Posts Tagged ‘wallpaper’

COVID Supply Chain and Wallpaper Hanging

January 18, 2022

This sign was posted on the door at eye level when I visited Sherwin-Williams today.

The COVID-induced shipping container jam-up, driver shortages, fires and freezes at chemical plants – all these contribute to the lack of supplies in stores.

Luckily for me, as a wallpaper installer, few of the items I use have been affected.

To be honest, I don’t mind paying a bit more for materials. I’m mostly concerned about being able to obtain what I need to get my clients’ paper up on their walls!

Mostly I use primer, paste, and smoothing compound, plus razor blades. Luckily, all of these remain available in my Houston area. Sherwin-Williams is doing a great job of keeping me supplied!

Just in case, though, I’ve got a (small) stockpile in my garage. Just enough to get through a month or so, if needed. I don’t want to hoard and prevent someone else from taking care of his own clients.

More Work on Yesterday’s Delaminating Wall

January 15, 2022
Re yesterday’s post … after I got the wall stabilized, I skim-floated the surface to smooth it. That dried overnight, and today I sanded it smooth, vacuumed up the dust and then wiped residual dust off the wall with a damp sponge, and then primed with good old Gardz. I feel pretty confident that that wall is secure enough to withstand the tension of drying wallpaper. But, just to be sure, I applied a liner. A liner is a special paper that goes on the wall under the decorative wallpaper. In this case, the purpose is to distribute tension so that no stress is placed directly on the wall. So it’s important that the seams of the liner and the decorative wallpaper do not line up or fall on top of each other. This way any tension is dispersed and distributed, and any inner surface that wants to delaminate will be held in place by the layers of paper over it. In this photo, the section to the left has the new white liner, and I am moving toward the right to finish this wall.
t’s important that the liner be flat and that the seams lie down tightly, so no bumps or ridges show under the new wallpaper. I was really pleased with how these seams just melted away.
There are all kinds of liner papers out there. This one is a stiff, somewhat thin non-woven option made in Germany.
Using a liner does add to the cost of the installation, for both material and labor to hang it.

Wallpaper Coming Off – Delaminating Wall

January 14, 2022

An Unfortunate Situation

This Brooklyn Toile wallpaper by Flavor Paper on an accent wall in a nursery went up beautifully. The contractor had added new Sheetrock to one wall, and painted the other, old/original wall. I skim-floated both walls and sanded smooth, primed, and hung the wallpaper. Perfect! (Search here to see my original post.) But within less than a month, the homeowner contacted me and said that the wallpaper was ” coming off the wall .” It was a 1920’s bungalow in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston. And therein lies the brunt of the problem.
The wallpaper itself is not ” coming off the wall .” What’s happening is that the wall surface itself is coming apart – or, delaminating . This is because multiple layers of paint and other substances on the wall may not be compatible. A probably scenario: In 1920 oil-based paint was used. Later someone rolled on a coat of latex paint. Then the homeowners redecorated and used gloss paint. Then some ” flippers ” who had watched too much HGTV slapped on more paint without bothering to de-gloss or prime first. And somewhere in the mix you’ve got cheap paint and dust and other incompatible materials.
Over time, and especially when stress is put on the wall surface, such as when wet wallpaper paste dries and the paper shrinks, this stress can tug at the wall and actually pull these layers apart. There are other contributing factors, too, such as humidity, temperature, and location. I find it interesting that the worst parts of the affected seams were toward the top of the wall. This speaks of heat, humidity, and forced air (either hot or cold) coming out of the air vent just to the right of this wall. This photo is of the area over a door, very close to the air vent.
See how thick that is? It’s not just the wallpaper. There are several layers of wall coming apart. Some layers are clinging to the back of the wallpaper, and some are staying stuck to the wall.
Multiple layers, many years of coatings on this wall.
Easy to see the many layers. The paper itself, my blue primer, my layer of smoothing compound, paint, more paint coming off the wall. Then multiple layers of paint and texture still clinging to the wall. This shot is just below the ceiling.
Same thing happening at the baseboard at the floor.
Layers of paint separating from the wall in chunks. Some pulled off easily, and some I had to chop off with my 3″ putty knife.
Most of the paint and unstable surface material clung to the back of the wallpaper. This pile is just three strips – only half the wall. But it’s thick and stiff and heavy because of the paint stuck to the back of the wallpaper. There was so much and it was so heavy and bulky that I had to carry it out to my van in two trips. When I got home, it totally filled my trash bin.
Here’s the wall once all the other layers came off. Brushing my hand over it revealed a layer of dust. No wonder the paint and other coatings wouldn’t stick. Nothing sticks to dust. It’s like flouring a cake pan… The paint or wallpaper will kinda stick – but won’t really stick. Paint on top may be fine. But add a little stress from drying / shrinking wallpaper, and you may end up with layers that pull apart.
Wiping the walls with a damp sponge removed a lot more dust. But the wall still felt chalky. Whatever type of paint this was, it was not holding together.
I had to stabilize this chalky surface. Enter Gardz, a wonderful product – Gardz is a thin, penetrating sealer that soaks into porous surfaces and binds substances together. It dries hard and creates an intact surface. The darker area in the picture is where I’ve rolled on a test area. Gardz is thin like water, and it runs and drips and splatters. It’s imperative that you cover floors, countertops, and baseboards, and roll carefully, and roll upward rather than downward, to minimize runs and drips. A microfiber roller holds the liquid well, and reduces drips.
Gardz is made by Zinsser.
No photo of the finished wall, but I was very pleased with the stability of the surface. No more chalk or dust. Now, there still could be unstable or incompatible layers deeper inside the wall. (Latex paint over oil without proper prep.) But for now I feel pretty confident that this wall is solid and will hold up to the next process in preparation for getting the new wallpaper up.

