Posts Tagged ‘tape’

Tape Test for Unstable Walls

September 21, 2022

There can be reasons for unstable walls, mostly cheap or poor quality paint, dust, someone applied paint over dust, improper prep, incompatible layers inside the wall built up over years (oil based paint, latex paint, dust, gloss paint, joint compound, etc.).

These can cause problems with wallpaper, mostly with the layers delaminating (coming apart), which causes the wallpaper seams to come away from the wall. Sometimes sheets of wallpaper simply fall off the wall.

This isn’t so much a problem with paint, because it just sits on the surface. But wallpaper shrinks when the paste dries, or expands and contracts with humidity, and can put tension on the seams

Before wallpaper goes up, one way to test for such unstable surfaces is the tape test . Use a razor blade to cut an “X” into the wall, scoring through the paint and maybe into a few layers beneath. Place a strip of blue painters tape over the cut. Pull the tape off the wall.

If paint comes away from the wall along with the tape, or if layers inside the wall come apart, you know you have to do a lot of specialized prep to stabilize the wall before hanging / installing the wallpaper.

This example is an interesting twist. The homeowner used a piece of tape to hold up a wallpaper sample. Then used an ink pen to write notes on it. When removed, the tape took the paint off – in the shape of the writing!

Ink From Label Rubs Off Onto Wallpaper

September 11, 2022
The instruction sheet was rolled up inside this bolt of stringcloth wallcovering . As you can see, some of the ink came off and discolored the wallpaper . This is not uncommon. I had to throw away the first 10″ or so of paper (about 2 sq ft of paper).
Other things can damage the ends of rolls , too, like tape , impressions / dents created by labels or packaging , edges banged up during shipping , and more.
Another reminder to always purchase extra paper .

Thin Blue Plastic Tape Keeps Paste Off The Wall

August 7, 2022
Panel of wallpaper lying on my pasting table. The left edge will go up against a painted wall that is not to be wallpapered. It’s important to keep paste off this wall, because the paste can cause the paint to crackle and flake off. Yes, you can wipe paste off the wall, especially if it’s a gloss paint. But better to not get paste on the wall in the first place.
So I’ve placed a strip of this cool blue plastic tape along the edge. It sticks to the pasted wallpaper, but will not let paste get onto the wall.
Here is the wallpaper in place, with the little 1″ overage wrapping onto the wall to the left. See how the blue tape is preventing paste from getting onto the wall?
Once I finish trimming, I will remove both the excess paper and the blue tape. Be sure to remove any blue tape that is still behind the wallpaper.
This also works for ceilings and for abutting another strip of wallpaper.
This tape is much better than painter’s plastic or ” caution tape ” because it is lightly tinted so you can see it, it’s translucent so you can see through it, it has the perfect body – thicker than painter’s plastic but more flexible than caution tape, and has a unique textured surface that makes it handle nicely, plus you can easily snap it apart so there is no need for scissors or razor blades.
It’s made in Japan and tricky to get. If you’re interested, email me at wallpaperlady@att.net and I’ll hook you up with the supplier.
The very edgy wallpaper? It’s by Spoonflower and called Serpents and Apples .

