This past weekend I had two major wallpaper projects. The first was the kitchen, but after pulling off part of the countertop I realized it was actually going to be a two day job. So onto the next project…. the hall closet.
As I had posted the other day… here is the before:
Before… cramped, cluttered, can’t see the floor or any of the jackets inside.
annnnnd the After:
Wouldn’t you want to keep this neat!!!!
And how did we get from there to here… well let me tell you, it WASN’T EASY.
First I unwrapped the wallpaper and after reading the instructions three times realized it wasn’t pre-pasted. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! It’s 2012 how can it NOT be pre-pasted. I’m hoping one of my interior designer/DIY/crafty-crafter can tell me this because I find it reDOINKulous. So after being all fired up to finally get started, it was quite the wah-wah-wahhhhhhh moment.
Clearly I had a lot to get done, and that now included running to the hardware store. To have at least a small sense of accomplishment I pulled everything out of the closet.
A blank canvas
without the shelves or bar.
So now I was at a standstill…. off to the paint/wallpaper store I go. I made a conscious decision to NOT go to Home Depot because I didn’t want to be sidetracked by shelving or anything else and I wanted personal care. So I went to our local Benjamin Moore Dealer, Young Paint & Wallpaper. Feeling all sorts of confident, I walked in and asked the nice man at the front desk for wallpaper paste. …………
There was palpable silence, he was clearly waiting for me to say something else. But what? I had no idea!!!! So I just started blurting…. I know nothing about wallpaper, I ordered this online and one roll came in prepasted the other didn’t and I just want to hang it up. I did all my research on how to do it but it was based on prepasted yadda yadda yadda…. can you help me?! It soon became clear that this guy was more of a paint than wallpaper guy. So he directed me to another woman who after asking me a series of questions to which all I could answer “I don’t know.” She gave me your basic wallpaper paste with the suggestion of taking a solo cup drizzling it onto the back and then using a sponge roller to spread it.
Now I was set…. I had my supplies
One gallon of wallpaper paste… check
One sponge roller… check
ready for this???? NOPE!
I put a long drop cloth on the ground and measured off 96 inches (the height of my walls). [I probably should have thought that one through a little better, but when you get to my wrap up you will see my takeaways.]
When this stretched out the width of my living room I should have thought twice about the length
Then I started the task of applying paste. When someone tells you that you should be able to drizzle it on and then spread that would give you the impression that it is somewhat more liquid on the viscosity scale …. you would be wrong. It was much more like Vaseline. So I would scoop a bit out and plop it on the back and start spreading.
Plopping the paste
It wasn’t so difficult, just tedious. And exhausting. So after all 100 inches were properly coated (I was told to put extra at the top and bottom) I “booked” the wallpaper which meant folding it in half and then in half again paste to paste and pattern to pattern and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. Much like a well cooked steak. I realized this would be a good time to draw my plumb line. That is a line that is perfectly level regardless of your walls and ceiling. I took out my trusty level and put that sucker up… With no regard for the width of the wallpaper…. Then I brought the wallpaper over to the wall, crawled up onto my ladder and unfurled my “book.” Since I was by myself I don’t have any pictures of the hilarity that must have been me hanging up the wallpaper. It was on my head, attached to my legs, wrapped around me at various points. thankfully I didn’t rip any of it. After a few minutes the first sheet was up….
After that was up, I stood back to admire it and though to myself… HOLY HELL how am I going to get the seams to match up?! What was I thinking???? Wouldn’t PAINTING have accomplished the same luxury????
ANSWERS: Very carefully… Its so pretty… and yes probably but this is WAY more fun.
So after a few tries, I figured out how to line up the paper and……. I made that seam my bitch!
I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS!!!!! Not only am I very proud of myself I am also in LOVE with the pattern and how lovely and luxurious it came out. And let me tell you I am so so so lucky that I had enough wallpaper to cover the whole thing. The seam on the right side doesn’t exactly match (except at eye level because that’s important). I never would have thought I would have run out given the area was 2′ deep and 3′ across, those 8′ high walls really killed it!
Next that needs to happen is that we get the closet organizer in there. But that’s not going to be for a few weeks. We have quite a few things going on the next few weekends.
Here is my takeaway from the project, if you are thinking about wallpapering here are a few tips that I think would have been helpful
- Buy pre-pasted wallpaper. What, are you like me and didn’t know that it COULD come unpasted?!
- If you DO purchase unpasted wallpaper, use a sponge roller to spread it! Also tape down the edges so it doesn’t roll up on you.
- Have a helper. Now I had wanted to do this by myself so this one is my own fault but another set of hands would have come in handy.
- Cut and tape up first before applying to the walls. Little things would have come to light if I had done that such as the physics of a 62 inch person applying a 96 inch strip of wallpaper to a wall.
- Measure twice, cut once!
- Hire someone!!!!! HAHAHA