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Entryway Progress & Grasscloth Disaster

A long while ago I posted these inspiration images for the walls in my entryway.  We've been living with this awful wallpaper for over two years now, and I'm dying to get rid of it.  You know how sometimes when you live with something long enough, you kind of get used to it and "forget" that its there?  Not with this stuff--it yells at me everyday:

It was discovered underneath another layer of paper that we immediately peeled off when we moved in.  This layer, however won't budge.  We've tried everything and even called in experts to have a look, and the verdict is that its not coming off.  In addition to that, the walls aren't in great shape, so I've been considering several options.  Either skim coat the entire entry and stairwell and prep the walls for paint, or cover it in a beautiful wall covering.  Wall covering it is--grass cloth to be exact.  I searched high and low for an affordable grass cloth, and when it seemed like I wouldn't find what I was after, I stumbled across the perfect color (and price) at Lowes of all places.  Its a gorgeous gray color, and nice and neutral with no weird undertones.  Plus, it has a very fine weave, and looks like a lot of the expensive grass cloths I've found in high end books.  After waiting five months for it to arrive (it was backordered), we had it installed last fall right before the baby was born.  As soon as it started going up, I loved it.  This photo isn't the best, but its an idea.

However, shortly into the process, things started to go wrong.  Keep in mind that all the correct adhesives were used, and the method for hanging used by my (experienced) installers was careful and meticulous.

I hope you can tell from the photos that every seam is completely bleached out and horribly visible. While I understand that one of the interesting characteristics of grass cloth is that the seams are visible once its installed, this was not the kind of "visible" that I was used to seeing, and obviously a product failure.  What's more, not only were the seams bleached, random patches in the middle of a sheet had lost color as well:

And the worst area:

Needless to say, after this started happening to literally every sheet that was hung, we stopped mid-process, and now the project is half done.  Lowes was great about it, and offered to replace all of the rolls I purchased with new ones if we wanted to start over and "hope for the best" with a new batch.  I was ready to take them up on this, and then found out that the product had been completely discontinued!  So back to square one.  Its now almost been a year since I started the process and I still have ugly walls in my entry, plus 40% of the walls covered in faulty grass cloth that has to be removed.

The silver lining?  I recently found several great new options for wall covering for the entry, and am ready to make a decision and get the project back on track.  I'll post my findings this week, and hopefully make a decision and get something ordered very soon.

Has anyone ever run into this problem with grass cloth before?  Its such a beautiful product, and so hot right now that I'm sure I can't be the only one.  Hopefully the second time is a charm with this project!


Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

Oh no, that's horrible! Frankly I think Lowe's should have not only refunded your money but offered you some concession (gift certificate or something) to help offset the cost of hiring someone to do the work with a faulty product.

To answer your question, I've never done anything with grasscloth other than admire it, so I won't be of any help. There isn't something weird leaching out of the wallpaper underneath it, is there?

Best of luck on the second go-around.

Anonymous said...

Oh! How disappointing! Just when you're making progress you need to start all over again! What have your got in mind now?

Angela said...

I'm so bummed it did that... I was hoping for a wonderful "after" picture. I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Lauren (The Cottage Mix) said...

Oh, I'm sure that has been really frustrating!! I have used grass cloth in several projects for my clients and have not had that problem. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Holly Gruszka said...

Thanks for posting about this and that is unfortunate how it has worn like that. I've never seen grasscloth behave like that or read about it either. What a bummer! I'm guilty of "living" with things just because you get used to it - and then one day I just want to fix it right then and there! ha! Well, I'll be excited to see what you have selected for the next covering. I wonder if you were to do a search on the product if you'd be able to find reviews to see if anyone else had the same problems. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog today - very glad to have found your blog!

Anna said...

Try a wall liner you can either paint wall liner or hang paper over it. It hides the imperfections in wall (even extreme cases such as wall paneling)Best of luck don't give up!

Stephanie said...

Yeah, grasscloth is tricky! I don't put it up unless I can pay a professional, I commend you guys for doing it yourself. It does have imperfections, but yours is beyond imperfections, darn it! How frustrating. I think it was just a bad run that you got, but who wants to take the chance of it doing that again! I can't wait to see what alternative you come up with, poor thing. Glad to hear Lowe's was so great about it though. Good luck!