Posts Tagged ‘toilet paper holder’

Geometric on Tricky Outside Corner

March 21, 2023
OK, never mind the ’80’s-era toilet paper holder that’s recessed into the wall here and is not removable – which presents a challenge all its own. My issue is adding the next strip of wallpaper to the left, turning the corner, and keeping the pattern matched as well as possible in both the inside corner and around the outside corner.
Usually, when turning inside corners, you wrap the paper around the corner 1/8 of an inch, and then cut a new strip of paper, match the pattern, and then overlap it that 1/8″ . That helps eliminate issues like mis-matches or wrinkles due to crooked corners or uneven / bowed / out-of-plumb walls . (no walls are ever perfect )
But in this case, we also have an outside corner to wrap. Even though it’s only about 2″ wide, that edge can cause the pattern to go off-plumb , or to create wrinkles in the wallpaper .
Going against most rules of wallpapering , I’ve decided to wrap the next strip around this 2″ wide wall and then onto the wider wall to the left .

Here I am, starting to position that next strip. I’m not going to try to wrap a full 27″ wide strip around this turn. Instead, I’ve trimmed it vertically along a horizontal stripe , which makes this strip narrower and more easy to handle , and also will help in placement of the next strip.
Now I’m pushing it into place into that corner. Note how the paper is wrinkling, both on the wide wall, and as it comes around the 2″ wall.
Another shot of the placement and wrinkles .
Using my plastic squeegee smoother to press the paper tightly into the inside corner. Note that, since the corner isn’t perfectly straight or plumb, there were a few areas where I couldn’t press the paper tightly into the wall, but had to leave a bit of a gap or air bubble, in order for the left edge to wrap around the turn.
The plastic smoother can also be used to gently push out wrinkles on the larger body of the strip of paper to the right. Don’t press too hard , nor overwork , because you don’t want to stretch the paper – that will cause more wrinkles.
The plastic smoother took care of the inside corner. Here I’m using my damp microfiber cloth to tightly press the paper around this outside corner .
OK. Paper’s wrapped tightly around this corner – but, because the corner isn’t straight , we’ve got wrinkles and warps .
Sometimes, you need to take a scissors to make relief cuts to help ease the paper around the corner . Try to make your cuts along an element of the design , to make the slit less noticeable.
here is that little narrow bit, finally wrapped around the outside corner. Now we need to add the next strip to the left of this. Note that this narrow strip isn’t straight nor plumb nor equidistant from the corner that we just turned. Nor is it equidistant from the next corner we have to deal with, which is to the left (not pictured).
Since we want the wallpaper strips to match in the corners, it’s important that the wallpaper pattern fall in the corner to the left at the same point from ceiling to floor. Complicated to explain.
So I’m taking a fresh strip of wallpaper , made sure the pattern matches correctly , and have trimmed it vertically along the tan stripe . Now placing it along this wrapped edge.
Because I’m overlapping instead of butting , I’m able to pull the new strip to the right or left, to keep it equidistant from the right outside corner . Or, from the inside corner to the left.
Actually, I don’t care much about the right side. The eye won’t notice if the new strip isn’t perfectly plumb . Nor will it notice if the pattern match isn’t 100% perfect . But it will notice if the pattern doesn’t match perfectly in the inside corner to the left.
So I’m pulling and manipulating and overlapping the strip a bit, so that the left edge of it is exactly 10-3/4″ from the left edge. This ensures that the pattern motifs fall all at the same point into that corner on the left.
Do I can cut my next strip, trim it vertically so the design matches with that in the corner, and get a perfect pattern match in the corner. Kinda difficult to explain, but I hope you can follow what I’m describing.
Note that this overlap is causing a bit of a ridge under the paper . Hard to see here, but when the paper dries and shrinks tight against the wall, it will be a little more obvious. But I’d rather have a ridge on the right, than a pattern mis-match in the corner to the left.
Oh, and never mind that little pattern mis-match to the right … that’s the paper wrapped around the corner, so you’re looking at different dimensions, not a pattern mis-match.
Here is that strip finished. The vertical strips isn’t perfectly plumb, but no one can tell that.
ut the pattern is perfectly straight in the inside corner to the left . So when I take my subsequent strip and trim it vertically to remove the right edge by approximately 10-3/4″ , the pattern should match perfectly in this inside corner. (It did!)
This “sort of” Greek key trellis geometric design is by Thibaut , one of my favorite brands. It was on a triditional paper substrate , and was hung via the paste the paper method .
It was purchased from my favortite source for wallpaper in Houston , Dorota Hartwig at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village , who has more selection books than anywhere else in the city – and knows what’s in every one of them! Call before heading over (713) 529-6515 .
The home is in the Champions Forest area of northwest Houston.

