Posts Tagged ‘wallpaper lady’

Old Client Says Hello

March 11, 2023

So I was leaving work for the day and loading up my van . A couple was walking down the street with their large Labradoodle dog . They read the signs on my truck , and I could hear them bantering around ” Wallpaper Lady .” So I turned and greeted them. From across the sidewalk, the guy shouted, “You papered our son’s nursery – back in 1997.” !!
I did a whole lot of wallpaper jobs in the West U / West University ( Houston ) area, back when the neighborhood was evolving and attracting young families . How cool to reunite with one of them!
Oh, and, for the record – that kid is now 25 years old!!

No Other Workmen In My Area, Please!

February 14, 2023
That request/point is made in both my initial Info Pack, and then in my Pre-Install Check List. Yet sometimes Install Day rolls around and we hear, “The painters will be working in another room – but they won’t be in your way.” Oh, no? Then, AFTER I told them I was getting set up and asked them to collect any materials they needed out of the room, then WHY did they need to come through my workspace AGAIN?!
And I’ll guess a bigger question is WHY CAN’T THEY KEEP THEIR FILTY SHOES OFF MY TOOLS AND SWEATSHIRT??! I mean, just walk around it. Or, better yet, wait 8 seconds and I’ll move things out of their way.
BTW, that’s not a dirty floor. That’s my padded moving blanket spread out to protect my client’s hardwood floor. Along with my sweatshirt and blue dropcloths in what I thought was a safe, out-of-the-way place.
So, homeowners, when the Wallpaper Lady is there to install your paper, please make sure that ALL work is FINISHED and that ALL workmen are OUT OF THERE. Yes, we WILL be in each other’s way.
End of rant. 🙂

Backyard BBQ Treat

September 12, 2022
I was working into the evening, as often happens, and my clients had guests over for a summer dinner – straight from the grill. They were kind enough to offer me a bite. The Wallpaper Lady doesn’t usually eat meat, but this was a really tasty treat. The beef is farm-raised by friends of the family, and you can really taste the difference.
I had to take care to keep the food far away from my pasting table and hanging area, and to wash my hands after every bite – one drop of grease or sugar or the like will stain the new wallpaper.

Graffiti Garage Doors – Boys’ Room

January 19, 2022
Boys’ accent wall smoothed, primed, and read for wallpaper.
Just – WOW!
Close-up. This really looks like a painted metal industrial door!
Each boy has a bed shaped like a race car. Temporarily tumped on its side while the mural goes up.
Standing on end, until the Wallpaper Lady finishes.

The mural was purchased on-line from one of those middle-man sites that I recommend against. There was scant information, and no installation instructions. But it turned out to be a very nice product and I enjoyed working with it.

Somebody Broke Into the Wallpaper Lady Mobile!

January 3, 2021

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I had finished my Sunday afternoon of visiting clients and came out of the grocery store to find the back of my van a disheveled mess. I went to open the side doors and found that someone had “popped the locks” on the side doors and the front passenger door. First photo – note that there is no silver key lock mechanism inside the door lock hole.

I have a large van with a long wheelbase and a poor turn radius, plus I need room to open the side doors, so I like to find spots away from other cars that I can pull straight through. So some #&*Q$*^@#$%’s pulled alongside in their own big view-obscuring van, jammed a screwdriver into my locks, and helped themselves.

What did they take? These obviously were painter or other workmen type jerks, targeting work trucks (saw the Wallpaper Lady signs on my van) because they stole boxes of joint compound, paint brushes, paint rollers, my 15 year old filthy Shop Vac, my laser level, a powerful floor fan, and even half empty cans of wallpaper primer. I mean, what are they going to do with wallpaper primer?! They’re probably the kind of “workmen” who pour it into a paint can and tell the homeowner, “This is top of the line quality paint.”

I am very lucky that my ladder and my toolbox were not in the van, because I had been working on a project in my own house.

They also got CD’s (like criminals are going to listen to the 5th Dimension and Enya!), my gym bag (with the only pair of swim goggles that fit me 😦 ), and my garage door opener – along with my insurance card with name and address.

So I made a mad dash to get home and unplug the opener before they could get to my house and try to get in.

Replacing the stolen equipment, garage door opener, and fixing the broken locks and having these new “hockey puck” very secure honker locks installed took two full days, and cost nearly $1,600, not counting time off work and lost income.

Makes me so mad!

Not just taking things that belong to someone else – but stealing someone’s livelihood.

(This happened in summer 2016.)

