From florals and stripes to geometric shapes and lace, wallpaper can pep up any room in just a few simple steps. Sarah Humphreys of “Blueprint” magazine has some creative ideas that all the best dressed homes will be hanging.Tips for hanging wallpaper Here are the instructions and materials you'll need to get the hang of it:
- Spackle and sandpaper the wall to smooth any imperfections, then apply a coat of wallpaper primer. While it dries, cover a long worktable (or just the floor!) with a clean plastic painter's tarp. Make sure your hands are clean, too.
- If you're papering a whole wall, cut vertical strips 4 inches longer than the wall height; once the paper is up, you'll trim the excess. Arrange wallpaper strips side by side on the floor to ensure that the pattern lines up correctly, gently taping them together with painter's tape to temporarily secure them. If you're making a shape (as with the headboard or sconce backing plates), cut it out on a cutting mat with a utility knife.
- Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark where on the wall the paper will be placed. For example, mark the top edge of a chair rail or sides of a rectangle.
- Pour premixed clear wallpaper glue into a paint roller tray. Use a small paint roller to apply it quickly and evenly to the back of the paper. (Some wallpaper comes prepasted, so you can just dampen it according to the manufacturer's instructions).
- Now apply the paper one strip at a time, smoothing each onto the wall from the center outward using an 8-inch plastic smoother. For long strips, use a stepladder and work from the top down; have someone hold the other end as you position it (use this same method for wide chair-rail strips). The seams of side-by-side strips should butt against one another, not overlap; make sure these seams lie flat by using a seam-roller.
- Once a piece is up, you have about 10 to 15 minutes to perfect its placement. Carefully push any bubbles out toward the borders.
- Wash off excess glue with a damp natural sponge, continuing to smooth the wallpaper as you go.
- Celebrate with a cocktail.
Scones can be a bright idea Steal a cool, modern motif from a piece of wallpaper and cut it out to make easy backing plates for your sconces. They don't have to be exactly the same shape, but they should be the same scale. Patterns with diamonds or squares also work well. Just remove the sconce (be sure to turn off the power first), apply the design, let it dry, and reinstall the sconce. Or use this approach for a chandelier or other ceiling fixture.
Doors Liven up a door's wooden personality with colorful insets. If you have commitment fears when it comes to bold patterns, this is a fun way to give one a try. For flat-surfaced doors, cut wallpaper squares or rectangles and glue in place. Paint pieces of 1-inch lattice wood (sold at home centers) and nail them to the door around the panels. We left 8 inches of space at the bottom of each door and 6 inches at the top, but feel free to think outside these boxes.
Good Luck with your upcoming projects!