Posts Tagged ‘wallpapering’

Manipulating a Thick, Stiff Paper Around a Curved Wall

July 2, 2018

Curved walls like this pose a problem when wallpapering, because it’s virtually impossible for the framers and drywall guys to get the walls perfectly smooth and straight without bows or dips or humps. You may not see these imperfections when looking at the wall. But they can cause difficulties when hanging wallpaper.

Wallpaper wants to hang straight, and must have a straight edge for the next strip to butt up against. Walls that are not perfect can throw paper off-kilter, and can create wrinkles, bubbles, or an un-straight edge that will show gaps or overlaps when the next strip is butted against it.

Some papers are more pliable and malleable than others, and can be tweaked and twisted into compliance. In contrast, the non-woven material I am working with here is thick and stiff, and unwilling to conform to anything other than flat wall. As you can see in the second photo, by the time three strips were up on this curved wall, some wrinkles had inevitably formed in the last strip.

Non-woven goods have the installation option of pasting the wall. But I preferred to paste the paper, for several reasons, but mostly because that would give the paper a bit more softness and flexibility.

Because the paper had become soft and flexible, I was able to work those wrinkles out. It took time and finessing, but the paper ended up flat and smooth against the wall, and the seams were butted without gaps or overlaps.

This wallpaper pattern has a thick gesso-like texture on a metallic silver background – Quietly glamorous, really. It is by York in their Candice Olson line, and was bought at below retail price from Dorota Hartwig at Southwestern Paint on Bissonnet near Kirby. (713) 520-6262 or She is great at helping you find just the perfect paper! Discuss your project and make an appointment before heading over to see her.

Wallpaper Fit For A – Man

May 20, 2016
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My lady clients are usually thrilled at the idea of wallpapering their rooms. Their male companions, on the other hand, are often reluctant, mostly because they think wallpaper is all flowers and chintz and gooey froofroo.

Not anymore – today, there are plenty of gender-neutral selections. Some options are geometric patterns, textured goods, and neutral colors. This paper is a good example of a geometric pattern on a textured medium (grasscloth), in a neutral color.

This finely textured grasscloth is by Phillip Jeffries (pattern #8356), a higher-end brand. There is a bit of a shimmer to the background, and a fuzzy diamond motif imposed on top. In the close-up shot, you can see some of the color variation between strips, that is common with these natural products.

There is also a small bit of fraying at the seams, because when the strips are cut at the factory, the strings are also cut, and, well, there is nothing to hold them down tightly to the paper right at the edges. This is not very noticeable at all from a few feet away.

I hung this in a powder room with 12′ high ceilings in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston.

Tidy Workmen – For a Change

April 22, 2015

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I am wallpapering in a newly-built house that is still having some tweaking going on. Today the doorbell guys came to install new equipment.

I was mighty surprised – happily so – when I saw how this worker carefully protected the client’s hardwood floors before setting down his tools. He also put booties over his shoes, before entering the house.

Cartoon Hits Close to Home

February 9, 2015

The first 10 minutes of this cute cartoon are about wallpapering a girl’s room – and the resulting domino effect of events that follows.

Trading a 9′ Mis-Match for a 1’er

October 11, 2014

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When wallpapering a room, the last corner always ends in a pattern mis-match. So usually I minimize it by hiding it behind door, or the like. But in this dining room in a new home in Bellaire, all four corners were fully visible. If I had ended the pattern in the same corner I started in (first photo – one wall is done, the white wall is primed and waiting for paper), the result would have been a mis-match that ran from floor to ceiling – a full 9′!

Putting the mis-match over a door or window usually is too noticeable. But that’s what I did today, and it turned out to be barely noticeable. In the second photo, the two walls will be papered moving from left to right, to meet with the start point over the window. You can see where the paper coming from the right has stopped over the window. This is where I will place my mis-match.

Because the pattern is fairly busy, and because the colors are muted, and because it’s high up over a window, and because the lighting in the room is fairly dim, all those factors worked out to a good spot to place the mis-match.

Keep the Site Clean – OR ELSE!

October 9, 2014

Digital ImageI don’t often work in new construction homes where other workmen are still working (too much dust, noise, confusion, theft, messing up my beautiful new wallpaper, etc.). But this week does find me wallpapering in a home where workmen are doing final touches before the family (just had their first baby!) moves in.

