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Jim Parodi Wallpapering
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Several years ago I made a video about the potential problems you may encounter removing the new generation of paperbacked metallics. Unfortunately this was before I had a good lavaliere mic and used the camera mic instead. Rather than reshoot it I decided to add closed captioning. If you are thinking of hanging or having a new metallic hung in your home you really should check out what you need to do to ensure you don't have chopped up sheetrock and ruined walls when it is time to remove it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R972K9raeOE

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I installed new fabric-backed wallpaper in a shower bath yesterday. But before I could do that I needed to remove the disgusting, mold laden old paper.
The reason that the old material failed in this way (photos below) is that the wrong type of material was chosen for this very wet bath several years ago. Shower moisture can get through the material with some types of wallcoverings (and that would be plain papers, vinyl coated papers and non woven papers) but not with other types (which would be fabric-backed vinyls and paper-backed vinyls.) Fabric backed vinyls and paper backed vinyls both consist of a solid sheet of vinyl + backing so that moisture from the shower never gets through the material to nurture any mold spores to grow into a bloom like those depicted in this bath.
Black mold like this needs : spores, food (starchy wallpaper paste), moisture, and poor rate of air exchange in the room.
I killed all the mold spores with bleach and with the installation of fabric-backed wal lcovering this problem will never return.
Before shopping for or buying any wallpaper print out this buyer's guide I wrote for my website:
http://www.parodipalace.com/typesofwallcoverings/index.html
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2016-01-07
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Here is a DIY question that came in today:
Q:".......... K.: I have a question about grasscloth and finishing the edge at the corner. I am not wrapping around the corner, but stopping at the edge, and I need to finish it so that it doesn't fray. Should I use a schluter? Or some kind of edge finish? What are your thoughts?.........?
A: Hi K., There are clear plastic outside corner guards at Home Depot by IMO they look kind of tacky and the clear ones are prone to discoloration after some time. Since you show a white painted baseboard in the photo I would get a wood outside corner guard and paint it the same color at the wood trim before applying something like this:
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2016-01-05
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I know it's been difficult to go to sleep while waiting for Pantone's announcement for Color of the Year for 2016.  Fluff up the pillow... the returns are in:
http://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016?from=hpSlider&gclid=CjwKEAiA18mzBRCo1e_-y_KLpXISJACEsANG6fVWdM2XXe51wp0n_KE-AtDupfI2Rgw-

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Yesterday I installed more of Thibaut's Bankun Raffia. This is the grasscloth look without the disadvantages of grasscloth--one of those disadvantages being that real grasscloth can only be vacuumed and not washed. You don't have to baby this material--it is a commercial grade fabric backed vinyl.. ‪#‎paperhanger‬ ‪#‎franklinlakesNJ‬ ‪#‎wallpaper‬ ‪#‎bergencounty‬
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2015-12-08
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(From the email bag) 
Hello Jim...
I have a predicament...I own a condo overlooking the Bay in Tampa, FL. This property was built in 1975. I lease this property to others to enjoy. Here is my problem. The large living room walls were covered with grass cloth in 1975. The future tenants do not like it at all. Do you have any suggestions of the options that I may have to remove, cover, paint, etc. It appears that the walls were not treated before the paper was hung.
Blessings,
Melene
Marlene, when you say that it appears that the walls were not treated I'm assuming that someone has tried to remove it? Normally grasscloth comes off with ordinary soapy water. If you let the grasscloth stand soaking for 15 minutes to 30 minutes you should know if it is going to come off without wall damage. You should check to see if the paper is removable without wall damage in an inconspicuous area. If it isn't removable without wall damage, I would suggest that you try painting it. Normally you don't paint over wallpaper but if the grass cloth installation was botched and as a result your drywall is ruined you really have nothing left to lose by painting it. White painted grasscloth looks pretty good to me whenever I see it. You might try a horizontal strie effect with tone on tone paint if you want to make it look a little more interesting than just plain paint. (Go to the library and get one of the faux finishing books that are now gathering dust.) You also might go trendier and paint it with a metallic look paint--you never know--the tenants may want "up to the minute."
BTW, the reason I said to check to see if the paper is removable in an inconspicuous area (like down at the baseboard or in the corner ) is because if you DO decide to paint it you would not have ruined a section of the grass cloth at eye level in the middle of the wall.
If you don't think your tenants will go for a painted grass look then there is the tried and true method--for cases of unremovable grasscloth only--of skim coating the whole surface with joint compound. I would seal all the grass with a slow dry oil primer first to prevent bubbling up of old grasscloth. If you use a fast drying mud like Durabond 20 you can get it done in one day.
