I know there's a lot of naysayers out there when it comes to wallpaper. Seems like everyone remembers having to peel off a non-sized wallpaper job, and never wants to experience it again, but painting over a dark-colored wall can be a pain, also! Decorating is like fashion, and changes every couple of years. Martha made plain colored, painted walls and trim fashionable, but I think wallpaper is ready to come back in a strong way! Everything in moderation is my advice. Faux textures, wallpaper borders, and paneling get a little much when you do them in every room! Variety is the spice of life, enjoy the house you live in!
I like wallpaper! I don't like to hang many things on my walls, because I may find something I like better, or want to change it when the season changes. Wallpaper gives me beauty without clutter! I gravitate to non-trendy, classic, more vintage-y patterns, that hopefully won't look out of style in a couple of years. I do think the idea of doing just one feature wall is kind of fun, but for our bedroom, I wanted to be surrounded by the beauty!
Here's our wallpapering weekend! I did check out some tutorials on line to refresh my memory, and had a few fliers I had picked up years ago to reference. Mr. Fix-it was excited this was pre-pasted wallpaper...and that we weren't doing the ceiling ;)
Our pattern had a pretty big repeat, so I let Mr. Fix-it handle the measuring and the matching. We set up two vintage fold-up metal tables as work surfaces, which worked great.
When cutting your strips, leave an inch or two at the top and bottom of the wall. Before wetting the wallpaper, loosely roll it, pattern side in. We used a bathtub of lukewarm water to wet the paper for 30 seconds, but you can buy special trays, also. Once the adhesive has gotten wet, the wallpaper needs booking. Bring both ends of the strip to the middle, adhesive side in. Don't crease the folds! After 10 minutes, the strip was ready to hang.
Wallpapering together is a true test of marriage! I was matching up the seams, but every once in awhile we would need to completely peel it back and start over. A little caffeine is necessary, but not too much! A geometric pattern is probably tougher. Our branchy, lots of open space pattern seemed pretty easy. As you can see in the last photo, I don't unfold the bottom half of the paper (that was previously booked) until the top half is good to go.
To attach the wallpaper to the wall and smooth it out so there are no bubbles, use a brush like the one above. We got ours in a wallpapering kit at the homestore. Your brushstrokes should go down, to the left, and to the right. You can also go up, and then to the right and left. When everything looks perfect, you can cut off your extra inches with a straightedge and a very sharp razorblade/utility knife.
Sponge off the whole strip with clean, lukewarm water to eliminate any wallpaper paste. A seam roller can also be used on the seams 10 minutes after. Sponge again, in case there's any paste near the seam. Change the water often.
I was amazed at how the wallpaper kind of sucked to the wall as it dried. It was very forgiving. We had used a thicker nap roller for the primer and sizing, and as the wallpaper dried, it almost looked textured, kind of vintage...and you know I like that!
The strip on the left is dry, the one on the right is still pretty wet. Can you see the difference?
We had started to the right of the door, so as to get a straight, level line to begin with. Once we got the first wall done...whoo, hoo! I just felt sooo happy!
The lighting's not too great in this pic., but I'm not showing you any more photos till the carpet's installed...next week! I can't wait to get the bed set up again, and get everything into it's place once and for all!
Wallpaper...it's beautiful, stressful, an adventure...try it sometime!