Posts Tagged ‘vinyl’

Strengthening a Tenuous Seam

December 13, 2020

Most people don’t use phone or cable connections in the wall anymore, so it’s common for me to remove the cover plates, stuff the wires into the box, and cover the hole with the wallpaper.

In this case, the seam was going to fall where there really wasn’t going to be enough wall for the wallpaper to be able to grab ahold of (see top photo). I was worried about the seam coming loose and gaping open.

My solution was to tear a bit of backing from a piece of scrap paper and use it to bridge the area over the hole where the seam would fall. This way, the wallpaper would be able to grab hold of the paper, and the seam would not pop open.

I had to separate the non-woven backing from the textured vinyl surface of the wallpaper. This gave me a thin piece that was not likely to cause ridge under the new wallpaper. It also got rid of the vinyl surface – wallpaper adhesives don’t like to stick to vinyl or other slick surfaces.

I tore the strip because the edges were then slightly feathered, which makes any slight bump under the wallpaper less noticeable.

I put plenty of paste on both sides of the patch strip, so it would stick to both the wall behind it and to the new wallpaper going on top of it.

No photo of the finished area, but it worked perfectly, with the paper and the seam stuck tightly and invisibly to the wall.

Stormy Texture on Master Bedroom Accent Wall

December 12, 2020

This homeowner is all about glitz and sparkle and glitter, and originally she sought something of that ilk for the accent wall behind the headboard in their master bedroom. But she realized that if she toned down the wall, then the other aspects of the room (furniture, bedding, artwork) would stand out more.

So she went for this. I think it looks like roiling storm clouds rolling across the room. There is just enough glitter to make the wall sparkle in a subtle glow.

The pattern is by Exclusive Wallcoverings. It is an embossed (textured – see close-up shot) vinyl on a non-woven backing. I used the paste-the-wall installation method.

In the “before” photo, you see me rolling out the bolts to get a bead on the design, as well as the pattern match and placement, and measure out and cut my strips.

With PTW, it works best to roll your strips backward (from bottom up, and with the substrate facing out). Then, when you take these to the pasted wall, there is little chance of paste getting on the face of the wallpaper.

The home is in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

’70’s Retro Flower Power

December 9, 2020

Here is a home where people are not scared of color, nor of pattern …. What a fun switch from drab to dramatic – with a little groovy tossed in!

The wallpaper is by Sanderson, a British company. Unlike most modern British papers which are of non-woven material, this was printed on a pulp substrate, and the surface felt like vinyl. Once wet with paste, it was fairly flimsy and prone to tear while being trimmed with a razor blade. Once dry, it will be a bit more durable.

This was a small, cramped powder room. It was super appreciated that the homeowners had removed the sink before I started work, so it was much easier to hang paper on that wall.

The home is in the Montrose area of inner loop Houston.

Flaw of the Day – Printing Defect in Embossed Vinyl

November 27, 2020

Whoops! Somehow this vertical line got printed into a bolt of wallpaper. This ruined a full strip. Luckily, I always measure to include a little extra, so we had enough paper to finish the job.

More Pics of Yesterday’s Faux Grass Dining Room

November 22, 2020

More shots of the beautiful, tailored, embossed / textured vinyl, faux grasscloth described in yesterday’s post.

Softening A Heights Dining Room; Wonderful Faux Grasscloth

November 21, 2020

The original dark paint was bold and beautiful. But the homeowners wanted something softer and textured. They listened to my “rant” about color variations in grasscloth (see link at right), and chose this embossed vinyl replica instead.

They couldn’t have chosen better!

We were worried about the usual very visible vertical seams in grasscloth, and how they would juxtapose with the vertical boards in the wainscoting at the bottom portion of the walls. The spacing between the boards did not sync at all with the width of the wallpaper. If the seams in the paper were visible and did not coordinate with the vertical elements below, it would have ended up a very visually confusing room.

Luckily, and very surprisingly, this material turned out to be wonderfully homogeneous, and the seams are virtually invisible.

What you do see is the is the very soft, muted texture and warm color that envelope the room. I like to say that this sort of pattern emulates a finely tailored man’s suit.

That last photo is distorted a bit, so ignore those wavy, swirly lines.

This wallcovering is by Warner, in their Textures VII, Grasscloth Resource book, on page 32, a lightly embossed (textured) vinyl on a scrim (woven fabric) backing, and is a random / reverse pattern match (meaning, there is no pattern to match).

It comes either 26″ wide or 52″/54″ wide. Lil’ ol’ me can’t wrangle that extra-wide stuff, so I asked the homeowners to buy the 26″ option.

This type of vinyl is way more resistant to dings and stains than most traditional wallpapers. The scrim backing also makes it easy to strip off the wall later, and with minimal damage to the wall. The embossing adds just a touch of texture.

Best of all, because it is man-made instead of a natural material, there is none of the displeasing shading and color variations that are so prevalent in real grasscloth.

The home is a relatively new build in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

Textured Faux Crocodile in Montrose Powder Room

October 1, 2020


From flat and white to textured and black, this powder room took a trip to the wild and exotic. The embossed vinyl wallpaper mimics the look of crocodile hide.

