Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘vinyls’

Designing with Graphics Using Wallcoverings


Rainbow Farm in Vinyl

Blue Sphere













Various types of wall covering can be applied to achieve part or all of your chosen graphic design. The possibilities are endless because a very wide selection is available.


About “Rainbow Farm in Vinyl”: Graphic design covers two adjacent corner walls. Overall dimensions: 42 feet length by 9 feet height. Design features abstract symbols of a modern recreation farm: buildings and structures, flowers and gardens, fields with lush crops, animals, Christmas tree nursery, vehicles. Templated symbols were cut from commercial-grade vinyls. The variety of colorful and textured remnants came from two large elementary school projects.


About “Blue Sphere”: Graphics free-form stripe wraps around two adjacent walls, trailing into a large walk-in closet. Overall dimensions: 12 feet-to-8 feet-to-9 feet length by 8 feet-to-6 feet height. Design features one graduated, 12-inch to 8-inch horizontal stripe. Free-style form was cut from mini-pebble textured commercial vinyl, spliced into already-installed off-white decorative stone-textured ceiling-to-floor commercial vinyl.


The layout is similar to the painting process. The work can be compared to doing a puzzle.


Before you can install the wallcovering, many pieces of various sizes and shape will have to be fashioned.


Each separate piece will need to be pasted with the appropriate adhesive or paste. NOTE: Some will require vinyl paste while others may need wheat or cellulose.


The following process is meant for the skilled paperhanger.




1. Create a paper sketch of wall area.


2. Sketch in your design to scale.


3. Use grid paper, or graphic software program. Example: 1 inch = 1 foot.

A. Number each piece within design.

B. Use larger grid paper to transfer shapes to full-size.

C. Gridded architectural or engineering paper works great for this.

D. Be certain to number each piece to correspond to piece’s number in sketch.




1. To apply wallcovering to stripe areas, pre-trim pieces on zinc strip to fit.


2. Then, paste material. Be sure to use the paste/adhesive appropriate for that piece.


TIP: I’ve used small, neon-colored sticky notes to “label” front of each piece. Here’s how:

On 8 ½ inch by 14 inch paper, I’ve made a chart. I glued tiny sample of each type of wallcovering to be used. Next, I wrote the type of paste/adhesive to be used for that type of covering. Then, I assigned a neon color sticky note to each type, and adhered one alongside the corresponding wallcovering sample.


3. Butt (align) the seams of the pieces and smooth out wallcovering.


4. When several pieces are fitted, use a straight edge and razor knife to trim excess to even out any edge or seam joint. Much patience is needed here.


5. Where irregular sized and shaped pieces are to fit irregular sized and shaped pieces, I recommend one or both of the following methods:


  1. Method 1: Pre-cut each piece.
  2. Match each piece to a template, before adhering to wall with paste/adhesive.
  3. Several pieces, that will adjoin each other, can be trimmed and matched together at the paste table before applying.


  1. Method 2: Overlap the seams of adjoining pieces.
  2. Double-cut through the two layers.
  3. With straight lines, trimming is easy.


TIP 1: When making curved or arched cuts, always make up plastic templates that precisely match the curvature of the penciled line. Normally, you will need only a half dozen to allow for the making of your other cuts.


TIP 2: Change your razor blades more regularly.


6. Smooth all wall covering in multiple directions to remove creases and bubbles.


7. Using a seam roller, press down all seams and edges.


8. Use just enough pressure to adhere the wallcovering piece to the substrate.


9. Work quickly while ensuring a perfect job.


10. Wash the seam roller as needed.


TIP: In some instances, it is invaluable to use special seam glue and a heat gun to manipulate the material more precisely.


Remember: All wall coverings are not applied using the same method.


TIP: If various types of coverings are used, be ready to work with each one a little differently to fit each piece of the graphics together.


A large graphic design project . . .


