Where to Buy Wallpaper in the Houston Area

Buying local is a good thing. It may be tempting to look through a store’s books, and then try to hunt down the paper on-line to find a lower price.  But remember that by buying from one of the sources I recommend, you have someone giving you personal attention, who is knowledgeable about paper quality, single / double roll lingo, discontinued patterns, backorders, shipping time frame, and who can act as an advocate for you if there is a problem.  When you use someone’s sample books, facility, expertise and time, it really is right to buy the paper there, too.  And by buying local, you are helping the economy right in our area. 

Click this link for my very favorite source for wallpaper.  https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2022/01/04/best-wallpaper-shopping-at-rice-village-sherwin-williams/

Suggested stores. Most of these offer prices below retail.

BEST OPTION FOR ASSISTANCE IN WALLPAPER SELECTION:  Back after a sabbatical during COVID, Dorota Hartwig is my No. 1 go-to for personal help finding your perfect paper.  At the Sherwin-Williams at 2525 University.  With 20+ years selling wallpaper, she knows what’s in all the books and can quickly help you narrow down the search.  Most major brands are available – with those wonderful S-W prices!  There are four parking spots in front of the store, but better is the free 2-hour parking on the shopping center roof across the street.  Her hours right now are Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00-2:00 – but that can change, so call first.  (713) 529-6515

Ballard Designs – a familiar name from the beloved catalog / on-line home goods store- has opened a brick and mortar location near Montrose / River Oaks at 1977 W. Gray, selling furniture, accessories, fabrics, and – wallpaper!  Designers are on hand to help coordinate your home décor – free of charge (be sure to call and make an appointment).  I am highly impressed with their zeal for matching clients’ tastes, as well as their knowledge of wallpaper.  They offer Wallquest, York and Rifle – some of my favorite brands.

Calico, on West Alabama and I-10 locations have a good selection of books, and designers to help you coordinate wallpapers, fabrics, and your home’s furnishings (currently limited hours and by appointment).  Ask for Ron Dillon (W. Alabama store) – a designer whom I’ve known for decades. Having previously managed a Wallpapers To Go store for years, Ron knows wallpaper inside and out.  rdillon@calicocorners.com   Appointments are recommended.  If you’re up for more decorating help, their designers will also come to your home.

The Shade & Drape Shop – Kirby at Richmond – has selection books as well as designers to assist you.  Thibaut, Wallquest, York, Brewster – all wonderful brands.  They have access to a wide list of brands beyond the books in their store, so if you see something on-line, they may be able to get it for you (particularly the British brands and to-the-trade lines).  They even carry the very avant garde Arté line.  Ted, the owner, is very knowledgeable of the wallpapers, but is not always in-store.   Marilyn is great, too.   (713) 521-6300    tedj@shadeanddrape.com

Sherwin-Williams has a lot of good books.  I like their “EasyWalls” line,,, but not so much their “Basix,” which is mostly lower-end vinyl (read above).  Many (but not all) of the stores have wallpaper books, but I deal mostly with the store at 2525 University at Kirby in the Rice Village (713) 529-6515, and the Durham location.  Look for books by York, Seabrook, Walquest, Brewster (which “umbrellas” many brands), and Easy-Walls.  The Rice Village store also sells Thibaut and some other fine brands not available at their other stores.   Note:  Avoid their Easy Change, which is the misleading and unfortunate peel & stick product.

There is a Sherwin-Williams close to everywhere, and most of the stores have books you can look through to see and feel the actual paper.  One you decide, their process is that you purchase by going to their website and ordering on-line.  Easy-peasy!

Note that around 2020, many stores have eliminated their wallpaper sections.  I hear the 2525 University at Kirby (West U.) store, and the one on 1015 Durham at Washington (central Houston) maintain a good selection of books.  Call your local store before heading over.

