After removing wallpaper from almost every room in the last two houses we owned, you would think I’d never want to look wallpaper in it’s pasty eye again. But the new designs were like a siren’s song, calling me: “I’m different than those others, trust me, you’ll love me…” and so I fell under it’s spell like many before me.
Ok so really, wallpaper gets a bad rap – but wallpaper done right, with the right design, CAN really make you fall in love again. At least I did.
Here are my tips:
1 – Buy only quality brands……I didn’t (geez I’m a tightwad) and I paid the price in a few ways. The paper was very thin, curled up on the sides really easily which tends to tear it, over manipulation tends to tear it, trying to move it once it’s up tends to tear it….looking at it wrong tends to tear it…you really do get what you pay for.
2 – Prepare for a mess. Cover the floor with a dropcloth, towels or something else absorbent, not newspaper, your feet and the paper will stick. Oy. Remove anything from counters etc. so you don’t accidentally slop glue on or knock something over with the acrobatics needed to apply wallpaper. Oh, and for heavens sake, get a babysitter where applicable.
3 – Measure, measure, measure! Especially if you have to match a pattern – take your time before you cut to make sure the piece you are about to cut lines up with the last piece pattern wise. Start out with a plumb line at the start of the project to see how straight it will all be.
4 – Be patient! Don’t do this on a day where time is a problem. You will need more time (and wallpaper) than you think. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions on how long to soak the paper and book the paper. This is a good lesson if like me you think instructions, insmuktions! because it really does make a difference to the finished product (and your sanity).
5 – You will need a SHARP exacto knife/box cutter/blade – whatever. Lots of them. When the wallpaper is wet it tends to “skid” if the blade isn’t sharp. You will need to change it often. A good ladder, pencil, scissors and a level are also needed. And that wallpaper smoother thingy.
6 – If the paper tears as much as mine did, and you’ve run out of enough paper for a do-over, you can patch it with left over scraps, or try to match up a bottle of craft paint and do a touch-up here and there where needed. Try to be critical with your fix-ups however, otherwise you will forever be looking at the mistakes and feel annoyed.
7 – Keep your sense of humor, you’re going to need it. (How DO you get wallpaper paste out of dog fur?)
8 – If you’ve started but are just having the worst time – stop. Pick up the phone. There are professionals who can help!