Wallpaper and Toilet Paper Holder

May 14, 2022

I usually do my own prep, but this time the homeowner had her contractor strip the existing wallpaper. This photo is to show you the toilet paper holder close up. You’ll have to imagine it without the wallpaper, as it was when I arrived to start this project.
Fixtures like this, including towel bars and rings and many light fixtures , can be removed by loosening the recessed set screws , which are usually on the bottom of the fixture. They will take either a very small flat-head screwdriver , or a small allen wrench . These sit very close to the wall, so you have to be careful not to let your tools scratch or mar the wall as you work.
Here’s a close-up of the underside of the fixture, showing the recessed set screw. In this case, an allen wrench was needed. Most fixtures take the same size wrench. Here I’m using my American set. But you occasionally will need a metric set.
Once I got the holder off, I discovered that the contractor had not bothered to remove the toilet paper holder, but had cut around it. In doing this, he also left some of the original wallpaper. Also, by cutting around the fixture, he scored into the wall, which is not good because it breaks the surface and creates a potentially unstable surface that can come apart over time. In addition, it took them a whole lot of time to work around this fixture to remove the old wallpaper and then repair and smooth the wall.
The whole business makes little sense, because it’s ultimately easier and faster to simply remove the thing. No damage to the wall, and then wallpaper can go behind the fixture leaving no cut edges around it.
Here I’ve hung the wallpaper and marked the holes for the screws.
Mounting bracket back in place.
Toilet paper holder reattached.

From Bland White to Captivating Black & Gold Geometric

January 8, 2022
Vanity area before. Note the nice homeowner had the plumber remove the wall-mounted faucet and handle. This made the wallpaper installation so much easier – and eliminated a zillion relief cuts around these objects that might later give entry for splashed water to wick under and loosen the wallpaper.
Done. I centered the pattern on the wall so it hits both corners equally, and it falls perfectly around the faucet (no photo). The light fixture was hung a tad off-center.
Burnished gold accents of the light fixture, faucet (to be installed later), and toilet paper holder, as well as a gold-painted ceiling, compliment the gold lines in the pattern, and really pull this room together.
This non-woven paste-the-wall material is made by Trend, and is in the Jaclyn Smith collection. It has a slightly textured surface, and appears to be vinyl on the surface. This makes is more durable and stain-resistant than most paper wallpapers. It is thin and flexible, and I liked it a lot.
The home is a contemporary new-build in the Lindale Park neighborhood of central Houston.

Proof That Primer Protects the Wall

December 8, 2021

This is the wall anchor that holds the toilet paper bracket. When I hung wallpaper in this powder room a few years ago, to save time and allow more time for the primer to dry, I left the towel bars and other hardware in place and primed around them. Then, as the primer was drying, I removed them.

In this photo, I have stripped off the wallpaper, using water to reactivate the paste and loosen the paper backing. The primed area of the walls held up beautifully.

But as you can see in this photo, the area that was not protected by the primer allowed the water to penetrate into the surface. You can see the original builder’s grade paint delaminating from the wall.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Unhappy Mix-Up

September 7, 2021

You are looking down into a paper grocery bag. At the bottom are an assortment of screws, mounting hardware, switch plates, towel bars, escutcheons, and more (some have been pulled out of the bag already).

When I get ready to hang wallpaper, I “undress the room” … meaning, I remove light fixtures, towel bars and toilet paper holders, light switch plates, window treatments, mirrors, etc. I set all the hardware and screws that go with these items near the spot where they will be reinstalled, with all these elements in a certain order, and collated to their respective holes and fasteners and brackets, so it will be simple for me to put everything back in its place, once the paper is up.

But on this job, the wallpaper had to be sent back due to a defect, so it was a couple of weeks before the new paper arrived and I was able to return to finish the job.

In the meantime, the homeowner, understandably, wanted a tidy room, so she picked up these things. And threw them all together into one bag.

Arrrgh!

But not insurmountable. It took a little digging and fitting and futzing, but I was able to sort out what went with what, and I got all the fixtures back in place.

Lazy Drywall Contractor

September 7, 2018


These powder room walls were textured in a heavy “Tuscan” finish. The homeowner asked her contractor to smooth the walls, so they would look good under the new wallpaper. The guys did a good job in most areas. But, as you see here, they fell short in others.

First of all, it’s simple to remove a toilet paper holder. Why try to work around it, and get smoothing compound slopped all over it?