This builder must be a step above – I have seen signs before saying “No Zapatos” (“No Shoes”) in order to protect the new floors. But this is the first time I’ve seen this one. I love it!!

Keeping trash in it’s place is really important, because you’d be surprised at the damage caused by debris and grit on floors, in bath tubs, on countertops, etc. Damp rags, chemicals, food, and the like can all cause damage, too.

Exhaust Cover… What Exhaust Cover??

June 19, 2014

Digital ImageI don’t normally recommend wallpapering vent covers, but the one in this Rice University area powder room was dirty and covered in a sad coat of flaking paint. Plus, I had an extra half-hour and was up to the challenge.  🙂

The louvers on this vent cover had two levels, which made things a little more tricky, and a little less precise. But from a distance, the overall effect helps the cover fade into the background.

I did this as a surprise for the homeowner, and she loved it.

I Got Out My Paper-Stretcher ;)

May 17, 2014

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Digital ImageWhen wallpapering a room, the last corner is usually going to be a mis-match. Usually it’s put behind a door, or somewhere where the drop (length) is short, so you don’t see much of it.

In this powder room in Missouri City, the last corner was a full-length drop, and very visible. Even though this toile pattern is pretty busy and the mis-match would have been a little obscured, I wanted all four corners to have the proper pattern. So I did something different.

Instead of putting the mis-matched spot in the corner, I opted to put it over the door (top photo). The mis-match would only be about a foot tall, as opposed to eight feet. And, really, how many people look up over the door when they’re in a bathroom, anyway? still, a mis-match smack in the middle of a space is much more obvious than one in a corner. But I figured that with the busy toile, I could disguise it well enough.

I was really lucky this time, because, coming around the room from the right, the pattern almost matched up with the pattern on the left. But there was still a gap of about 2″.

What I did was … see how there are two stripes, a light one and a dark one, that are slightly wider than the others? I carefully spliced pieces together, widening two stripes ever so slightly, to help fill that gap. Because of this, the pattern also repeated itself – Look very closely and you’ll see how the castle in the middle of the photo has double elements, and how the goat has two butts.

I used a pencil to doctor the lines on the castle, so it would look less repetitive. The goat’s hiney I left alone. I mean, who’s looking a that?

Now look to the right, and you’ll see that a portion of the fence in the design at the upper right repeats itself. What I did was, I split the strip of wallpaper between a light and a dark stripe, then took another, identical, strip, and from the same design, cut out a chunk with a light and a dark stripe. On the wall, I pasted this thin strip in between the original split strip.

In the finished header (the strip over the door), you can barely notice the repeated design elements, nor the slightly wider stripes. This looks much better than the alternative – a full-length mis-match in a very visible corner of the room.

Nothing special going on in the bottom picture; it’s just showing the pretty pattern. This wallpaper is by WallQuest

Monica & Jess’s Advice for Hanging Wallpaper – from Knock It Off TV Show

November 30, 2013

A quote from their blog: “I’m going to give you the basics of how I install wallpaper,,, and the number 1 thing I do is find someone (other than my husband) to install it with! We work together on almost every project, but wallpaper is one of those things that’s just better for our marriage if I find someone else to do it with.” 🙂

Here’s the link to their wonderful blog, all about decorating on skinnnny budget, East Coast Creative. You’ll find some wallpapering projects there, too. 🙂

The Paste-A-Dot Trick

November 17, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageCeilings and walls are not always level and plumb. When you have a geometric design like this trellis, any deviation will show. See how the dot on the right is being cut off, as the ceiling line moves downward?

Sometimes, a large part of wallpapering is fooling the eye. My trick today is cutting dots out of scrap wallpaper, and pasting them at the top of the wall, covering up the ones that were being cut in half. The eye would catch if a dot were cut in half, but it would not likely notice that the lattice design is a little shorter than the one on the left.

Yes, pasting on an appliqué adds a little thickness, but up at the top of a 9′ high ceiling, it’s not visible.

I had to do the same thing along the top of the vanity, because the right side was 1/2″ higher than the left side.

This fun pattern is by Thibaut Designs, one of my favorite brands to work with.