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Adventures In Wallpaper: Reveal

It’s been almost 2 months since we first spilled the beans about venturing into the great, wide world of wallpaper. Of course we were a little nervous that we may have fallen victim to the fast growing home decor trend, but you know what? Consider us on that bandwagon. The more we anticipated our Saturday date with wall glue and soaking paper, the more we couldn’t wait for the transformation. The whole process was far from what we imagined (considering our lack of experience), but we survived, and we’re excited to finally show you more than last week’s sneak peak:

As with everything that needs a fresh, glossy coat of paint, the first step is primer. Wallpaper is no exception, and we lathered up our wall using less than a quart of the goo. Because we’re follow-the-instructions type of people, we used just one thin coat since the can didn’t specify otherwise. It saved us 15 minutes of more rolling, and in the end, our one coat did the trick.

After an easy peasy step one, we attempted wetting our cut strips in a long, shallow tray. Unfortunately the tray had other plans, and our tightly rolled paper was bone dry on the inside. Rather than fight the curl of our paper, we opted for a spray bottle filled with warm water to spritz our pre-pasted strips (gotta love a roll that let’s you skip the paste). Once the paper was good and soaked (and after “booking” for 3 minutes), we (very awkwardly) hurried up the ladder and worked from ceiling to baseboard, left to right, leaving an extra 4 inches of play on top and bottom.

Using a plastic scraper, the hubs and I took turns smoothing out air pockets and aligning seams. There were definitely moments of exterme panic and there may have been a nervous cry at one point. Really, I think the slimy surface of the primer is what saved us, and we quickly learned that the already applied paper could easily be shifted if we found ourselves falling out of line with the wall. Once each strip was perfectly in place, we used a fresh razor blade to trim the top and bottom to that perfect cut.

And because the crazy in me always seems to come out in the middle of a time sensitive project, I found myself hyperventilating (and am getting a little creepy crawly just thinking about it) at the mess we made. The excess glue, dripping water, and slimy hands were not made for the faint of heart. Thankfully a wet sponge acted as our saving grace on more than one occasion. A few swipes, and even I was surprised at how easy clean up went.

As the photo above just gave away, the secret is out; it was our halls that got decked (har-har). We had plans for that wall since day one, and it took over two years until we had the guts to move forward. Now, not only does our punchy green wall greet you upon entering, but we hope to find you being pulled to the left as well. And whether we’re snuggled in the bed or hangin’ on the couch, this wall can be seen from almost every perch in our home.

This is probably the view your most familiar with from our house tour. Pit stop to the bathroom on the right, or go left at the curtain and take a nap. Around the corner (and out of view) is the office. This nine-foot-wide-pattern was just enough to spruce up the narrow hall while adding some oh-la-la to the already gray walls. The subtle silver pattern (weaving in, out, and around the circles) picks up light throughout the day and provides an unexpected sheen to really spice things up.

Here’s the opposite view, with the bathroom on the left and hidden laundry unit straight ahead. And although this story is all about wallpaper, can I just derail and say how much I love not counting quarters anymore? Oh, if only the loads could wash themselves.

And what’s a story without finding an excuse to talk about the kids? Don’t you know it, Jack got in on the action, too. Our pup is one eager helper (which mostly includes wet-nosed kisses, among other things), but even he learned his lesson when he got a bit too close to the wet wall. One primed nose later, and Jack realized his bed was probably a better option.

So there you have it. From the moment I laid eyes on that bargain bin roll, I knew it had to be. From conception to finish, I think the hubs and I can agree that the whole wallpaper gig wasn’t as bad as we originally thought it would be. (Would we do it again though? Mmm. We may need some time to think about it). All road bumps aside (which pretty much equate to my own panic attacks), this one wall project cost us less than 3 figures and only one afternoon of our time. But the best part? We couldn’t be more smitten with the results.

  • Jacquelin Seybert - March 30, 2010 - 10:14 AM

    I LOVE your wallpaper. I’m one of those people who is totally afraid of it. Thank you for the inspiration! I’m feeling the need to hunt for a potential wallpaper wall in our condo :)ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - March 30, 2010 - 10:28 AM

    O wow! The paper really brings out the colors in your home!ReplyCancel

  • julialifeisart - March 30, 2010 - 11:42 AM

    Looks great from every angle! And I love it with the green wall– so chic!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog - March 30, 2010 - 3:07 PM

    Perfect print/ perfect place… I love how it turned out!ReplyCancel

  • rachael - March 31, 2010 - 8:49 AM

    Looks fantastic- keep it up! What would be the one piece of advice that you’d suggest to someone thinking about wallpapering?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 31, 2010 - 9:29 AM

      Rachael, just dive right in! Honestly, we considered it for almost 3 years before pulling the trigger, and I don’t even know why we waited that long. After actually purchasing the paper, we found everything we needed in the wallpaper aisle of Menard’s: primer, scraper (we skipped the brush – the scraper worked perfectly for smoothing bubbles), and a sponge. We were in and out of the store in under 10 minutes.

      Good luck, I can’t wait to see what you do!ReplyCancel

  • Breanna - March 31, 2010 - 10:42 AM

    I LOVE LOVE these wallpapers! I’m a huge fan of the Black & White combo…now if only I didn’t live in an apartment and could actually use some wallpaper in my own place. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Bre @ http://theredbungalow.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • Amie & Abbey Road - March 31, 2010 - 7:24 PM

    This looks awesome!! Very Anthropologie-esque…is that where the paper’s from? I drool over every wallpaper they seem to have.

    I can’t wait to get a place where we can wallpaper.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 31, 2010 - 9:55 PM

      Amie, you’d be right! That wallpaper was straight from the clearance bin at Anthropologie.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - April 8, 2010 - 1:08 PM

    Your place is great! I just found this website, and I’m so excited about it. I’ve been obsessed with doing a wall in our master a green color like the one you have here. What brand/color is it?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 8, 2010 - 2:01 PM

      Hi Leslie, thank you so much! While most blogs I read have shied away from such a crayon color green, we just can’t get enough of it. The color is Behr’s Chlorophyll. You can also find a list of all our paint colors (as well as many home furnishings) in this source list.

      Hope this helps! Would love to see your accent wall when you’re finished.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - December 27, 2010 - 11:21 PM

    Hi I’ve just found your blog and am enjoying reading about your home projects. I found some bargain rolls of wallpaper and Im dying to hang it on our hallway cupboards. Scared but excited at the same time! Hope ours turns out as great as yours :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 28, 2010 - 11:09 AM

      Thank you, Michelle! Good luck, and send some photos our way!ReplyCancel

  • [...] I must warn you that the “mess” factor is ever-present with this project too. Here’s a great tutorial, and some ahh-mazing “after” photos, to review before [...]ReplyCancel

  • […] in one of our homes, but it was the first time we’ve hung it using a traditional pasting method (our first foray came pre-pasted). We were a little nervous before jumping in, and although there’s always a bit […]ReplyCancel

  • Cities In the Guest Room | Bichona - October 15, 2014 - 4:02 AM

    […] one of our homes, but it was the first time we’ve hung it using a traditional pasting method (our first foray came pre-pasted). We were a little nervous before jumping in, and although there’s always a […]ReplyCancel

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