Part 2. Installing Wallpaper and Performing Brain Surgery:  Anyone Can Do It

Thank you for coming back to read Part 2 of Installing Wallpaper and Performing Brain Surgery:  Anyone Can Do It. Last month, in Part 1, I gave you some reasons why it’s important to hire a professional wallpaper installer. To summarize, it will look better, last longer and be easier to remove in the future. If you doubt this, please allow me to share just a few stories off the top of my head (as they say).

The timing of this blog is funny because just recently I went to the doctor and he told me about his wallpaper fiasco. The doctor was very personable and just felt like chit chatting before getting down to business. I was wearing my painter’s whites, so he related a story that happened to him only a few weeks before.

Well, the doctor had a small bathroom that he wanted wallpapered.  The bathroom had wainscoting on the lower half of the walls, so the job would require 2 double rolls. (Mind you, I had hung three doubles in a bathroom the week before. It took me about two hours.)

The doctor (being the outgoing guy he is) had struck up a conversation with a delivery guy (the ones that drive a brown truck). The driver said “Hey! I hang wallpaper”. Well, the very fact that this guy evidently has a full-time job as a delivery driver and NOT as a wallpaper installer should have been a big clue! Don’t you agree?

Well, the delivery guy came to hang the two double rolls and he was there from 9:00am to 10:00pm. He came out of the bathroom looking like he had been in a UFC match. With his head hanging low, he told the doctor he had RUINED the wallpaper. The doctor had to hire a pro who was able to salvage only one strip of wallpaper and the rest had to be re-ordered. Lesson learned? Well, maybe for the doctor, but people continue to hire the “cheap guy” who, in the end, is really the “expensive guy”.

It seems obvious that a delivery driver is not a professional wallpaper installer, but you also must be sure that the pro you hire is actually a professional doing the work.

This next story is about a reputable wallpaper installer who had a shoulder operation. Well, it would be some time before he could get back in action, but he still had his customers to take care of. So, he did what he thought was best and got in touch with a guy who claimed to be a union wallpaper hanger with years of experience. Good to go, right?

Well, this guy shows up to the job site in the most ratty little pickup truck, looking like a homeless person…completely disheveled. Hoping for the best, the reputable guy reluctantly brings the substitute wallpaper guy into the customers big, elaborate and meticulously maintained house. The homeowner clearly felt uncomfortable, but they succeed in convincing her that all was well, so she handed over her prized wallpaper.

The guy get’s the bright idea of cutting every strip before even starting the job. The only problem was, for some reason, he cut every strip 6” short, ruining every bit of the customer’s wallpaper! Now, even the reputable guy is not looking good!

The reputable guy (being a reputable guy), tells the customer he will buy new wallpaper and hang it for her himself as soon as he’s able, as long as she’s willing to wait. Meanwhile the ratty guy has the audacity to demand partial payment for his time on the job! You may think I’m making this up, but I assure you I am not.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure a company is legitimate and professional:
– Confirm the company has a business license and appropriate insurance.
– Look for consistent online listings and positive reviews.
– Visit company website and evaluate the professionalism of the content.
– Ask the company if they have a written Code of Conduct and perform background checks on employees.
– Look for a company that stands by their work and offers a warranty that is detailed in writing.
– Consider a company that has Professional Association Memberships, an indication that they are aware of the latest industry trends, they give back to the community, and have a professional network.

There certainly are plenty of ways that your wallpaper job can be an expensive fiasco. But I will reiterate that a properly installed wall covering, is a thing of beauty that cannot be duplicated by paint. Just be sure to get a reputable company who knows how to do it right and will stand behind the job just in case something does go wrong. I suggest you hire T. Whitaker Painting!

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