On one occasion, I applied a vinyl graphics design in a corridor over one hundred and fifty feet long. It turned out magnificent in the end. However, it was difficult to achieve. The entire length of the hallway set on a slope. And the stripes and curves, that made up the design, were at eye level.


When doing graphics using wallcovering, both patience and precision are required to achieve favorable results.


And remember: Create a sample first!


Footnote: Fortunately, creating great graphics using wallcoverings is a breeze, compared to trying to transfer media files into this post. Any tips from anyone?  Thanks in advance!


Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

A Shopping List of Products and Materials

As consumers, we all have varying interests and tastes. The same is true when it comes to the painting or finishing of our businesses and homes. The materials used are normally based on the requirements that we have.

We may use a certain paint color or sheen because of its presentation, beauty, or how it makes us feel inside. Other paints or coatings are used to protect surfaces from the elements such as rain, wind and erosion. And the third has to do strictly with color. This is for the purpose of designating a special safety area, the color coding of piping systems, etc.

And, of course, a paint, coating or material can be designed for the purpose of providing one or more of those variables together. Just like with many other consumer products, paints and finishing materials: to give people a choice and freedom in what they purchase. We all want that.

To explain the types and uses of a wide variety of paint finishes and materials, it is easier to understand each of them in their own fundamental groups. The complete list of products and materials, used for finishing, is far too extensive. And if you are a home owner, you don’t need them anyway.

To simplify, I’ve divided paints it into three major paint groups: waterborne, solvent, and catalyst activation. There are, of course, others. All three are applied using relatively the same methods, and in either interior or exterior coating formulations. They posses a varying degree in ease of use and clean up methods. The largest distinction between them lies in their method of drying.

The waterborne – a common example “latex” – dries and binds to the surface through the evaporation of water. It releases from the active binders, pigments and colorants of the product.

The solvent-borne – eg. oil-based paints, varnishes and alkyds – dry on the surface by the evaporation of a carbon based solvent from the components of the product. Recognizable solvents would be mineral spirits and lacquer thinner.

Catalyst activated products – two example: epoxy and urethane – dry on the surface by a chemical curing process. The molecules bind to each other in relationship to their types of chemical bonds. These products are considerably more durable and resistant to chemicals and environmental exposure, especially from the sun’s rays. A clear example would be the finish on your automobile.

Substrate products belong to a completely separate group. It represents materials which are neither paints or solvents, but are used in the finishing industry and most often in the building and construction sectors. The products and materials are based on a gypsum composition, and relate to wall repair and construction.

Specific substrate products include drywall, plaster, stucco and a short list of surface finishing compounds, namely joint compounds, plaster mixes, and spackling. Gypsum materials are used, primarily, because they can easily be made to create the supportive structure for a wall and used to achieve a variety of surface textures from smooth to course. Also, they are designed for their acoustical and soundproofing qualities.

Outside the realm of paints and other finishing products are the wallcoverings. These products, sold in rolls by the yard, and more recently also in packaged, pre-cut squares, are used to cover the walls of areas rather than using paint material. They have a long history of use dating back to the 18th century.

The wallcoverings today consist of papers, vinyls, and textiles including carpet and fabrics. These decorative products encompass a vast array of colors, textures, patterns, designs and combinations there of. Where more than color and sheen is desired, wallcoverings are an excellent alternative to painting your walls, ceilings, doors, bookcases, divider screens, and more unique areas.

Faux finishing products are the final major group of products related to the painting and decorating field. Paints are much more associated with decorative finishing. Yet, there are several items which are used only to apply decorative type finishes. Some of these elements include: glazing medium, metal foil, crackleture finish, lacquer, acrylic varnish, venetian plaster, metallic powders and tinting pigments.

If you decide to apply a decorative finish, you can rest assured there is a product to fit your needs. There is tremendous diversity in the decorative finishing field.

In the mean time? Learn about the techniques.  And, please, create a few samples, before taking aim at an entire room. Today, with all of the products available, your true creativity is yet to be explored.

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