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Archive for Wallpaper Repair

Resetting the Clock on Oxidized Grasscloth Wallpaper

Grasscloth wall coverings are made of natural plant fibers and offer a warm, inviting and textured look to a room. However, grasscloth has one major drawback: the fibers oxidize, especially when exposed to sunlight. So, if you were in love with the color you originally selected for your wall covering, you may be disappointed to see it change color quite rapidly. What can be done to correct this pesky problem?

Recently, a client called on Painting in Partnership, a painting and decorating contractor from the Chicago area, to address that same issue. The original color of the grasscloth was a light cream color, which matched his monochromatic surroundings. Within a few months, the wallpaper started to take on yellow and gold tones, as shown on the far left of sample on.

Before and After Treating Oxidized Grasscloth

Considering the fact that the client had twelve hundred square feet of that wall covering installed only a year earlier, removal was not an option. Therefore, we devised a method to restore the look of his original wallpaper. As a first step, we used a dead-flat waterborne varnish to first seal the grasscloth and also stop any future oxidization, as shown in the middle stripe in the picture. We then experimented with different densities of a transparent waterborne cream glaze to help bring back the original tones, without making it look like the paper had been painted over (see stripe on right). The treatment still allowed the original irregularities in color to continue to show through the glaze. The client was delighted!

Can you prevent oxidization from occurring on your freshly installed grasscloth? Yes indeed! Once installed, the paper can be coated with the same dead-flat varnish.

Wallpaper Patches for Commercial Wall Covering – You Bet!

This past week, Painting in Partnership did wallpaper repair to vinyl wall covering on several floors of an office building in Chicago’s Western suburbs. Since the Dutch have a reputation for being a very thrifty people, this type of repair is often referred to as a “Dutchman”. It is commonly used in carpentry, masonry and other fields as well.

Before Wallpaper Patch

Before Wallpaper Patch

Commercial wall coverings are intended to be very durable and often come in a heavy vinyl. However, hallways have a tendency to take a lot of abuse and the wallpaper gets gauged, ripped or damaged in some other way. A commercial property manager is increasingly faced with the dilemma of replacing the wallpaper or repairing it.

After Wallpaper Patch

After Wallpaper Patch

In today’s economy, the wallpaper repair alternative is quite appealing and can save a considerable amount of money. With the proper tools and a good dose of craftsmanship, the result can be quite excellent. The first challenge is to locate as much leftover wallpaper as possible. Matching different dye lots can also be a challenge, as it was for our project.

The first step consists of cutting a square in the wall covering at least twice the size of the damaged area and removing it. The damaged wall is then patched, sanded and primed. We then open the edges of the wallpaper around the opening by one or two inches and apply paste to the back of the open edges. We then cut a larger square patch than the opening we have created, paste it and insert it behind the open edges of the opening. After smoothing both the patch and edges, the two layers of wall covering are then double-cut using a straight edge and a sharp blade. The excess wallpaper is then removed and the seams are rolled out. Voila!

In today’s economy, Painting in Partnership looks to use its craftsmanship skills in helping our commercial clients reduce their maintenance costs by using methods such as wallpaper repairs, while being eco-freindly.