Finished Wall Re-Do – See Previous Post

July 26, 2022
Here’s the wall after I stripped, sealed, skim-floated, sanded, and primed it.
Finished. The birds in the pattern balanced nicely with between the ceiling line and the wainscoting.
I had more success with this install than the previous guy, due to proper prep, and also the material used this time was the user-friendly non-woven , rather than the old fashioned pulp type wallpaper the other guy had to wrestle with.
Strawberry Thief is a very popular pattern right now, and comes in many colorways. Do a Search here to see my other installations of this design.
There were some issues at the top of the wainscoting where the painters had used tape to mask off areas, long with caulk, an it left a rather large (1/8″) unpainted area between the wood molding and the wall. I filled this in with joint compound and primed it, and wallpaper would have adhered just fine. But that would have left a white gap between the wallpaper and the green molding.
I rummaged in my truck for the best matching paint I could come up with, and painted over the white edge. This would have left a bit of a thin brown line between the wallpaper and the green molding. It would have looked OK, but I had an idea to get rid of the gap altogether.
If I had used my regular thin straightedge (the red one), it would have let me trim the bottom edge of the wallpaper nice and close to the wall. But that would have left the aforementioned brown line showing.
So I used the metal plate you see at the upper right of the photo as a trim guide. It’s thicker than my red straightedge, and so gives a fat cut that leaves more wallpaper and less of that brown line.
In fact, the left edge, as you can see, is rolled, and that creates an even thicker edge to trim against, leaving even more wallpaper at the bottom of the cut. See the photo just above, to see how the wallpaper now completely covers the brown line.
These metal plates have a lot of other uses. They are made and sold by a fellow member of the Wallcovering Installers Association . She makes a lot of other cool tools, too. If you are interested, send me an email. wallpaperlady@att.net
The wallpaper design is by William Morris , a famed artist of the Arts & Crafts / Art Nouveau periods . The brand is Morris & Co.
This label is EXACTLY the same as the pulp material the original installer worked with – save for that one word non-woven . Be sure you get the non-woven version, which is also called paste the wall .
The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston .

Hallway Wallpaper Repair – Thibaut Honshu

December 11, 2021
This couple in the West University neighborhood of Houston loves color and avant garde – unexpected and fun! I hung this Honshu wallpaper by Thibaut in their small hallway at the beginning of the pandemic – April 2020. Since then, they decided to change the faucets and showerhead in the bathroom on the other side of this wall. To access the pipes, the plumber had to cut a hole in the drywall. The ‘guy’ that this couple uses did a fantastic job of cutting the drywall, preserving the wallpaper, and then patching the hole. You can even see that his cuts are perfectly level and plumb!
Slapping wallpaper patches over the two holes would have probably sufficed. But I wanted to make it better, so I stripped off and replaced the old wallpaper. This meant patching the guy’s drywall repairs. I didn’t get a photo, but I used drywall tape and joint compound to even out the areas. A heavy duty floor fan plus a heat gun helped get the smoothing compound to dry in a few hours. I sanded smooth and applied wallpaper primer, and ended up with what you see in the photo.
To conserve paper, instead of replacing the entire two strips from ceiling to floor, which could have caused some problems with matching the pattern on the left side, I patched in about one foot down from the ceiling line. To disguise the appliqued area, I used a scissors and trimmed around the wallpaper design, as you see here. This is less visible than a straight horizontal cut.
In this photo, the two strips have been put into place. You could never tell there was a hole (or two) !

It’s Schumacher. So, Yeah – There Are Gonna Be Printing Defects.

December 4, 2021
Smudged pattern. Mis-aligned pattern.
Sometimes manufacturers will use tape to flag ” issues ” like a defect or a spliced piece. But there was nothing of note where this red tape had been placed. It was impossible to remove the tape without lifting the ink off the paper. So a full strip of wallpaper was wasted. This red tape popped up in two different bolts of paper.

In addition, I had another full length strip the was ruined by a small stain. It might have been overlooked, but it was going to fall right at eye level in an entryway. Also, the pattern was such that I could not pull any of my tricks, like cutting a flower out of scrap paper and pasting it over the stain.

Danger Tape Brings Safety

October 19, 2021
Read below for info.
After pasting the wallpaper, I apply the plastic strip to the pasted side of the top, then book the paper, making sure to not let the tape contact any of the wet pasted areas.

The red stripe you see is plastic “Danger” tape from the home improvement store. You can also use yellow “Caution” tape. Some installers use painter’s plastic cut into strips … although I find it too flimsy. I put this on the back / pasted side of my wallpaper strips to keep paste off the ceiling, woodwork, etc. And, as you see to the left of the top photo, when you bring a strip of wallpaper up against another strip, such as in your final corner, the plastic tape will prevent paste from transferring onto or staining the other strip of wallpaper.

