Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Treasure Trove of Vintage Wallpaper

September 20, 2016

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I did a bid at a new construction home in the Woodland Heights today, and right next door was a 1930 bungalow that was being renovated. I love old houses, so I walked in to see what they were doing, and discovered piles of old wallpaper that had been ripped off the ship-lapped wooden walls. Ah HA! More for my collection of vintage papers!

There were several patterns of wallpaper, and two or three selections of ceiling paper – the more plain paper, usually white with silver speckles. All of it was applied the old-fashioned way, on top of “cheesecloth” that had been tacked to the shiplap.

I find this interesting, because the colorful blue and yellow patterns are clearly from the ’60’s, and drywall came into common use in the ’40’s. There was drywall in the house, but I guess it was installed way later in the structure’s life. 🙂

I love the texture and feel of the old papers, and it always amazes me that the colors hold up perfectly without fading, over all these years.

1930’s Wallpaper in the Wallpaper Lady’s Home Office

April 29, 2016

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This paper is the real deal; not a reproduction. I bought it from HannahsTreasures.com. They have tons of beautiful, authentic papers from the ’20’s through the ’70’s. Much of it is very limited stock, as was with this beauty.

There were only 8 single rolls, and I thought I could only do the top 2/3 of the walls, and then paint the bottom 1/3. But I found that, instead of the standard length of today, 33′ long, most of these bolts were 40′ or longer. That made all the difference, and I was able to squeeze out enough paper to do the entire room, from floor to ceiling.

This paper is very delicate and brittle. I used what they used years ago, powdered wheat paste (available from Bob Kelly at paperhangings.com), mixed with distilled water, and a soft, long-bristled smoothing brush. I used extra care, to avoid tearing or breaking the brittle material.

Back in the day, this paper was hung over a muslin type fabric tacked to the ship lapped walls. The seams were overlapped. The last I hung vintage wallpaper (in my entry), the paper hand-trimmed nicely, and I butted the seams and they looked great. This stuff, though, I’d cut it along the trim lines, but the edges would turn out all jaggedy. I got one decent seam out of it, and the second was good at the top, but overlapped toward the lower section. With so little paper to work with, I decided it was best to go with a sure thing and overlap the seams.

What I did was to trim off most of the selvedge, leaving a 1/8″ raw edge on the left side. On the next strip, I trimmed the right edge right up to the pattern, then left a 1/8″ selvedge on the left. This strip was then overlapped onto the previous strip, with the trimmed edge matching up with the pattern to its right, and overlapping that 1/8″ left edge.

This means that there’s a ridge under each seam from floor to ceiling. It’s more or less visible, depending on the direction of the lighting. But that’s how the paper was meant to be hung, so it’s the authentic look. Once my furniture and artwork gets back in place, and I have the computer screen to look at, no one will pay any attention to it.

I totally love this paper. The colors, the texture, the smell, and most of all the pattern. Most of my furnishings and artwork are vintage, so the room will look very pulled together.

Vintage Wallpaper as Backdrop for Food in Southern Living Magazine

February 23, 2016
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I you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that I LOVE vintage wallpaper. So I was thrilled when I saw that the December 2015 holiday double-issue of Southern Living magazine featured these beautiful patterns as backdrops for desserts in the holiday food spread.

These patterns range from the ’30’s – ’40’s – ’50’s. You can see the raised ink texture and the colors, still vivid decades later, and you can almost smell the soft scent of old paper.

Smoothing Brush for Delicate Papers

April 28, 2014

Digital ImageI usually use a fairly stiff smoothing brush, which works nicely with most papers I hang. Some people use a flat plastic smoother, and I do, too, at times, but I like a brush because the bristles will push the paper against a wall that is not perfectly flat.

But for the 1930’s vintage wallpaper I hung in my entry on Friday (see previous post and pics), as well as the bat wallpaper that I put in my powder room (no pics yet), I wanted something softer, that had less chance of bruising or abrading the paper. Besides, these two papers were so flexible (and also the special extra wet paste used for the vintage paper), less force was needed to smooth them against the wall and brush out wrinkles and bubbles.

So I used the yellow brush, with the longer bristles. Worked great.

Authentic 1930’s Wallpaper in My Own Home

April 26, 2014

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Digital ImageI think I was switched at birth. I don’t feel like a child of my era, but of a time decades ago, the ’30’s and ’40’s. I like the clothing, music, cars, … and the décor!

