You Can Call It A Comeback!
I’ve heard horror stories about someone moving into a “fixer upper” and having the daunting task of removing the bright pink palm tree wallpaper from, not only the walls but the ceiling too. Luckily, I’ve never had the unwelcome pleasure of having to do that. When I thought of wallpaper, I thought of the designs from the 70’s and 80’s that my grandmother and mother had chosen for their wall decor. Now, I WANT it everywhere! It’s making an elegant comeback, and I have to admit, I’m totally on the bandwagon!
My motivation to put up wallpaper began when my husband and I bought a new house. We went to go meet with our builder’s realtor who also happened to be his sister AND live in our subdivision. Of course she had every upgrade, but the most beautiful part of her home, the part that REALLY made it so remarkable, was the wallpaper. It was almost sheer with a tiny glimpse of shimmer and a damask pattern that was about two shades darker than the paper itself. I could not believe how gorgeous it was. I wanted it everywhere in our new home, but there was no way I wanted to mess with the “newness” of our new home and the “fresh” painted walls. That was until I discovered the horrible reality of builder’s paint. In my opinion, it is the most worthless concept anyone has ever come up with. I mean, you’re taking the time to paint the entire house. How much money is watering down the paint really saving you? Homeowners can’t match it up, and we are obviously not going to come back and hire your painter for the job when the first job comes off on our clothes! I can’t even wipe off the washable crayon marks from our 2-year old’s “wall” art without ruining a perfectly brand new magic eraser! Not to mention, it takes the drywall off with it, too! I really thought our house was going to fall down because all of our drywall was going to fall off, but my husband assured me that it was because of the paint. It is just the silliest concept to me, but again, I’m not a builder.
Make Sure Your Panels Line Up When You Cut The Wallpaper!
I found a wallpaper that I really LOVE, but I have to admit, I was reluctant about actually hanging it. And when I actually did hang it, I messed it up. Since this was my first time at such a task, I was learning as I was going. I measured my walls, measured out the wallpaper strips, and hung the first piece! What a cinch…Or so I thought. I went to put up the second panel just like the firs,t and as I was smoothing it down, I realized I did not line up the paisley design that should cascade seamlessly over the wall. I quickly pulled that piece off and checked the other pieces to see if I could line any of them up. I couldn’t without the panels being too short. So, I completely ruined that roll. It didn’t even cross my mind that the design was flowing from panel to panel and that I had to take that into consideration. Ugh! I ordered another roll and waited with anticipation for it to be delivered.
Now that I learned from my first mistake, I was ready to take on this wallpaper challenge. Here’s how I did it, and how you can do it, too!
I found some wallpaper that I love. As always, it had to be budget-friendly. To be perfectly honest, I wanted a self-adhesive wallpaper, but I couldn’t find any that I really loved. Actually, I stumbled upon the one I did choose while searching for self-adhesive wallpaper on Amazon. This is one more reason why you should read the product description carefully. I chose the type 2 silver Homdox non-woven wallpaper. It was about $15.00 per roll at the time I ordered it. The roll size is 20.75 inches wide and 390 inches long. The wall I hung the wallpaper on is 102 inches tall and 165 inches long. I used 2 full rolls, and I had to cut 1 panel out of another roll. I bought a total of 3. The “1” panel was from the roll I messed up, so whether I did that or not, I still would’ve had to buy 3 rolls. When I purchased this wallpaper, I had no idea where I was going to put it. All I knew was that I loved it.
So if I loved it so much, why did I decide to put it in the laundry room? First, I was too nervous to try this for the first time where anyone who walked in our house could see if I messed up. Second, I spend more time in my laundry room than anyone. So, if I love the wallpaper, I might as well enjoy it! P.S. I now take anyone who visits into our laundry room to see the wallpaper. It’s beautiful!
My husband went out to Lowe’s and bought me universal wallpaper paste and a wallpaper kit which consisted of a paint tray, a paint roller, a smoothing tool, push pins, and a vertical ruler with a level on it.
First, I measured the length of my wall, which was 102 cm. You want to leave at least 2 inches on the top and the bottom, so I rolled out the first piece and cut it at 107 inches to give me some wiggle room. Now, here’s the IMPORTANT part; the part I neglected to do the first time around when I made my mistake and wasted much of my first role. I left that first piece on the floor (Yes, I did this on my floor, but you can use a workbench, too). Then, I took the roll of wallpaper and rolled it out on the right side of the first panel (You will hang your wallpaper from left to right, so it’s important to match it up on the right.). I matched the design up exactly. The top of this piece was longer than the first, but I STILL had to roll it to the end of the first panel. Each panel will be longer than the first, but it’s important for your design to match up.
You can see in the photo below that the top of the panel on the right is slightly longer.
Beginning with the bottom of the first panel (on the left), I rolled it up so that the design was on the inside (Opposite of how the roll came). This was helpful because it ensured the panel wouldn’t roll up on me when I was hanging it on the wall.
I used a pencil to mark Top 1 on the back side of where the roll begins. That way, when I am done cutting all of my panels, I still know the order. Mark top 2, etc. on the following panels so you know which one to hang next.
I followed the same steps to complete the measuring and cutting process. I unrolled the roll of wallpaper to the right of panel 2 and lined up the design. I cut panel 3. I rolled up panel 2 like I did panel 1 and labeled it “top 2”. I unrolled the wallpaper to the right of panel 3 and lined up the design, and I kept the process going until I cut all of my panels.
