Posts Tagged ‘wallpaper lady’

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.

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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!