wallpapering the guest room | part 1

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Guest Room, My House, Room Makeovers37 Comments

Thanks so much for all of your encouraging comments on yesterday’s post!  I am really looking forward to reworking some of those designs (even just making the scale larger) and getting them available for you (and me) to purchase.  Your supportive words have made me even more excited about it.

So, if you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you know my mom and I worked on wallpapering the guest room (yes, the room she’s staying in) this week.  We always like working on projects together and this was the biggest one we had to tackle, so we wanted to work on it during the first half of her visit.

I was ready to get right to papering Monday, but we had a lot of steps to do before we could even open the first roll.  First of all, I wanted to install a chair rail, so we had a “stopping place” for the paper.  I debated whether the chair rail should go up before or after, but we decided before and I think that was absolutely the right choice.

I had never installed chair rail by myself (although I’ve done other types of trim work) and it was so easy and quick.  It took about 1 hour and $80 to put chair rail up in this room and even just that simple change added some architectural interest to the room.  I warned Jeff that he may be seeing chair rail going up in a lot more rooms!

Here is a look around the room with the chair rail installed…

I then painted all of the chair rail, window & door trim that would be up against the paper.  Again, I wanted to get right to papering, so I was annoyed at this step, but I knew it had to be done.  It would’ve been dumb to put up the paper and then try to cut in around it simply because I was feeling impatient!

I also started painting below the chair rail the same color as the trim (a custom white) while my mom rolled on the wallpaper sizing on the upper portion of the wall.  (You can find the recipe for the trim color in THIS POST.)

Conveniently, the wall color was already similar enough to the base color of the wallpaper, so we didn’t have to paint the walls prior.  If you think papering will get you out of painting, it can in some cases, but in other cases, you’ll have to paint the wall the same as the background of the paper so any gaps in the seams (and there will be some small gaps) won’t be visible.

The wallpaper sizing is a primer that prepares the wall for the wallpaper glue and makes it easier to remove the paper down the road.  We put it on with a roller and then brushed in the corners and along the trim.

We also removed any nails and made sure the walls were smooth.  Once the sizing and trim paint were dry, we were able to finally put up the first piece of paper!  I must admit that it was an exciting, but intimidating moment.  I knew this room would be a lot of work and I wasn’t 100% sure that I could pull it off!  I was going for it, though!

  The first piece took about 30 minutes to measure, cut, paste, and install, but we eventually got our time down to two pieces applied in eight minutes.

And I learned a lot!  Now that I’ve used pasted and unpasted papers AND I have used two different kinds of wallpaper paste, I have developed some strong opinions and lots of tips to share and I’ll be posting it all here soon.

Today, my mom and I took a break from papering and hit some antique and consignment shops, so I have a little haul to share soon as well!

wallpapering the guest room | part 1

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37 Comments on “wallpapering the guest room | part 1”

  1. Looking good so far!! Can’t wait to see the next photos.

    As a side note, I once moved into a house where the people had wallpapered onto unpainted drywall, with no sizing. I found this out when I went to remove it! It took me an hour to painstakingly chisel off every 4 square inches, gouging the drywall no matter what. When weeks later I had it all off, all I could see was a gouged wall, and we thought about replacing the drywall, but didn’t. Thankfully when painted you couldn’t really tell. But I would never buy a house with wallpaper in it ever again!

  2. That first piece looks beautiful! I can’t wait for the reveal. I think it will take the room from nondescript to amazing and will continue the outstanding look of the rest of your home.

  3. Looks good so far! How did you decide at what height to install the chair rail? I’ve seen seen so many variations on height.

    1. There are some standards, but you can really put the chair rail wherever you want. I installed mine at 32″, because that made sense with the ceiling height and is a pretty traditional placement.

  4. Looking so pretty! I’m sure your “guest” is enjoying the transformation of her room! Side question here…how do you put the cord covers on the chandeliers? Do you have to take them down, or are the covers split?

    1. Susan, I had a question about the cover, too. The ones I have bought are already split, and then velcro holds them together again. But Marian may make her own. My question is: how do you keep them UP? My slide down.

