Posts Tagged ‘thick’

Heavily Textured Wall – Venetian Plaster

April 13, 2018


A few years ago, this wall finish was quite popular. There are different levels of thickness, but the general name for the style is Venetian Plaster. To me, this looks rustic and “Tuscan,” yet people were putting it in modern homes, and even Victorian styled homes. Today it’s out of style, and people are going back to wallpaper.

The walls will have to be smoothed again, before wallpaper can be applied. Because this particular example is especially thick, it will take a lot of smoothing compound and a lot of drying time.

The second photo shows the wall after I applied the smoothing compound. It had to dry overnight, with three fans set at ‘high’ blowing on it. In the third photo you see all the dust on the baseboard and floor, from sanding the wall smooth. This is way more than usual, because of the thickness of the original texture that I was covering up.

The last photo shows the wall after I sanded it and primed it. It’s now ready for wallpaper!

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Shiny Faux Tortoise in a Powder Room

September 22, 2016
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To be honest, this painted dark brown powder room in a newish Bellaire home was so blah that I didn’t even take “before” photos. And I wasn’t really crazy about the new wallpaper selection. But when it started going up, I found myself loving it … The lighter color, along with the mottled design and the silver mylar shimmer, have mightily transformed the room.

A few words about the wallpaper. It is by Thibaut Designs, and is called “Faux Tortoise.” It is a thick, stiff vinyl, which probably has some Mylar content to support the shimmery pearlized effect, and is on a non-woven or Osnaburg backing. On a flat wall, this paper would have been fine to hang. But in this chopped-up powder room, let’s just say that I did not enjoy myself today.

The instructions say the material is “scrubbable” and can be cleaned with a scrub brush and soap. Well, it does stand up nicely to water. But I found that it could be marred easily, even with a fingernail.

Because there is no pattern, and because it’s a thick, stiff material, all the seams show. I “balanced” the width and placement of the strips, meaning that I trimmed the material so that all the strips on any given wall would be the same width. The finished effect was that it looked like sheets of metal applied to the walls.

The wallpaper was thick and stiff and very difficult to cut and manipulate. It did not turn inside corners well, and it would not turn outside corners at all. I had one wall with three outside corners on it, and I probably spent two hours on just that one wall. The whole room, all eight single rolls of it, took me six or more hours, most of it wrestling unhappily with the stiff Mylar material.

When it was all said and done, the finished room looked wonderful, and the homeowners loved it.

I, on the other hand, would be happy if I never saw this product again. 🙂

Chinoiserie in a Small Bathroom

June 8, 2016
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Here is a classic Chinoiserie (Oriental design) that went in a guest bathroom in a new addition to a 1950’s ranch style Mid-Century Modern home in Shepherd Park Plaza / Oak Forest.

The aqua background coordinates nicely with the grey marble vanity. I lined up the figure holding the umbrella with the center spout on the sink, for a balanced look. The two circles at the top are the bases of light fixtures.

The pattern is called Shantung Silhouette, and is by Schumacher.

Schumacher used to be known for quality, higher-end wallpapers. But these days, the quality has slipped. This install did not have any printing defects, but they are pretty much de rigor with Schumacher products. I did encounter some other problems, though.

For starters, the instructions said this was a paste-the-wall non-woven material. It was not. It was paper, and needed to have paste applied to the back of the wallpaper, not to the wall.

And the material was thick and stiff and difficult to handle on my table, and difficult to manipulate into corners and tight areas. Going around the multiple curves on the backsplash was tricky and time consuming. Pasting the wall did not allow the paper to expand and relax, so bubbles appeared on the wall. Because the paper was dry and stiff, it did not meld to the contours of the vanity top, and was difficult to trim neatly. In fact, I was unhappy with my first attempt, and ripped it off and started over.

A good reminder to always buy a little extra paper.

I also was not happy with the seams. They weren’t bad, but a thinner substrate would have given tighter seams that held closer to the wall.

Overall, though, the room looked wonderful – light and airy with a sense of uplift from the parasols and tight ropes. The monkey adds something to smile at.

The interior designer for this job is Rachel Goetz.

What’s Going On Here? – Thick, Stiff Paper

February 25, 2016

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Here I am, about to end this wallpapered accent wall in a corner. Normally, you push the wallpaper against the wall and into the corner, position the straightedge, and trim.

But this paper is printed on the newish non-woven substrate, and this one is relatively thick and stiff. On the flat accent wall, it was nice enough to work with. But when it came to a corner, and then the double angle where the corner met the baseboard, the stiff paper did not want to cooperate. It was difficult to press the paper tightly into the corner, and I had to make several “relief cuts” in the bottom left corner, to ease the paper so I could get it to press tightly against both the corner of the wall and the baseboard.

It’s important to press the paper tightly against these angles before trimming, because if not, you could end up with a trim cut that is shy of the actual corner or baseboard.

Non-woven substrates are the new “darling” of the wallpaper manufacturing world. I very much like the thin, flexible non-wovens (like Sur-Strip). But these thick, stiff, and unyielding papers shouldn’t be put on walls, IMO, and could use a little research & development and reinvention at the manufacturer’s.