I hung wallpaper! And survived!

First published on: https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2019/02/i-hung-wallpaper-and-survived.html

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Hey hey! I’m so excited to show you what I’ve been up to this week!

Remember this little hallway off our great room and kitchen?:

easy trick for hanging frames
I shared more about that little gallery wall and my hanging trick here
Later I showed you how to change out a recessed light for a hanging light
How to change out recessed light for hanging light
I’ve had big plans for this little hallway and that involved wallpaper. The real stuff — not peel and stick wallpaper like I used in the powder room. I’ve only done smaller projects with it, like this wallpaper art I made YEARS ago. 
Back then you had to soak it in water (I used the tub), then do the folding technique before hanging. It wasn’t difficult, but it was messy. 
Well, I’ve been eyeing a wallpaper forever and a few months ago I started the process if figuring out where to get it. I asked on Instagram if anyone knew what it was called or where I could get it, and people were SO helpful!! That was the good news — the bad news is it was sold at Anthropologie for nearly $300 a roll. Three hundred! A roll! I’m willing to splurge occasionally, but that was pushing it. 
Some of you helpful folks gave me the name of the wallpaper and other places to purchase it. I did some more research and found it for more than half off at an online store. I bit the bullet and bought a roll because that was the best price I found by far. If you purchase from Anthro, it’s called Pergola, but the official name is Kamala Indigo Baker Lifestyle. Search the latter online. (BTW, the Anthro price has dropped!)

I really wanted to get it up before the holidays, but thought better of trying to tackle it at that time. And then I just psyched myself out. I thought it was going to be a real pain to install, so I waited on it. (This waiting will bite me in the butt, I’ll explain more about that in a minute.) 
Finally this week decided, I’m just gonna do it! I actually read the directions (always helpful) and realized it wasn’t even pasted. Then I talked to my friend Beth who had recently wallpapered this beautiful room, and she explained that you roll the glue on the wall instead of getting the paper wet. SO MUCH EASIER. 
Here’s a quick run down of how to install wallpaper…
You’ll need wallpaper paste and a roller and/or brush, then a very sharp utility knife and a wallpaper smoothing tool
Pergola wallpaper anthropologie

That’s the pretty paper — isn’t it lovely?

This process was MUCH easier than I thought it would be. Much.

1. I measured the length of the wall and laid the paper on the floor to measure. I would draw a line where it needed to be cut:

Tips for hanging wallpaper yourself
2. Then I cut with scissors. I found that you don’t have to have super straight lines because you’ll be trimming the wallpaper at the top and bottom (and some sides — especially for a smaller space): 
Step by step how to hang wallpaper
3. You’ll pour your paste into a paint tray, then roll it on just like paint. Makes sure to use a brush to get into tight areas like around doors, the ceiling and the baseboards. Don’t skimp on the glue! I had to go back over some areas because I didn’t use enough. 
4. The glue has some give, so you can adjust the paper. I slightly overlapped the pieces, just like I did with the peel and stick in the bathroom. I do this just in case over time it expands or contracts for some reason. You’ll want to make sure you match up the design with each new piece. 
5. Use your smoothing tool to work out any bubbles. There were waaaay less bubbles to worry about with this compared to the peel and stick. The tool also gets the wallpaper to stick well to the wall:
How to hang wallpaper
6. You’ll also use that tool to trim your wallpaper. Push the wallpaper to where you need to cut (the ceiling, door trim, baseboards) and use your razor to trim it down: 
Tips for hanging wallpaper around trim
That little took makes this super easy! I would hold it against the wall and drag the razor as I moved it. You definitely need a sharp razor though. 
7. Because of the repeat of the wallpaper (repeat is the size of the design that repeats throughout the wallpaper — similar to fabric) you need to make sure to match that as you go. That means you’ll have plenty of excess paper and why you need to make sure you order enough!
As soon as I got one piece up I knew it was going to be good!!:
Small hallway blue and white floral wallpaper
Ignore our crazy cat. It was addicting, and dare I say…kind of fun. You know I’m weird and I enjoy DIY projects…but it was satisfying to see the progress.
We all absolutely positively LOVE it: 
Kamala Baker Lifestyle wallpaper
I want it everywhere!! In every room. On the ceilings. Ever.y.where. 
This is where I tell you to do as I say, not as I do. I thought for SURE one roll would be plenty for this small space. The repeat on this isn’t that big so with that and the small amount of wall space, I thought I would be good for sure. 
Nope. This view is cropped: 
Baker Lifestyle Kamala wallpaper Indigo
I’m short two small pieces. SO frustrating. It’s because of the two doorways — those long skinny pieces make a lot of the paper unusable because the remaining pattern doesn’t match up. So I have plenty left, I just can’t use it. Poop:
How to measure for wallpaper
Bad news is I have to order more, the good news is I love this paper so much I’m going to use it somewhere else…so I’ll definitely use it!
**Edited to add: Many of you have suggested piecing parts of the paper together — I definitely did that in other spots and you can’t tell at all. The portions of paper I have left are very skinny (and don’t match the pattern) or are the middle sections of the paper (because I cut the sides for the areas by the doors). That middle part is unusable because the pattern doesn’t match up. I tried everything, believe me! 🙂 
Here’s a view from the finished side. 😉
Kamala Indigo wallpaper

