Posts Tagged ‘trimming’

My Work Set-Up

June 25, 2022




Here’s my pasting / trimming table , set up in my client’s living room, which is just a few steps away from the hall bathroom where I’m hanging wallpaper. In that room, of course, I have my ladder, as well as my smaller hand tools used for actually getting the paper onto the wall.

More William Morris Strawberry Thief in Houston Heights Hall Bathroom

June 24, 2022
Because I feared unstable walls in this 1920’s bungalow in this neighborhood (do a Search for previous posts), before hanging the decorative wallpaper, first I hung a non-woven liner paper on all the walls. That’s the white material you see in the photo.
The liner was hung horizontally so its seams can’t line up with the decorative paper. The idea is to disperse tension from drying wallpaper and changes due to humidity and etc., so as to deflect tension away from sketchy wall surfaces, and thus prevent delamination of multiple unstable layers deep inside the wall. Again, do a Search here to learn more.
Finished vanity area, with pattern centered on the light fixture.
Corner shot.
This colorful and symmetrical pattern is quite popular; I’ve hung it a number of times just this year.
Englishman William Morris designed wallpaper and fabrics during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The styles then were Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts. This design reflects a bit of each.
Wallpaper expands when it gets wet with paste, and then can shrink just a tad as it dries. The liner helps prevent that, but you can still end up with teeny gaps at some seams.
To prevent the white backing from showing through, I run a stripe of dark paint under where each seam will fall.
I use matt finish craft paint from the hobby store, diluted with a little water (in the orange bottle cap) and smeared on the wall with a scrap of sponge. Use a ruler or level and a pencil to mark where you want to stripe the dark paint.
Remember to allow for that expansion as the paper absorbs moisture from the paste. Meaning, if the paper is 20.5″ wide, and expands 1/2″, you’ll want to run your line at about 21.” And make sure that your painted swath is about an inch wide.
I also run a bit of dark chalk along the edges of each strip, to prevent the white substrate from showing at the seams (no photo).
Morris & Co. makes this iconic Strawberry Thief.
Interestingly enough, most times when I’ve hung a Morris paper, it’s been a non-woven paste-the-wall material.
Today’s option was a surprise – a traditional British pulp . This is a pretty basic and somewhat old-fashioned type of substrate . Sort of like construction paper, or the pages of an old family Bible .
The paper is very fragile , and can tear easily. You have to keep using new razor / trimming blades, because the material dulls blades quickly, and when dull they will drag and tear the paper.
Pulp papers also require a soaking / booking time after pasting , to allow time for the material to absorb the paste , soften a bit, and expand . The edges of the strips like to dry out , so I’ve learned to dip about 1/4″ of the booked ends ( booked means the pasted side of the wallpaper strip is folded onto itself, bottom edge folded up and top edge folded down to meet in the middle), into a bucket of clean water.
Then it goes into a black plastic trash bag to soak and relax for a few minutes before hanging. I use this opportunity to paste the next strip.
Non-woven wallpapers have advantages, because they do not expand when wet, and therefor you can get accurate measurements. They also can be pasted and hung immediately, with no waiting time. Alternately, you can paste the wall .

Logistics for Hanging Jungle Wallpaper Mural in Nursery

May 19, 2022

Let’s do some engineering so we can get this mural on the wall. The wall is a few inches less than 12′ wide, and 9′ high.
The mural comes as a set of four panels, and the total width of the mural is 6′ wide x 9′ high.
Therefore we need two 4-panel sets to span this wall.
Here is the first set of four panels, pasted and hung. A really tricky thing with murals is that the strips / panels you place next to your first set need to match up with the existing pattern. Meaning, the panels need to be able to be hung consecutively next to each other and have the pattern continue uninterrupted.
Not all murals are designed to continue from one to the next. Some will only fit a wall of certain dimensions.
Still others are custom made to fit specific sizes … but that’s a topic for another blog post.
You’re looking at two sets of mock-ups of the mural, side-by-side. The dotted lines show each individual panel.
Toward the center, you see where Panel 4 of the mural on the right meets up with Panel 1 of the mural placed on the right. You can see that the trees and other elements from the mural on the left match up with the motifs on the mural to the right. This is good! It means that we can place murals next to each other to cover a wider wall space.

