The Powder Room Project: Wallpaper

We could have painted the newly repaired walls above our new paneling, but I felt that instead, the room was demanding wallpaper.  The house, of course was once completely covered in wallpaper- even the ceilings in some rooms!  I am very grateful to a previous owner for stripping it off of most of the rooms- she tells me she round 10 layers!  I have found evidence of it in other rooms- and even though I dread stripping if some day, I am also thankful to get to see what was once chosen for this special home so many, many years ago.


I ordered some wallpaper samples from Aesthetic Interiors, and waited with bated breath for them to arrive.  Sadly, when they finally did I was disappointed.  They just seemed too dark.  I then turned to our local paint and decorating store for ideas:  Here are some of the finalists:


I was ALMOST ready to order the gold floral on the right, but then when I put it up to a facebook poll, the little sample on the top right completely dominated…


Here is is enlarged.  It is “Chenonceau” by Schumacher in charcoal gray.  Once I saw this picture, I knew it was just the show-stopping print that I was hoping to find.  I love how even though it is an old fashioned print, it has a modern feel to it too.  Which, I think, make it perfect for our project.

I had never wall papered before, and it was really stressful for me to think about doing.  This wall paper was NOT inexpensive.  I wasn’t sure how much left over I would have, and I did NOT want to mess this room up.

Luckily, I have a mother-in-law who is very experienced in hanging wallpaper.

We definitely had our shakre of mistakes, but thankfully the pattern is forgiving, and I learned how to patch like a pro.  The good news is that the average joe would never see the mistakes.  The bad news is that I know where they ALL ARE!

Before I post some pictures of the finished product, I will offer some wallpapering advice from me, a wallpapering novice whose first job went kind of ok:

  1. Make sure your walls are smooth.  I did not want to take any chance what soever that this wallpaper would not stick.  So, I put a skim coat of join compound over the textured walls to smooth them out.  It didn’t take very long, and it made a huge difference.IMG_3792
  2. When your walls are clean and smooth, apply wallpaper “sizing.”  It is basically primer.  I have no idea why it is called “sizing.”
  3. Have a buddy- while my mother in law cut, I pasted the walls and she helped me hold the paper while I got it lined up.  Also, when we made mistakes, we told each other that is was “ok” and “no big deal.” (even though we both knew it wasn’t really, but what were we going to do anyways?)
  4. Use picture molding or crown moulding on top!  This way, when we ended and nothing was level, we hid it with salvaged picture rail and no one’s the wiser (except me… who happens to be the worst person to know this information…)

The first couple of sheets going up!!  Isn’t it stunning??


The final corner, when the pattern did not meet up and we couldn’t do anything about it.  This is because we did not draw a plumb line after each corner.  Lesson learned.  It is totally noticeable if you know about it , but otherwise, I think the pattern is busy enough that you your eye wouldn’t be drawn to it if you were just a guest who needed to pee…IMG_3799

This is another look with a sneak peak at the salvaged picture rail we used on top.  IMG_3814

This is me after ~10 hours of wallpapering…so happy it is as beautiful as I’d hoped and dreamed, and so happy that it is done.IMG_3797



3 thoughts on “The Powder Room Project: Wallpaper

  1. Gretchen Ver Steeg says:

    This looks awesome! Hang a low light trailing plant from the ceiling in the corner or a mirror on the wall and the eye will be drawn away from the pattern not quite coming together in that one place. I think you two did a great job and, in my opinion, when things come out too perfect in a really old house it somehow doesn’t look authentic! Old houses should have a quirk or two in every room.

  2. Seth Hoffman says:

    Your guests will very rarely spot any of the little imperfections that bug you, I promise. Those little things on my projects always bother me, but other people hardly notice them, sometimes even after I point them out!

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