Unique Way to Wallpaper a Wall

wallpaper-okSome walls just seem to cry out for something different. This is especially true with walls that may be the only wall in a room with wainscot or a narrow bit of wall at the end of a hallway or entryway. You might want to consider using wallpaper in a uniquely different manner.

Instead of hanging panels of wallpaper, get scraps, samples, short rolls, etc. and tear them into small pieces of a couple of inches square to create a mottled look on your wall. It does take some time but is simple to do and can be a fun, creative way to add color to a small part of your home.

The first thing to do is prepare the wall. If it has old wallpaper on it, you will want to remove that wallpaper. To do this, you can use a wallpaper remover to loosen it and then scrape it off. If the wall is painted with a smooth surface, just clean it well and put primer on it. If the wall is textured, you can use a joint compound to fill in the low areas, let it dry, sand it lightly and then cover with primer.

Finding wallpaper for this is fairly simple. Most stores that carry wallpaper have sample books and may have some old ones they will either give you or sell cheaply. Also check the bargain wallpaper for rolls of discontinued wallpaper, short rolls and scraps. It is best to have an idea of what colors you want before you start buying so you don’t end up with wallpaper you end up not being able to use. For example, you may want to use blue as the basic color so you look for various shades of blue. If you want to create some sort of pattern in another color or two, such as a night sky, also watch for whites and shades of yellow.

If possible, get prepasted wallpaper that only has to be wetted to put up. Since it may not be possible to get all of it in prepasted, get wallpaper paste too. Even the prepasted will stick better with a little more paste on it. The paste won’t be mixed as thick as it would if you were hanging full panels so you won’t need to buy as much.

Once you have most if not all of the wallpaper you will need, start tearing it into small pieces of two to three inches square. In a medium bowl or bucket (an ice cream bucket works well for this), mix the wallpaper paste so it is soupy. This would be about three parts water to one to one and a half parts wallpaper paste. Drop a couple of handfuls of the torn wallpaper pieces into the paste mixture and start sticking them to the wall, overlapping them slightly as you go. One nice thing about this method is that it is forgiving and there is no such thing as a mistake.

Once you have the entire wall covered with no bare wall showing, you can add a complimentary wallpaper border at the top and bottom for a finished look. Once it is completely dry, you can give it a couple of coats of spray or roller polyurethane to seal it.

Though it takes time, it can be fun to do and your wall will be unique. If you have more walls that are similarly crying out for something different, you might use the same technique and try different colors and effects for each one so each can make its own statement.