Part One: The Why
As a child I have a very vivid memory of what our house looked like. Wallpaper in every room. Wallpaper in the family room (cream with forest green grid on top). Wallpaper in the kitchen (forest green with white polka dots…or small white flowers?). Wallpaper border in one of the bedrooms (teddy bears, ducks with mauve bows, and hearts). Wallpaper in my bedroom (rainbow gingham, but only up to chair rail hight). Wallpaper in the bathroom, AND a wallpaper boarder. The next vivid memory I have is the removal and for the next 10 years hearing my mother say, “I WILL NEVER WALLPAPER AGAIN!” It left a lasting impression to say the least.
Every year at the parade of homes I see beautiful wallpapers in the models. I look on Pinterest and see stunning wallpaper features in laundry rooms. Several of my blog friends have done stunning wallpaper projects: Emily’s ostrich bathroom, Amber’s floral accent wall, Kelly’s floral closet, Katja’s textured entry, Anu’s modern entry (and way more that my pregnancy brain is struggling to remember).
And then I got sad. I was sad because I was a wimp. I loved all the wallpapers, but I was too afraid to commit. I stuck with stenciled walls because I knew I could always paint over them… until I found this from Hygge & West, designed by Rifle Paper Co:
I showed a picture to Aaron and said, “What do you think about this for the nursery?” I was still up in the air about it, but he was VERY insistent that we do it. He reminded me that pineapples are the traditional way to say “welcome home” therefore making it the perfect place to bring home our new baby girl.
Since we already had a plethora of baby girl items leftover from Evelyn, we were able to splurge a little to get this wallpaper.
Who better to help me install this wallpaper than the queen of wallpaper herself, my mother! I was worried she would talk me out of it, but she was very supportive! She reminded me that as long as I don’t wallpaper the entire house, when we ARE ready to remove it, one wall won’t be that big of a deal.
Part Two: The How
**If you aren’t doing a wallpaper project, this part of the post will be pretty boring, since it is tips and tricks of the actual install. Just enjoy the pictures! If you ARE getting ready for a wallpaper project, I hope this helps you and can help you avoid some of the mistakes I feel like I made.**
Since I was doing the same brand of wallpaper as Amber from Wills Casa, I read and reread her tutorial over and over and found it very helpful. I recommend you do the same if you’re planning on Hygge & West wallpaper.
Most wallpapers are pre-pasted, meaning you just have to get them wet, then stick it to the wall. Not this paper. It involves a special paste that you apply both to the paper and the wall.
These are the supplies we needed: 2 buckets (one for paste, one for water), the paste (which we purchased from Hygge & West as well), spreaders, razor blade, sponges, rollers. Not pictured: plastic floor cover.
Make sure to mix your paste ahead of time, because it takes an hour to set up. While it was swelling, we prepped the room with the drop cloth and towels because this is a MESSY process.
The first piece is the hardest to hang. That’s what everyone will tell you. You can’t count on walls being level, so need to get a level and measure then draw a “plumb line” straight down. That is what you’ll line your wallpaper up with. (Please see pictured my cute mama below!)
When you’re applying paste to the back of the wallpaper, do it liberally. You’ll also roll paste onto the wall.
You’ll “book” the paper by folding it into thirds, and letting it sit for about 5-7 minutes.
You’ll line the paper up (to the pencil line if it’s your first piece- to the pattern if it’s any piece after that). Make sure you cut your pieces long, because you’ll go back and trim it with a razor blade. Once you have the paper in place, the real hard part happens: smoothing it out. This is extremely messy. You’ll have gooey paste oozing in every direction. Don’t be afraid! This is what you want. It’s just difficult because the paper will start to wrinkle in places.
I found the best way to avoid wrinkles and creases is this method: don’t start smoothing with the scrapers right away! Loosely start smoothing the paper onto the wall with your hands, almost like you’re stretching the paper into place. Start in the middle, then work your way to the edges. THEN use your scrapers. After I discovered this method I had far less wrinkles.
Use the sponge and washcloth to wipe off extra paste with warm water. The wallpaper is very durable and strong.
We have slightly textured walls. I went back and forth on deciding if we should do a skim coat to make the wall smooth, or leave the texture (knowing it would show through the wallpaper). We decided to not cover the texture, because when we are done with the wallpaper, we don’t want to have to re-texture the wall to match the rest of the room. However, I ended up being happy with this decision for another reason. It hid any wrinkles that I was unable to smooth out. And the texture is barely noticeable.
After each strip of wallpaper was smoothed into place, we held the edge of the scraper to the baseboards/ceiling, and ran the razor along the edge to trim it.
The most frustrating part of the project was the very last piece. We had a gap of less than an inch that we had to fill. It was pretty unbelievable. We just trimmed the whole last piece down to about 4 inches, then after pasting it in place, cut it with the razor.
Part Three: The Finished Product
Here’s the nursery before:
After about 5 hours of messy work later (and a sneak peek at the dresser I scored on a thrift hunt!):
I just need to give another huge shout out to my mom for helping me with this. Wallpapering is definitely a two person job, and I couldn’t have done it without her. We had such a great time talking and laughing while working on a project together. It was a really special day to spend with her, and I’m happy that when I see this wall I can remember how much fun it was to create it with my mommy!
There are 2 different seams in this picture, and you have to look really close to find them. The pattern matched up almost perfectly, which I was surprised about because of the hand-painted nature of the pattern.
This pineapple pattern is EVERYTHING. I love the blush color of the flowers. I love that it’s on a white background, and it’s the same shade of white as the other walls in the room. It flows together really well. I love how happy and cheerful it is.
Evelyn was adorable while I was trying to photograph the room. She loved reaching for the pineapples and patting them.
(Also, can you believe how curly her hair is?!)
We are very excited to welcome home our Tiny-girl, the pineapple of our eye.