The Many Uses of Wallpaper…Did I Just Say That?

Elizabeth Erin Designs How To

For a while we have been told to remove our wallpaper. It’s dated, it’s too personal, it’s everywhere! Despite all that, I am writing a piece on the many uses for wallpaper. No, I don’t need to be medicated quite yet! Have you ever heard the phrase “less is more”? If we apply this idea to wallpaper, along with a little creativity, wallpaper can have many uses.

Here is an example of how we remodeled one of our client’s bathrooms. We updated the vanity cabinet doors and made the center panels removable so we could apply wallpaper to the panel. Because the panels are removable, our clients can change out the wallpaper with a different patterned wallpaper or even add a textured glass panel insert instead!

Wallpapered center panel inserts

Wallpaper comes in so many beautiful textures, which is incredible useful when creating an aesthetically pleasing accent wall. Here, we kept the wallpaper color neutral so the bedding can be changed with ease. Voila, a beautiful, timeless accent wall. We added a beautiful cream and silver pleated wallpaper to add texture that compliments the clean lines of the furniture.

Patterns and pops of color are all around us. Here is an example of how creating an accent wall with pattern and a pop of color can create interest. On a neutral pallet you can use this pop of colors in accessories that can be used throughout your home. Also, it’s not so bad removing one wall of wallpaper, as opposed to a whole room of wallpaper, if you feel you need to make a change!

 

Wallpaper is not just for walls. Here is a great example of using wallpaper on a piece of furniture. It is a creative way to up-cycle a piece of used furniture to create a conversation piece. You can also add wallpaper to the back of bookshelves to accentuate its architectural details, make the ordinary, extraordinary! Here are a few examples and instructions on how to do it.

Instructions:

1     Determine which piece(s) of furniture you want to decorate and where on the piece you want to place the wallpaper. For example, if the side of a table or desk is severely damaged, you might wish to cover it entirely. Another option might be to place accent pieces of the wallpaper or border on drawers or doors, simply as decoration. Just remember that in order for the wallpaper to adhere properly, it is best to restrict its use to flat surfaces.
2     Decide what type of wallpaper or border you wish to use. Wallpaper not only comes in patterns and designs, but also in textures and dimensions. Most of these types of paper will work for the purpose of decorating furniture but you should consider how the paper will look, feel, and respond once it is in place.
3      Determine if you want to paint or refinish the rest of the piece of furniture beforehand or simply use it as is. If you decide to refinish or paint the piece, make decisions with regard to the type of finish that you want and the color to be used.
4      If you don’t already have the supplies on hand to do the project, now is the time to make those purchases.
5      Lay out all the supplies, place the furniture piece on a drop cloth, and don the appropriate safety equipment.
6      Prepare the furniture pieces. Remove or sand down any sharp points or edges, rippling, or bulges (if possible). If you intend to refinish or paint the piece before you add the wallpaper, now is the time to accomplish that, following the instructions provided on your refinishing kit or paint can. Let the piece dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step. If you are just going to place wallpaper over the existing finish, be sure to clean it thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
7     Brush on a coat of wallpaper sizing where the wallpaper will be placed on the furniture piece. If you are just using cutouts of wallpaper designs, sizing will probably not be necessary. However, borders and whole pieces of wallpaper will adhere better if sizing is applied first.
8     Apply the wallpaper (border or entire section) to the area sized. Be sure to apply it according to the directions laid out on the wallpaper. Smooth the piece out after application, making certain to eliminate all air bubbles. Let the piece dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
9      Cut out wallpaper designs, like a rose pattern or stripes, to scatter over the piece, covering scars and blemishes as needed. Be careful not to over dampen the paper as this could result in spreading the paste onto parts of the furniture that you do not want to be ruined. Smooth out quickly and wipe off any paste residue immediately to prevent that from happening.
10      Brush a coat of clear acrylic over the top of the wallpaper to bond it to the piece and ensure it can be easily cleaned.

For more information check out How to Use Wallpaper to Decorate Furniture

If you’re still not sure if you want to take the plunge into wallpapering a wall or piece of furniture, do not despair. You can apply wallpaper to canvases and create your very own, one-of-a-kind artwork!

Remember less is more and when in doubt, ask a professional. Send us pictures of your creations and share your stories. If you have a design dilemma or just have a question for us, we will find the answer and blog about it. If you’re thinking it, chances are others are too! Enjoy and happy wallpapering!