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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I papered a dining room in an old house, the paper was only on the bottom half under the chair rail. Half drop 21" repeat.

Job completed and all looks good, except.....the pattern looked off where it turned a corner. I checked everything and the pattern was straight before and after I turned the corner, ended up the chair rail wasn't level which made the pattern look off.

To the paper hangers, do you check such things as chair rails to see if they are not level so you may tweek the pattern to make it "look right"?

Sometimes ceilings are so off that patterns do not look right.

Appreciate any comments.
 

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Always Learning
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That's a tough one. Yes I would have checked the chair first. Then at least you could let the client choose which path to go down. When we do commercial paper we use a Bosch laser to check things quick. Sometimes you can't hide old work and you have to install your stuff level.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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In some off kilter houses you need to go with the flow and put things in so they look right. It may not necessarily be plumb or level.
 

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Because if you install a chair rail level in a crooked house it looks stupid.
 

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On old houses, I tweak it to get it looking as good as it can look. Yes, you have to measure everything before you get a plan of attack.

I've put up and pulled down sheets 3 or 4 times getting a fine edge pattern match on a somewhat lumpy plaster wall.
 

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Made the mistake of leveling some new siding on one side of an old house...didn't think about it till I got to the top...whoops, Customer was ok with it though.
 

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Old house rules.

The floor isn't level
Neither is the ceiling
Plumb and square occur accidentally as the structure moves to it's new position, but not at the same time
If the trim looks good, it's because it isn't plumb, level, or square either.
Doors fit to existing frames are trapezoids
If something looks really good, you don't want to know what's under it
 

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How did it look with the windows?
The one window was new, and level too, so that looked fine. Replaced 3 - 3' square windows side by side, with one window. 8" alum siding. That side was only 12' long, so we just went with new instead of trying to blend in aluminum.

I pretty much learned how not to work on old houses from that house. Lots of other work done there, but it turned out fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the replies, I think the accumulation of a rail out here a frame out there, and a lumpy plaster wall has made the pattern look off.

I thought about this all night last night, the room looks nice but the pattern is bugging me so am going to go back and check it again. The section bugging me is between two doors so it will be easy to replace and make it look "right".

I didn't level up the rail because it has been in place for 100 years, I wasn't about to mess with it.

What I find with old houses is that their owners understand how things are, with new houses out of plumb and level those owners don't believe you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to follow up, this was bugging me so much I went back and looked things over.
To exaggerate for the point of clarity, when putting a level across the pattern it runs "downhill" and to me it looks "off" which at first I thought was just due to the chair rail.

I checked the following:
Pattern is correct direction.
First strip was hung plumb.
The corner was hung in two pieces, pieces match perfect, (2nd piece was not hung too high or two low).
All seems are perfectly plumb and no overlap .

I am going to follow up to see if there was a printing error for the lot #.

The pattern is a half drop so I worked of A and B rolls.

I can not see anything where I may have gone wrong, yes the chair rail is slightly off, the floor is off , and the plaster wall is wavy in places but I don't think it is enough to explain the pattern looking the way it does.

I have not billed for the job yet and I will rehang this section if I could only see my mistake. I left yesterday thinking if I rehang it then it will come out looking exactly the same.

Appreciate your thoughts.
 
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