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Baughman Painting

(760) 945-7169

Historic Treasure Makes a One-of-a-Kind Wallcovering

To center the mosaic, Baughman wrapped pressure-sensitive vinyl around plywood panels that he then attached to the wall within a metal grid.

Baughman Wallcovering owner Michael Baughman was asked to install historic vellum documents from the 1700s and 1800s on the walls of a speakeasy-style bar and restaurant. Vellum is a fine parchment made from animal skin before wood pulp paper was available. The client had purchased a boxed lot of these documents from a dealer, not knowing offhand how many documents were in the box, or their sizes. The job began by unfolding and flattening the documents to see what type of wallcovering could be devised.

The vellum revealed four fairly standard sizes. Adding to the already challenging job, Baughman learned that vellum is thicker at its edges than in the center. After calculating the area that could be covered, Baughman engineered the best use of the 174 documents as wallcovering.

Baughman installed the vellum in a grid pattern with approximately ¼-inch overlaps between panels using clear wallcovering adhesive. Two leveling lasers with tripods kept the panels level and plumb. The vellum was smoothed to the wall using 6" wide felt rollers from England and a combination of natural horsehair wallpaper brushes and soft plastic smoothers. The ¼-inch overlaps were secured using a 2-inch wood seam roller. The edges were rough and stiff, and required additional attention to properly adhere, smooth and align them to create the desired wallcovering style. The work was protected with three coats of Polycrylic Protective Finish. All told, 618 square feet of documents were installed in the bar and restaurant and the women’s restroom.

The Paper Poster wallcovering overflowed from a rough ship door onto the adjacent wall.
Arranging the four sizes of vellum in a varied manner created an aesthetic pattern.

Mosaic and paper poster filled the remaining walls. For the mosaic, Baughman wrapped 111 plywood panels with 25- by 25-inch pressure-sensitive vinyl, and then attached those panels to the wall in a metal grid. The 78-inch high by 54- inch wide Paper Poster wallcovering was partially installed on a rough, ship’s deck door, over its edge and onto the wall.

As if the job wasn’t tough enough, the owner threw a curve when he requested Baughman to return and replace material damaged in one instance from water damage and another instance from vandalism. That led Baughman to source additional vellum in the U.S. that roughly matched the client’s originally sourced material.

Key Products

  • Polycrylic Protective Finish