Another way to cover up would be to check out Faster Plaster. http://flexiwall.com/pages/faster_plaster.htm
‪#‎unremovable‬ ‪#‎grasscloth‬ ‪#‎wallpaper‬ ‪#‎removal‬ ‪#‎Northernnj‬ ‪#‎westchestercounty‬

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For consumers who want grasscloth in a shower bath or powder room:
Natural grasses and hemps are water sensitive and many can only be cleaned by vacuuming. This presents a problem in baths with heavy steam or powder rooms where the toilet is close to a wall. You want to wash down the wall next to the toilet (I hope) or the sink area is easily splashed with soapy water or toothpaste that could quickly ruin a natural product. There are great alternatives in vinyl that look very much like the real thing. Also if you are not sure about whether you will like the look of some natural products that can have a great deal of shading and color differences from roll to roll (or even within the same roll) know that these vinyl imitations are machine made and have a much more uniform coloration.
I wrote in an earlier post about Thibaut's Bankun Raffia. If you budget permits you might want to get Phillip Jeffries' "Natural Illusions" book in you hands and see what great look you can achieve with these fabulous fakes.
‪#‎grassclothfakes‬ ‪#‎vinylgrasscloth‬ ‪#‎paperhanger‬ ‪#‎northernnj‬ ‪#‎wallpapering‬ ‪#‎bergencounty‬ ‪#‎westchester‬
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2015-11-14
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From Sharon G.
"Hi Jim,
I am hoping that you can help me with a problem concerning grasscloth that I ordered for my powder room. The installer, recommended by the design store where I found the grasscloth, measured my powder room and told me that I needed 6 individual rolls. I therefore ordered 6 individual rolls from the design store. When the installer came to put up the paper, he looked at the rolls delivered and told me that they ordered 6 bolts, not rolls, and therefore, I had twice as much as I needed. Sure enough, when he was finished, there were 3 bolts left. When I tried to return these 3 bolts, I was told by the design store that it's not returnable. They said that a roll and a bolt is the same thing and since I ordered 6 individual rolls, the 6 bolts is still what I ordered. Can you tell me who is right? I would really appreciate any help you can give me, as this paper was very expensive!"
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Sharon, Unfortunately there is no standardization of terminology in the USA defining any kind of roll or bolt on the market whether it is grasscloth or not. Most grasscloth is sold in 8 yard plastic wrapped bolts. (A bolt is the thing you get wrapped in clear plastic.) The confusion arises when SOME companies called that plastic wrapped bolt a "double roll", some don't--particularly suppliers who sell online-and decided to call it a "roll."
I know this is maddening. The "double roll" is called that by some companies because it contains 2 single rolls---a single roll being only a unit of pricing. (You can't actually get a single roll delivered to you and you must buy 2 singles which arrive in double roll bolts.) Why do they do this? Because it sounds better when they say the grass cloth only costs $55 a single roll rather than saying it is $110 a roil/bolt/spool/whatever. $999 sounds better than $1000 to marketers. Some companies actually price their material by the yard because if they gave you a 8 yard bolt price you would pass out.
Your paperhanger further confused things by telling you you needed 6 "individual rolls" likely meaning you needed 6 single rolls which could only be delivered to you in 3 double roll bolts. But "individual roll" is a term used by no one in the wallpaper industry so it really has no meaning by anyone's standard. However, your design store added more to that confusion by saying that a roll and a bolt are the same thing. It may have been the same thing when talking about the PARTICULAR company you ordered from, but it is decidedly not the same thing throughout the wallpaper world. They must not venture too far out into the wallpaper world from that design store.
Whenever I estimate grass cloth I specify in yards not what anyone else may be calling a "roll" today. Yards are fixed and definite in meaning and there is no way around that. HIndsight is 20/20, but your paperhanger should have specified "(3) bolts of grasscloth @ 8 yds./bolt." But your design store should have asked what the paperhanger meant by "individual rolls" too. Since an individual roll is not a unit of measurement or pricing and they should known that if they have been in business for more than a month. They should have said, "What do you mean by an individual roll?" When you order a beer in a bar the bartender asks you, "What... a glass of beer, a pint, a stein? What do you want?"
I give the design store the most demerits for not putting a finer point on what the hell everybody was talking about before they placed the order.They should have asked a follow up question.
I think your best bet would be to contact the regional rep for the wallpaper distributor and beg for some sort on consideration unless you want to take the chance of taking the design store to small claims court and hope for an understanding judge. Otherwise I think you are stuck with this material. But....you might get some satisfaction if you leave a scathing Google review at the design store's red map pin on Google Maps
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Everyone who uses wallpaper nowadays--consumers, designers and installers--should be aware of the "non-woven", NW, revolution that is going on. As I see and install more and more of it, I think it is good to point out the nature of this material which can be a beast.
Ironically NWs came to the market to tame another beast. It was seen by manufacturers as a good alternative to traditional paper pulp grounds in a few ways. It solved the problems that papers (for the purpose of clarity here I will refer to them as paperhangers do and call them "paper-papers"--these would be the traditional pulp paper offerings of Osborne & Little, Cole & Son, Farrow & Ball et al.without any vinylization) have which a nasty habit of shrinking, split seams and pulling off wall paint and needing to be wet and scraped off the wall when it is time to remove them.
