Posts Tagged ‘wallpaper installer Houston’

Ask Before You Buy

March 29, 2012

Ahhh,,,Here’s a question I like to get – BEFORE the purchase is made.

I got an e-mail from a client who has been searching for wallpaper on-line. She sent me a link to a pattern she likes, and asked for my input. She has concerns about both the placement of the pattern on her walls, as well as the quality of the paper.

Well, as far as the pattern fitting the walls, that I can help her with once I am in the home and looking at the space, hopefully with a wallpaper sample book in hand.

The other concern – boy am I glad she asked. Not to knock a manufacturer, but Graham & Brown makes solid vinyl papers that I just do not like. Not much at all.

Solid vinyls usually have gritty porous manilla paper-like backings which tend to absorb moisture in humid conditions (bathrooms in humid Houston) and then the seams can curl – just a bit, so it’s not possible to repaste them. Also, that particular brand has seams that just never look good, even when the paper is freshly hung. I cringe whenever a customer buys it.

G&B has great marketing and is easy to find all over the Internet, plus the price is low, and the patterns are attractive. All reasons why so many people are drawn to it.

Luckily this lady contacted me and asked my opinion before hitting “Check Out.”

I suggested she contact Dorota at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet just west of Kirby, who can track down a similar pattern in a much better quality.

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wallpaper installer houston

Flaw of the Day

March 25, 2012

Thibaut 839-T-964..

Smeared ink leaving noticeable green streaks down the left side of one roll, about 2′ in length, ruining an entire 8′ strip.

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wallpaper installer houston

Painters Ain’t Decorators

March 24, 2012

I hung wallpaper this week in a home where PhilPaint was doing painting work. http://philpaint.com/ Excellent company, by the way, with nice guys and good work.  They can even do things like repair Sheetrock and install crown molding, saving the homeowner having to hire multiple companies.

Anyway, one of the painters would come into the room where I was working, to talk about wallpaper, and other topics. We had lots to talk about.

Then I mentioned how I had visited the client’s home to do the bid, and helped them look through wallpaper selection books. I started talking about pattern and scale and color and coordinating with furnishings, etc., and how much I enjoy helping people choose their papers.

Then I noticed the guy’s eyes starting to glaze over. He didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

“Don’t your painting clients ask you about color selections, or decorating ideas?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “They don’t ask, and I’m glad, because I would not know what to say about decorating.

Well, I guess that, from the customer’s point of view, paint and wallpaper are two different things. Paint mostly freshens a room, while maybe adding some personality if it’s a specific color. But wallpaper really makes a statement, and influences the whole feel and decor of the room. So the wallpaper choice really has a whole lot more to do with the final look of the room. And homeowners like to ask me my ideas about that.

Another thing is, I guess because I’m a gal, homeowners feel I’m more decorating-oriented, compared to the average painter guy, who would rather stick to his brushes and rollers than talk interior design.

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wallpaper installer houston, interior design, painter, homeowner

Flaw of the Day

March 13, 2012

Printers Guild Productions #EG21406

Very porous paper, absorbed the paste during the booking time, so by the time it got to the wall there was little paste left to adhere the paper to the wall. I had to repaste most of the seams.

This is a pattern with a huge red medallian on white background. Surprisingly, the red ink was not colorfast. As I wiped the paper with my damp rag, the red color would run and streak. When I needed to wipe the paper, I had to make sure that I wiped back into the medallian, not into the white space, in order to hide any streaking of the ink.

I think many of these issues are a result of manufacturers trying to “be green.” Well, I wish they would try less to be trendy and work harder to make QUALITY products. I also wish they would TEST papers before putting them on the market.

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wallpaper installer houston

Trimming Scalamandre

March 6, 2012

Most wallpapers come pre-trimmed by the factory.  But many of the high-end wallpapers come untrimmed,  meaning that the selvedge edge is in place,  much as with fabric.  This has to be trimmed off by the installer.

When I handle a hand-trimmed paper, usually I use the “double-cut” method – applying both strips to the wall side-by-side and overlapping the selvedge edges, then cutting through both layers with a very sharp razor blade, then removing the unneeded edges, creating a spliced seam.

This creates an absolutely perfectly butted seam, but there are potential problems, too.  One is the possiblity of scoring the wall, which can cause problems down the road if the paper shrinks or curls and manages to pull the wall surface with it – this will result in a lifting seam.  Another problem is that it almost always resutls in one of the “trim” lines printed by the manufacturer showing.

So this time, because the strips to be hung were short, I used the dry-trimming technique.  For this, I cut the 5′ strips before pasting, laying them on my 7′ table and using a 6′ straight edge and a very sharp razor blade.

Once the paper was hung, the resulting seam was OK.  But not as good as the seams that were double-cut on the wall.  There was some very minor gapping.  I noticed that the seams looked better and tighter as the paper dried.

