Posts Tagged ‘wallcovering’

Peek-a-Boo Wallpaper in Southern Living Magazine

April 7, 2018


Here’s some unusual stuff for a none-of-your-friends-will-have-anything-like-this wall treatment. It’s natural material (usually grass-like), and is woven into the design you see in the photo. It’s sort of like mesh or macramé, with open spaces between the strands of grass. That means that the wall shows through.

Pasting the material while keeping the surface clean is tricky; it’s usually done by applying paste onto another, flat surface, then carefully laying the backside of the wallcovering into the paste, carefully lifting it off, and then taking it to the wall. Normal wallpaper smoothing tools won’t work with this stuff, and often patting with your hands is the best way to get it stuck to the wall.

The magazine credits the material to Eden: Weitznerlimited.com

Advertisements

Flaw of the Day – Spots / Ink Drips

October 21, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

See the black dots?  These are errant spots of ink that found their way onto the surface of the wallpaper.  They started out heavy, but worked their way down to annoyingly light-but-still-visible within a short time.

The spots ran through at least one entire double roll bolt, ruining it.  On some other bolts, the dots were lighter, and during installation, I was able to hide many of them.

I was also able to plot my room layout, so that when I reached a corner and had to cut the paper (slice vertically), I could plot it so that the part that was cut off was the part with the ink spots.

This wallpaper is by Exclusive Wallcoverings, was printed on a non-woven substrate, was hung in a powder room in the Houston Heights neighborhood.

 

Dark Alligator Out – Bright Trellis In

July 30, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

In the powder room of this home in the Woodlands (Houston), this dark brown faux alligator textured vinyl wallcovering probably looked good with the previous homeowner’s mirror and accessories, but it made the room cave-like, and was not at all in sync with the lifestyle of the new homeowners, a young family with pre-school age children.

They chose this classic trellis design in cream on tan and, boy – did it brighten and open up the room!

I usually love this brand, but today there was a bit of shading – color was darker on one side of the strip than it was on the other, which you can see in the second-to-last photo and in the head-on shot of the sink, and also some “gaps and overlaps” at the seams. Both of these issues were relatively minor and not very noticeable.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Stripping Off The ’90’s To Reveal – The ’70’s

July 20, 2017

Digital Image

Digital Image


Today I stripped paper off the walls of a typical entry in a typical ’60’s / ’70’s-era home.

The paper I removed was a pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyl in a striped design. This is a typical pattern, and a typical type of material, for that time.

Under it was the original paper from when the home was built in the ’70’s. If you remember, that was back in the days of Harvest Gold, Avacado Green, orange, and Flower Power. This vintage paper has three out of the four!

After all these years, and despite having been covered up by the vinyl wallcovering, the orange paper was in perfect shape – tight to the wall, and brilliantly colored. The vinyl paper, on the other hand, was curling at the edges and was discolored.

This is partly due to age, but mostly due to having been improperly installed… previous installer did not remove the old wallpaper, and did not prime the walls, plus these pre-pasted, paper-backed, solid vinyls are just not good papers.

This home is in the Kirkwood / Briar Forest area of Houston.

Van Gogh Slept Here

December 29, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

O.K. – maybe Van Gogh didn’t sleep here, in this brand new home on the eastern edge of the Houston Heights, but it does look like he spent some time painting on the walls. Oh, wait – that’s wallpaper!

This beautiful wallpaper is in the Van Gogh 2015 collection of a company called BN Wallcoverings, in the Netherlands. It was a thinnish, pliable, textured, paste-the-wall material, and was nice to work with.

The homeowner is absolutely in love with this pattern! The builder left the home quite boringly neutral – creams and beiges – and the homeowner wanted to interject some life and color into the master bedroom. Wow – this did the trick! The texture of the material even mimics brush strokes an artist might make working with oil paint on canvas.

This went on just one wall of the master bedroom, behind the headboard. On all four walls, this bold color and fluid pattern might be too much, but on one wall, it is super. For the windows and door leading to the balcony (not shown), drapes are being made that match the brown color of the tree limbs. Neutral-hued Roman shades will “disappear” on the small windows of this accent wall.  A few turquoise accents throughout the room (pillows, vases, artwork) will pull the whole look together.

Another Serene and Pleasing Faux Grass

September 11, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Originally, the walls were textured and painted a bold gold (top photo). This homeowner was considering grasscloth for their master bathroom. I told her that grasscloth has problems with color variations – called paneling and shading – and that, because the pattern cannot be matched, all the seams would show, and that it stains when splashed with water or toiletries. I was pleased when she took my suggestion to contact my favorite wallpaper source (see below) and chose a faux grass product.

