Saturday, May 18, 2013

Office Makeover

The way the people had it before us.
Bright, glossy red.

Some several days of wallpapering and waaaay cuter furniture

And the low-down: Wallpaper 101
I had never wallpapered before.
I knew I was being ambitious trying to tackle an entire room myself.
My husband is particular and likes things to be done RIGHT.
And of all the rooms, I decide to wallpaper his office. While he was gone.

But there are lessons learned! It did turn out very nice (just don't look too close). 

#1 Get the right paste!!! I tried 3 different ones. The first was a generic adhesive- the only wallpaper adhesive to be found at Home Depot. I bought it because well, I had no other choice, there at least.
By the way, I used non-pre-pasted vinyl faux grasscloth wallpaper, so it's heavier and needs a legit adhesive, thus my struggles. 
The crap paste did not stick AT ALL. At the time, I didn't realize the problem was paste. I was putting wallpaper over a glossy red paint, which poses a problem, but I had sanded it down by hand.
I read several tutorials on wallpapering and thought I was doing everything right.
I was this close to busting out the electric sander to go over the whole room, which would have taken hours, plus would have left red dust all over the place.
Instead, I decided to go to Lowe's and get some advice.
They suggested a wallpaper primer, which you paint on, it dries clear, and lets the paste adhere better.
So I tried it.
No success.
The paste was the problem. It was a watery mess, I don't even know how they sell that crap.

I did more research online, and ended up at Sherwin-Williams, where they supposedly carried heavy duty adhesive.
This is a new product, and they just had a gallon sample that they gave me to try out for free! It was ah-mazing. 
But then I ran out.
The awesome guy at Sherwin tried to locate another sample for me and couldn't, so he recommended a different brand- Roman.
Decent, but still not as good as this Gardner-Gibson Dynamite.
And I even ran out of Roman- after it left lots of bubbles in my wallpaper =(
SO he finally called in another gallon of this Dynamite, which finished the job, and it clearly is the WINNER!

#2 Wallpaper is not cheap. I ended up having to order more than I thought because I was initially being kind of stingy. It was probably $350 for wallpaper alone, and that was an inexpensive wallpaper! 
Plus you need supplies:
the paste: $40-50
paint rollers or a stiff brush
a level edge to smooth it out
wallpaper seam roller
an exacto knife to trim top and bottom edges- and extra blades!!! They get dull way fast
sponge to wipe up paste 
drop cloth

#3 It takes time
Never mind that I did this myself, while trying to still be Mom to 2 little kids. But I averaged 40 minutes per panel. Brushing on the adhesive, letting it sit for a bit, then placing it on the wall, smoothing it, and trimming edges, then wiping down. It's a process.
IF I ever attempt this again (okay I totally will), I'm more inclined to just do a single accent wall, even though I do love the look of an overall room wallpapered.

#4 With my wallpaper that had a stripey effect, it's hard to get the panels perfectly straight, and once they go slightly crooked, you've got problems. 
Wallpaper edges are supposed to butt up against each other, but on a few I had to overlap, just to straighten it out again. You can tell, and it bugs me, but maybe ordinary people won't notice. Whatever.
Glad it's done, and that it looks 100 times better- or at least, more my style ;)

1 comment:

  1. It looks so high-end! Your struggles were totally worth it-it looks seriously fantastic!


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