The trouble I see with a lot of DIY and home renovation projects on the internet is that when things are new things look good. The real question is, how does it stand the test of time? Today I’m talking about the beadboard wallpaper by Graham & Brown that I put up over five years ago.
The powder room was our first gut-and-overhaul project. Coming in at only 12 square feet, it’s a small space. The original layout didn’t help at all – a pointless radiator took up too much floor space and crowded the rest of the bathroom to one corner. And that extended countertop you see? If you sat down the countertop was jutting into your back and your elbow was nudged up against the sink! Not to mention that beautiful access panel on the wall.
This room is so small it’s hard to get very good pictures, so the straight on view is the best you’re gonna get! You probably can’t tell from the photo, but that was the world’s tiniest sink! It’s not a standard depth (old house) and the faucet was in the corner. You could hardly get both hands in sink to wash them.
I have a love-hate relationship with wallpaper.
I hate removing it – like from my bedroom and my kitchen. (PS – if you haven’t seen the insanity of the kitchen wallpaper I inherited with this house, check it out here!) Then I discovered beadboard wallpaper… which I loooooove. (Extra “o” letters necessary.)
Recently (okay fine, back in September), we ripped out our downstairs bathroom. We have lived without it for the past 6 months – yikes! Since then I shared my Powder Room Inspiration Board andshared tales of burning the midnight oil with our last-minute tile choosing session.
Believe me when I say I am SO glad this project is nearing completion. (Yippee!!)
Our kitchen has come a long, long way from where we started. (Hoorah!!) But there still are a few spots where it iss… showing it’s age, shall we say? A few gray hairs.
The wall where the sideboard is (where the refrigerator originally went – can you believe it?) was a disaster when we were taking down the wallpaper. There were big strips of glue remnants from who-knows-what, in addition to cracks, lumps and gouges. I would love to know what was there once upon a time!
Earlier in November we (aka Moose) worked on the porch ceiling. The ceiling (which was pop-corny and ugly) had quite a bit of water damage and was sagging at the seams.
And while ceiling fans can be quite charming on a nice Southern porch on a hot day… this one left a lot to be desired.
(As you can sort of see in the arches, we ripped out all the screening and staples… but that is another project to talk about another day.)
The first step was to rip everything down.
This was messy. And I love our Shop-Vac like my first-born.
That was pretty much where my help ended. You see, I am vertically challenged.
Short, that is.
And since this project required two tall people, we had our tall friend come over and help us for a few hours.
First they put up plywood and used a nail gun to nail it into the studs.
Then we purchased some outdoor beadboard sheets. They used LiquidNails on the back and used the nail gun to attach it to the ceiling.
And we also installed this $10 light from Home Depot.
And that’s as far we we have gotten.
Now it’s too cold to finish it. Come spring we will put up the molding and probably paint it white.
The final result will look something like this:
Maybe then it will be hot enough to enjoy a glass of lemonade on the front porch.
Earlier I showed you my progress in the dining room.
I know, I know. I know what you are all thinking.
“Why on earth are you putting wallpaper UP when you’ve been spending so much time taking wallpaper down!? Haven’t you learned?”
Here’s the thing: wallpaper is easy to take down when it’s been put up properly.
I ordered my beadboard wallpaper through the blog Southern Hospitality. It was great – it arrived very quickly even though I just paid for standard shipping.
I was not sure how I was going to like the paper and was very interested to see it in person. It was much thicker than I expected. It had an almost foam-like texture. The grooves were much deeper than I expected, thus giving the beadboard quality.
I have wallpapered before, but never alone. It was actually pretty easy!
I measured and cut my first piece. (Always leave some extra. And start in the most hidden corner.)
I dunked it in my trough (Home Depot, $2) of warm water. Then I folded it over itself and let it sit for a few minutes. This activates the wallpaper paste and causes it so get very sloppy on the backside of the paper.
Note: This was pre-pasted wallpaper. I bought paste just in case, but I definitely didn’t need it.
Then I unfolded the paper and put it on the wall. The wallpaper will be very maneuverable for a few minutes. You will be able to slide it around into place with both hands. Since this has a stripe in it, I used a level to make sure each piece was put up straight.
Then I used a wallpaper scrapper (not a technical term. 99 cents at Home Depot) to adhere the paper to the wall. This is the messy part. Be sure to have lots of wet paper towels around because the glue will be coming out the ends of the paper.
Hello Wallpaper Boogers!
I usually took some extra glue with my finger and put it over the creases before I wiped it all away with a wet paper towel.
After all the excess goop was taken care of I used a seam roller (Home Depot, $2) to go over all the ends and seams to make sure it stays tight to the wall. I went over the paper with a final scrap to make sure there were no air bubbles. At this point you should get up and look at the wallpaper from different angles and distances to make sure you aren’t missing any air bubble underneath the paper.
Finally, take a metal ruler and sharp razor blade to cut off the excess paper. This can be a little difficult so do it gently so you don’t rip the piece (therefore, having to start over).
Then repeat every 34 inches!! : ) Wait 24 hours and then you can paint.
For outlets I carefully placed the paper and cut a rectangle over where the outlet was. Window molding is slightly more tricky. Just go slowly and use small cuts.
It IS possible:
I really enjoyed the process and am planning on trying it in several other places in my house! I like it because I didn’t have to take off the molding, nor did I need to use any sort of cutting machine. (Which I don’t know how to do.)
(Still no cabinet doors. Still no corner rounds.)
I think it looks like it has always been there.
I did read that you could install door stoppers if you have a door handle swinging into the wallpaper a lot. The foam texture could take a beating and leave an imprint. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem in this room!
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Doing the whole room cost around $40 (including shipping). That is a lot less than real beadboard, and I am sure I would have made many more (and more irreversible) mistakes.
How do you feel about beadboard? How about baked beans? How do you feel about alliterations in general? Am I crazy?
Right after we bought this house I came across this photo in a magazine. I don’t know what magazine it was out of and it, clearly, has been wrinkled and stored for a little while from this photograph I took of it.
I love it! I love the crisp white cabinets and warm, farmhouse wood that creates casual, cozy eating spaces like this.
Does the layout look familiar to you? It did to me!
After I stripped the metallic leafy wallpaper (which you saw here), took down the cabinet doors for refinishing (which I have yet to do… la la la) and painted the cabinet bases (Valspar Swiss Coffee). Break out the singing angels!
(*ahhh! Crisp color!)
This room needed a serious color infusion. We ended up choosing Behr’s Dried Palm (satin finish). It was the fastest/easiest paint decision we have made yet.
During the day I was describe it as Juicy Pear. At night I would describe it as Sage-y Lime. I love it. It’s perfect with blues, yellows and whites in the summer and will be great with cranberry and evergreen in the winter.
The next step was *drumroll* BEADBOARD WALLPAPER! Remember I posted about beadboard wallpaper here? Well, I ordered a roll and I L-O-V-E it.
I still need to add the corner rounds and (obviously) the hardware and cabinet doors, but we are one step closer.
(Sidenote: The chandelier in the dining room is ginormous. I can’t take a picture in this room without getting at least one or two swoopy arms in the way.)
I will follow up in another post all with a full disclosure review of the beadboard wallpaper. Overall, it was great and easy to use.
Decorating magazines or online sources like Pinterest are a great way to find inspirational rooms that will have similar architectural characteristics as your own home.
Where do you get your inspiration from?