Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We-Design-Day: Wallpaper - the real deal

Have you every wall papered? Anyone? Anyone?

Would you do it again?

Have you ever removed someone else's wall papering job?

Did you swear you'd never, ever wall paper any surface afterwards?

I did. In our old condo - the home of "hey, screws evade us, let's glue the mirror to the wall" and "oops. ran out of wall paper paste, let's use leftover glue from the mirror project instead".

Yet even knowing all of this, i was lured in by the appeal of textured, paintable wall paper during my recent trip to the paint store.

You see, I went in for paint... Just paint - Benjamin Moore's Natura NO VOC paint in Sherwood Green (HC118) and Hawthorne Yellow (HC4) colours.

While I waited for the paint to be mixed, I happened upon a very large and shiny bin of textured wallpaper... Properly, embossed wallpaper.

Photo courtesy of Modenus

Generally, I've seen this applied to ceilings and it makes me crazy with envy... So the idea of having it on a feature wall in my studio... Well, I fell madly and deeply in love! It was on sale so it could fit the budget, it was random match so that meant no finicky pattern matching - it was perfect! Yay!

Then I went to hang it. And I remembered very quickly why no one really likes wallpaper. Oh sure, it always seems like a good idea in the safety of the store. How hard could it be? Imagine how fantastic it would look! Yes, it says "easy to install" so I'm sure I will be successful!

Thankfully, it was prepasted. Unfortunately, it was prepasted.

It was so goopy and sticky and sloppy that my three year old ran away yelling "EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and refused to help. My husband just shook his head and said to call if I needed help but quickly retreated to his office.

As a designer, I love the look of materials with texture and depth and love working with space in new and creative ways - using geometry to push design in a new direction.

As the installer of my own designs, I think I'm nuts.

In all seriousness, I learned a few things about installing wallpaper and to save you the trouble of experimenting on your own, please learn from my mistakes...

1. Wallpapering is a two person job
2. Have more drop cloths than you need and cover every imaginable surface.
3. Carry a rag around with you to wipe the goop from your hands.
4. Wear something to cover you hair.
5. No wall is square.
6. Contrary to the instructions, one cannot successfully trim the excess wallpaper while it is wet.
7. The only thing you'll ever see after you finish is the seam that didn't quite line up because of the problem outlined in number 5.
8. Drinking beer will not help the walls become more square.
9. Crown moulding was invented to hide the messy trims made while trying to cut wallpaper while wet. Too bad crown mouldings don't work with T-Bar ceilings.
10. Unless you are experienced, don't try to do anything but random match your first time wallpapering. If you do not heed my advice, buy two extra rolls of wallpaper.

Even with my silliness and self criticism aside, I am really quite pleased with the outcome of the wall. Granted, from a distance, it just looks like a plain wall (I'm hoping the paint will add some depth to it). It was a tough job but one I think was worth taking!

I'll post pictures in the coming weeks when I'm ready to fully reveal the space! Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you again soon!

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