Spring Cleaning! Master Closet Redo Part I: Tips for Wallpaper.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Photowall Weaving Wood White wallpaper mural
Ah ok, see, heh, this is what happens, SMDH.  I walk into our master closet and ugh it's flipping a wreck.  I should really do some spring cleaning and.....(pause) (slo-mo) oh but what if....what if...(wave of hands) redo!, ooOhh wallpaper!, and this and that and that too and kapow, I've redesigned the closet.

I spy something, it morphs out of control, even if I've already done it once, twice, five times, and off my brain redesigns.  Pew, gone.  Then it has to happen.  

This isn't entirely a redo I should say, more of a do.  All because spring cleaning.

messy closet before
Holy heck this is so embarrassing.  So.  Sooo.  But, as are before's.  Hey, bottom left, the hoodie racks!
And I must be pretty you-know-what crazy because just after we moved in, I installed shelves up the wall.  And then installed more shelves, then a couple more.  So two walls are fully shelved, wipes hands, done.

So therefore, anything wall.........yeah.  The shelves have to come down.  And then go back up.

labeling shelves and screws for later re-install
Labeling everything you take down will make putting it back up much easier!
Bat.tee.  I am batty.


When all is said and done, this thirty six square foot space will be a divine design knockout, as in I may move into this lil' room and never come out.  I am that giddy excited.  

Though, it might be a hot competition between this closet and that bathroom, once I finish repainting it for the eighth time.  Either way, man, it's gonna be a helluva Sweet Suite with capital S's.

This master closet spring cleaning event kicks off large with Photowall* and a super swanky wallpaper wall mural on three walls.  Yeah!  I ain’t messin’ around!

Photowall mural in shipping boxes
Tiny boxes!  Tremendous impact!
If you remember, Photowall* so graciously sent me a huge, fancy pants wall mural previously.  And guess what, they did it again.  I need to mention while I was not paid for this post, Photowall* did generously send this wallpaper mural at no charge.  Opinions are solely mine.

Now, I'm not going to blather on about how to wallpaper as, I mean, this is the internet, there are a bazillion zillion tutorials online.  What I am going to do here is share tips for wallpaper that will lead you to success.

Because wallpaper seems fiercely intimidating.  While I can't say it's the easiest thing to do on the planet, it really is not as terrifying as it may seem.  Patience, that's my first and probably biggest tip, have lots of patience.

Wallpaper though.  Love love love it, how it immensely elevates a room, your house, you.  Color, pattern, texture, and if you're lucky, shine.  Wallpaper is delightful, exhilarating, fun, and happy, everything your home should be.

In the case of our previously yawns-ville ol’ master closet here, given it is (ridiculously) packed with clothes, I stuck with subtlety, whites, grays, background pattern otherwise it we’d have a visual cacophony.

Little did I know until the paper arrived that the grays in my Weaving Wood White* mural were actually a checkerboard of cute little animals.  Ha!  Pretty sweet!

close up of wallpaper mural from Photowall
Ok, next tip, get yourself set up right for frustration-free installation by collecting every single thing you need upfront to have on immediate hand so you’re relaxed, no frantic searching for anything:
Ok!  We're set!  There are oodles of other tools* you can get for this task but I personally find my hands are my best tools.  Find what works for you though.

Let's do this!  Spring cleaning!

First, and I'm always going to strongly encourage this, a coat or two of adhesive primer on the walls.  This helps in case there's a day you want to remove said wallpaper, making the process way way easier.  Let that dry.

bottle of Sentinel adhesive primer
In the case of the Photowall* wallpaper mural, as I mentioned, the paste is included which you apply to the wall.  While the goo stays wet for several days in the bucket, mix up only what you need.  In my case, I needed only half of one bag so weighing the powder paste with the kitchen scale nails the right ratio.