The Wallpaper Lady Takes a Virus Sabbatical

April 2, 2020

As of this afternoon, and after too many nights lying awake worrying about social distancing, definitions, and wondering what my vehicle is doing on the road and what I am doing out of the house, I have decided to shutter the Wallpaper Lady until this virus thing is over.

“Home maintenance” is allowed. But simple decorating is not “home maintenance,” nor is it “essential.”

I’m not worried about catching or spreading the virus, and my clients have all been fine with the 6’ rule.

But it’s a matter of complying with the mandates, and working with the community to contain this horrible plague that has popped up from out of nowhere and is ravaging the globe.

We need to take this thing seriously, and follow the rules.

Once we get the go-ahead to move about again, I will be in touch!

Wha-Oh….Contractor’s Poor Job at Smoothing Wall

December 22, 2017

We had a “situation” on this job, and the contractor had to rip out some drywall and quickly replace it. The work crew did a good job on the interior areas of the drywall. But where the drywall met the corners and edges of the room, and where it abutted the balusters on the stairway as you see in the photo, they dropped the ball. Some of their joint compound (the plaster-like substance that is used to smooth surfaces and to cover joins in drywall), got onto surrounding areas. See photo.

Joint compound will wipe off easily enough with water and a rag. But in this instance, it’s thick enough that I am not sure it will wipe off. And, if it does, or if it can be chipped off the painted surfaces, it will probably leave a gap or rough surface, neither of which is good for wallpaper to stick to.

When I smooth walls, I have a special technique that I use in corners and along edges, that ensures that the paper will have “a good bed to lie in.” I also remove any smoothing compound that gets onto walls or woodwork.

Just another reason to let the Wallpaper Lady do ALL the prep.

Killing Mildew

November 2, 2017

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Yeowee … this wall has a lot of issues with torn Sheetrock (the dark brown areas), but more important – the black stuff that you see in the top photo is mildew.  Not good.  Mildew is a living organism, and it can grow and grow.  It’s powdery, and so as it spreads across the wall, it can separate from the wall (delaminate), which means that the wallpaper is at risk of falling off the wall.  Mildew can also travel right through wallpaper, creating a ghost-like shadow of dark – or sometime pink – discoloration.

Mildew is usually caused by moisture.  It’s not clear what caused the problem in this powder room in a 1957 home in the Tanglewood area of Houston.  It could be a leak in the wall (pipe, window, roof, lawn sprinkler outside hitting the wall).  Or it could be that the solid vinyl surface of the previous wallpaper prevented air from getting to the backing, and so that it could not dry out, and then it held dampness against the wall – which created the perfect breeding ground for mildew.

Getting rid of mildew requires a few steps.  First, it must be wiped and scrubbed with chlorine bleach, then rinsed clean.  Once the wall is dry, a coat of a quality stain-blocker is applied.  I like oil-based KILZ Original, but other options include Zinsser’s B-I-N stain blocker.

Once the stain blocker is dry, the wall can be coated in a wallpaper primer.

It Pays to Have Your Name on Your Truck

May 31, 2017

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Years ago, one of my clients, a business owner and a smart man, told me that I should have my name on my truck. I ignored his advice. A year later I was working for the same guy, and he admonished me for not having my business advertised on my vehicle.

So this time I followed his suggestion – and it has proven to be sage advice.

I could give lots of examples, but here’s the latest… I was working at a client’s home, the next door neighbor looked out the window and saw my van with my “Wallpaper Lady” name on it, she had a wallpaper project of her own she wanted done, she knew that her neighbors researched craftsmen and hired only the best ( 🙂 ), and so she walked over and put this note on my windshield.

Voilà! I have a new client, and the homeowner will soon have a beautiful newly redecorated powder room!

How I Got My Name

March 30, 2010

Way back when I was starting up my business, I attended a seminar given by SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). During the segment about choosing a name for your business, one thing them emphasized strongly was to pick a name that would be easy for people to think of and remember.

My business name, The Wallpaper Lady, fills that bill perfectly!

But I can’t take credit for that clever and valuable name. To be honest, it was my clients’ children who gave me that name.

You see, often when I would arrive for work, if the kids beat the parents to answer the door, They’d take one look at me, turn toward the inside of the house, and holler, “Mommmm! The Waaaallpaper Lady is here!!”

I heard that so many times, I got used to being thought of as “the wallpaper lady.” And soon I snapped to the idea that it would be the perfect name for my business.

The words “wallpaper” quickly state what I do, it tells clients that the work will be done by a woman (important for many of my female clients), and it’s catchy and easy to remember.

I registered it with Harris County (Texas) and have been using it ever since!