We were asked to install Raffia on a powder room ceiling. Here's a pictorial from the installation:
The material comes about 60" wide, and is sold by the yard.
It's a sandwich of the woven cane, a foam substrate, and a cheesecloth-like backing.
I tried to trim along a natural "edge" in the pattern.
I trimmed at the edge of a chevron. This distinctive spot was easy to find when I trimmed the matching edge of the adjoining sheet.
"Ladies and gentlemen, The Edge!"
Before pasting the ceiling, we brushed a deep-red stripe where the seam will fall. Stew speeds along the drying with the aid of a Milwaukee heat gun.
Straight clay (Roman's 732), the paste you love to hate. I always stack two buckets to keep the roller within easy reach.
The ceiling gets a first coat of paste. It had been prepped a few days ahead of time with Shieldz Clear. We planned to "velcro" the goods to the ceiling, pasting both the ceiling and the back of the material.
With a few extra yards to spare, we do some test pasting.
The cloth/foam backing resists the paste, and it really needs to be scrubbed in.
Oops! Pasting the backing turns out to be a mistake, as the clay seeps right through the foam and the weave. We abandon the velcro method and opt for double- or triple-pasting the ceiling instead.
From prior experience, we know that the material will use gravity to try and defeat us, so we come armed with wood batten strips.
I made a handful of thin wood strips and started nails in them. They will be tacked over the sheet as it's being hung. Once the sheet is hung and trimmed, the battens will be removed, and the material will stay put.
Battens at the ready.
Starting at one end, we roughly position the sheet and tack the battens in as the material is smoothed.
After the first sheet goes up, we tack up just one end of a couple of batten strips so that they can be pivoted around to cover the second sheet as it's being installed.
Even dry-hanging the goods, we experience some oozing paste.
Working very hard at a little job. Fortunately for us, the customer is richer than God, and we will be well-compensated for our time.
The ooze washes off, but it's tedious getting it out of the weave.
After washing and blotting with a towel, the seam looks much better.
I would like to try hanging this stuff with the Flexi-Wall adhesive, which is more of a cement than a paste. If it's strong enough to hold up Faster Plaster, then it should certainly hold up the Raffia. We had plenty of material leftover from this job, so stay tuned for results of the Flexi-Wall adhesive test.