Author Topic: Interesting job  (Read 16208 times)

Offline ProWallGuy

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Interesting job
« on: May 28, 2009, 09:52:14 PM »
I received a call awhile back with a different inquiry. Could I install some "vintage" wallpaper in a powder room? I replied "Of course." Sometimes I talk before thinking.

Turns out the clients daughter lived in an old house in Paris, and found several rools and scraps of wallpaper in a closet, and sent them to StL. I took a sample of what they wanted installed home and did a little investigating. Here is the paper:





I called a couple hangers I know who specialize in historic reproduction type work. We determined this paper is hand-printed on a rag type paper, and is approximately 100 +/- years old. Yikes!

Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 09:54:31 PM »
The paper is very dry and brittle. I tested some pastes on it and moisture, and found out it was very very sensitive. Anything on the face of htis stuff and its shot. Just dabbing it with a damp rag caused the ink to bleed immediately.




Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 10:28:58 PM »
I started to freak out, wondering what the hell I got myself into. I had already "sold" myself to the clients, but had no clue as to how I would pull this off. After a day or two of panic, it struck me. My Grandfather hung paper for over 40 years, and this is like the stuff he dealt with all the time. If he could do it everyday, then so could I. I decided at that point to do it just like he would have, using old school technique, products, and tools. I dug into my collection of antique tools and psyched myself up for the job.

The tools I used included a Warner rotary trimmer, a Murray Black 6' brass-bound mahogany straight edge, a Golden Harvest paste whip, a 7 1/2" Dunn Edwards paste brush, Lufkin folding tape, and a 12" natural china bristle sweep (the manuf. name escapes me right now).



I purchased some wheat paste from paper-hangings.com (Thanks Bob!) and whipped it up.


Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 10:30:55 PM »
I installed acid-free liner paper (also from paper-hangings) on the walls of the powder room. The liner paper provides a nice, smooth surface to hang on, and also (the critical part) will help wick away the moisture from the paste on the finish paper to help set the seams fast and keep the paste from "blushing" through it, or staining it.





« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 10:32:42 PM by ProWallGuy »

Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 10:35:37 PM »
After the liner dried over night, and the wheat paste sat and got good and sticky, I took about a quart of the wheat and thinned it with distilled water about 50/50, and sized the liner with it. This will help give the paper something to grab onto, and even out the porosity of the liner paper. While waiting for the size to dry, I used the straight edge and rotary trimmer to trim off the selvedge.






Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 10:40:25 PM »
The hardest part (and scariest) was pasting the stuff with a brush. This is something I had never done before, so I had to learn quickly. I knew once I hit the back of the paper with paste, I probably had about 5-10 minutes at most before the stuff turned to mushy tissue paper. I put strips of liner paper under the edges of the wallpaper to wick up the wheat as I brushed it over the edges so it wouldn't creep around to the front and stain the edges.



I snapped one picture, then hit the video record button.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqZhUkYReoc

Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 10:44:15 PM »
I didn't have time to really snap pictures as I hung the stuff as it would freeze on the wall if I dicked around too much. So I set up the tripod and recorded myself hanging 2 strips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlAwW2Pxc1A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UGjOgA9rPQ

Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 10:49:16 PM »
I trimmed the top, bottom, and all edges with an old wheel knife, or casing knife.



I was real worried about how it was going to trim around the window frame, but once I got used to the tools, it actually came out very nicely. I kind of impressed myself at that point.






Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 10:50:47 PM »
A couple shots of the finished room:






Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2009, 10:53:09 PM »
After the fixtures are put back up, and toilet/sink re-set, I will go back and apply a clear dead-flat varnish to the paper so it can stand any abuse from the homeowner.

After the job, I awarded myself some of this:



And then went and did a bit of this:


Offline ProWallGuy

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 10:55:29 PM »
I also had the pleasure of handling a bunch of different old papers the client had shipped from Paris. I fell in love with the patterns and bold, vivid colors used back in the day. I made this slide show showing some of the better preserved samples. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdm5zfxHEA8

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2009, 06:51:27 AM »
Yikes.

I'm not a paper guy, though I appreciate the skill of those who are proficient at it...

I'm also not a paper guy, am buying a large house where every room and hallway is papered or bordered or both, some of it even painted over...None of it nearly as nice as the old stuff you handled....And every stitch of it is coming down...

I have, however, used the technique you employed with that largemouth; Holding it away from the body and towards the camera to make it look bigger than it is... ;) I have a shot with me and a ten pound bluegill around here somewhere... ;D 8)

Offline BrushJockey

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2009, 07:23:10 AM »
Very cool!  How did you like the wheel cutter vs a blade?  Seem like I could find a use for that.
 The liner paper was a great idea too.
"It would be ludicrous to think I'm new to this, I know this, this is what I do"  ( Prince and Geo Clinton..)

Offline PainterJan

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 08:59:46 AM »
Très Bien! ;D

I am in awe of your beautiful work, this truly is a gift and you did a great job, good set of pics and vids too! Thanks very much for sharing and I hope you'll post pics after you varnish it.
“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” -Oscar Wilde

Offline PainterJan

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Re: Interesting job
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 09:06:58 AM »
Oh and nice fish, too! Looks like you were grillin' and chillin'.........
“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” -Oscar Wilde

 

anything