Advantages of NWs over Paper-Papers:
1. Dimensional Stability--As mentioned they don't shrink and don't expand that much when hanging them so they don't bubble up with expansion bubbles..
2. They often can (and should) be applied using a "paste the wall" technique which precludes the need for a pasting table. That is a big plus for the DIY crowd
3. They have the look of paper-papers yet don't require a blankstock liner as paper-papers do. This dramatically cuts the cost of installation since a blankstock job always costs more for material + added labor.
4. They are usually dry strippable andyou can pull them right off the wall-- when a suitable strippable adhesive is used.
5. They are less prone to show "orange peel"--the nasty habit paper-papers have of shrinking in to show the roughness left by the paint roller after the application of many latex paints.
Great, right?
Not so fast. They have a HUGE disadvantage when it comes to staining and moisture resistance. The accompanying photo to this post shows me spritzing water though a NW with a Windex type sprayer. This shows how sieve-like some NW grounds can be. This doesn't just apply to water though. Follow the link below to my site which shows just how rapidly cooking oil travels through a NW pattern paper too: http://www.parodipalace.com/non_wovens_and_grease/index.html
Paper-papers can also show this moisture/grease transfer but to a much, much lesser extent. (Vinyls either paper-backed or fabric- backed never do this.)
What this means is that paste staining is much more prevalent with NWs too. A job can be ruined immediately if drying conditions are poor or it can occur months after the material is installed when oily contaminants (like glycerin) in pre-mixed paste find their way though--usually during periods of high ambient humidity. The only thing that can help the NW ground is if there is abundant inking on the pattern side that stops the flow or the show through.
Another problem with NWs is that often the inking on the front can come loose or crack/craze if stress is put on the NW during the hanging process. Different NWs have varying percentages of synthetic fibers and ink does not get the same "grip" on the fibers that it does with natural paper fibers. This effect can be lessened by pasting the wall rather than table pasting and allowing the NW to stand and soak in the moisture. Don't let NWs stand for a long time before hanging.
You can check and should check a NW before hanging it (or buying it) for rapid moisture transfer. Take a wet paper towel and put it on the back side and observe if it rapidly shoots moisture through the NW to the front side. Then do the same to sample laying the wet paper towel on the front side. If moisture comes though the back side within 5 minutes or so you should consider that the NW should not be used in a kitchen or bath. Even if used in a bedroom or hallway be advised that your choice of paste is critical because paste staining can bite you several weeks or months after the installation. Don't believe paste labels that say "non-staining" either. This can be a cruel joke.
Also do not dilute pre-mixed pastes when installing NWs. Minerals in tap water can cause further staining and the viscosity change can accelerate the moisture transfer to the front side. Add to this the admonition that all walls should be primed with a white, 100% acrylic primer which will usually block contaminants like dirt or grease that lurks in the old paint itself. One more tip: NWs that are darker colored or have a lot of pattern inking without large areas of white or light color are less apt to show any of the problems mentioned above.
‪#‎nonwoven‬ ‪#‎wallpapering‬ ‪#‎bergencounty‬ ‪#‎paperhanging‬
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2015-11-01
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Someone emailed me today asking if they can install wall covering over plaster walls. The answer is yes. But there are some qualifications which go with that. First of all there is misuse of the word "plaster" nowadays. Some people confuse plaster with joint compound. Real plaster walls are what you are likely to have if your house was built before World War II. After 1945 when the GI's came home they needed houses quick so the use of sheet rock took off and it is joint compound that was used to smooth the sheetrock joints as well as the nail dimples.
Authentic, vintage plaster or "lime plaster" is as hard as concrete and very porous. It makes a great surface to hang wallpaper on provided it isn't so porous that it sucks up all the paste off the sheet you are installing. If it is that porous you need to size the surface before hanging your wallpaper. You can thin down some wallpaper paste and roll in on the plaster as a "sizing."

Joint compound is not hard and loosens up when moisture hits it. Joint compound should be "primed" with a water resistant paint coating-preferably 100% acrylic- not a sizing. People still prime joint compound with oil based primer and that is fine but you have to put a second coat of a water-based primer over the oil when it dries.
The only time you need to prime plaster is when you are installing an absorbent wallpaper which could draw stains out of the old plaster. Even when the plaster has been cleaned of old paste there remains the possibility that a plain paper or natural product (like a light or white colored hemp or linen for instance) can draw funky, ancient brown paste out of the plaster pores like a Bounty paper towel and end up ruining the new wallpaper.
‪#‎wallpapering‬ ‪#‎plaster‬ ‪#‎Westchester‬ ‪#‎NY‬
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