Posts Tagged ‘west university’

Making the Best of Plumbing Problems

May 22, 2022
OK, so this master bathroom suffered a water leak, and the plumber had to cut through the drywall in the potty room in order to access the shower fixtures.
Here the contractor has replaced the cut-out piece of Sheetrock. He did a really nice job. For the most part. Of course, he didn’t bother to remove the wallpaper before doing his repairs. This is vinyl paper (thick, slick, slippery, backing absorbs moisture) and really should have been removed first.
But I was able to work around the patched-in area.
The prep for this small room was a lot more involved than I anticipated, and required an extra day. Too complicated to get into, but there were two layers of wallpaper, and no primer by either of the previous installers. Original install dates back to the ’80’s. It took me a day and a half just to do the prep on this small commode room.
The room finished. Note the stripes centered nicely on that back wall.
The pattern and material were chosen to coordinate with the green stripes in the main area of the master bathroom.
Kill point (final corner) over the door. I “shrank” some sections in order to get even widths and maintain the pattern repeat and match.
The plumbing problem also damaged an area on this wall outside the water closet. So this area around the door needed to be replaced. The homeowners didn’t have any left over paper, so they chose something similar in color, style, and composition to the green striped paper you see to the right.
Here is that transition door wall finished.

We decided to use the stripe to define the ‘break’ between the two patterns.
The alternative would have been placing the stripe against the door molding … but I felt that would be too repetitive, plus it would have left a cut-off section of flowers running along the side of the green stripe, and same on the opposite side of the door frame.
And, yes, the wall definitely is not straight, square, or plumb.
And here is that opposite side of the door frame, with the stripe running nicely along the shower tile.
Some overlapping was involved in this job. Since the wallpaper is vinyl, and vinyl is slick, you need a special paste to be able to grab ahold of the glossy surface. These days, I sure don’t use often border paste, also sometimes called VOV or Vinyl Over Vinyl . But I was mighty glad to find this 10+ year old container deep in the bowels of my van. Still fresh and sticky, too!
Besides borders not being popular today, these “satin” and “silk” look wallpapers are not very common. But this is exactly what the homeowners were looking for, to coordinate with the existing, 30-year-old paper in their master bath. Saved them having to replace all the wallpaper in both rooms!
This paper is very economical, too. The couple shopped with Dorota at the Sherwin-Williams in the Rice Village, and she was able to track down the perfect material, pattern, and color.
Now, aside from all the positive things I just said about this paper in this current application, I do want to make clear that I am not at all fond of this type material. Without getting into a long schpiel here, please click and read the page link to the right “Stay Away From Pre-Pasted Paper-Backed Solid Vinyl …. ”
I will also add that I’ve developed a technique to work with these materials, and so far the installs, including today’s, have been going nicely.
One double roll bolt had some of these blue mark printing defects running through about half of it. Luckily, most of these were on a section of paper that was cut off in order to turn a corner, so was discarded and not put on the wall.
Exclusive Wallcoverings is the manufacturer. Usually I work with their non-woven or traditional paper products, which are quite nice.
The home is in the West University area of Houston.

Hallway Wallpaper Repair – Thibaut Honshu

December 11, 2021
This couple in the West University neighborhood of Houston loves color and avant garde – unexpected and fun! I hung this Honshu wallpaper by Thibaut in their small hallway at the beginning of the pandemic – April 2020. Since then, they decided to change the faucets and showerhead in the bathroom on the other side of this wall. To access the pipes, the plumber had to cut a hole in the drywall. The ‘guy’ that this couple uses did a fantastic job of cutting the drywall, preserving the wallpaper, and then patching the hole. You can even see that his cuts are perfectly level and plumb!
Slapping wallpaper patches over the two holes would have probably sufficed. But I wanted to make it better, so I stripped off and replaced the old wallpaper. This meant patching the guy’s drywall repairs. I didn’t get a photo, but I used drywall tape and joint compound to even out the areas. A heavy duty floor fan plus a heat gun helped get the smoothing compound to dry in a few hours. I sanded smooth and applied wallpaper primer, and ended up with what you see in the photo.
To conserve paper, instead of replacing the entire two strips from ceiling to floor, which could have caused some problems with matching the pattern on the left side, I patched in about one foot down from the ceiling line. To disguise the appliqued area, I used a scissors and trimmed around the wallpaper design, as you see here. This is less visible than a straight horizontal cut.
In this photo, the two strips have been put into place. You could never tell there was a hole (or two) !