Here is the finished wall with two murals placed next to each other, with the trees and animals continuing from one mural to the next.
Second issue: The wall height between crown molding and baseboard was exactly 9′ high. The mural came exactly 9′ high. This might sound perfect – but it ain’t agonna work.
The wallpaper / mural needs to be a few inches (preferably 3″-4″) taller than the wall itself. (Same goes for width) This little bit of wiggle room allows you to trim at the top and bottom of the wall. And it allows for walls that are not perfectly plumb and floors and ceilings that are not perfectly level.
In this case, it wasn’t going to be possible to get the mural to fit inside that 9′ high space across a 12′ wide wall without going off-track a bit. We needed about 2″ of extra height at BOTH top and bottom.
Well, you can’t make the wallpaper mural any taller, so we opted to make the wall shorter. The builder added an extra tall baseboard along the bottom of just this one wall.
This reduced the wall height by about 3″, which gave us just enough extra paper length to split between the ceiling and baseboard. A little will be trimmed off at the ceiling line, and a little off the bottom / baseboard.
If you look at the picture of the finished wall, the 4th photo, you’ll see that there are more “important” design elements at the bottom of the mural than at the top. The manufacturer does this on purpose, because they know that some of the mural will need to be cut off, in order to accommodate different wall heights, and for trimming at the ceiling and baseboard. Nearly a foot can be trimmed off the top of this mural without losing anything like an animal or a tree top.
The same is not true about the bottom, though. As you can see in this photo, the designer has let elements run all the way down to the bottom of the mural … leaves, plant stems, and, as in the photo above, a bird’s feet.
I tried to raise the strips up as high as possible, to avoid cutting off his feet. But I had to leave enough to accommodate trimming and wonky walls. So, as you see in the photo, the poor guy got his feet cut off.
Still, all this is happening at the bottom of the wall, and no one is really paying attention to this area. Plus, there will be furniture in front.
Still, all worth noting.
Jungle Wallpaper Mural is by Lulu and Georgia and is in the Sure Strip line made by York .
Some take-aways from this post that I hope you will keep in mind …
~Never order a mural to the exact dimensions of the wall. Add 4″ to height & width
~Consult with the paperhanger before ordering any material
~Rather than a mural that comes in one set size as this one does, consider a custom-sized mural that can be made to fit your specific wall. I like rebelwalls.com among others.

My Work Table Set Up

April 28, 2022
It’s the end of the day and I’m packing up. Items are sitting on the table that I normally would not allow. I’ve already pulled up the dropcloths I had along the walls. But you get the idea of my work area set-up , and the tools I use.
The table is for measuring, trimming, and pasting. My other, smaller, hand tools (not shown) are used for the actual wallpaper installation process. My toolbox is in the rear right.

Solution to Spacing Discrepancy

January 8, 2022
Re previous post ,,, this wallpaper came with an 1/8″ strip of pattern on the right side of the paper. That little diagonal nub of an arm was posed to complicate matching the pattern to the next strip. Too complicated to get into here. I determined that it would be easier and faster to match the pattern and hang the paper if that nub were not there. And losing 1/8″ of black background would not be noticeable.s
My solution was to take my fancy new straightedge and a razor blade and trim off that 1/8″. This gave me a new edge that ended right along the outer side of the gold line.
Trimming 12 rolls (six double roll bolts) is meticulous work and it took me about an hour and a half. But it saved me time in matching up the pattern, and eliminated minute mis-matches at the seams.

1″ X 5′ = 9 sq ft of Lost Paper

July 18, 2021

For all the prospective clients who think they can pull out their calculator and slide rule and then meticulously calculate that they can cover their walls with 186.7 sq ft of wallpaper – WRONG!

Here is a good example of waste, and why you can’t purchase wallpaper based on square feet alone.

Here we are working with a non-woven material that is packaged in 21″ wide x 33′ long.

In the photo, that narrow 1″ wide strip of wall on the left needs to be covered with wallpaper.

That’s 1″ wide x 5′ tall. That comes out to .41 square feet of wallpaper.

Sounds negligible, doesn’t it? But in real life, a whole lot more wallpaper will be called into play – and tossed into the trash – in order to cover this miniscule space.

Although I stockpile all scraps, there is nothing in my remnant pile that is long enough, nor the correct pattern match, to cover this space.

So I must cut a new length from a bolt of wallpaper.

The pattern has a 25″ repeat, so I had to cut off almost this much in order to come up with the correct pattern match. That’s 25″ long x 21″ wide … so already, we are nearly 4 square feet cut off and thrown onto the trash pile.

Now that I have the pattern matched correctly, I need 5 running feet of it to cover the length of wall in the photo. That’s 60″ long x the 21″ wide width of the wallpaper. That calculates to 8.75 square feet of paper.

Of those 8.75 square feet, remember that I need only a 1″ wide strip. As previously mentioned, that comes to .41 square feet.

So, 8.75 sq ft – .41 sq ft = 8.33 sq ft of paper that can’t be used anywhere else, and will be tossed onto the discard pile.

That’s 8.33 sq ft of waste. Considering that the average single roll of wallpaper contains 28 square feet (but in reality, only 22 square feet of useable paper), this leaves you with only 19.75 square feet of useable paper.

In double roll speak, this means a bolt with 56 square feet, which is better calculated at 44 useable square feet, after hanging this one puny 1″ wide strip, you are left with 47.7 sq ft of useable paper – nearly 10 sq ft lost for just one 1″ wide strip!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into pattern repeats, trimming at ceiling and floor, going around windows, vaulted ceilings, stairs, multiple drops, expansion when wet with paste, and all sorts of other factors.

Bottom Line: We paperhangers know the ins and outs of this stuff.

And homeowners don’t. Nor do contractors, painters, handymen, nor even engineers. Most of all, NOT engineers. (I love ’em all,,,, but they tend to get bogged down in details, and overlook the grand scale.)

