Posts Tagged ‘walls’

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.

Tropical Foliage Re-Do – Peel & Stick Debacle UnDone

November 26, 2021
Re my previous post about an under-the-stairs powder room that the homeowners attempted to install an argumentative peel & stick material … here is the finished room after I stripped off the P&S, smoothed the walls, and hung the new wallpaper choice. I engineered to place the sole philodendron leaf down the center of the ceiling.
Where the under-the-stairs ceiling met the area over the door, the two surfaces came together in a very sharp angle. It was difficult to get in there and work, and to get the paper tight into the joint. Fingers can be too fat, so this is where tools can squeeze in there and save the day. This is also my kill point . Do a search here on that term for more info. A long story and maybe an hour or more of work, but you will note that there are no pattern mis-matches here. The homeowners were out of town, so I felt unpressured and could take as long as I needed to make these three areas look seamless.
I love the hand-painted, water colory look of this pattern.
This photo shows the joint where the walls meet the sloped under-the-stairs ceiling. A wallpaper pattern will never match perfectly in these situations. At first, I tried a few tricks to ” fool the eye .” But I decided it looked crisper and less distracting to just trim the two papers where they met. Here, we had the advantage that the tropical foliage pattern was busy enough that, I mean, really, when you step three feet back, who’s gonna notice a minor pattern mis-match, anyway? The pattern does match in the corners on either side behind the toilet, though (see photo). Even though this only 4.5″ high, it does lend subtle continuity to the room.
When I see Candice Olson, I fast forward to glitz and glam and glitter and shimmer. Here her tropical foliage design is a bit more main stream. York is the mother company, and I love their products.

This home is in the Heights neighborhood of central Houston.

Knuckle-Buster! Jaggedly Textured Ceiling

November 7, 2021

Yesterday I ran a bit of joint compound along the point where the walls meet the ceiling. Today I’m sanding it smooth, and next I will roll my wallpaper primer onto the walls.

But I’ve got to be careful while swiping my hand back and forth under that ceiling … The texture on the ceiling is craggly and pointy, and some stick down at least a half an inch … Way too easy for my knuckles or fingers to be sliced to ribbons!

Sanding Dust from Smoothing a Textured Wall

October 26, 2021
Bumps from textured walls look bad under wallpaper, and they interfere with good adhesion. To smooth a textured wall, I skim-float with joint compound (a plaster-like drywall material). Once it’s dry, I sand it smooth. This makes dust. In the photo above, the wall only needed a light skim-coat, so the sanding was minimal. Yet, you can see how much dust was generated. On the right is the “tent” of plastic I ran across the wall to prevent dust from getting to other parts of the room.
Here’s a closer look at the powder that has fallen to the floor. And also the sanding sponge I like. The 90 degree corners tend to be too sharp and can gouge the surface, so I take a scissors and trim that off. That’s the exposed red area you see along the edge there.

The next step is to vacuum up all this dust. Then residual powder must be wiped off the wall with a damp sponge, and you have to rinse the sponge frequently. The next step is applying a wallpaper primer. Once that’s dry, the wall is ready for wallpaper.

Foresty Pattern in Dining Room

July 3, 2021
Textured wall has been smoothed and primed – ready for wallpaper.
I love the way this coordinates with the green moldings.
The pattern is called “Pine.”
Manufacturer is Sandberg, a Scandinavian company. I love that their word for “pattern” translates to “monster.”

Can’t wait to do the remaining three walls tomorrow.

This is a non-woven (synthetic) material, and I hung this first wall with the paste-the-wall method. Due to the complexity and characteristics of the remaining walls, I may opt to paste the paper.

The homeowners had never used wallpaper before, so they were a little uncertain going in. Once they saw this first finished wall, they are thrilled!

The home is in the Tanglewood / Galleria area of Houston.

Bold Pattern Toned Down a Bit, Mural in Nursery

June 30, 2021
Before. Smoothed, primed, and ready for wallpaper.
After. It’s more of a “dusty salmon” than a true “pink.” The parents are leaning toward a light sage green for the remaining three walls.
Close up.
Mock-up. While this is a typical repeating pattern, the manufacturer chose to package it as a mural, rather than standard rolled goods. This format works well with digital printing, and allows murals to be custom-sized to fit any wall. (Note: This mural is only offered in a standard size, 12′ wide x 9′ high.)
Rolling panels out on the floor to check measurements, plot placement
Manufacturer is Koko Art, a family-owned business in Florida.

With its black outlines and over-scaled flowers, this pattern is a bit bolder than you see in most nurseries. But the muted tans and salmons keep the look soft and sweet.

The remaining walls will be painted, but Mom wanted to see the mural up on the wall and in the room’s lighting before she chooses a paint color.

This product was packaged as a 6-panel mural. While many murals these days are custom-sized to the customer’s wall, this one came in a set size – 12′ W x 9′ H. It’s important that the mural be 4″ wider and also 4″ higher than your wall, to accommodate trimming at floor, ceiling, and corners, and to accommodate wonky walls and unlevel ceilings.

