Posts Tagged ‘wallpaper installation houston’

Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Paste II

December 16, 2011

Interestingly, although Bradbury & Bradbury specifies clay-based paste for most of it’s patterns and colors, the roll of border chosen by these homeowners came with a day glow orange highlighted note – to use special paste for that colorway only.

For this color, which has clay incorporated into the ink, they want you to use wheat or cellulose based paste. !! This is what I used to use for all B&B papers, but now they recommend clay paste for most of their colors. (See my previous post on.)

The reason they want the plant-based paste for this particular color is because there is clay in the ink, and a clay-based paste would react negatively with the ink, causing flaking or bleeding or staining. So another non-reactive paste is recommended.

This is interesting on many fronts. For on thing, clay paste is very low moisture, and the wheat pastes are rather high in moisture, meaning that two very different pastes would work with the same paper. Also, I find it fascinating the amount of science that goes into perfecting and producing a product – the precise formula for ink, for paper, how they interact, etc. Not to mention the gal who answered my call to B&B, who was completely knowledgeable about their products and techniques.

They also sold the necessary paste – which is a good thing, because it can be hard to track down such a specialty product. Also, if you’re using their own paste, if there should be a problem, you can always go back to them for help.

Good product, good service, good company!

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Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Paste

December 14, 2011

When dealing with a high-end wallpaper such as Bradbury & Bradbury, it’s always a good idea to check with the manufacturer to see their recommendations for paste, primer, and other necessities. I’m glad I called B&B to ask about paste.

When I’ve done their papers in the past, it was always recommended to use powdered wheat paste, mixed on-site, or a similar product which is cellulose-based. I haven’t done B&B in a year or two, however, and their specifications have changed.

Now they suggest using clay-based paste – quite different product from the wheat or cellulose based pastes.

And – YUCK! I don’t like clay paste and don’t use it – have not touched it for nearly two decades, and I know other paperhangers who feel the same. It’s slimy, colored, stains, hard to wipe from surfaces, and just a mess to deal with putting up and then later when taking down a wallpaper.

However, it’s a “low moisture” paste and a very strong paste, so it does have its uses. Commercial installers working with very heavy goods usually use clay-based paste. And that’s what B&B recommended.

So, for the first time ever, I ordered a 5-gallon bucket.

And then told the homeowners that I sure hoped the big strong husband was home when I got there – regular pre-mixed vinyl wallpaper paste is pretty darned heavy in a 5-gallon bucket (40lbs or so) but this clay stuff had to be close to 60lbs!!

Anyway, the reason B&B recommends this earthy product for their paper is that they found it works best with their paper stock and inks. They said that the clay in the paste does not react with their inks as other paste formulas might, and won’t cause the ink to flake off and won’t stain the paper.

I did find that the clay paste did dry faster than my usual vinyl type, which meant a shorter “open” time – which is not a good thing when hand-trimming paper. It also was harder to remove from woodwork and from the suface of the paper, nor does it have the “slip” I am used to, so sliding paper into place and positioning as needed was more difficult.

On the positive side, it does hold well, which is important when doing those hand-trimmed seams. And it sticks well enough to the B&B paper that no VOV (vinyl over vinyl) paste is needed when doing overlaps such as in corners or when applying borders.

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Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Getting Intimate With the Room

December 13, 2011

In my last post, I mentioned going around the room wiping dust from the walls.

This reminded me of how many times a paperhanger goes over every inch of wall. During the various tasks required to strip, prep, and wallpaper a room, I’m going to touch every bit of wall many, many times.

Eventually I get familiar with everything – the wall with a bump in it, the corner that is not square, the section of baseboard that has a chip in it, the spot where food grease hit the wall that needs to be watched to be sure the primer has sealed it off to prevent bleed-through, the part over a cabinet where I have to open a door and “hook a toe” to keep my balance.

Once I’ve gone around the room several times, I have gotten to know every spot and idiosyncrasy quite well.

I call this “getting intimate with the room.”

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Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Dust

December 10, 2011

The old home was constructed with the typical horizontal bords, and originally had cheescloth-type fabric tacked to the boards, and then wallpaper pasted to the cheescloth; the standard method of the times (up through about the 1950’s, to be honest).

The new homeowners had thin 1/4″ Sheetrock installed over the horizontal boards, to give a smooth, flat wall surface. The joint compound covering the seams was then sanded, the walls were primed, and then, because primer “raises the grain” (lifted dust and hairs on the wallboard’s surface), were sanded lightly again.

So I walked into a room that was already prepped, with nice smooth, primed walls. But as soon as I looked at the walls, I noticed a very light layer of dust, left from the final sanding. Even though the walls had been wiped clean, a very fine layer remained.

Dust can be death for wallpaper. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but dust can cause a job to fail – because the wallpaper will stick to the dust, but not to the wall, and that means the paper can come away from the wall, especially at points of stress. With a paper like Bradbury & Bradbury, that needs to be hand trimmed, this often will happen at the seams – a tiny “pooch” or lifting of the seam, from floor to ceiling. Ouch!

So the first thing I did was to go around the entire room with a bucket of warm water and a sponge, wiping loose dust from the walls. The water and sponge are more effective at picking up dust, compared to wiping with a dry cloth. You should be able to brush up against a wall and not have any white powder come off on your hand or clothing.

Somewhat of a pain in the butt, but necessary to ensuring the end result will be perfect. (Actually, the whole process didn’t take more than a half an hour – and well worth the time.)

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Bradbury & Bradbury Job

December 8, 2011

This week I am working in a historic home in a small town an hour and a half west of Houston. The home was built about 1907, has barely been touched since then (meaning it’s in fantastic condition, with nearly all original features), and the homeowners are refurbishing it and keeping with the styles of the time.