BEST OPTION FOR ASSISTANCE IN WALLPAPER SELECTION:  Back after a sabbatical during COVID, Dorota Hartwig is my No. 1 go-to for personal help finding your perfect paper.  At the Sherwin-Williams at 2525 University.  With 20+ years selling wallpaper, she knows what’s in all the books and can quickly help you narrow down the search.  Most major brands are available – with those wonderful S-W prices!  There are four parking spots in front of the store, but better is the free 2-hour parking on the shopping center roof across the street.  Her hours right now are Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00-2:00 – but that can change, so call first.  (713) 529-6515.

If you want wallpaper that you can take home the same day, try Luxury Wall Décor, at 4611 S. Main at Highway 90, in Stafford (near Sugarland).   They have a large selection of  in-stock papers, plus books you can look through for special order patterns.  Robin is eager to help you.   Call first, as hours fluctuate.   (281) 565-4444.

At all these stores, the COVID situation may still be affecting shopping and handling selection books.  In addition, there are likely delays in receiving wallpaper samples or shipments, possible interruptions to manufacturing, and other fall-out from the COVID situation.

And, if you need a little more help pulling your room together or finding materials, interior designers can provide the magic touch – Call me for referrals!

Avoid buying the wrong amount of wallpaper – do not order your paper until the space has been measured by a professional, who will factor in the pattern repeat, size of rolls, features in the room, etc.  Do not trust a clerk at a paint store or an on-line calculator.

Please note that I suggest that you stay away from “paper-backed solid vinyl” wallpapers, as they tend to curl and peel in humid conditions.  I also shy away from most true grasscloth products, because of the differences in color from strip to strip, and even within a strip, and because they will stain or bleed in wet areas.  Read my page on grasscloth to the right, or e-mail me (wallpaperlady@att.net) and request my info pack on grasscloth.  There are faux products that do not have these issues, and that look amazingly real.

Also stay away from “peel & stick” the so-called “removeable” products.  Please click and read my page to the right.

6 Responses to “Where to Buy Wallpaper in the Houston Area”

  1. Marco Says:

    Thank you for some much needed sources. . . Now just need hangers!

  2. Dana Corbit Says:

    Hi, what are your thoughts on replacing wallpaper that was glued to sheetrock.. not just prepared but glued. 25yrs old and want something new. Good info here in your column.. thanks

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Dana, Thanks for reading my blog! I am guessing that you are seeking how-to advice on getting the old paper off, and then putting new paper up. There is a link to a page on the right, “How To Strip Wallpaper” that can be helpful to you. If you follow those steps, IF it is possible to get the paper off, you should have success.
      But sometimes, as you indicated, if the drywall was not primed first, then sometimes the wallpaper “bonds” to the drywall and won’t come off without a LOT of effort, plus damage to the Sheetrock.
      There is another page on the right, “How To Paint Over Old Wallpaper” that will give some guidance in cases where it is impossible to remove the old paper.
      In such cases, to add a little more, first, if the existing wallpaper is vinyl, it is imperitive to strip off that top vinyl / plastic layer. This usually comes off pretty easily.
      If you really can’t get the backing off (by following steps in How To Strip Wallpaper), then I would suggest some rather intricate, although not difficult, steps.
      First, seal the existing paper with Gardz. Home Depot carries this, as does Benjamin Moore. Note that it’s runny and drips / splatters like water, so cover floors, countertops, and baseboards. Use a microfiber roller cover, and roll UPwards (not down) to reduce splatters. Use a trim brush to cut in around edges.
      Note: You can also use KILZ Original oil-based, or BIN, both from Home Depot or Benny Moore – both can contain noxious fumes, so ventilate the room well and wear a chemical respirator to avoid breathing in anything toxic. The advantage of these is that they are not water-borne, so when you apply a latex or water-soluable material over them, they will not absorb moisture and expand / bubble.
      Moving on …
      Once the Gardz (or other) is dry, I would “skim-float” over the entire surface, with drywall joint compound (I prefer the “lightweight” version by Sheetrock Plus 3 (red, white, & blue box) over the standard kind, becasuse lightweight is easier to sand. Once dry, sand it smooth. What you are seeking is a “Level 5” finish. You can Search here to learn more. Or I am sure you can find tutorials on YouTube.
      Once it’s smooth, you need to use a damp sponge, rinsed frequently, to wipe residual dust off the wall. If you don’t, it’s like flouring a cake pan – anything you put on top (paint, wallpaper) will “kinda” stick, but not really stick. Any tension put on the surface (such as expansion from humidity) can cause the surfaces to delaminate.
      Once the wall is dust-free, it needs a primer. Most of my colleagues love Gardz for this, and it is good, because it soaks in and penetrates. You can hang your new wallpaper on this. On newly slim-floated walls, I find it a bit gritty, though. And it also has a sheen, which wallapaper doesn’t always like to stick to.
      So I like Roman Pro 977 Ultra Prime wallpaper primer. It’s going to be hard to find. But it will stick to the new float, as well as to glossy surfaces or just about anything else. And it is designed as a wallpaper primer, so it is superb for use under wallpaper.
      Ideally, best case scenario, you would seal the skim-coat with Gardz, let it dry, and then apply a coat of Ultra Prime on top of that.