It’s wild how it makes the ceiling seem so much taller — it feels ten feet tall here! (It’s not.) Overall it makes this tiny little space feel so grand. I’m 100 percent obsessed with it. Lurve. 
I couldn’t have found a more complicated space to wallpaper — three doorways, an outlet, a light switch and the thermostat. I’ll share more tips at the end of the post so be sure to check those out!:
small hallway blue and white wallpaper

Of course this one change has turned into a few more that I want to make — I’m so excited about the additional details I’m hoping to finish up this week! One of those is a new shade on the light. Stay tuned for the rest! 
The photos will go back up too, but I’m hoping to make some slight changes: 
Kamala Indigo blue and white floral wallpaper
The online store that I bought the wallpaper from doesn’t carry this one anymore. I’m praying the new roll (from a different batch) matches well enough. Gah! That’s another reason to make sure you get enough! 
Here are some additional tips if you plan to install wallpaper in your home: 
  • Use the wallpaper calculator they provide online — and if you have a lot of doorways I’d err on needing even more. I mistakenly thought that would mean I wouldn’t need as much. 
  • I used a level and marked a straight line down the wall so I could use it as a guide to make sure the wallpaper was going on straight. Your first piece is the most important! 
  • Like I said before, don’t skimp on the paste. Don’t leave globs of it on the wall, but make sure your brush or roller is saturated and go over the wall a couple times. 
  • Don’t be afraid to get the paste on the paper. It wipes off easily. I used extra amounts where the seams me up and then wiped it down after. 
  • You can measure (very carefully) for outlets and things in the way and cut the paper before install. But I wouldn’t recommend that. You have to make too many tiny adjustments as you go. I started at the top, got it straight, then spread it onto the wall. As I came to something that was in the way, I would cut around it. The outlet and switch were easy (take the covers off). For the thermostat, I tucked the paper behind as much as I could and then would cut around. Make sure to take your time here and make small cuts as you go. 
  • Wallpaper is surprisingly forgiving — there are parts I pieced together and you can’t tell at all. You’d have to get right up on it and feel the wall to know where I did it. 
  • Feel the wall as you go over it with the smoothing tool. I couldn’t see the air pockets well because of the design.

I find that that more I work up a DIY project in my head, the less difficult it really is. Do you ever notice that? The ones I think are going to be the hardest end up being way easier than I thought. Maybe it’s just because I’m comparing them to how hard I think it’s going to be. 😉 
DIY how to install wallpaper
This is my favorite spot in our house right now! 
Have you installed wallpaper in your home? It is back with a vengeance and now I know why. 😉 I am head over heels in love. I could see myself adding it all over but need to watch it — I’ve heard it is NOT fun to remove!
If you have any questions about the process feel free to ask in the comments! Now I need to go order more of paper so I can finish that dang spot. 😩

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I hung wallpaper! And survived!