One afternoon and a few strips of self-adhesive wallpaper made for quite a pretty transformation of this little wall in our home.
If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ll recognize this sliver of wall as my old book page wall.
When we moved into our home nine and a half years ago, the first project I did was tape old pages from a thrifted french novel up to the wall that separates the stairs from the livingroom/hallway.
We wished we had bought the house earlier during the building process so we could have upgraded to an open staircase with railings, but when we asked, it was going to be some crazy amount of money to take down the wall and install the rails, so we just let it go. Because I wasn’t crazy about the blank angled wall, I decided to make it a feature. I carefully tore pages from that old book, used my double-sided tape gun to adhere them to the wall and they stayed that way for over 7 years.
It was a favorite wall of mine, but was starting to look pretty shabby. The pages (especially on the edge of the wall) were torn and worn and looked a bit worse for wear – kids will do that to a wall with tissue-thin paper taped to it. When we took the plunge and had our floors redone and walls painted white, I had to remove all those pages. It was a sad moment.
The paper actually came off fairly well. It took some work to remove all the sticky tape, but the wall was not damaged and I liked the look so much I figured I would just do it again with fresh pages.
But I never did. The wall has sat blank for 18 months, begging for some attention.
When Walls Need Love (the vinyl company where I bought the dots seen on the big window) offered for me to try out their self-adhesive, removable wallpaper I knew right away where I would try it: that blank stair wall.
I have been know to try a few diy versions of wallpaper in my decorating career. I’ve hand-painted it (as seen in my office) and used gift wrap as wallpaper (as seen in Audrey’s old nursery and the laundry room – tutorial here). I’ve done all sorts of fake versions, but never the real thing. That just feels super intimidating and because wallpaper can be SO expensive, I haven’t wanted to mess up a big investment.
The great thing about this removable wallpaper, though, is that you can’t really mess up. I did this wall all by myself in just a few hours. It probably wouldn’t have taken hours, but I had to move furniture and clean the floors and snap photos, so that took longer.
As for the results? I’m so happy. The pattern I chose is called Pixel Diamonds is is the right amount of graphic and classic for my taste.
Want to see the whole process? Here it is in animated photo form:
I started by moving out the furniture. I can be very stubborn and independent when it comes to moving furniture. Ryan was on a conference call and I didn’t want to bother him. I also didn’t want to wait. So I stuck some moving pads under the piano and grunted my way around the corner (it now sits back where it’s been before in the little nook under the stairs).
Next, I wiped down the walls with a microfiber cloth just to make sure they were clear of dust and dirt.
I started on the right side so that the edge would be perfectly flush with the edge of the wall. I’m not sure if it matters if you start on the right or left? It turned out okay moving from right to left. That first piece went up easy enough. I just lined up the right edge with the wall, peeled back the backing paper and smoothed it down from the top. The paper is removable, which was so nice. I had to lift and make little adjustments and it didn’t hurt the paper or the walls.
The trickiest part was lining up the pattern. There is a slight overlap (about 1/4″) and that helps a bit, but I had to spend some time getting it to match up just right. Again, the fact that it is removable makes all the difference. You can lift and adjust without much effort.
After all four strips were adhered, I went back over with an xacto knife and trimmed the edges. You can see on the far left that there is just a sliver left of the wall that didn’t get covered. I probably could have cut a 1/2″ piece of paper, but my goodness that sounded difficult and I figured you wouldn’t really notice the tiny bit of wall.
I was so pleased with how the wall turned out. It feels like an unexpected pop of pattern and makes me smile every time I walk by.
And now my book page wall-turned blank wall-turned wallpapered wall is again my new favorite.
If you have a wall or room in your house that is crying out for pattern, and you’re hesitant to go with ‘real’ wallpaper (the investment, the install, the permanency, the dreaded removal), I can’t recommend this self-adhesive, removable version highly enough.
bench (no longer available from Marshalls)