I have always loved the look of wallpaper, and how it can give a space so much style and personality. Now, I’m not talking about your grandma’s flowery faded pastel kind of wallpaper. My taste in patterns is a lot more modern, leaning towards more geometric shapes and neutral colors.
When we bought our place in the summer we had some renovations to do. Nothing major, just changing the floors from carpet to laminate, and some painting. One of the design elements I wanted to include in our place is some wallpaper. Thus began the adventure…
Take 1: Textured paintable wallpaper
The wall above our fireplace had some icky “popcorn” texture, and also a giant mirror glued to the wall that I wanted gone. Once we removed the mirror (it took lots of duct tape and 2 hairdryers… don’t ask) we realized that there is a recessed part of the wall behind it. That area was looking pretty gnarly- lots of leftover mirror glue and some tearing in the drywall. We decided to cover it up rather than patch it, so we got a small piece of drywall from the hardware store. We measured and cut it to fit the recessed area, the drilled it into the studs using drywall screws. We patched up the “seams” with some filler. The next dilemma we faced was- how do we make the wall texture even? The one patch of new smooth drywall was surrounded by areas with the “popcorn” texture. My solution was: Textured wallpaper!
Since no stores nearby us had textured wallpaper, we ordered it online. The pattern we picked is called “Shatter” and you can see it here and here. We bought some regular wallpaper glue from the hardware store, and I got to work! Now, I have never done wallpaper before, so through some trial and error I figured it out. Here are some tips:
1. Take your time to line up the pattern and generally pre-cut your strips, one at a time.
2. I found it much easier to put the glue on the wall, rather than on the paper. Walking around with a giant soggy piece of paper that keeps sticking to itself felt very counter productive.
3. What I ended up doing is putting the glue on the wall in sections, and squeezing out the bubbles / adjust alignment for each section. Much easier than doing the whole strip in one go!
4. To trim the wallpaper once it is covered in glue, resist the urge to use a knife! using scissors might not give the most even and straight cut, but using a knife often rips through the wet paper leaving a ragged edge 😦
The wallpaper we picked did a great job camouflaging the difference in textures that was going on underneath, and we also painted over it in the same paint color as the rest of our walls. We ended up mounting our TV on that wall, which works perfectly. This textured wall gives a great subtle interest to our living room focal wall.
Take 2: chevron print wallpaper
I love chevron print, but could not imagine myself painting a pattern on the wall myself. Even with lots of painters tape and painstaking measurements, I could not see myself being happy with the results, especially with such a clean geometric pattern. So wallpaper it is! This one was for our dining room focal wall, but it is also a “hallway” wall, since you have to pass through our dining room to get to our living room. Whenever we have people over, whether it is for a meal, or tea, or watching a movie, everyone passes by it!
I do not remember the exact name of the pattern we chose, but we ordered it through our local Benjamin Moore store. They were great about letting us borrow book after book of wallpaper patterns until we found just the right one! This white and grey pattern works great with the wall paint we picked, and the subtle lines of shiny texture add interest.
Putting this wallpaper up ended up being a 3 person job! This wallpaper was a lot thinner and so much more delicate than the previous textured one I experienced. It was also much more important to make sure the pattern lines up just right at the seams, since it would be very obvious if it was even just a little bit off.
Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. You can see the rest of my dining room in my previous post here (even though I ended up replacing the photo on the wall- update will be coming eventually!). I will probably not be tackling wallpaper again in the near future though, and if the budget permits hire a professional to apply it next time.
Have you tried putting up wallpaper yourself? How did it work for you? I would love to hear your wallpaper success stories (or disasters!) 🙂