A Photowall Mural.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

photowall tropical sepia wall mural wallpaper
Guys, I know, I'm sorry, I know I said I'd follow with the new foyer pendant light fixture DIY unveiling but an immense opportunity darted up for a cool Photowall wall mural project and I had to share.  Next time, for real, promise!

There are times, I say as I casually loll my arm around in a vintage dramatic way as I lean back in a posh armchair, there are times I wish we had oh say like three more houses. 

Heh, not necessarily to live in, mind you.  Just so that I had more surfaces to alter.  

That’s when I acknowledge a.) I am ridiculous and b.) I may have a serious problem. 

So I check my email and there’s one from a lovely company called Photowall.  99.7% of the time, I politely decline the enclosed offer. 

But this time, my eyes watered. 

This is to say that Photowall sent me an amazing mural (similar styles are here*) in exchange for a story outlined here.  I need to mention that though they sent this to me at no charge, they did not pay me and these opinions are thoroughly my own. 

photowall wallpaper tool kit shipping box
So small!  I was shocked at how compact the shipment from Sweden was!  Yes, Sweden!  Below, the wallpaper tool kit; read below.
Turns out their email was brutally timely in feeding my severe, newfound gotta redo affliction.  Remember the handpainted wall mural?  The first one, not the stripes?  Yeah.  Here was an invitation to bring it back of sorts.  

Photowall's website is perfectly problematic for someone like me:  it is brimming with eye candy and ideas and it's incredibly easy to use and super thorough.  Like, enter your dimensions and it shows you a clip of how your wall fits into their art and dammit, you can move the box around for ideal placement.  Omg I could be stuck there for hours. 

And I was.  FOMO took over.  What if The One was on the next page?!    

Because there is quite literally everything.  And if there's not?  You can create it.*  Yeah.   Or do a canvas print or a poster or a framed poster instead.*  Yeah!

So I picked a ready-made design, went with the heartier paper material because.......

photowall wallpaper mural roll with glue
Here's one of the two rolls, exceptionally well-labeled for your non-confusion and one packet of the glue.
...because....Here are some small room hot tips for you:

1.  Expand your space with depth.  That can be layering objects or in this case, a mural that has depth.  It pulls your focus inward thereby visually deepening the sense of space.

2.  Place two connected items a distance apart.  It draws your eye around the room giving it a feeling of expansiveness.  Your eyes make a connection scanning the entire space and the room feels larger. 

3.  Playing with scale and proportion is key.  Oversized expands space while too undersized shrinks it.

.......because not only was I placing this by the record player set up, I was also replacing the kitchen wallpaper with it.

Kitchen before, left.  Record area before, right.  Disconnected.

I know.  Stomach churn.  I did not want to take the paper down.  I love it love it love it, but felt it was time to unite the first floor better.  It's a little disjointed-y.

By the way, Mike had no idea this was happening.  No clue at all.  He was home when the package arrived, didn't see me walk by with boxes nor ask what was just delivered.  That Finn was barking like a mad dog about.

Ok, let's do this!

First, remove everything from your walls, patch and prime as needed, and splash on adhesive primer.  
patch and prime walls prep
Prime if you can see any wall color through the paper which I could.

peeling away old wallpaper
A part of me died inside taking this down.  Mike, upon seeing it, winced, a sad confused look, "what the...whoa, but the wallpaper!!"  My heart shattered, I thought he didn't like it but he did!  Sigh.

Absooluuutely do two coats of adhesive primer; you will thank yourself later if ever you remove wallpaper.  The kitchen wallpaper, sprayed with just some hot water, peeled off with zero issues.  You will never ever fear wallpaper again, I swear on something very important to me.

all purpose adhesive primer for walls and floors
Here's the adhesive primer.  Mike, upon seeing this prepped wall, with a distressed face, "oh what happenened...where's the...what the....what's going on?!"  Poor guy.  I have fun messing with him.
Ok.  Next, panic.  Did I make the right choices here omfg I'm dying.  Ok no, don't do that.  Unfurl your mural sections so they can relax out of their curl.  Man, that paper is nice, heavy, and very sturdy.

As part of my order, as suggested, I went with their installation tool kit (see above) and I'm glad I did.  Considering how much I love wallpaper, these items will come in handy again.  But, they were very helpful here too, especially the metal trimmer straight edge thing.  Loved the pink pencil!

Mix up the enclosed wallpaper paste (of which I only mixed one-quarter of one packet for the entire project and it stayed gooey for four+ hours, nice),  The glue does dry on the wall quick if the coat is thin and it is suuuuper insta-grippy, FYI, but you can do this, I promise.

measuring powdered glue with kitchen scale
Kitchen scales* are incredibly useful gizmos, as I'm sure you know having been over to The Bake Dept lots!
Your mural will come in several sections, 17.72" wide (aka ~45 cm); mine in eleven.  Start by measuring out the width of the first panel at your start point and draw a plumb vertical line with a level.  Much like the first course in tiling, your first panel being level,* square, plumb, and true is imperative to success.

finding plumb straight line on wall with level
Plumb line and first panel, here we go!
Ok, so, for me, the beginning was in the kitchen.  Start with the hardest stuff when you're fresh, right?

The enclosed instructions are extremely clear and spot on.  Just follow those.  Brush or roll on the glue (I brushed to ensure an even coat in every spot), line up panels edge to edge, smooth down and outward, clean up any glue spurts right away and be sure to breathe.  Then just keep going!

installing Photowall wallpaper mural in kitchen
Chuggin' along!

removing granite on wall
Oh, right, helping my future self and inching myself closer to getting new counters someday (insert crossed fingers), I removed pieces of granite backsplash so the mural would meet the counter.
Wrench that last strip around the window trim and the upper cabinets, whew that is not easy, and there's a tiny gap.  Rats!

gaps while installing Photowall wallpaper mural
You get both gaps pictured here and both were difficultly small.  Heh!

A quick check of my math and I calculated wrong.  Gooooo figure!  I had meant to turn both corners in that record player niche area.  I was short for that but fine for one turn and a section split to fill the kitchen gap..  Ahhhh darn it but whew.

Once the kitchen was done minus that lil' gap, it was over to the niche area.

starting Photowall wallpaper photo mural installation
Aaaannnd go!
Then before you know it, you've completely transformed your space in less than a day, in a matter of hours.  Wow.  Right?! 
completed Photowall wallpaper mural installation and Finn
The secret purpose of this photo is to see Finn.
I wholeheartedly recommend Photowall to you, I stand behind that recommendation, and that is my pronouncement.  Comprehensive website, fabulous product, easy install, and most importantly, they empower your creativity.
view of kitchen and Photowall wall mural
Gotta do something about that kitchen floor tile, ugh.
What am I going to do about the whole record player set up?  Considering once it all went up I wasn't exactly thrilled with the result, I'm planning to rework it.  Honestly, it drove me nuts that the receiver dimensions deceived me, the receiver overhanging the cabinet, sticking out everywhere.

installed Photowall photo wallpaper wall mural
Sooo!  Hahahaha, the story continues!  Ahhhh, heh.
Photowall wallpaper mural installed
It photographs well, eh?  Even for a crappy photographer!
Hey, don't forget your generous 25% off discount using the code flippingtheflip25!  What will you pick?*  Let me know what you got!!

close up view of Photowall tropical wallpaper mural

*The Photowall links are Photowall affiliate links.  The kitchen scales and levels are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.  And just to reiterate, while I did receive the Photowall products free of charge, I was not paid.

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