      1. I had that problem – so I bought two – when there’s enough to scrunch they have no where to go – that’s how I worked it out. : – )

      2. Yeah, I make my own like a big scrunchie and then slide it onto the chain before we hang the fixture. I would suggest adding a safety pin to tighten it at the top, so it doesn’t slip.

  5. This looks lovely. I was disappointed that you had not chosen the blue, but now that I see this up, I think it is definitely the better choice. One other word…cherish your mom while you have her (I’m sure you do) I am so envious of those that still have their moms!

    1. Yes, the blue is so pretty, but it would’ve had a completely different feel. I want this room to be very serene and sophisticated.

    2. I agree Margo! Me too! Mothers day, I spend at home. It’s hard to see Mom and Daughters out together. Marian and her Mother remind me of my Mother and my relationship. We were best friends. Did so many things together! Miss her severely.

  6. Wonderful post to help those of us that are so hesitant to go with wallpaper again! Also, are you planning on adding crown moulding since you’ve done the chair rail now? The room already looks more textured and nuanced—cozy!

    1. I don’t think so. Well, if we did now, it would need to be installed over the paper. The paper is trimmed nicely against the ceiling, so I’m just going to leave it as is for now.

  7. You were right…the chair rail was a good idea. That wall paper looks great. I’ve loved this room since you posted it after the move….the mustard accent…the bed…the hutch and now the wall paper adds a layer of sophistication. Can’t wait to see the final results….be patient and rest your shoulder periodically. Btw as a older woman close to your Moms age…cudios to her stamina.,! 😉

  8. I like what you chose too for wallpaper. My daughter and I are close, but have very different styles in decorating……hers is non existent. lol I saw in the spare room the chair you did the tutorial slipcover on Youtube. Hearing your words above about how you were apprehensive about doing the wallpaper, but you gathered up the courage and just did it. That’s EXACTLY how I felt when I was doing the slipcover using your tutorial. I think it came out beautiful over a worn fabric wing chair that I was gifted. Thank you for all your inspiration. I look forward to your blog when I see it. It’s like a gift waiting to be opened. 😉 Cindy

  9. can you please do a post on how to install a chair rail. I can not seem to master how to fit or cut the corners.
    thank you so much

  10. Bravo! Even at this early stage, you can see how beautiful the wallpaper is and how good it will look! Congratulations on a great choice!

  11. Wow, it looks gorgeous!! Can’t wait for the final reveal!! Can you share where you found the 2 lamps on the nightstands, I love them and have been searching for something similar.

  12. Love the wallpaper that you chose and putting up chair rail was a good decision. Hope you and your Mom have a great time hitting up all the antique and consignment stores.

  13. Hi Marian! Wow, I love that wallpaper you’ve chosen! Chair rails really make a room look more expensive, I think. Your armoire in that room is something straight out of my dreams. I just love it! I can’t wait to see the haul from the antique stores you and your Mom picked up! I was so sorry about your news yesterday. I think what you said is so true though, about trying and failing going hand in hand. Of course there will be some failure along the way, hopefully more successes than failures, but its just a learning curve. Just look at all you’ve accomplished in a relatively short period of time! You’re only going to get better and better at the things you try and do. I feel certain of that because you’re so very talented. I can’t wait to see what you do next, including this guest room! It looks good so far! You have a great weekend! 😊

  14. This wallpaper project is so exciting. I’m impatient, too, to see how it looks. If the first strip is any indication, it’s going to look amazing.

    Please say “thanks” to your mom from us readers for helping you on this project. Just thinking about you using a roller, especially on those upper walls, makes MY shoulder hurt.

    I’m so glad you are continuing to work with your fabric designs. They are beautiful. I think it’s just a matter of finding the right combo of factors.

  15. This is the exact wallpaper I picked out for our dining room. There is a chair rail in there as well. Grateful for you forging the way. I will need window treatments. Wish you could help with that too!

  16. Love the look, love the paper. BTW do you know the method for “blending” the area where the two ends of the paper come together above the door? Your pattern lends itself to the technique beautifully.

  17. It looks very nice. I love the boxing in you and your mom did. It makes the room look elegant with that wallpaper. A great choice. I prefer the unpasted wallpaper. The higher end wallpapers tend to come this way and it looks beautiful. I like working with it better than the other.

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