This real deal from the 1930’s went into my own home, in the entry foyer, just one wall. I bought it on-line from http://www.hannahstreasures.com/servlet/StoreFront. There are a few other places to buy vintage wallpaper, including http://www.rosiesvintagewallpaper.com/, http://www.secondhandrose.com/, and, for even older stuff, http://bollingco.com/.

Back to my entry … I got the wall done with just one double-roll of wallpaper. The material was dry and brittle and fragile, and it tore and abraded easily. The brittleness made it hard to fit into corners or against woodwork to trim, because it wanted to break and tear easily at those points of stress. It would be difficult to use in a room with lots of decorative molding’s and complicated cuts. And it devoured razor blades like candy.

Like fabric, the wallpaper had a selvedge edge that I trimmed off by hand (see 3rd photo). I was disappointed that the pattern didn’t match perfectly, but that’s how it was printed, and, really, get over it, stop being a perfectionist – from a distance (of, like, about four feet), you can’t even see it.

The seams weren’t flawless, either, partly due to not having any trim lines, but also due to the material itself, and how it absorbed moisture, dried, moved on the wall, etc. Some areas showed teeny gaps, and others overlapped just a hair. Once the paper dried, the seams got much flatter, although a bit of a line showed at each seam (the backing showing through the red ink). Again, minimal, and expected with this type of material.

Although the wallpaper claimed to be “waterfast,” it was not. If rubbed with a damp rag, the red color came off. So I “worked clean,” meaning, avoided getting any paste or water on the surface of the paper.

These vintage papers require special paste, as close to possible to what they had “back in the day.” That means none of the handy pre-mixed pastes that we modern installer rely on (much too aggressive for this delicate material), but wheat or cellulose paste, which generally comes in powdered form and is mixed on-site with water and an electric immersion blender.

The other thing the 1930’s wallpaper did was to get really wet. That means that, I could have just finished hanging a strip, and its perfect. Then I go back minutes later and discover that it’s miscolored, blotchy, and shaded. This “wet look” occurs when a wallpaper with no protective coating encounters a little water. As long as it’s water, and not paste or grease or the like, these “dark blotches” will usually disappear on their own. It was fun watching the color get lighter, going from left-to-right, as the wallpaper dried. In that process, many of the seams seemed to disappear.

Once it was pretty well dried, all these minor imperfections faded into the background, and all you see is a beautiful pattern, color, and texture that were inherent to the 1930’s

Hannah’s Treasures Is Following My Blog!

August 27, 2013

OMG, I just got a notice that “Hannah” is following my blog. Who is this? I clicked and learned … It’s Hannah of Hannah’s Treasurers! This is a FABULOUS company that hunts down and sells authentic wallpaper from “the old days” … the ’30’s through the ’70’s.

I’m totally into vintage, and, in fact, have some of Hannah’s paper here at home, ready to install … whenever I get some spare time. Read here: https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/vintage/

It’s very exciting that she has found me, and is following my posts. I tried to see if she’s blogging, too, but came up with no blog – but lots of photos of beautiful authentically old wallpaper!

Cute Retro Kitchen with Vintage Wallpaper

July 18, 2012

Like I said in my last post, I LOVE retro and vintage!

Check out this cute retro kitchen. Note the use of old wallpaper next to the book shelf (photo #3) and in the breakfast nook.

A clever way to get maximum use of the wallpaper, without spending a fortune. (I know of two sites that sell these original oldies, and the prices are high, while available quantities are usually low.)

http://www.thekitchn.com/lauryns-bright-cheerful-retro-kitchen-small-cool-kitchens-2012-174212

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I’m Drooling – 1927 Kohler Bathrooms in Color

July 18, 2012

Did I mention that I love retro and vintage? Well, I LOVE retro and vintage!

And there’s not much prettier or funkier than bathrooms from a past era. Every time I watch HGTV and they are bashing out the beautiful 1940’s Seafoam tile and Salmon Pink sinks, I just cringe.

Take a look a these luscious designs, color combinations and tile work. http://retrorenovation.com/2012/07/17/colors-for-a-bathroom-kohler-introduces-bathroom-fixtures-in-six-colors-1927/

The only thing that could improve the beauty of these rooms would be a little era-appropriate wallpaper, to complete the look! 🙂

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Wallpaper for Windows

January 6, 2011

Here’s a cool product that allows you to put decorative designs or frosting on your windows, while still allowing the light and view to show.

Since I like retro / vintage style, I’m linking to the page showing a 1920’s bungalow. Click “Home” to see other styles of this product.

http://www.wallpaperforwindows.com/decorating_ideas/?p=1127