Posts Tagged ‘surface’

Dark Paper Bringing Brightness to a Harvey Hurricane Flooded Home

June 28, 2018


This home in the Bellaire subdivision of Houston was flooded during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017. Everything below the 4′ high water mark had to be cut out and thrown out. The homeowners loved the Mid-Century Modern vibe of their 1952 home, so, as the structure was put back together, they re-created everything as accurately as they could – baseboards, doors, cabinets, flooring – they even found a funky green refrigerator designed in the style of what I can only describe as an old Studebaker sedan.

When it came to wallpaper, they wanted something to reflect the vintage vibe. After much research, they agreed on two papers from the Bradbury & Bradbury Vintage ’20’s collection. This colorful bird-flowers-and-foliage-on-black pattern went in their sun room, which can also be called the piano room.

The ’20’s Vintage wallpaper collection is pretty new from Bradbury and Bradbury, which is out in California. This company produces historic-styled patterns from eras such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Victorian, Asian, and more, right on through into the new offerings based on designs from the “Modern Age.”

Like many higher-end or specialty and / or “boutique” wallpaper brands, this paper came with a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand (by me!). The manufacturer’s trim guidelines were spot-on, and so the edges were nice and straight, and the pattern design matched from strip to strip perfectly.

This pattern is digitally-printed on a paper substrate with a somewhat shiny surface. I found that it accepted the paste (clay paste is recommended, to mesh with the paper which is printed on a clay-coated substrate) with no protests, and, after appropriate booking time, the paper handled nicely and the seams laid down nice and flat. That slightly shiny surface also allowed me to wipe any stray spots of paste off the surface.

Because the paper was black, I did take the extra step of using a piece of black chalk to color the edges of the strips, to keep the white substrate from peeking out at the seams.

This room holds a grand piano, and is in the back of the house, where it looks out onto the patio and backyard. It gets a lot of sunlight in the daytime, and the colors in the wallpaper will really stand out, and will bring a lot of light into this very deserving home.

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A Good Reason Not to Double-Cut

April 10, 2017

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A double-cut is a paperhanger’s term for splicing two strips of wallpaper together. The edges of the strips are overlapped about 1″ on the wall, and then, bracing against a straightedge, a sharp razor blade and plenty of pressure are used to cut through both layers of wallpaper. Remove excess paper from both layers, and you have a perfectly butted seam.

The only problem is that it’s virtually impossible to do this without scoring into the wall, slicing through the top layer (or more). This cut makes the surface unstable, and when the new wallpaper dries, it shrinks and puts tension (torque) on the wall’s surface. This shrinking and tension can cause the wall to split and curl back, leaving a gap or a gaping wallpaper seam.

This is what you see in the photo.

To remedy this, I wanted to bridge the gap with something that would move with any shifting in the drywall, and that would not cause ridges under the new paper.

The new wallpaper was a thick, textured material, so I was not overly worried about ridges from the patch telegraphing through it.

I used strips from the paper backing of the old wallpaper / grasscloth I had just stripped off the wall to cover the cut wall areas. I tore the patches, rather than cutting, because the “feathered” edges of the torn paper would be less noticeable under the new paper than a sharp, straight edge would be.

The strips were wet from having been stripped off the wall with water, and the wall’s surface had damp paste residue remaining on it, so the patching strips adhered nicely to the wall surface.

But, to be sure, I brushed on Gardz, a penetrating sealer and “problem wall solver.” It soaked in, bound the surfaces together, dried, and made a taught, strong surface for the new wallpaper to go over.

Still, I made sure that my seams did not fall in the same exact spots as these compromised areas of wall. That greatly reduces the possibility of seams in the new wallpaper from curling back or pulling away from the wall.

As it turns out, because of the way I engineered the wall and various other factors, I did end up doing a double cut splice over this door. But I made sure it was not in the same place as the compromised wall surface. In addition, I protected the wall by putting a thin polystyrene (plastic) strip under the wallpaper before I cut, so that when I pressed my razor blade hard to cut through the two layers of cork, it did not damage the wall. Sorry, no pics, but there are other photos of that process on my blog, if you want to do a Search.

Coordinating Companion Papers in a Powder Room

December 13, 2015
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These homeowners had their painters strip off the old (dark red) wallpaper, and were eager to get the new wallpaper up in time for their annual Christmas Eve party. Even though I am booked up with work through most of March, I had an unexpected opening, and was able to get their paper up today.

It was a little nip-and-tuck, though, because they had ordered their paper without first consulting a paperhanger, and, as commonly happens, they ordered too little. 😦 So, they had to pay mega bucks to get the necessary double roll shipped via 2nd Day Air, smack in the middle of the holiday shipping season. Happily, it got here 12 hours before the install day, and I was able to pick it up from the wallpaper store, to save the client the trip into town. We were also lucky that it was the same run number.

The painters had done a good enough job stripping off the old paper, and originally, I thought all that I would have to do would be to prime the walls. But once I got to scrutinizing the walls, particularly the corners and edges, I knew that the walls could be in better shape. So I skim-floated and sanded just about everything, creating a very smooth, homogenous surface for the new wallpaper. All this added about three hours to my workday, plus some dust from sanding (which I vacuumed and wiped up).

The job would have looked good enough if I had hung the paper on the painters’ “prepped” walls. But I was glad that I had taken the extra time and labor to smooth the walls and ceiling, because the finished job looked fantastic, with no uneven areas or bumps showing under the paper, nor any areas raising questions regarding adhesion.

I am not usually a fan of wallpaper on the ceiling, especially when it’s a dark paper. But in small powder rooms, it can be very appealing – some designers call this sort of treatment in a small room a “jewel box.”

The two wallpaper patterns are by Designer Wallpapers, which is by Seabrook Wallpaper. They are in the same colorway, and are designed to work together, as coordinating, or companion, patterns.

The murky brown, fuzzily striped pattern went on the ceiling. A coordinating brown, hazy pattern went on the walls, and it featured a foggy medallion in a traditional motif. The finished room, with the dark vanity, dark granite countertop, and oil-rubbed bronze light fixtures, looked fantastic. To me, it looked like something out of a 14th Century castle.

Unfortunately, all of these elements don’t show up on the photos (Man, is it difficult to get photographs of tiny rooms!!) But you get the idea. And, I can tell you – this finished powder room looks fantastic.

AND … it will be ready to receive guests at the homeowners’ party on Christmas Eve.

I hung this wallpaper in a powder room in Barker’s Landing, near I-10 / Memorial and Hwy 6, in west Houston. (Interestingly enough, I had done another job, in a dining room, in this same subdivision, just a few months ago.) It is by Designer Wallpapers, which is made by Seabrook, and was unusually nice to work with. Pattern numbers are FR61205 and FR61405. 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.