Posts Tagged ‘water damage’

Lively Starburst Kitchen Update

April 16, 2022
Sink / window area, primed and ready for wallpaper.
Pattern nicely centered on this wall and at ceiling line.
Breakfast area window wall before.
I tweaked the pattern just a tad so I could get the dark vertical line along the cabinets on the right, and then also down the left side where this wall meets the painted wall. It makes a nice stopping point for the eye, and it looks so much better than box motifs that might have been chopped in half.
The “star” design adds so much energy and life to this room!
The pattern is in the Sure Strip line of pre-pasted wallpapers by York Wallcoverings. I really like Sure Strip.
Graham & Brown makes a very similar design called Indigo, which is very popular. I like this one better, for lotsa reasons.
The home is in Pearland, a southern suburb of Houston.
Some previous posts show other rooms I did at that same time. The homeowners did a wonderful job of coordinating the colors and themes throughout the home, working with golds and greys.
The wallpaper and design help came from Ballard Designs new physical store on W. Gray in Montrose / River Oaks.
After I arrived to start work, the homeowner decided she wanted the paper behind the refrigerator and also over a bank of cabinets to the right over the ovens. I hadn’t measured for these areas, so we didn’t have enough paper. Ballard could order more, but it would take several weeks to arrive.
So I had the homeowner contact my favorite resource, Dorota Hartwig at Sherwin-Williams on University in the Rice Village. (713) 529-6515. She’s been slingin’ paper for decades, and knew right where to go that could supply the same paper in just a few days.
The additional two bolts arrived yesterday, so I was able to hang them and finish the job today, right on schedule. 🙂
This home suffered extensive water damage to the entire first floor due to burst pipes after the major freeze here in Houston in February 2021. It’s taken these folks more than a year to get their home back together. I was proud to help them get their home and lives back to normal – and a good bit prettier!

Kitchen With Burst Pipe Water Damage Fixed and Finished

December 24, 2021
This kitchen in the Spring area of north Houston suffered severe water damage from burst pipes during the hard freeze in February 2021. Nearly a year later, they are almost finished with repairs, including new drywall on bottom of walls, new cabinets, new plumbing, cabinets, electrical, and more. Here you see the contractor’s repair work on top of some of the original wallpaper, which dates to the early 1980’s! It was a good brand, and the installer did a great job. For various reasons, I opted to leave this wallpaper in place, and so skimmed over uneven areas and then primed on top of it with Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime.
The homeowner’s new choice is very similar to the previous paper, but with a more springy feel and a lot of upward movement. The area below the chair rail will receive another coat of paint to better define the correct yellow color. Or, the homeowner may switch to a green pulled from the leaves in the pattern.
This wall with the fir-down / soffit was a real bugger, for various reasons, and took me about four hours.
Looks so sharp against the white paint and tile!
The wallpaper was printed on a white substrate, so I ran black chalk along the edges of each strip, to try to prevent white from showing at the seams. Still, some of the strips shrank just a half a tad, and that did allow some white to show. This wallpaper is a non-woven material, which has a high polyester content, and is not supposed to stretch or shrink, so this is disappointing. Pasting the wall and dry-hanging the material would have probably helped. But the material was extremely thick and stiff, and plus the room had way too many turns and bends and angles, so pasting the paper made the most sense. These gaps are very minor, and only visible when viewed from straight on; from an angle you can’t even see them. On some papers, I can pull some tricks out of my bag and camouflage them. But with this non-woven material, don’t even try anything with paint, marker, chalk or anything else – it will surely stain the material.
The walls are smooth. The slight texture you see is the non-woven material. When an edge is torn, you can actually see the polyester fibers – a lot like fiberglass. This material is very strong, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate.
Manufacturer is Mind The Gap out of Transylvania (!), and the design is called Aquafleur, in the Anthracite color. The material comes as a 3-panel set, which they call one “roll.” The overall width of the A, B, and C panels side-by-side is about 5′, and the height is just under 10′. The height of the wall was less than 5,’ and the strips were nearly 10′ long, so at least 5′ was lost of each strip. Because the pattern was a mural type, rather than a typical repeating wallpaper design, even more paper was lost in working around the configurations of the room – for instance, a full 10′ strip would be needed to paper just one 9″ high strip above the door. So there was an incredible amount of waste – and this is a higher-priced boutique brand. But the lady of the house really loves it, and so she went with her heart.

’90’s Check to Magnolia Buffalo Check

February 2, 2019

The differences in the before and after photos are subtle, so look carefully!

This laundry room in a far-north neighborhood of Houston (Louetta & I-45 area) happily sported it’s black & white checkered pattern for many years. The wallpaper dated to the ’90’s, but still looked fresh, and the homeowner loved it.

But an unfortunate water leak caused damage to the window wall, and a poor repair job left a very visible pattern mis-match over the window. Then another water leak required new drywall to be patched in behind the washer and dryer (see top photo). So once the repairs were made, the homeowner wanted to redo the room, and do a little updating along the way.

I stripped the old wallpaper, performed necessary patching and prep, primed the walls with Roman’s Ultra Prime Pro 977 wallcovering primer, and came back the next day to hang the new paper.

The new pattern is also a black & white checkered design, but it’s larger-scaled, and is just large enough to be called a “buffalo check.”

It’s also a freer design – meaning that the wavy edges of the vertical and horizontal pattern, along with the watercolor features of the ink, afforded me some breathing room while dealing with walls and ceiling that were not perfectly plumb and level.

This pattern is in the Magnolia Home collection (Joanna Gaines) by York Wall. It was bought from my favorite source for good quality, product knowledge, expert service, and competitive price – 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.