In the middle picture, this is a shot of the vanity backsplash. The smoothing compound falls short of the stone countertop. Since the wallpaper will end here, it needs a solid surface to grip ahold of. This gap between the smoothing compound and the stone will allow the wallpaper to gape open and curl away from the wall.

The third photo just shows careless work. Not horrible, but they could have done better.

In all these areas, and others, I was able to do touch ups, so when the wallpaper goes up tomorrow it will have a smooth, intact surface to adhere to.

The sad part is, the homeowner paid the contractors to do this work, but now is paying me to finish the job.

Metal Mars Surfaces – Prevention

January 6, 2018


In the top photo, I am using an allen wrench to remove the tiny set screw that is holding a toilet paper holder to its mounting bracket. Turning the screw causes the wrench to rub against the wall, and the metal is leaving a dark mark on the wallpaper primer. You wouldn’t want this to happen once the new wallpaper is up!

To prevent this, you could put a piece of scrap paper in between the wrench and the new paper. Or you can make tiny, 1/4 turns, so that the large end of the wrench does not come in contact with the wall.

Or, better, use a smaller wrench with a narrower profile. These are usually included in the box when you buy fixtures like this. As you can see in the second photo, there is plenty of clearance, and no damage to the new wallpaper.

Wallpaper Change – What to Keep, What to Cover Up

July 16, 2017

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It’s not uncommon for me to work in a house where no one is home. In these cases, I’ll ask the homeowners to clarify for me which fixtures they intend to reuse, and which they want to get rid of.

Here you see where the homeowner has left me Sticky Notes to let me know that they want to reuse the toilet paper holder, light sconces, and hanger for the mirror, but they do not want to keep certain other fixtures.

This tells me which attachment brackets I can remove from the wall and then fill in the holes, and cover with the new wallpaper, with nary a trace of the old bracket to be seen.

The other fixtures I will remove – and that usually includes removing the attachment brackets, too – and then, once the new wallpaper is in place, I will replace the mounting hardware and then reinstall the fixtures (towel bars, toilet paper holder, artwork, light fixtures, etc.).

It’s easy – just let me know which fixtures you plan to reuse, and which you want to trash.

Towel Bars & Light Fixtures … Homeowner Input

July 13, 2017

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Before I start a job, I ask the homeowner if she is going to use the same towel bars, toilet paper holder, mirror, light fixtures, etc., or if she plans to replace them. Then I know if I should save the mounting hardware and replace the fixtures, or if I should remove these things and fill in the holes in the wall.

This homeowner was away from the house when I arrived, so she left good instructions as to what she wanted done. She marked the fixtures she plans to reuse, and she also marked the mirror hangers that are not to be reused. She used Sticky Notes, which will not damage the wall, and which will not cause marks that will bleed through the new wallpaper (like ink or a Sharpie will). She also arranged to have the mirror removed, because it was too heavy for me to handle. (Isn’t it nice to have a husband and a teenaged son around the house? ūüôā )

More Crappy Work from Contractors

March 7, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageIn the powder room where I’m working today, here are some things I found, left by previous workmen.

In the first photo, you can easily see that the blue box for the electrical outlet is not secured on the right-hand side.¬† It’s supposed to be nailed to a stud¬†behind the wall.¬† Since it’s not, every time the homeowner plugs something into the outlet and then pulls it out, it puts stress on the left side that is attached, and creates the potential for the whole thing to pull out of the wall.

In the second shot, can you see that the faucet is not sitting squarely and is not properly lined up with the sink and backsplash?  In addition, it has not been properly tightened, so it swivles from side to side.

The last photo is dark and hard to see, but I’ll explain.¬† It’s the wall anchors where the toilet paper holder is attached to the wall.¬† The anchors are not in the wall tightly, and that means that the toilet paper holder is loose, with the potential for the whole thing to rip off the wall.

To be honest, this could have been caused by someone yanking on the holder.  But it could also have been improperly installed by some handyman.

I can’t tighten the faucet, and I can’t go inside the wall and nail in the electrical box.¬† But I did try to fasten the anchors for the toilet paper holder.¬† What I did was, I jammed joint compound (like plaster) into the holes, which, when dry, would be hard and hopefully hold the anchor tightly.¬† For added assurance, I¬†then pushed wooden toothpicks into the hole, in hopes of making the hole smaller, so the anchor would screw in tighter.

This is not the best fix (a toggle bolt would hold much more tightly), but I hope that it will hold up to normal use in this home.¬† And it saves them the expense of hiring another handyman to come fix it.¬† Which, I should mention, he would undoubtably mess up the beautiful wallpaper I am going to install tomorrow.¬† Let’s hope that my toothpick-and-mud quick-fix works!