short-bristled smoothing brush worked well enough to press the material against the wall while skimming over the 3/8″ high square bumps (sorry, for some reason, the photo did not turn out). But my beloved plastic trapezoidal squeegee smoother was just about useless, because it would not accommodate the 3-D “rivets.” So I had to adjust my install tactics a bit, and figure how to get along without the plastic smoother.

This wallcovering is made of grasscloth, which provides the subtle texture that homeowners are loving these days. But because grasscloth is made of natural fibers, there can be a lot of variations between bolts, and even between strips off the same bolt.

For that reason, Thibaut not only notes the run number of a bolt of wallpaper, but also the sequence in which the material was produced (see photo). The idea is that if you hang strips sequentially, you will see less shading or paneling (difference in color between two strips of wallcovering). Thibaut’s insert also includes a LOT of jargon about the color differences inherent to natural products, and the admonishment to use the bolts and strips sequentially.

I used three double rolls / bolts of grasscloth for this entry. Two of the bolts (the first two in the sequence) were pretty homogenous in color. The room was small and had low ceilings, and so I was able to keep the three strips needed for the longest wall all from the same bolt (#1).

I cut my other full-length strips from the second bolt (#2). That left the third bolt (#3) for the many short pieces needed to go over the four doorways in the room. As you can see from the last two photos, even though it was the same run number and printed at the same time, this third bolt was noticeably different in color from the previous two. The background color is the same, but there is a lot – a LOT – more dark brown fibrous material that got worked into the woven grass material.

Keeping these darker strips over the doors was a good way to minimize this color difference. The strips were only 9″ high. If these strips had been placed side-by-side on an 8′ high wall, the color difference would have been abruptly noticeable.

Color variations are to be expected with grasscloth, or any natural product. But helpful labeling by the manufacturer, and careful plotting by the installer, can minimize these differences.

This ’60’s-era ranch-style home in the Briargrove neighborhood of Houston is very much a “sea of tranquility,” as the whole house is entwined in off-whites, creams, and tans, with various textures like rough wood, sisal, and this grasscloth, used to pull in depth and warmth.

The interior designer on this project is Layne Ogden, of Layne Torsch Interiors.

A Quarter Inch Can Make A Difference

June 21, 2018


When you measure a room that is to be covered with grasscloth, instead of figuring how many square feet need to be covered, it’s a better method to count the number of strips you will need.

The standard width for grasscloth is 36″. For this bathroom, I counted up how many strips of 36″ wide material I would need to cover the walls.

The only thing is, despite the manufacturer’s labeling, the material was actually 35 3/4″ wide. And the bigger problem is that two of my walls were exactly 72″ wide. If the wallpaper had been the traditional 36″ wide, I would have needed only two strips and would have had only one seam on each wall.

But that quarter-inch shortness in width meant that I would need three strips. I hated to cut that third strip of paper, because we were short on material, due to it having come in two different runs (read previous post).

In the end, though, it all worked out, and the room looks great. It’s a good thing that I checked the run numbers. And that I also didn’t assume that everything was as it usually is. I’m glad I measured the width of the grasscloth before I started to plot out how I was going to hang the room, and definitely before I went and cut up any of the paper.

Same Run – But Color Difference

June 8, 2018


One of the first things the installer does before starting a wallpaper job is to check the run numbers, to be sure it is the same for all the bolts of paper. This means they were all printed at the same time with the same batch of ink, so they will all be uniform in color.

Both these bolts are from the same run. But look closely, and you will see that the blue lines on the strip to the right are darker and thicker than those on the left. If these two strips of paper were placed next to each other on the wall, the difference would be very visible.

I am glad I noticed this before I started cutting any strips. I set aside the errant bolt, and hopefully won’t have to use it (I always have my clients buy a little extra, for repairs later and in case of instances like this). If I do need to cut into this bolt, the bathroom has a lot of choppy areas that are on separate walls where the color difference won’t be noticeable.