After I make my trim cuts, I remove the excess wallpaper and the plastic tape – making sure to get the parts on both sides of my cut.

Now the paste can reach the wall surface, and adhere the wallpaper securely, with no paste residue left on the ceiling, molding, or wallpaper.

Re Yesterday’s Post – Tricks to Stave off Wall Delamination

October 14, 2021
One way to (hopefully) prevent an unstable wall from delaminating to to hang a liner paper. A liner is a special paper that goes on first, and your finish paper goes on top. Usually, liners are hung horizontally rather than vertically. The idea is that the seams of the two papers will not line up, so that eliminates the worry of stress from drying and shrinking wallpaper tugging at the wall surface below. But liners add more materials cost, and also labor cost to hang it, plus time, because it has to dry overnight. This homeowner had already shelled out a lot of money for this Schumacher (high end brand) “Acanthus” pattern. So I devised a method to do a “mini-liner” effect. I took liner paper and cut 2″ strips, and applied them to the wall under where the seams would fall.
Here I am using my laser level to mark where the next seam would fall. Next I rolled paste on the wall, and then I applied the strip of liner paper. The liner will straddle the area where the seam lands, and thus disperse the tension on the wall across its width. Any stress put on the unstable wall will be covered by the liner strip and by the wallpaper, hopefully preventing any chance of delamination (the wall coming apart).
I like the product I used today because it’s “non-woven” material, which has a high polyester content and shouldn’t shrink or tear. But it’s not as thin as I thought … I had hoped the thin strips would be undetectable under the textured grasscloth. But I was disappointed that, in certain lighting, the vertical ridges from this very thin material do show a tiny bit. I was unable to go back and open the seam and remove the strips, because – you guessed it – the surfaces of the wall began to come apart. Tomorrow I will try a different material.
The next day I tried a trick recommended by colleagues on my paperhanger’s Facebook page – to use cash register receipt print-out tape, available at office supply stores. This material is a lot thinner – but it is also not nearly as strong. I hope it holds up to the tension placed on the seams by the wallpaper. It is thin, and much less noticeable under the textured grasscloth … although I did see one area where the vertical ridge was just just barely detectable under the paper.

This is a grasscloth pattern called ” Acanthus ” by Schumacher.

Plastic Tape Keeps Paste Off Ceiling and Cabinets

September 22, 2021

It’s a pain to wipe wallpaper paste off some surfaces. Plus, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll get 100% of it. Here’s a trick to eliminate the whole issue.

A strip of thin, flexible plastic along the top of the strip of wallpaper will keep paste from transferring onto the wall surface.

Some folks cut strips from painters plastic – but I find that stuff too flimsy, plus it’s clear and difficult to see.

So lots of us use yellow “Caution” tape, or red “Danger” tape.

Place it at the top of the strip of wallpaper you are about to hang. Position your strip, and trim at the ceiling as usual.

Then remove your trimmed-off piece, and take the tape along with it. Be sure you get the piece below your cut, as well.

Smooth your strip of wallpaper back into place. No need to wipe paste off any surface, and no smears, either.

This trick can also be used at baseboards or other bottom surfaces, as well as in corners.

Trimming A Strip To Make Placement Easier

September 19, 2021
The width of the wall space to be covered with wallpaper is about 9″ wide. Yet the strip of wallpaper is 28″ wide. Maneuvering that wide strip of paper into this narrow space is going to be difficult, it’s going to get a lot of paste slobbered on the upper and lower cabinets, and is likely to put a lot of stress on the paper, and also create creases.
My solution was to cut the next strip of wallpaper in two, making the next strip (the left side of the split strip) just 10″ wide – enough to let just 1″ pass under and into the cabinet area.
Then I took the appropriate pattern match section from the right half of the split strip, and placed it under the cabinet. If you look closely, you can see the seam under the left edge of the cabinets.

This little trick made hanging this strip a whole lot easier, and it greatly reduced stress on the paper and the potential for creases or damage.

The red plastic tape is on the backside of the top of the wallpaper to keep paste off the cabinets.