Shimmering Foliage in Heights Powder Room

January 13, 2022
Primed and ready for wallpaper.
Vanity wall done. I placed the trees so they would frame the mirror and light fixture evenly.
The slope is the underside of the stairs. At first the homeowners said not to paper this sloped area, as it is considered part of the ceiling.
After the first wall was papered, we decided that the slope would blend in better if it were covered with paper.
I’ve hung this Shimmering Foliage pattern before, but this is the first time in this gorgeous colorway. It really sets off the pretty moldings and white vanity in the room.
In this close up, you see the embossed (raised) texture in the vinyl surface. The gold is not metallic, but it sure shines!
Made by York, in the Candice Olson line. Just about everything she touches is glittery and elegant.
This is a non-woven material, and can be hung using the paste-the-wall method, although I pasted the paper instead, which makes it more pliable and also ensures that paste will get to all areas, including around intricate moldings and behind the toilet.
Non-woven papers will strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
Houston wallpaper installer.

Protecting the Ends of Wallpaper Rolls

January 12, 2022
Cardboard end caps are a nice touch to try to prevent the edges of the wallpaper from being damaged during shipping.

I Have the Greatest Customers!

January 11, 2022

I was doing wallpaper consultations yesterday as I normally do on Sundays, and came upon this at the front door of one of my clients. How sweet and thoughtful is this?!

Multiple Drop Pattern Repeat

January 9, 2022
Re my recent installation of this pattern … Interestingly, this was a multiple drop pattern repeat, which is pretty uncommon, and mostly found in pricey boutique brands. Multiple drops can be pretty brain twisting to figure out. In a nutshell, moving horizontally, on a typical half-drop repeat, a design motif repeats itself on every other strip. Meaning, the blue tree will be at the top of the wall on the first strip. On the second strip, it will drop down, for instance, 10″. On the third strip, it will be back up at the top of the wall.
On a multiple drop repeat, that blue tree drops down 10″ on the second strip, then down 20″ on the third strip, and then finally appears back at the top of the wall on the fourth strip.
If you study the photo really closely, you will note that all those blue trees are not the same. Some lean to the left and some lean to the right. Across the nine strips it took to cover this wall, that blue tree appeared at the top only twice.
This is an easy thing to miss, especially when all the motifs look pretty much the same. Many a wallpaper installer has assumed he was working with a traditional pattern match, and cut all his strips at the beginning of the job – only to find the strips don’t match!

Colorful, Cheery Big Boy’s Room

January 9, 2022
Accent wall before. With a second baby on the way, this home office is morphing into a room for Big Brother.
Fun color and upward movement. The little guy will be able to live with this for many years, as it’s not strictly a nursery or baby pattern.
A thin, flexible non-woven paste-the-wall product by Exclusive Wallcoverings. I loved this wallpaper, and enjoyed working with it. I used the paste the wall installation method. It’s thin and hugs the wall tightly, and will be slightly more washable than traditional papers. In addition, it’s designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
The townhome is in the Museum District area of central Houston.

From Bland White to Captivating Black & Gold Geometric

January 8, 2022
Vanity area before. Note the nice homeowner had the plumber remove the wall-mounted faucet and handle. This made the wallpaper installation so much easier – and eliminated a zillion relief cuts around these objects that might later give entry for splashed water to wick under and loosen the wallpaper.
Done. I centered the pattern on the wall so it hits both corners equally, and it falls perfectly around the faucet (no photo). The light fixture was hung a tad off-center.
Burnished gold accents of the light fixture, faucet (to be installed later), and toilet paper holder, as well as a gold-painted ceiling, compliment the gold lines in the pattern, and really pull this room together.
This non-woven paste-the-wall material is made by Trend, and is in the Jaclyn Smith collection. It has a slightly textured surface, and appears to be vinyl on the surface. This makes is more durable and stain-resistant than most paper wallpapers. It is thin and flexible, and I liked it a lot.
The home is a contemporary new-build in the Lindale Park neighborhood of central Houston.

Tricky Pattern Match

January 8, 2022
This wallpaper pattern is comprised of “fat” diagonal stripes and “narrow” diagonal stripes. At first glance, they all look the same. But careful inspection showed that there were actually two sets of fat and narrow stripes. In this photo, I haven’t found the correct match.
By sliding one strip up to the next set of narrow lines, now I have the correct match.