Is grasscloth right for you or the room you are considering putting it in? In my
opinion, it is not good for just any room in the house. I wouldn't consider it an
ideal application for the kitchen and breakfast area or a bath where it could get
wet. If you are very cautious, will never allow it to get splattered with water
or anything else and you don't have small children, it might be fine.
First there is no match to grass cloth. I don't care how many instructions you see
written about how to match grass cloth, turning every other sheet or every third
sheet upside down, there is no match to grass cloth. If that is going to bother
you, then grasscloth is probably not right for you. The person writing the instructions
how to match grasscloth has probably never installed it before. Secondly it doesn't
hold up very well in heavy traffic areas where people and clothing are constantly
brushing up against it. You must remember, grass cloth is a natural product, not
manufactured. It has grown one season in the earth's soil to become what it is.
Consequently no two pieces are exactly the same. Even if they are dyed, they do
not dry out to be exactly the same shade. There is a variation of darker and lighter
straws placed side by side. You, the installer, have no control how sheet number
two matches up to sheet number one or any others.
Once you understand the nature of it and the natural beauty the texture and various
colors bring to many rooms like an office, study, wet-bar or a game room above a
chair rail, you are prepared to live with and enjoy grasscloth. If you stain the
material while installing or afterwards, it is almost impossible to clean. It, does
not come with a protective coating like other wallcoverings. It also gives you a
textural depth that other smooth wallcoverings does not give. It is an excellent
product for many places but, in my opinion, not for every place.
Grasscloth comes in thirty six inch widths or thirty six inch rolls and is probably
not ideal for small chopped up rooms. You must remember, each strip is essentially
a separate panel. You should use a good pre mixed clear vinyl adhesive avoiding
clay base commercial adhesive. Ideally you will need a clean flat work surface of
at least thirty six inches to lay you sheets out on for pasting. Roll the adhesive
out on the back of the sheet paying close attention to keeping it smooth and even.
When you get near either of the edges, you will want to have gotten a lot of the
adhesive off your roller and roll towards the edge of the paper. This prevents the
roller from lifting the paper off you work surface and getting paste on the finished
Once you have the sheet "glued up", you will want to book about two thirds
of bottom portion of the sheet by carefully folding strip glue to glue leaving only
about one third exposed to work with initially. Once you have applied and smoothed
the one third out on the wall, you can unfold the "booked" portion and
apply it to the wall. This is just a good method of preventing the entire strip
from being stuck to the wall at one time making it more difficult to work with.
There is an alternative method of applying the adhesive. You can apply it directly
to the wall making sure you cover a thirty six inch area as that is the width of
the paper. If you use this method, you will want to apply a very small amount of
dampness to the back of the paper with a sponge. Take a large installers sponge,
wet it thoroughly, then squeeze almost all the water out, then rub it on the back
of the sheet. You can then use paper clips to revers book the paper, fold it straw
to straw, then un clip it as you need to smooth it out.
In all honesty, grasscloth is not easily installed and not easily kept clean at
the same time so my sincere advise is, CONSIDER GETTING A PROFESSIONAL INSTALLER.
You will be happier with the finished product. That is not intended to be a silly
or flippant suggestion. Put the pressure for a perfect job on someone who gets paid
to do that.