This manufacturer offers several imitation grasscloth options. I’ve hung many of their Bankun Raffia woven version, but this is the first time I’ve hung this more grass-like offering. This design has a pattern match (reeeallly hard to see, but I got it figured out and got ‘er done!), and that used up a little more paper, but it meant that there was no disruption of the pattern at the seams, which made the seams pretty invisible.

The material is embossed with a textured finish, so it looks and feels like real grasscloth. But because the wallcovering is vinyl, it is very water- and stain-resistant, and because it has a scrim (woven fabric) backing, it is very durable, and it will also be (relatively) easy to remove when they are ready to redecorate.

The homeowner loved the finished room. Originally, she had wanted something that was very plain, and I suggested that a very finely woven product would look like, well, like nothing, once it was up on the wall, and she would be just as well off painting the room. So, again, she took my suggestion and selected this, which has a little more texture. Well, in the time between selecting and finally getting the paper up on the wall, she got to worrying that the pattern might be too strong or overwhelming.

Happily, once the wallpaper started going up, it was very clear that the pattern was quite tranquil and serene, with just enough pattern to engage the senses, but still sit calmly in the background.

This wallpaper pattern is by Thibaut Designs, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Custom-Made Wallpaper in Blocks

February 4, 2016
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


Photos: Before, During, Done, and a Close-Up.

This is in a home office in a 1957 house in River Oaks (Houston). The home has traditional elegant features, and also very contemporary features and accessories, making for an interesting mix. The homeowner was looking for something different for his office (formerly everything (walls, moldings, ceiling) was painted brown). He had a few ideas that we discussed, and then I suggested this pieced paper by Stoney Brook Wallcoverings http://www.stoneybrookpaper.com/. He loved the concept immediately.

This paper is custom-made to suit the homeowner’s color choices, and also to fit the dimensions of the wall space. I had to measure meticulously, and then calculate how many blocks of which dimensions would be needed to cover the walls, while keeping a homogeneous look around all the walls with varying dimensions. A die was custom-made to dimensions that would give the best use of material, and then 300 sheets of paper, each being 14″ x 26″ were stamped out.

My job is then to trim each sheet to an appropriate height, so that all blocks tiered on the walls are equal in size. I also plotted the layout so that the blocks on each wall are centered in the middle of the wall. Then, of course, the blocks are pasted and applied to the wall, in a staggered, brick-like pattern. Unlike many of the Stoney Brook products, this one is not overlapped, but butted at the seams.

There is a lot of math involved, and careful measuring and potting before cutting. All that is taking a lot of time. Actually putting the paper on the wall is going fairly quickly.

I am very pleased with this product. Unlike many non-woven wallpaper substrates which are stiff and thick and contrary, this one is thin and malleable, making it easy to maneuver into place, and it hugs the wall nicely.

Stoney Brook is a pieced wallcovering (torn or blocks) similar to the more trendy product made by Vahallan, but much lower in price, more easily accessible, and much more customer-friendly. IMO

Stripping Wallpaper, Damaged Sheetrock

December 29, 2015
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


These days, I am hanging wallpaper in lots of new homes, which have never had wallpaper before. So today, when I had to strip off existing paper before I could hang the new, it was like a step back in time. And, since the first installer had skipped an essential step, it was a long step!

The navy-blue-on-white savoy pattern (Photo 1) was a nice paper that had been hung, unfortunately, directly on new Sheetrock, without a wallcovering primer, nor even a coat of paint. In this setting, most wallpapers will bond with the drywall, and can be very difficult to get off. Going too fast, or trying to force the paper to succumb to you, can severely damage the walls. To avoid this, I do it in steps.

The first step is to wet all the wallpaper with a damp sponge. That seems to strengthen the top layer of paper. Second, I strip off the top, inked / colored layer of paper. This leaves the backing / substrate – which in my photos today is a white paper. This white backing layer must then be soaked with a wet sponge. Unlike the top, colored layer of paper, which has a thin vinyl coating, this white backing layer can be penetrated by water. Once the water soaks in, the paste beneath it is reactivated. And once enough time has gone by and that paste is wet enough, the wallpaper can be removed.

If you are lucky, it will peel away easily. More likely, you will have to use a stiff 3″ putty knife to carefully scrape every inch of wallpaper backing away from the wall.

