Wallpaper Mural Accent Wall
Hi, I'm Liz from SimpleDecoratingTips.com, a DIY and decorating blog. I'm so excited that I'm expanding my design business, and I finally had the perfect opportunity to try one of these wallpaper murals first hand!Besides getting another website up and running for the new business, (e-design is one of the new avenues I’ll be offering for consultation), I’m also getting the studio set up to meet with clients and for small groups to gather for a group project class consulting idea I have. Our house has the perfect set up for this too. We have a lower level apartment that we renovated and lived in for several months while the rest of the house was renovated. (in THIS POST you can read a little about that crazy apartment renovation, and the surprise I found lurking in the rafters!)
Since moving out of the lower level apartment and moving into the main part of the house, we considered renting the apartment out, and spread the word a little bit, but quickly realized that to expand my business in this space is actually the perfect use of this space right now! It gives me a space for my office and a space to meet with clients with an outside entrance, and even has it’s own bathroom, so no one has to traipse through the main part of the house.The decor in the apartment was quite plain, all white and neutral. Perfect for a tenant, but not fun, (BORING!) for a decorating studio where I hope to meet clients. It needed a bold statement. Finally, I’m getting to the point of this post, the bold statement is the wallpaper mural and I’m about to show you how I installed it.For years now, I’ve been eyeing wallpaper murals of all sorts. There are choices available. You do need to dig a bit to find them. A few higher end wallpaper books offer a mural or two, online I’ve searched murals out as well. Some of the bespoke wallpaper murals from Europe are very expensive. Lovely, but very expensive. The mural company I decided to go with for for the studio is definitely in the budget I could justify for this space. It was exciting to finally be installing one for the first time! The process was fairly simple too!I selected a mural they offered, I could have uploaded a picture of my own and had that made into a mural, and maybe will do that in my upstairs hallway, (I have so many great pictures from Maine) but for this space the vintage floral painting print seemed like the right choice.It’s important to carefully measure the wall your mural is going on, they will make the size of the mural precisely according to your measurements you give them, with a few inches extra for trimming. I recommend measuring, writing down the measurements then going back and re-measuring to be sure it matches what you wrote down. More than once I’ve written down something incorrectly and this method of checking has saved me.The mural came in less than a week from when I ordered it.
It was shipped in this very sturdy cardboard tube. I was super excited to see it… I wasn’t sure what to expect… was the paper it was printed on going to be like what a cheap poster is printed on?As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised with the weight, quality and texture of the wallpaper mural paper. I ordered the standard weight, (they offer a heavier weight paper too). This standard paper was nothing like the cheap poster paper I had feared, it was heavy weight paper with a wonderful texture resembling the original oil and canvas the mural was printed from.
The instructions that came with the wallpaper mural were very clear and easy to understand.Unpacking the murals:
The drops, (each separate strip that goes on the wall) are printed on one single roll and need to be cut apart and put in the correct order.
Above each drop is the label for where it belongs in the order of placement.
On my studio wall project, all of the drops are the same width, except the very last drop which was a few inches narrower.The actual way they instruct for the wallpaper mural installation is very different than I was accustomed to.I’ve installed lots and lots of wallpaper, from new pre-pasted wallpaper to vintage un-pasted wallpaper, and one thing I’ve always done is either dipped and booked the paper, as in the pre-pasted variety, or painted the glue on the paper and booked it as in the un-pasted variety. (Booking the paper is when you get the glue activated on the wallpaper back and fold it back to back to do it’s thing before you hang it on the wall) But I’ve never only put the paste on the wall and stuck the dry wallpaper onto it.However, for this wallpaper mural, that’s exactly what they recommend. I was so nervous about doing it that way, I even contacted the company and double checked with them about this procedure. They assured me, they found it was the best way to install their murals.I measured the width of the first strip going on the wall,
just under 18″.Oh, one thing I did as I was waiting for the mural to arrive in the mail, I painted the wall it was going on with a quick coat of black paint. The background of the wallpaper is very dark, almost black, and if there is even a hairline of a crack between the seams, the bright white wall would shine out. Having the wall behind it black, gives my wallpaper seams a little grace if they’re not perfect.I took that measurement of the first drop width, and marked it on the wall, adding about an inch to be sure the glue covered the entire area where the paper was going.
Using my level, I marked a plumb line down the wall based on that 18 1/2″ mark.
If you’ve never used a level, it’s super easy. That little bubble is exactly in-between the black lines when it’s plumb. (‘plumb’ is the term for a vertical line and ‘level’ is the term for a horizontal line. I almost always forget to say ‘plumb’ for the vertical and usually wind up calling them both ‘level’ but that can get confusing.)
To follow this plumb line on the wall, for the paper installation is very important, especially on the first piece. Every piece after it will follow that first piece, and if it’s not plumb, the entire wall can look askew.Once I has my area marked, I could ‘paint’ the wallpaper glue onto the wall. Wallpaper glue is much thicker than paint. It’s sort of like the consistency of cold gravy, you know when it gets all gelatin-y?
I brushed the edges by the trim and ceiling in in the corner, and used a paint roller with a 3/8″ nap to get the main parts.Here you can see the first drop of the wallpaper mural installed:
The spot for the second drop has the glue applied, ready for the wallpaper to go on. I did find that a liberal amount of glue is good. I didn’t put it on quite thick enough for the first piece and it didn’t stick on the wall very well, so I immediately lifted it off and re-painted the glue on thicker. All the rest of the drops were great once I realized to put the glue on a little thicker.Very gently I smoothed out the bubbles with a vinyl wallpaper smoother, (like the one I showed you in THIS POST). Then with a slightly damp cloth I wiped off the face of the paper to wipe away any glue that might have gotten on it.For trimming the edge of the paper after it’s in place and smoothed out, I used a wide blade putty knife to hold the paper in place.
With a brand new blade in the utility knife, I carefully cut along that crack created with the edge of the trim and the putty knife.
If the blade isn’t absolutely new and sharp, it can tear the paper during this step, which is very frustrating, so invest in some new blades before you start!!Here is the new studio wall about half way through my mural hanging.
When the glue was still wet, the texture of the wet glue from underneath does show a little. But once the glue was totally dry, that dried nice and flat.I was feeling kind of giddy over the look of the mural.It’s done and I love it!
It is the perfect bold statement this space needed. The texture of the paper is just gorgeous.
I’m getting so close to when this space will be ready for clients! Yay!! Be sure to check back at Simple Decorating Tips for the big reveal of the new website!
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