I have to mention that I sanded down any bumps or rough spots on my walls and made sure they were clean and dry.
The first panel was the easiest. I used the paint roller to apply the adhesive liberally onto the back of the first wallpaper panel. Once I applied it to the top half, I GENTLY folded it over for easy handling.
I applied the glue to the bottom half and folded that side over, too. This makes it easier to handle when you are carrying it to the wall, as well as if you need to go up a ladder.
Make sure to have your smoothing tool in an easy reach position.
Once I got up the ladder, I unfolded the top half and slid the panel up the wall making sure to push it up about 2 inches past the top of the wall. Here is about how much I left at the top. Now USE your Push Pins! See “Use The Push Pins” header below.
I made sure to line it up on the very left side of the wall. Using the smoothing tool, I smoothed all of the bubbles out. If there’s any bubbles or creases, just lift it up, and re-smooth it. It should smooth out nicely! Once I had the panel smoothed out, I trimmed the top and bottom edge off. To do this, I took a pair of scissors and dragged them across the edges to make a line.
You should have a perfect line. I lifted the bottom and top away and used the scissors to cut on the line. I placed the wallpaper back in place and smoothed it back out. I wiped any excess glue off with my damp sponge
Use The Push Pins!
Yes, I thought this was silly at first, but it proved to be one of the most beneficial things to have once I started lining up the other panels. And, trust me, it was a hard lesson to learn. I repeated the process of gluing and folding for panel 2, but when I went to hang it on the wall, I had to make sure to line the design up perfectly before I started smoothing. Once it was perfect, I folded the top and put two push pins through the wallpaper into the ceiling to hold it in place. This really makes a difference to keep the panel where it needs to be while you complete the smoothing process.
Lining it up was extremely hard to do. And, I actually found that the glue on the edges would start drying up pretty quick. To help with this, I poured some of the wallpaper glue into a small container I had. I used a makeup brush to add extra glue to the edges, especially where it lines up. It was quick, simple, and allowed for seamless seams!
That was it! Just keep following the process. Glue, fold, line-up, push-pin it, smooth, do the seams, trim the edges and wipe off the extra glue.
I truly think the final product looks like a masterpiece! Thank goodness I didn’t just keep hanging the panels without the design lining up. I LOVE showing guests our laundry room, and I LOVE being in it a whole lot more! I’d be willing to bet that wallpaper without a complicated design to match up would be far less difficult when it comes to hanging it on the wall, but I’ll take this beautiful design any day!
What You Need
Wallpaper of choice (Amazon is a great place!)
(I got the rest of the materials below from Lowe’s)
Universal Wallpaper Paste
Ladder (if needed)
The materials below came in a wallpaper kit
- Measure the height of the wall. Add 4 inches to that measurement, and that’s how long you will cut your first panel.
- On a flat surface, roll out the wallpaper roll the length of the height of your wall plus 4 inches. Cut in a straight line. This will be your panel 1.
- Leaving panel 1 where it is, unroll the wallpaper roll to the RIGHT of it. Make sure to line up the design. This may mean that the top of this panel (2) will be above panel 1. That’s okay. But, make sure you still line it up all the way to the bottom of the first panel. For example, if panel 1 needs to be 107 inches, and you had to move panel 2 up 2 inches so the pattern matched up with panel 1, you will actually be cutting panel 2 to 109 inches.
- Starting at the bottom of panel 1, roll it so the design is on the inside. This will make sure the wallpaper doesn’t roll up on you when you are hanging it. Mark the top end with “top 1” so you know that is the top and that is panel 1.
- Now, roll the wallpaper roll out to the RIGHT of panel 2 lining up the pattern like before, as well as cutting it like before.
- Roll up panel 2 just like you did panel 1 and label it “top 2”. *it is really important to know which panel comes next because of the difficult pattern.
- Repeat this process until all of your panels are cut.
- Pour the adhesive into the paint tray, unroll panel 1, and liberally apply the glue. Gently fold the top to the middle, as well as the bottom to the middle. Remember which side is the top!
- Begin on the left side of the wall. Unfold the top piece and place it on the wall with about 2 inches up on the ceiling. Make sure to line up the edge of the wall
- Use the smoothing tool to smooth out any bubbles. It’s okay to keep lifting up the sides to smooth again. Smooth the entire panel all the way to the bottom.
- Use scissors the make a crease where the wall meets the ceiling and the floor. Pull the wallpaper away a little and cut down the crease. Use the smoothing tool to put it back in place.
- Take the damp sponge and wipe off any excess glue.
- Get panel 2 and follow the same steps, except this time it is very important to like up the design perfectly with the panel to the left and place push pins through the excess wallpaper into the ceiling to keep it in place. Follow the same steps to smooth it, but make sure to keep the pattern lined up. *Tip- Pour some glue into a small container and use a small paintbrush or makeup brush to paint glue on the wall where the seams line up. This will help with a flawless seam.
- Trim the edges, wipe off the excess glue, and repeat the process until finished.
- If the last panel is too wide for the wall, use the same edge trimming process to trim the sides.
I hope you LOVE your pretty walls as much as I do! Shout out to pretty wallpaper & Fire Up for it making a comeback!
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