If you are lucky, it will come away with no damage to the Sheetrock. More typically, you will have some tears, and will have to do some repair work to the drywall.

The second photo is a wonderful shot of the various surfaces you might find when stripping old wallpaper. First is the layer with the pattern and color. When that has been removed, you see the white (or sometimes yellow) paper backing. Once that backing has been removed, you are left with other sub-surfaces. In the photo, the white is the areas that have been spread with “mud,” or joint compound, which is used over the tape that spans joints in the drywall. Another surface under the old wallpaper that is not shown in the photographs is paint, which you find where it has been oversprayed along the ceiling or next to where the woodwork was painted. The grey area is the top layer of the Sheetrock.

Wallpaper will stick to all these materials differently – It sticks to paint “kind of,” but can be removed with no damage to the walls; it sticks to joint compound not really well at all, but removes easily also with no damage to the walls, but leaving a thirsty porous surface beneath; and when it comes to raw drywall, wallpaper actually bonds to the surface, and can be a bugger bear to remove.

Usually, as in this case, pulling off the old wallpaper causes hairs on the unprimed drywall to pull up, so you end up with a gritty surface, which can leave bumps under the new wallpaper. Worse is when the top grey surface of the drywall de-laminates and pulls off, leaving the torn brown paper layer you see in the third photo. This is really bad, because, when hit with wet primer or wallpaper paste, this layer swells and likes to bubble up, leaving ugly bumps under the new wallpaper.

The cure for this torn Sheetrock is to seal it with Gardz or a similar penetrating sealer / primer. Then the area needs to be “skim floated” with joint compound (similar to plaster), sanded smooth, wiped free of dust, and sealed again.

All this takes a lot of time, eats up materials, makes a mess, and costs money.

As you can see, it would be much better if the builder and / or original wallpaper installer would prime the walls before hanging the paper. Or, at the very least, not ideal, but at least it would protect the walls, if they would slap on a quick coat of paint. And, when it’s time to redecorate, it would sure make removing the paper a whole lot easier.

More Pics of the Glass Bead Wallpaper with Bull Nosed Arch

November 13, 2015
Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


I tried really hard to get pics of the light glinting off the glass beads, but the photos don’t show it. 😦 What you can see, though, is the arched doorway with rounded / bull-nosed edges. It’s pretty tricky to trim wallpaper on these edges, because you have no definite edge for your trim blade to fit into, and because the wallpaper hangs over the edge and you can’t see what you are doing or where you are cutting. Cutting through those hard balls of glass made it all the more trying.

I have a special home-made tool that helps with that, as well as a laser line, straight edges, aviator’s shears, and a quiet, empty house to work in so I could concentrate and move my assortment of gear wherever I needed to.

It turned out looking great, and I was particularly pleased that the thick, stiff material molded to the rounded corners and held tightly without curling up. This is a young and active family, though, so they will need to take care not to brush against the cut edge of the wallpaper as they pass through the doorway. I can tell that this high-traffic area does take some abuse, because there are smudges and marks in certain places on the walls. If the paper should start to come loose, there are a few tricks I can pull out of my hat to fix it. 🙂

This medallion pattern is by Ronald Redding for York Wallcoverings, and was bought at a discounted price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or dorotasouthwestern@hotmail.com. Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Please AVOID Paper-Backed, Solid Vinyl Wallcoverings!

August 2, 2014

Digital Image

Digital ImageThis curling at the seams, which is not repasteable or repairable (at least not if you want it to look right) is not uncommon when economically-priced paper-backed solid vinyl wallpaper has been used, particularly in humid rooms like bathrooms.

My theory is that the science is that moisture from humid air (teenagers taking 45-minute steamy showers!),works its way into the seams of the wallpaper, and is absorbed by the porous, gritty paper backing typically used on these types of wallpapers. The paper expands, and that causes the material to curl at the seams. These “curls” are usually hard and stiff, and really don’t respond to attempts to get them to reattach to the wall.

A liner under the wallcovering would probably benefit, because liners help to absorb moisture, while they also “lock down” the seams. However, liners add additional cost for merchandise and labor, and add at least a day to the job.

Much better, in my opinion, to steer away from “solid vinyl” materials, and buy “paper” or “vinyl-coated” or even the new “non-woven” wallcoverings.

My wallpaper seller gal can help guide you (see link at right, “Where to Buy Wallpaper in Houston.”