I centered the design on the sink wall, so the pattern would frame the mirror evenly. Then, since the toilet wall is the first thing you see when you enter the room, I thought it would look nice to have the pattern centered on that wall, too. Usually, you can only balance the pattern on one wall, and after that, the design has to fall sequentially as it works its way around the room. But I did some engineering, and figured a way to place the pattern in the center of the toilet wall, too.

The material is an unusually thin and flexible embossed vinyl on a thin non-woven substrate. It’s my second time in this year to hang this, and I like it a lot – much better than most non-wovens, which can be thick and stiff and can bruise easily.

Non-wovens have some fiberglass in their content and do not expand when they are wet with paste, nor do they shrink as they dry. They can be hung immediately after pasting – or you can use the paste-the-wall method. Non-wovens are designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.

This is in the SuperFresco line by Graham & Brown, one of my preferred manufacturers. You don’t need a retailer, because this can be bought directly from the G&B website.

The home is new build, contemporary in style, in the Montrose area of central Houston.

Doing the Opposite Today – Removing Wallpaper

September 30, 2020


The large medallion on soft lavender on all walls of this large bedroom worked well for this gal for many years – but now that she’s an older teen, it was time for an update.

So instead of putting wallpaper up, today I took it down.

Most people think that stripping wallpaper is difficult. But if the walls were prepped properly, and if the paper was hung properly, and if the proper removal steps are followed, it should all go well, with minimal damage to the walls. See my link at right, on how to strip wallpaper.

The most important thing is to separate the top, inked layer of paper from the backing / substrate layer. I find that wetting this top layer with a sponge and plain water helps strengthen the fibers, so the top layer can be pulled off in larger strips.

In the second and third photos, you see how the purple layer has been stripped off, leaving the white backing attached to the wall. This top layer has to be removed, because it has an acrylic (or vinyl) coating, and will not allow water to pass through it.

The next step is to soak the backing with plain water and a sponge (see photo). No chemicals, no additives – just plain warm water. You will have to reapply water several times. The idea is to let water soak through this backing layer, to reactivate the paste underneath. Once that paste is good and wet, it should release from the wall. Sometimes you have to gently scrape the backing from the wall. But in my case today, once that paste was reactivated, the substrate layer came away from the wall in full, intact sheets. Easy peasy!

One photo shows my “dull” 3″ stiff putty knife. I call it “dull,” because it’s old and beaten up. But it’s really rather sharp. I use it to carefully get between the inked top layer of wallpaper and the bottom substrate layer. And then I use it to gently scrape wallpaper from the wall.

In my case today, the previous installer had done a superb job of hanging the wallpaper. He applied a primer before hanging the paper. That primer helped make this whole removal job go well, and it protected the walls from damage.

The family will need to apply a stain blocker to prevent any residual paste from causing the new paint from crackling or flaking off. Once that’s dry, the walls can be textured and / or painted. The room’s resident told me that she is planning to go all white.

This home is in the West University area of Houston.

Shades of Blue and Aqua Brighten Northwest Houston Powder Room

September 6, 2020


What a bright, cheery look this light-hearted floral pattern brought to this powder room in a new home in the Cypress (Bridgland) area of Houston!

Look at how great it looks with the blue glass vessel sink!

The wallpaper is by Brewster, and is a very flexible non-woven material with what feels like a vinyl surface. It was pre-pasted, which I had not seen before in a non-woven (other than SureStrip, which is a completely different product).

I thought the material was too “fluid” to run through a water tray, plus I wanted to avoid over-saturating the backing. So I pasted the back instead. This turned out to be a good path, because it went up beautifully, and the seams were virtually invisible.

Two Layers of Wallpaper to Strip Off – and No Primer

August 8, 2020



It’s not good to put wallpaper over wallpaper, especially if the bottom layer is vinyl. And double especially if no prep is done.

In this case, a vinyl wallpaper was hung over another vinyl wallpaper, which had been hung on unprimed drywall, back when the house was built 30 years ago.

All very bad. Vinyl is plastic, and therefore glossy, and that means that new wallpaper placed on top of it won’t stick. Look at the curling paper in the top photo and you will see what I mean. The second photo shows the paper curling away from the baseboard.

Raw drywall is porous in some areas, meaning it sucks the paste off the wallpaper, and thirsty in other places, meaning that it bonds tightly to the wallpaper paste and is often impossible to get off without damaging the drywall.

In the last photo, you can see where I have peeled off the top layer of wallpaper, revealing the paper backing underneath. Under that, you can see where I have removed some of the top layer of the first wallpaper, and the lighter colored backing of that paper is also visible.

So you are looking at two layers of wallpaper backings, installed on the home’s original drywall.

I knew I could remove the top layer of vinyl paper (see my page to the right “How to Strip Wallpaper”). But I honestly didn’t think I would be able to get the first layer off the wall.

But this job surprised me. … Turns out, both the top and bottom layers stripped off relatively easily, and with minimal damage to the drywall. Solid vinyl wallpapers are easier in situations like this. Click the link on the right to see the process.

Note: “Relatively easily” does not mean “quickly.” It took me about four hours to remove the paper from this 10 single roll (5 bolt) powder room.