Mildew, Bleach, KILZ

June 7, 2018

Whooah! I stripped off wallpaper from this wall around a window in a home that had some water damage from Hurricane Harvey, to find this black powdery stuff – mildew. You don’t want to put wallpaper over a wall that has mildew, because the black stuff will continue to grow. And because it’s chalky / powdery, it the wallpaper will not stick to it. And it will also work its way through the wallpaper and create a stain on the surface.

I use bleach to kill the mildew and remove it from the wall. Once dry, I use KILZ Original oil-based stain blocker to seal the surface. In this case, I also skim-coated the wall, to make it nice and smooth. I will follow that with a coat of Gardz, a penetrating sealer that is also a good product to hang wallpaper on.

A Small Repair Today – Plumbing Issue

March 15, 2018

This couple had water damage from Hurricane Harvey, and I repapered their powder room a month or two ago. Well, recently a pipe burst, and, long story short, they had to replumb the whole house. To run the new pipes, the plumbers had to cut holes in the drywall.

The top photo shows where the plumber patched a hole with a scrap of drywall. He left some irregular areas and rough edges that would show under the wallpaper. So I skim-floated over these areas and then sanded smooth, as you see in the second photo.

There was precious little paper left, so a patch was called for (rather than replacing the whole wall). From leftover paper that matched the pattern around the drywall patch, I cut along the pattern design (third photo). This would be less visible than if I cut a square patch with straight edges.

Once I put the patch into place, lining it up with the pattern on the wall, the repair was invisible. (The gap at the bottom will be caulked.)

Wallpaper Stained by Water Leak – Repair

February 25, 2017

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This wallpaper over kitchen cabinets had been stained by a water leak. Water ran down from the ceiling (see vertical stains in the first photo), and then pooled on the bottom edge, wicking up into the bottom few inches of the wallpaper (see second photo).

The original plan was to replace the whole section, but the left over wallpaper had been stored in the hot Houston attic for 35 years, and was way to brittle and fragile to be worked with. So I got out the artist’s brushes and the craft paints.

These are the little bottles of matt finish acrylic paint that can be bought at Michael’s. I mixed various amount of three different colors together, until I got a mix that matched the background pretty well. This was tricky, because paint looks a lot lighter when it’s wet, and it was had to predict how dark it would be when it dried.

But I got a pretty good match. See the last photo. I didn’t cover just the stain, but the entire area from stalk to stalk, to make the color as even as possible.

I covered the stains at the bottom of the wall, and a few of the horizontal stains near the crown molding. The homeowner said she could live with the vertical stains, and this is good, because painting in larger sections in more prominent areas would have caught the eye much more.

From even a short distance, you can’t even tell that there ever were any stains.

Have I Mentioned That I HATE Paper-Backed Solid Vinyl Wallpaper?

December 23, 2015

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Here are pictures of curling seams in a bathroom in a 1963 ranch style home in Meyerland (Houston). These older homes have low ceilings, poor air circulation, non-existent exhaust fans, and outdated air conditioning / heating systems. Which equals HUMIDITY. Humidity is the Great Enemy of wallpaper.

And these paper-backed solid vinyl wallcoverings are particularly problematic. In my opinion, the paper backing absorbs moisture (humidity) and swells, while the plastic top layer cannot, so the paper curls at the seams. The material also delaminates – which means that the plastic top layer will actually detach itself from the paper backing. The curling that follows cannot be “reglued.”

But this home has other issues going on. Besides the humidity and the delaminating, it looks as though the original installer did not properly prime the walls. It’s possible that his paste was not formulated to stand up against humidity.

But more important, over the years, many things have been done to this room. And so we have layers of original oil-based paint covered with latex paint, and on top of that patches of joint compound, and more layers of various products … and at some point, these disparate materials cannot keep holding on to one another, and may pull apart – resulting in curling wallpaper seams.

This room has also experienced water damage from a leaky window, and toilet, and roof. Water from those leaks got into the Sheetrock and deteriorated the internal structure, which became weak and then pulled apart. And when those internal layers pulled apart, the torque (stress) put on the walls by the drying wallpaper was enough to pull the layers of wall apart, and that can cause the wallpaper seams to curl.

Curled seams are not always just about the subsurface, though. When pasted, many of these papers will have their paper backing swell, and when the front plastic layer does not swell, then you have seams that curl backwards even before you get to the wall. And once on the wall, the product can continue to curl. Sometimes these seams will dry flat. But many times, the seams don’t look as good as they should, plus are ripe for swelling / curling more, once a little humidity is introduced into the room.

In my opinion, PAPER or the newer NON-WOVEN wallpapers, are better options.

Discolored Patch

February 8, 2012

I wrote previously about a job where I replaced one short piece over a door, which had been damaged by a water leak. The original wallpaper was a white grasscloth, that had been discolored – either by time, exposure to light, paste, or other.

Either way, the left over paper in the box that I was to use to replace the damaged strip was white, while the paper on the rest of the walls was tan. I discussed the color difference with the homeowner, and explained that there would be a very noticeable difference in color between the new patch and the existing paper. She was eager to get damaged piece replaced, and felt it would look better than the water stained piece hanging away from the wall. So I did the repair.

I removed the stained piece of grasscloth, scraped out loose Sheetrock damaged by the water leak, refloated the wall, sanded, and primed.

Replacing one piece in the middle of a wall is tricky, but it’s trickier even still when it’s a thick product like grasscloth, and one that can’t be wet or touched like you would a normal paper.
I was very pleased that I was able to get the new patch to fit the space perfectly. The repair looked great.

Except for the very noticeable color difference. It showed up even more, with the fresh new strip on the wall instead of in the box.

The homeowner noticed it, too, but still felt it looked better than when the damaged water stained strip was in place.




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