Last weekend we demoed the office and prepped it for all the new stuff (floors! wallpaper!). It now looks like this:
An almost blank canvas. You can check out week 1 and the full design plan here.
Painting Wood Trim
I also painted the trim/casing. My advice for anyone painting wood trim is to sand it with a sanding block. I know other DIYers recommend a liquid de-glosser instead of sanding, but in my experience, the sanding block does a much better job of roughing up the wood and the paint adheres better. It gives a much more durable finish and you’ll be happy you don’t have to touch up your baseboards once a year. We painted the trim with Behr Ultra White Enamel gloss. It’s a bright white and provides good contrast with most paint colors, especially if you paint the room white or off-white. As a reminder, here is what the room and trim looked like when we purchased the house.
I spent the rest of my weekend researching how to hang wallpaper. I picked the Alma by Cole & Son (buff & gold) wallpaper. You may remember a while ago; I posted several wallpaper samples as I tried to finalize the office design.
As you can see, all the papers have floral/nature-inspired prints. I particularly liked the ones with geometric patterns mixed in. Honestly, once I looked at them all, I knew right away that Alma was the right pick. If you are considering using wallpaper for any room, you should definitely order samples. The experience of seeing it in person and holding it in your hand will make your decision-making faster and easier. You’ll get a better idea of the texture, colors, and print clarity when you have a sample.
Prepping for Wallpapering
I’ve only ever wallpapered one wall in my life (my son’s mural), and I didn’t use a standard method. I used liquid starch (a la this tutorial), so I could easily remove it when he got older. However, I am going to actually, FOR REAL, wallpaper the whole room for this job. So I did a deep dive into how to prep the walls. I thought I would share my non-official guide to prepping for wallpaper. I’ll be sure to update everyone once the wallpaper is completed (hopefully this weekend). (Quick disclaimer: I’m NOT an expert. This is just how I approached it and what I’ve learned. I write this as “you should” because it’s easier for me to write about something like I’m explaining it to someone. If you did it differently, I bet it’s totally great.)
- Read Your Wallpaper Instructions: I don’t know what wallpaper was like 20 years ago, but it seems there are more options today than back then. The first goal is to determine what type of wallpaper you have by reading the instructions. This will tell you how to hang it and what supplies you need. There is the classic paste-the-paper wallpaper where you need to brush adhesive onto the back of the paper and let it soak in and then hang it up. There is peel and stick wallpaper, which I guess is like a big sticker. I’ve never used this, but it’s widely used on the internet. There is prepasted wallpaper. The glue is already on the back of the paper and you either have to soak it in water or spray with water to activate the adhesive. The last type is paste-the-wall wallpaper. For this type of paper, you roll or brush adhesive onto the wall and hang the wallpaper without soaking it in any water. I ordered my wallpaper from Wallpaperdirect.com. They have a few videos that explain this in more detail (paste-the-wall, paste-the-paper). My wallpaper is paste-the-wall.
- Evaluate Your Walls: I hope that before you purchased any wallpaper, you evaluated your walls. Some walls, like those that are heavily textured, are typically not recommended for wallpapering. There may be some exceptions with certain types of paper, but if you have textured walls, you should do a ton of research on what paper could be used and how to do it. If your walls are smooth and already painted, you only need to fill holes and make sure it’s clean and dust-free (luckily, that’s me). If you have a slight texture or damaged walls, you may want to consider putting up wallpaper liner. This is like a slip for your wallpaper. It will smooth out any imperfections.
- Purchase Supplies: Now that you’ve read the instructions and evaluated your walls, you can go to the store and purchase what you need. For most people, you’ll need some adhesive and wallpapering tools. If your walls are textured, you may need the wallpaper liner, and if you are using prepasted wallpaper, you’ll need something to wet or soak the paper with. I took a quick shot of what I purchased for wallpapering below.
- Prep Your Walls: For us, all I had to do was wipe down the walls and make sure they were clean and dust-free. We have a smooth finish on our drywall, so there wasn’t anything else we needed to do. Again, if you have slightly textured or damaged walls, you may want to hang wallpaper liner.
- Re-Watch All the Youtube Videos: Get jazzed up and informed before you start the install. The ones I’ve watched over and over and over again are these three: How to Hang Wallpaper!, How to hang wallpaper – paste the wall, Hanging wallpaper – paste the wall.
I’m hoping this time next week I’ll have a beautifully wallpapered room and the pictures to prove it. Fingers crossed!