      Can you say “Long Weekend” ?!

      Let me know how it goes. And send pics. wallpaperlady@att.net

  3. Lenore Says:

    I have a fairly heavy texture, sprayed on. I had paper installed in a prior home and the installer used Sheetrock mud to smooth over the texture. I had quite a bit installed ant it was a beautiful job. That was 15 years ago and my new home the texture is a bit heavier. What solutions ha e you seen so sanding is not necessary, such a mess.

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Lenore. Thanks for reading my blog! Yes, many new homes, particularly out in the suburbs, do come with a pretty hefty texture on the walls.
      Well, I hate to tell you, but skim-floating / skim-coating the walls is the BEST way to smooth them.
      I skim-float walls all the time, and don’t “terrorize” my clients with horrible dust. For one thing, they have made improvements to drywall joint compound so that is falls to the floor more than going airborne. Some still will drift into the room, though. So you need to use painter’s plastic to cover furniture and etc. OR, depending on the situation, I tack up a sheet of painter’s plastic along the wall(s) I am working on, from ceiling dropping to the floor, and that contains the dust to a 3′ area around the walls. Then bring in the Shop Vac and get it all up. I use this process a lot, and my customers don’t complain about dust.
      Note that it is also imperative that all residual dust be wiped off the wall with a damp sponge, rinsed frequently, before a wallpaper primer is applied. Nothing sticks to dust – not primer and not wallpaper. It’s like flouring a cake pan – the paper “kinda” sticks, but it doesn’t really stick.
      And make sure the installer does roll on a wallpaper primer. Wallpaper should not be hung over new skim-coat / joint compound. It’s too porous and will suck off the paste. Nor over paint or any other surface (too porous or too glossy = poor adhesion). A wallpaper primer is a must.
      Next, do NOT fall for the common misconception that a “liner” will fill in for skim-floating the wall. A liner is a special paper that is hung on the wall before the actual wallpaper goes up. Some people have gotten the idea that it is for bridging over bumps and dips. It is NOT. A liner has another purpose to serve, which is NOT substituting for skim-floating. A liner will dry, just as wallpaepr does, and suck up close to the wall – and will “telegraph” through all the bumps and dips in your textured wall. These, in turn, will show under the new wallpaper.
      Besides, you have to pay for the liner, and then at least one additional day of labor to put it up. Drywall joint compound is cheaper and faster.

      So, bottom line, have your wallpaepr hanger, or a GOOD drywall company, skim-coat the walls, sand smooth, prime, and then hang the new paper.

      I even have friends who boast that they are so good at applying the smoothing compound that no sanding is required. I rather doubt that their work would pass my inspection test, but there just may be someone out there who actually can skim-float without need for sanding, especially if you are doing only one wall with no obstacles.

      Even if there is a little dust, as I say – “It’s one day of Hell, then it’s over, and you have your beautiful wallpaper for a lifetime.”

      Check back and let me know how it goes.

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