Bathroom Goes from Young Girl to Teen

April 22, 2021

The original classic trellis pattern by Thibaut was pumped up by the hot pink color. I hung it about six years ago for a young girl’s bathroom. It held up beautifully, even without stains from toiletries that you might expect in a child’s bath.

But now the gal is a teen, and she wanted something calmer. Enter “Priano” by Serena & Lily, one of my favorite patterns and also one of my favorite wallpaper manufacturers.

It’s a soft, easy-to-live-with pattern with fluid movement.

The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

Repairing Damage from Remodeling

March 5, 2021

I hung this paper in a little boy’s bedroom about two years ago. Now a new baby is coming, so Son #1 is moving from the nursery to his “Big Boy’s Room” next door. In the process of the shuffle, the parents had the connecting Hollywood bathroom updated, and this involved moving a door – which meant messing up the wallpaper.

As you can see in the top photo, instead of taking the time and effort to remove the wallpaper, the workmen put their patching compound right on top of it. I don’t like hanging paper on top of paper, for many reasons. There are adhesion issues. And also, for one thing, it’s not good to have seams fall on top of seams. For another, because the new paper is somewhat thick, you would have a visible ridge from top to bottom along the edge of the new strip.

So I took a razor knife and cut roughly around the workmens’ patch. Then I stripped off the paper around it, up to the edge of the adjoining strip. I did this on both sides of the corner.

This wallpaper is of a non-woven material, and is designed to strip off the wall easily and in one piece when it’s time to redecorate. I was pretty disappointed that that turned out to not be the case.

On the other hand, I was happy that it didn’t. Stripping paper that way puts a lot of stress on the wall surface, and you can end up with delamination (coming apart) of various layers under the paper (primer, skim-float, paint, drywall).

So I used a more labor-intensive, but lower-impact method. Click my page to the right for more info on the process. I first stripped off the top, inked layer of paper. That left the white backing still adhering to the wall. I used a sponge to apply plenty of water to this backing. The idea is to reactivate the paste that is holding it to the wall. Once that paste was wet enough, the backing pulled off the all cleanly and easily.

I was really pleased that my primer from the original install held up perfectly under all this soaking and tugging. I had worried that it might “rewet” and pull away from the wall, which had been my experience with it before. I had used Gardz, a penetrating product designed to seal torn drywall. It’s also good at sealing new skim-coated walls. And wallpaper sticks to it nicely, so all the better!

One photo shows you the stripped off area next to the edge of the remaining strip. You can see the thickness of this existing strip. The new wallpaper will butt up against this, and there will be no ridge because the thicknesses of both strips are the same.

Another photo shows my stripped-off area next to the contractor’s patched area. There is a difference in height between the newly revealed wall and the patched area – and that will show as a ridge or bump under the new wallpaper.

To eliminate that difference in height, I skim-floated over the area. In one photo, you can see the wet (grey) smoothing compound. I set up a strong floor fan to assist in drying. My heat gun also came in handy.

Once it was dry, I sanded it smooth. Now you don’t see any transition between the newly exposed wall and slightly higher patched area. I applied Gardz to the all the newly patched areas. Set up the fan again. And once it was dry, I put up the replacement paper.

It’s a good thing the family had paper left over from the original install. If they had had to purchase new paper, it could have come from a new Run (slight difference in color shade), and that would have meant stripping off and replacing three walls.

We had barely enough paper. The corner was out of plumb by as much as 1/2″ from floor to wainscoting, on each side of the corner. That adds up to an inch out of whack. That one inch meant we needed a whole new strip of wallpaper, to get the paper on the wall to the left to match up with that on the wall to the right.

Long story short, the whole thing turned out great. There is a bit of a mis-match in that corner, but it’s not very noticeable at all.

The wallpaper is by the Scandinavian company Boras Tapeter.

The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

Dramatic Update for College Age Girl’s Room

December 24, 2020

The furniture, bedding, artwork, wall paint, in this bedroom of a college-aged girl are all pretty neutral. The mother wanted bolden things up with a dramatic accent wall behind the headboard. This would be a surprise when the gal came home from school for the holiday.

One wallpaper choice was the Phillip Jeffries “Wish” wallpaper. Well, anything with that designer’s name is going to be really expensive. Plus the cost of smoothing the wall and hanging the paper.

Dorota Hartwig of DMH Designs (dmhdesigns44@gmail.com) found this – very similar pattern, but much more affordable price. It is by Wallquest, one of my favorite brands, and is called Dandellions.