Koko Art Shop offers three substrate options. Two were peel & stick, so I nixed that sorrowful stuff. Instead, the family chose this lovely pre-pasted option. It went up very nicely.

The home is in an established community in Cypress, far northwest Houston.

Oh, and – the baby girl was born early this morning. It was an honor to help get the room decorated and ready for her arrival home!

Today’s Popular Colors Calm a Power Room

June 20, 2021
Textured walls have been smoothed and primed. Ready for wallpaper!
The design looks as if it were sketched on with artist’s chalk.

Grey, tan, white, and cream are very popular colors these days, so this wallpaper suites the modern vibe of this newly updated home in the Willowbrook / northwest area of Houston.

Every time a family member snuck into the room to take a peak, the word I heard was “calm.” Indeed, this color scheme is truly calming.

The surface of the wallpaper has a unique, dry feel to it – almost chalky. It gives it a blissful, matt finish.

The manufacturer is Anderson Prints, in their Eco Chic line, and was bought from Ted at the Shade & Drape Shop on Richmond & Kirby.

Old House = Shifting Walls / Uneven Spaces

June 7, 2021

This house has been around since 1939.

Think the walls, doors, ceiling, and floors have shifted around over time? YES!

At first, your eye is caught by the 1″ difference in height between the left and the right of the area over the door.

But look more closely and you will see that the vertical space to the right of the door is uneven, too.

On the left side of the door, where two walls meet in a corner to the left of the door,,, if you look closely enough and can visually keep the two walls separate, notice that the rear wall is wider at the top than at the bottom – just the opposite of the dimensions on the wall to the right of the door.

Other walls in this hallway looked like this, too.

This “Willow Boughs” by William Morris is a good choice for wallpaper in this room. The pattern is busy enough to distract the eye from minor imperfections. And bets are that your eye won’t notice if the ceiling line starts moving up or down

Smoothing Textured Walls = Sanding Dust

May 19, 2021

This master bedroom had textured walls that needed to be smoothed before the wallpaper could go up. (Texture looks bad under the new wallpaper, plus it interferes with good adhesion.)

I “skim-floated” the walls with drywall joint compound (what we call “mud”). This is akin to troweling on plaster.

Once that was dry, I sanded the walls smooth. In the first photo, you see the amount of dust that is created!

In the second photo are my “sanding sponges.” Some are coarse, some are fine, and one is angled, all with specific uses. These became available maybe 25 years ago, and are a huge improvement over the sandpaper-wrapped-around-a-block-of-wood that everyone used previously.

The putty knife is used to knock off big globs or high ridges, before hitting the wall with the sanding sponges.

Actually, I used to use a hand-held electric sander. That tool was fast, but it put a whole lot of dust into the air, and it traveled all over the room.

The sanding sponges are hand-operated and don’t throw dust up into the air. Also, manufacturers have made improvements to the joint compound formula which encourage the dust to sink to the floor rather than become air-borne.

You still end up with a lot of dust, though. And it does sift all over the room.

No problem. I simply bring in my Shop Vac (not pictured) and vacuum up all the dust. There’s still residual dust, so I use a damp rag to wipe dust off the floor, and a damp sponge to remove dust from the walls. (Important, because wallpaper will not adhere to a dusty wall).

Note that the photo shows an empty room. In rooms that have furniture, I cover it with painter’s plastic. And in most situations, which are usually one accent wall, I put up a sheet of plastic along the wall, draped from ceiling to floor, which contains dust to the 3′ along the wall, and prevents dust from getting to the rest of the room.

I also want to note that I am a big proponent of drop cloths. The reason you don’t see them in this scenario is because you can’t vacuum dust off a dropcloth, because the dropcloth gets sucked up into the vacuum nozzel. Much easier to vacuum dust up off a solid floor, and then wipe up any residue.

I also want to note that all my ladders wear “booties” / baby socks on the feet, to cushion the client’s floors and protect against scratches.

Wild & Crazy & Fun Tiger Wallpaper

April 28, 2021
Before. The textured walls have been skim-floated and sanded smooth, and then primed.
Welcome to the Jungle!
Notice the watercolor-y look of this design. It reminds me of impromptu sketches by artists who work in “plein aire.”
“Frida” by Pepper Home

The homeowner was browsing Pepper Home’s website and was instantly smitten by this rather uncommon theme and design. It’s called “Frida.” It sure is fun!

This paper is sold by the yard, was custom-printed, and came in one continuous bolt (54 yards!). It had a selvedge edge that had to be trimmed off by hand (see future posts). The inks are clay-coated, which imparts a rich matt finish, and the substrate is way better than what many other companies are printing on.

I positively loved working with it. The trim marks were spot-on, minimizing a pattern mis-match at the seams. Once pasted and booked, the material became very supple and flexible, and it could be “worked” much better than standard brands. Even better – the seams virtually melted away (became invisible).

I ran silicone caulk along where the wallpaper meets the top of the sink. This will prevent splashed water from pooling on the sink and then wicking itself up into the new wallpaper – which could cause the new wallpaper to curl and peel away from the the wall.

The home is in the Memorial area of Houston.