For many people with historic homes, the obvious choice is Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper. This company makes reproductions and recreations of styles popular decades ago – Victorian, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, and much more. Please visit their site, and spend some time scrolling and clicking – selections and combinations are positively gorgeous!

I will make updates as this job progresses, and hopefully have photos to post on my website.

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Tile Guys and Wallpaper

December 6, 2011

Oh, how tile work can wreck wallpaper. If you’re having a bathroom remodeled, best to have “heavy” jobs, like setting toilets, retiling, installing shower enclosures, etc. done before the delicate wallpaper goes up. That reduces the chances of workmen or materials damaging the new paper.

Common problems with tile work in an area where there is wallpaper are:

1. grout or morter getting on the wallpaper

2. workmen’s finger prints getting on the wallpaper

3. sharp edges of tile, or tools, scratching or otherwise damaging the wallpaper

4. wallpaper being torn when old tile is removed, because tile is attached to the wall, and when it’s pulled away, part of the Sheetrock often goes with it – and that means the wallpaper is going along, too.

I got a call from a gal last week who needs repairs done after tile guys “tore the wallpaper and then secretly tried to fix it.”

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Good Taste

November 30, 2011

Got a call from a gal tonight, who wants paper put up in her entry, and it just so happens to be the very same Thibaut paper that I am seen installing in a photo on my website!

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Saving the Wall Texture

November 27, 2011

In a recent post, I talked about stripping off a mural that had hung on a dining room accent wall for more than a decade, so the homeowners could repaint the wall and show off a large piece of artwork.

The mural came off fairly easily, and with no damage to the wall, which pleased me.

Once I started getting pieces of the wallpaper off, I was able to see how the original guy had done the installation. He had “skim floated” the textured walls with “mud” (drywall joint compound, the same plaster-like material used to cover joints and seams in new wallboard), and then sanded the mud smooth, so the surface would be absolutely smooth and flat, with no bumps to mar the surface of the new mural.

I do the exact same thing; however, I always coat the new surface with a primer before hanging any wallpaper.

But the previous installer had not used a primer. This was good for me in two ways… For one thing, it’s usually very easy to get old wallpaper off a wall surface consisting of joint compound. It simply doesn’t hold paste as tightly as a primed or painted wall would.

Second, since the joint compound had not been sealed, it was easy to reactivate it with plain water. That meant that the joint compound could be wiped off the wall – revealing the original paint color and even the original wall texture.

Because the homeowners intended to paint the wall once the mural was removed, they would have to retexture it, and hopefully get the new texture to match the original texture that was on the other three walls of the dining room. This is very tough to do, even for an experienced painter, because the original texture had been blown on, which is quite difficult and costly to do in a room that has furniture, drapes, carpeting, and other things you don’t want covered with texture!

But in this case, I was able to easily wipe off the joint compound, revealing the original texture, which, of course, perfectly matched the existing texture on the remaining three walls.

This meant the homeowners had a room where all four walls matched, and they didn’t have to pay a painter to redo the texturing.

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Thibaut Cork Wallcovering Notes

November 19, 2011

The two papers I did the last two days were identical except for pattern – silver metallic cork by Thibaut.

Here are some notes about working with this unusual material:

I mentioned that I very much liked the fact that the manufacturer took the trouble to carefully wrap the ends of the bolts, so as to not damage the paper.

It surprised me that Thibaut recommended pre-mixed heavy duty vinyl clear adhesive. Usually with goods of a natural fiber on the type backing as this product, a super clear lighter-weight paste is used. Thibaut specified the heaver paste because it has less water content, reducing the possibility that the paste could oversoak the paper backing and cause the surface to come loose.

Oddly, there were differences in the two papers. Evidentally, the gold ink over the silver cork made a difference.

The information that came with the paper made it clear that there would be flaking of the surface, and some silver would come off, revealing the brown cork below – all this is normal. But I had no problem with the plain silver paper in this regard. However, the paper with the gold design on top did have a tendency to flake – in fact, many areas were loose even before I touched the product. (I simply glued them back down.)

I found that the more the paper was folded or bent during handling, the more likely it was to flake. Luckily, the strips were short, so I was able to avoid “booking” the paper (folding pasted side to pasted side) and could simply carry the entire unfolded sheet to the wall, which put much less stress on the cork covering and reduced flaking.

The goods with the gold design also seemed a little thicker, and therefore more difficult to press tightly into the corners and edges where cuts were to be made. This is important, because if the paper is not pressed tight against the wall when cut, there will be a thin gap between the paper and the ceiling or baseboard.

Finally, the two papers came with entriely different instructions. The plain silver paper had instructions and information specific to that cork paper. But the more exotic and expensive version with the gold medallion design came with the standard (very humorous, by the way) Thibaut installation instructions. I’m very glad I read the detailed instructions first, and also phoned the manufacturer to ask about recommended adhesives, before tackling these papers. They were not particularly difficult to install, but did take a little more concentration and finess and a little more muscle, too.

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Second Round for Cork Wallpaper

November 17, 2011

Tuesday I installed a silver cork wallpaper by Thibaut. Well, yesterday in another home, I did the same exact paper, but with a gold medallion superimposed on the silver. (I have no idea why that page is in Russian!)

While Tuesday’s paper had a very modern look and feel, yesterday’s paper with the traditional gold pattern was completely different. It had a formal feel with a large touch of elegance, along with an aged, weathered feel. The setting was a large formal dining room, and the finished room was gorgeous.

The homeowners, a family with teenaged kids, loved it, and are eager to – finally, after years of working on the house – get their room back together. Just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in their new dining room!

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