In one photo, you see the paper rolled out so I can see the full-size pattern and determine how I want it placed on the wall, behind where the headboard will go.

In the last photo, you see a scrap of dark chalk which I used to color the white edges of the wallpaper, to prevent them from peeking through at the seams.

The home is in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

A Really Nice Faux Finish Job

December 3, 2020


Faux finish wall treatments like this were all the rage in the ’90’s. This one was exceptionally well done, partly because it is subtle.

I think it still works wonderfully today. In fact, if I visualize this dining room as it is now, with its visual movement and depth, and how it might look with just plain dark red paint, I would vote for the current version – hands down!

Nonetheless, the homeowner is ready for an update, so I will be covering up this beauty with wallpaper starting tomorrow.

This is a dining room in the West University neighborhood of Houston.

I Love Stripping Off My Own Work!

November 30, 2020

Digital Image
I hung this mattress-ticking striped wallpaper in the tub / toity room of a Hollywood bathroom in West University 8-10 years ago. (Still in perfect condition, too, I might add. 🙂 ) The boy and girl who share the bath are older now, and the homeowner wants to update the décor.

The paper clung to the walls during all that time, yet, when I started stripping it this morning, it came off fairly easily, by simply soaking with water to reactivate the paste, and then gently scraping. What’s best is that my primer (KILZ Original) protected the walls, and the surface is perfectly intact, with no damaged areas and patching needed.

In addition, I am not going to reprime the walls, because the original primer is dependable enough to work under the new paper, which I will hang tomorrow.

CFA Voysey Design in West U Guest Bathroom

November 24, 2020

Charles Voysey was a designer in the 1910’s and 1920’s, working with watercolor in the Arts & Crafts and the Art Nouveau decorative styles. His work is incredible, and I have his “Bat and Poppy” in my own powder room.

Here is his “Fairyland” in a guest bathroom in the Southside Place / West University neighborhood of Houston.

What a change!

I hung the original “chair” pattern four years ago. The thin paper material was stuck good and tight, and my attempts to strip it off were taking excessive time and also causing damage to the underlying surface. So I opted to prep and seal the paper and hang the new pattern on top of it.

The original pattern was fun. But this new choice suits the room much better, and it looks brighter, too. And the colorway works perfectly with the muddy blue cabinetry and mirror.

This is a non-woven material, a little thicker and stiffer than I like, and a tad prone to creasing. But with careful handling, it went up very nicely. I did the paste-the-wall method. The seams were invisible.

My powder room Bat & Poppy is a paper, and was purchased from Trustworth Studios. It had to be hand trimmed, and was on the higher end of the price scale.

Today’s Fairyland pattern is made by Lord & Twig. L & T is recreating the same Voysey designs as Trustworth, but in a more consumer-friendly material and price.

You can buy this through Finest Wallpaper, a newish outfit in Canada that sells a vast array of brands and patterns (in addition to manufacturing it’s own Lord & Twig line). Their prices are good, turn-around is quick, and customer service is exceptional.

Nobody Else Has This! – Jack Rabbit Floating Wall

November 20, 2020

This wall between the kitchen and home office is what we call a floating wall. It directly faces the TV / family room. I can guarantee you – NO ONE else has such a bold and eye-popping wall treatment!

This “Jack Rabbit” mural comes as six panels, some with rabbits and some with just foliage, that can be placed next to each other in any combination.

The homeowner was originally considering this for her guest bathroom.

But the project was going to take a good number of panels. And, at $375 per panel, the price was getting out of reason.

This floating wall in the main living area was a much better option.

For one thing, only one panel was needed.

For another, because this is the area everyone passes through when leaving or entering the house, or looks toward while sitting on the sofa, the rabbits are front and center for maximum viewing.

Each 40″ wide Jack Rabbit mural panel is on a non-woven substrate with a thin vinyl coating, and is a paste-the-wall material. The quirky design is by Edmond Petit and was purchased through Finest Wallpaper, a newish company out of Canada, with a vast product selection, great customer service, low prices, and quick turn-around.

The home is in the West University / Southside Place area of Houston.

Have a Seat – Revisiting Previous Job

November 19, 2020

I hung this wallpaper about five years ago in a guest bathroom in the Southside Place / West University neighborhood of Houston.

Except for a little wear and tear from the kids throwing around toothpaste and shampoo, the paper itself is tight to the wall and in perfect condition.

But the homeowner has grown tired of it. Check back tomorrow to see the new pattern and update.