mixing up wallpaper mural paste and tools
Top, mixing up the paste.  Bottom, getting prepped with tools to prepare for any scenario.
Ok!  Key to success is the first panel.  Measure the width of the panel, mark that dimension on the wall, and draw a full floor-to-ceiling straight, plumb line using the level and pencil.  If you start crooked, you end up in wallpaper hell.  

drawing plumb line and installing first panel
Can't really see the line I drew with spiffy level but it's there.  And then, woot, first panel up!  How exciting!
My next tip?  Make sure you skootch the top edge of paper up past your highest point to start.  Meaning, if you’re starting at the juncture of ceiling and vertical wall, push the paper an inch or two above that meeting point.  This covers your rear if walls aren’t true, straight, square, or plumb, like ours.  

The tip means if you’re ordering a mural from Photowall* which you should because they're terrific, the paper is top-notch quality, and their designs are outstanding, order it a few extra inches tall.  Which I did, but forgot my own tip and sorta screwed myself.

staging next panel on door
Another tip?  Stage your next panel with the top easily reachable.  Here I draped it over the door.
Aligning the seams as you go is the next key to success.  Align the pattern then the seams, smush them snugly together, don't overlap.  As you smush the paper to the wall, use the lightly damp towel to push the bubbles out the other side, up and out, down and out.  

Then just keep going!  You're doing it!  Look at you!

using chip brush to spread wallpaper paste next to panel
Use that cheap chip brush to spread the paste right up to the previous panel edge.
Doors and windows will be thorny.  Change out your knife blades wastefully constantly to make sure they are brutally sharp and trim fat of any corner or turn then nip away until the paper is flat.  Try not to stab yourself.  I did.  Of course.

cut panel below window
Carefully cut the panels wide for above and below windows so you're sure to match the pattern.
Always always always trim on the opposite side of the good side.  Yes, that entails crunching down low at the baseboard.  When trimming, start in the middle and run the knife out to the edge.  Starting at the end runs the risk of tearing, crumpling, and a ratty messy cut.

trimming wallpaper mural at corner and baseboard
Take your time with corners and trims!
Another important tip?  Work cleanly.  

Clean up errant paste blobs, especially on that tarp you've laid out to catch those blobs.  Clean up paper scraps right away, keep tools in the area of work limited to solely what you need so you're not tripping over them.  Rinse out the towel often.

Schedule several hours for this, more than you'll need so you're not rushing, take deep breaths, don't panic as you're fine, peel and reposition as needed, go slow, re-wet with paste as needed, be methodical and patient, deep breaths, take your time, and don't give up because you can do this.  

last panel going around shelves
Nothin' like leaving a tricky corner for last when you're pooped, whoo.
And voilá, spring cleaning has begun in our master closet redo!  Part I in the books!  These tips for wallpaper will position you for the win, I promise.

mirror wall with Photowall mural finished
If you're still super nervous to try wallpapering, order some extra or get an inexpensive roll and practice on a piece of scrap something before giving the wall itself a go.

hoodie wall with Weaving Wood White mural
This closet is rockstar cool already, right?!  Sooo eye-popping excited.  Thank you so much, Photowall!*

Weaving Wood White wallpaper mural from Photowall
I cropped out the messy clothes piles, that's why you can't see the corner.
Oh, and Mike?  He was away when I did this, he didn't know it was happening.  He came home, went upstairs, I waited, waited waited waited, nothing.  No response, no nothing.  Nothing!

staged shelves with Photowall wallpaper mural
Hours later, I couldn't take it.  "Hey babe, what about the closet?"  "Oh, the closet?," he said.  Pause.  "Yeah.  Looks good."  

That was it!      ?!?!


That guy.

I think it rocks.  Woot, go spring cleaning with tips for wallpaper!

*The Photowall links are Photowall affiliate links.  The ladders and levels are Home Depot affiliate links.  The plastic tarps, rollers and covers, and microfiber cloths, are Lowes affiliate links.  The X-acto knives and blades are Michaels affiliate links.  The kitchen scales, measuring cups, chip brushes, corked back metal rulers, trim guides, and wallpaper tools are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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