Office papers! Papered! Wall done! Yay fun!

Monday, May 5, 2014

All right, all right, all right.  Are you ready for this?!  I about pooped my pants, this turned out so cool.

So here's the thing about trying a project you see online, by the way.  They tend to omit lots of little details.   You'll find something neat, want to try it, read up on it, they tell you what they used, the steps and then wham, cutie sweet pictures of how fantabulous it all came out.  Just know that no matter what your skill level, you could likely run into a glitch or two.  Not that that's a bad thing, at all, do please try stuff for sure, but be aware it may not be all sunshine and flowers.  Don't get mad at yourself.  Soldier on.  Make it work.

My DIY Office Wallpaper Project

(Before I get going on this, know that this is not a project if you have OCD or don't like wrinkles or will be angry if things aren't straight or you are a perfectionist.  See above.)

Before, but after the paint job.
To recap if you're just joining us:

Originally I planned this project for the upstairs guest bathroom off the hall.  Still a great idea for that room since it's aching for something more but I will find something else now.

That day I came across a ridiculously super cool catalogue, 223 Vacation Homes and Plans for Summer and Winter Fun.  Just the title alone is fantastic, right?!

I found two more catalogues in the same vein so as to not destroy my original purchase.  While I was waiting for them to arrive, I painted my office.  While I was painting my office, I realized, oh duh, silly, do the papering idea with these catalogues in your office!  Oy.  I know.  Trust me, I don't do this when I work for other people, only myself since I have the time and I am not required to have everything done and presented upfront.

So anyway....Today was the big day since the second catalogue showed up in the mail.  Wooo hoo!!

What I used:

  • Two catalogues (you can use books, sheet music, magazines, maps, comics, newspaper; I mean, it's endless)
  • Cornstarch
  • 3" cheapo paint brush
  • Xacto knife
  • Cork backed straight edge
  • Cutting mat
  • Optional:  plastic putty knife

(Total cost for materials, not including the tools I already had:  $22.00)

I followed the recipe for the DIY removable wallpaper paste from The Poor Sophisticate.  She mentioned using more cornstarch than the recipe calls for, so I used 3 tablespoons.  I think if I did this project again, I'd try more like 4-5.

Make your paste and let it cool.  Head over to your paper materials and get those prepped.  In my case, I needed to disassemble them into separate pages.

Sorry for the crappy blurry photo there but you get the gist.  I used the straight edge and the Xacto knife to make the magic happen, cutting along the glued binding on the inside.  Do not slice yourself.  (I did not, amazingly enough.  But I did get a paper cut though.  I can't do anything without injuring myself it seems.)

Next up, coat a small portion of the wall with your paste.  I found that you shouldn't get it soppy wet, more like lightly but thoroughly damp.  I found too that letting the paste sit on the wall for about 10-20 seconds helped as well.  It's trial and error and what worked for me might not work for you.

Though it might seem brutally slow, one piece of paper at a time is the way to go.  Trust me.

Place your paper on there.  You will not have any time to wiggle it about.  Once that stuff grabs the paper, you're done.  You can peel the paper back off and reset it in case you goofed, but add some more paste to the wall first.

Once you've got the paper on there, brush a light coat of the paste over it.  Again, don't get it all soppy wet.

You will then start crying and panicking.  What?!  Why?!  Because most likely the paper will start wrinkling and puckering all over the damn place.  You will freak out.  Just smooth it out for a few minutes, keep smoothing it out, smoothing, get as much out as you can, smooth.  I used my hand but you can try the putty knife.  I had no luck with that though, plus I was afraid of tearing the pages.  Do know that once it all dries, several of the wrinkles will work themselves out but not all of them.  There will be some that remain.  (See intro above.)

Unless I did this all terribly wrong.  I don't know.  I didn't experiment first, which is something you might want to do before going at this blindly whole hog like I did.

Wrinkles!!!!!  Ack!!
Seriously, I about died.

But, I carried on.  I had a whole therapy session with myself as I went to get over the not straight pages, the wrinkles, the spots I missed, and that it wasn't perfect.  It took the whole time I worked on the wall.  Take your time as needed.

So anyway, repeat the not-very-hard paste and stick process until you're done and hopefully you'll have something insanely fun like this:

This time I'm dying because it's so freakin' cool.  I can barely stand it, it's so much fun.  I have a mirror that I got eons ago that will go back up here but I need to paint the frame first.  It's white now and vanishes into the wall so I'm going to look for dark blue spray paint tomorrow.

(pardon my messy desk....yikes.)

I love it.  I hope Mike likes it too!  Now the yellow makes sense, yes?

But you know what, if I get tired of it or I need to take it down for whatever reason, not a problem -- the paste is removable!  Niiiice!!  I don't see it coming down anytime soon though, that's for sure.

Now a room that I quite disliked is coming together into what could possibly be my most favorite in the house.  And that's what it's all about, right?!


  1. Messy desk?!?! Want a pic of mine? LOL It looks fabulous Bec! Way cool!

  2. Uh, well, um, that's ok. I know what it looks like! Thanks!!

  3. My head is spinning at the perfection of your wallpaper project! My kitchen backsplash is satin painted white, which makes it hard to clean and boring. I inherited numerous high end kitchen supply catalogs. Now I know what I’m going to do! Thank you.

    1. Aw thank you so much! You might consider glass over or sealing the paper well (it wouldn’t be as easily removable sealed) if your backsplash sees lots of water. Fab idea for sure! Thank you!

    2. You’re very welcome 😊

  4. OK. Interesting...............

  5. Why would you think this would be great for renters? Most landlords would have a conniption fit if the saw this when you were moving out. It is different and ok for your own property.

    1. Cornstarch paste wipes off with a damp rag and a little effort, leaving no residue.

    2. First, bummer of a landlord. Second, the main premise here is that this is easily removed. It’s not wallpaper paste, it’s cornstarch, so no harm, no foul.


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