I think it was pretty obvious who the star of the show was in my powder room reveal earlier this week.
Me. It was me.
Just kidding :) It was obviously the peacock wallpaper, which is so drop-dead gorgeous I don’t even know what to do with myself when I’m in its presence. I’m at once compelled to kiss it, rub it, maybe make a pillow cover out of it and sleep on it every night. Tough call.
The paper is Indira Damson by Clarke & Clarke and you can get samples and full rolls online from Wallpaper Direct. They have a fantastic selection of beautiful papers. I could (and maybe did) spend hours poring over all the choices! The Indira Damson is luxuriously thick and has a slight texture to it that almost makes it look hand-painted. Just gorgeous.
This was my first time hanging paste-the-wall wallpaper, where you paint wallpaper paste directly onto the wall and then smooth the paper on top of it. It was so, so, SO much neater than the dripping wet rolls I’ve dealt with before. I’m never going back.
The first thing you’ll want to do is gather up supplies.
- Rolls of wallpaper
- Universal wallpaper paste (I used Zinsser SureGrip)
- A foam paintbrush
- Wallpaper smoothing tool (I used a flexible plastic smoothing tool)
- 90º mitre square (optional – I used one like this to make sure I was cutting straight)
- Sharp razor or box cutter
Use your scissors to cut a piece of wallpaper about 2″ LONGER than your measurement.
Take the piece of paper you already cut and gently orient it so the top goes up onto the ceiling a bit and about an inch of paper goes around the corner (this will make sure there are no gaps of wall showing in this corner when you finish).
Use your hands to gently smooth the paper into place. It will stick to the paste on the wall but you can peel it off and re-press if needed. You want to get it as smooth as possible with your hands.
Next take the smoothing tool and start pressing and smoothing the paper against the wall more firmly. Your goal is to get out any air bubbles and wrinkles and be sure the paper is adhering to the paste.
Use the box cutter and a straight edge (I used my smoothing tool) to carefully trim the excess paper along the top and bottom edges.
Once the first piece is in place you’re ready to cut your next piece. Find the spot in your pattern where the top of your first piece was cut (remember to allow for the bit of extra you trimmed off the top!) and start your cut there, using the same measurements you did the first time.
Follow the same process, but this time you will want to make sure you’re lining up the pattern of the side-by-side pieces as precisely as possible.
As you’re smoothing into place, you also want to be sure that the entire seam between the papers is tight, with no wall peeking through.
Continue following this process until you have made it around the room and are back where you started.
Working around doors, windows, or other obstacles takes a little patience, but it’s still the same basic process – press, smooth, and trim.
Wallpapering even a small room in this way still took me several hours, but the mess while doing it, and the cleanup afterwards, were worlds easier than with pre-pasted wallpaper.
And once you get the hang of the process, it goes by really quickly.
If you’ve been feeling nervous about trying your hand at wallpapering, this is an excellent starting point. Simple materials, some eye toward precision, and a few hours are all you need to completely transform a room!
Stop by next week for tutorials on how I built the chunky chair rail and installed shadow box wainscoting.
Happy weekend everyone!