Bottom, Bottom Line: Let the paperhanger measure the space and calculate how much wallpaper to order.

Rectifying a Mistake

July 2, 2021
Whoops! This wallpaper strip ended up too short. I suspect I forgot to add the 3″ extra for trimming at ceiling and floor. Sure would like to avoid replacing this whole strip.
I could have spliced a piece in horizontally. But that would have left a (slightly) visible horizontal seam, as well as put stress on the wall if the razor blade scored the surface. So I opted to patch in a piece. To disguise the patch, I cut along the design, and discarded the bottom piece.
Then I used scrap paper and cut along the same part of the design, making sure to leave a thin part of the design that would be overlapped (don’t want any gaps showing).
This patch was placed under the piece on the wall, with the top piece overlapping from above (less noticeable when viewed from above … the direction of lighting also affects this). Once all pieces were smoothed into place, it’s intact and homogeneous, and, best of all – undetectable.

Candice Olson “Linden Flower” in Home Office

July 1, 2021
Before. Original chalkboard paint sealed off with KILZ Original to block any oil residue from chalk that might bleed through the wallpaper. Then primed with Roman 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer.
Finished. Airy, floral, fun place to work!
First strip goes up, lined up against the red light of my laser level. I measured and plotted the placement so that the center of that dominant black flower would drop along the vertical center line of the wall (about 8″ to the right of the laser line).
Detail. I like the shadows in the background.
Close-up shows pen & ink, and water color look of this design.
Manufacturer is York, one of my preferred brands. http://www.yorkwall.com

Working from home these days, the homeowner wanted an office that was bright and encouraged creativity. The black chalkboard paint scrawled with slogans and proverbs had to go!

Almost exactly a month ago, I prepped the walls and started to hang the paper – only to discover printing and trimming defects. See my post from May 26, 2021. The on-line vendor, Burke Decor, was quick to ship out replacement paper from a different run. The new paper was fine.

The new light sconce plays off the black and gold colors in the wallpaper.

This refreshing yet peaceful abstract floral pattern sets the perfect tone, when your office is in your home.

The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Bold Pattern Toned Down a Bit, Mural in Nursery

June 30, 2021
Before. Smoothed, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
After. It’s more of a “dusty salmon” than a true “pink.” The parents are leaning toward a light sage green for the remaining three walls.
Close up.
Mock-up. While this is a typical repeating pattern, the manufacturer chose to package it as a mural, rather than standard rolled goods. This format works well with digital printing, and allows murals to be custom-sized to fit any wall. (Note: This mural is only offered in a standard size, 12′ wide x 9′ high.)
Rolling panels out on the floor to check measurements, plot placement
Manufacturer is Koko Art, a family-owned business in Florida.

With its black outlines and over-scaled flowers, this pattern is a bit bolder than you see in most nurseries. But the muted tans and salmons keep the look soft and sweet.

The remaining walls will be painted, but Mom wanted to see the mural up on the wall and in the room’s lighting before she chooses a paint color.

This product was packaged as a 6-panel mural. While many murals these days are custom-sized to the customer’s wall, this one came in a set size – 12′ W x 9′ H. It’s important that the mural be 4″ wider and also 4″ higher than your wall, to accommodate trimming at floor, ceiling, and corners, and to accommodate wonky walls and unlevel ceilings.

Koko Art Shop offers three substrate options. Two were peel & stick, so I nixed that sorrowful stuff. Instead, the family chose this lovely pre-pasted option. It went up very nicely.

The home is in an established community in Cypress, far northwest Houston.

Oh, and – the baby girl was born early this morning. It was an honor to help get the room decorated and ready for her arrival home!

Replacement Paper a Different Run ??

June 22, 2021
Ink smudge. One of many printing defects throughout all the rolls of wallpaper
Replacement paper came in the same run number as defective paper. Not good.
Despite the label, the replacement paper (on the right) must surely be a different run. Note the pattern mis-match, as well as color discrepancy between the two strips. The motifs on the left are lighter and yellower than those on the right.

When I originally set out to hang this Anderson Prints wallpaper in a northwest Houston powder room, there were too many printing defects to be acceptable. The homeowner had the store send it back, and we requested that the replacement paper be from a different run (printed at a different time and with a different batch of ink), to ensure that the new paper would be defect-free.

The replacement paper arrived with the label stating the same run number – Run 2. But I have to question that. I think they stuck the wrong labels on the new rolls.

For one thing, notice the pattern mis-match, between the original rolls (left) and the new paper (right). This indicates that the trimming rollers were set at different points in the design – and that can only happen when the presses are set up to print off a new batch / run of wallpaper. (I’m tossing in an educated guess on that one … Another scenario could be that the trimming wheels got wobbly and rolled out of “true.”)

Either way, these two bolts of paper were not printed and trimmed at the same time.

You will also notice a pretty obvious color difference between the original paper (left) and the replacement (right).

Again, it’s pretty certain that these rolls were not printed at the same time from the same batch of ink.