"I fired the last guy who tried to hang my wallpaper. Do you think you can do better?"
With that comment from the caller, I was a bit intimidated but decided to at least take a look at what was "not good enough" and determine if I could do better. He had stripped most of the wallpaper by the time I had driven out to Chilliwack, but left a few areas for me to see, and discover for myself how bad the job was. Besides the evidence on the wall, he had a collection of 20 or more close up photographs of the offending seams and cuts. I walked in the front door and was impressed by the ornateness and quality of the home, and the youth of the owner. He had developed a very successful IT company and had then sold it for an astronomical amount of money. It showed in the expensive taste of the new home.
As you can see by the photos, there were many ornate trims and crowns to cut around and this is where the previous paper hanger failed miserably. I knew I could do better, but after accepting the job and starting, I discovered on my very first piece why the previous guy had so much trouble. The paper would not cut but just bunch up under the knife and tear, more than anything. The sharpest blade will not cut the wet pulpy paper with so very little wear layer on the surface.
I called him over after the first piece, which involved a cut around one of those doors, and he was so impressed he let me continue. My problem now was the cost to me. I had estimated for a certain amount of time at a certain rate but ended up spending more than twice as much time. It was nerve wracking and tense work, but he reassured me his goal was a good job and not a cheap price. That helped me to relax and the next day we completed the task and were paid well for our efforts.
It is not unusual for the more expensive wall coverings to be the poorest in quality. Often, a designer puts his name to a product and the price shoots up, when the consumer assumes the high price will give him some quality.
But, if "the look" is achieved and the area does not have high or rough traffic, it works.