The main problem with dry-trimming is that you can only get a perfectly straight cut for the length of your straight edge.  Once you move the straight edge to cut the next section of paper, you don’t have a perfectly straight edge.

I guess that’s not so awful, though.  The wallpaper manufacturers themselves can’t cut their own paper straight, even with fancy factory equipment.

So I guess you can say that a little imperfection is to be expected.

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wallpaper installer houston

Wallpaper Hangers’ Meet-Up – Validation!

March 2, 2012

At our First Ever Houston Area Wallpaper Hangers’ Networking Meet-Up February 19, we swapped a lot of trade secrets. One of the main topics was primers – something all of us feel is essential to a good and proper wallpaper installation.

Most everyone there uses some sort of latex or acrylic primer. I, on the other hand, am adamant about my oil based KILZ, for many reasons. (See previous post.) This generated a whole lot of discussion.

One fella arrived about an hour into our get-together. Theron Moore does really high-end wallpaper installations in very expensive homes. He’s always been something of an icon to me, and I was thrilled when he phoned and said he would be able to catch some of our meet-up.

I was even more thrilled when Theron said, very adamantly, that he also uses KILZ oil based, and even brings his own along when he does a job in California, for instance, where the product is not sold.

Yeaaay! Validation!!

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wallpaper installer houston

Houston Area Paperhangers’ Meet-Up

March 1, 2012

I mentioned that a number of us independent paperhangers got together on Sunday, February 19, for the first-ever networking meet-up.

While swapping stories, it became evident that most of us had shared the same experiences … the joys of seeing a room go from outdated to gorgeous and knowing that the client is happy, clients who love us for putting down dropcloths after the painters who were there the week before insisted they were “so good they don’t need dropcloths,” customers who do their own measuring and insist they need less paper than they actually do, the various flaws found in wallpaper, lugging 50lb buckets of paste up to the third floor bathroom, working behind the guy who hung the same paper on top of itself (We unanymously agreed that he must be paid by the roll or hour, and he was trying to use up paper or time), and the occasional customer who simply won’t rest until she’s fed you – and that can even include sitting down with the family and joining them for dinner.

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wallpaper installer houston

Spring Meadow Wallpaper

February 29, 2012

I’ve got a client looking at this paper for her to-be-born baby girl: http://www.dwellstudio.com/sparrow-meadow-wallpaper.html?utm_source=mediaforge&utm_medium=remarketing&utm_campaign=brand&utm_content=sale&utm_term=300×250

I was on line today and this image popped up. Hmmm. I wonder if that’s how she found it, too.

It’s unusual in that it comes in panels instead of rolls, and the width is 24″, which is not standard. It’s pre-pasted, which is unusual in “boutique” papers such as this.

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wallpaper installer houston

Flaw of the Day – Scalamandre

February 23, 2012

Scalamandre WP88213-2 “Daphne” http://visualaccess.scalamandre.com/wwiz.asp?wwizmstr=OE.PATTERN&TEMPID=SCALA*16111*40786&PGNO=2&pattern=01!WP88213

Scalamandre is a very high-end paper, and I was somewhat surprised to find them making this type of paper….falling into the eco-friendly craze, I guess … spongy feeling, “paste the wall” idiocy, and “no need to cut, hang directly from the roll” – what is THAT all about?!

Anyway, back to defects… The paper was carefully wrapped in a box and protected with bubble wrap, but still had banged edges.

In addition, because of the thickness of the eco-friendly material, when rolled up and wrapped in plastic, the horizontal end of the strip was pressed into the roll, leaving a very noticeable line across the width of the paper, going into the roll several wraps deep. This meant I had to cut off and throw away at least one full repeat, which, in this case, is two feet. That’s on each double roll.

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wallpaper installer houston

Houston Independent Paperhangers Comraderie

February 21, 2012

Yesterday, for the first time ever, a bunch of us (9) independent Houston area paperhangers got together – to meet one another, network, talk shop (wallpaper, primer, techniques), talk business (marketing, inventory, expenses), swap war stories, and discuss benefits of being members of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers.

Five others had RSVP’d but were unable to attend, and I’m sorry about that.  Oddly, although I contacted several times some of the “chain” type sales and installation companies, none of them attended our meet up.

We have been talking about this for at least a decade, so it was great to finally have it come about. Everyone felt comfortable right away, and we had a grand time. For 3 1/2 hours, the conversation never ebbed – not even when our food orders came out and everyone started eating.

Although we all earn our livings in the same general area, there was never a sense of competition or jealousy or resentment. Just sincere desire to meet one another, hear of others’ experiences, share tips, and honestly try to help one another out.

It was a very positive experience, and I’m sure we will be getting together in the future, and perhaps starting a chapter of the NGPP here in Houston.

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wallpaper installer houston