Anaglypta Amor!

Spoiler Alert : The Bedroom wasn’t done by Christmas. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

And that’s okay. I’m so antsy to have it done, but nothing ever goes to plan, and life always happens, and it’ll be beautiful – just way later then I’d hoped.

But it WILL be beautiful.

Remember this wallpaper border? Super 80s / 90s vibe, and quite busy. I realize that I am a TOTAL weirdo for calling something busy, when I am a huge fan of pattern-on-pattern (on pattern). I like busy. Just…. not this. I know some of you may love it, and I’m truly sorry. But vines are not my thing.


And if you remember, when we tried to remove it, it took most of the wall with it. Sometimes, you have to cut your losses to keep the house together. So, in this case, we’re covering it up. We started by adding the crown moulding, which we talked about in a previous post. Remember how I said that the ceiling LOOKED WHITE until I added the crown moulding? Look at the picture above. SEEEEEE???? It totally looked white with the old stuff. Now, look below.



Okay, so, crown was added, and then I painted the ceiling. BY BRUSH. Because that’s how it needed to be done. If you ever have to paint a ceiling with a brush, I recommend scaffolding. And getting as close to the ceiling as you can. AND, only doing a little but at a time. I knew if I didn’t pace myself, I’d have sore shoulders and migraines for days. So I set a timer, and painted for 20 minutes, and then did something else. It makes it take a lot longer, but honestly, I was better off for it.

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Now, I’d like you to meet my love, Ana.

Anaglypta, that is.


What is “Anaglypta?”

Anaglypta is a wallcovering first introduced in 1887 by Thomas John Palmer (the etymology of the word is Greek, meaning “Raised Cameo”). It’s a cotton and paper pulp – very flexible, and almost brittle when it gets wet. It’s highly embossed – much more than just a textured wallpaper. You can paint it, and it’s pretty fantastic as a border, wainscot, or frieze. We chose to use this for the border because, since it’s so thick, it would cover a lot of the imperfections with the old wallpaper. Also, because it’s totally awesome. And, I’ll be honest, a black and white room is pretty tame for me, so I love the idea of adding in lots of texture. It’s the same size as regular wallpaper, and not meant to be a border – we just chose to turn it on its side and treat it that way! When you have super tall ceilings, you can do that.

One day, I plan on writing a Broadway Musical version of “The Money Pit,” and there will be a song entitled “Anaglypta,” set to the tune of “Anatevka,” provided I can secure all the rights. It’s going to be spectacular!

It’s much like working with wallpaper, though it gets very brittle once the glue goes on and it gets wet. You MUST change razor blades about every other cut, or it tears like mad. And you don’t want to push too hard when you’re smoothing it, because it could push into the texture. But other than that, it’s pretty easy to work with.


Same process of glue and book and wait and apply…


It’s like a before and after shot, in one photo! The room just looks so much cleaner.



If you buy a house that has tall ceilings (in our case, this room and the second floor have 10′ ceilings), and you plan on doing ANY work, buy scaffolding. You will never, ever regret it. We bought it for the kitchen renovation, and it has paid its usefulness tenfold. Don’t ever think owning your own scaffolding is overkill. It’s not.


I mean, this texture.


Oh, you’d like another angle? Gladly.


Also, still painting the ceiling. Yup.


The soft-angled walls in the bay window area were a little tricky, because the wallpaper underneath wasn’t installed well. I cut out as much of the paper as I could, and we went from there.


Left side, strong side.

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The ceiling is ALMOST done!



I’m being supervised by a reindeer, who was waiting to be placed on the porch roof for the holidays. He was quite picky and bossy, but also agreed with me that the ceiling fan is hideous, and needs to GO.

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At some point, a giant ladybug convention convened in the room, probably to discuss poor wages, or the social stigma that comes with being called “Lady” all the time.



Anaglypta – COMPLETE! I love it so much.

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And then, we added a picture rail! And I took hardly any pictures of that process. But it looks great!


Next Up : replacing and replicating the baseboards that are rotted and missing, re-hanging the window moulding from the turret-rot fiasco of 2014, building a steam box (EEK!), caulking the joints in the crown moulding and picture rail, and painting the closet.



  1. I’m curious, were the ladybugs only on the white part of the wall? Because they seem to prefer south-facing, light-colored walls at our place. Also, the white cabinets in my dad’s kitchen.

  2. I really love this! You have quite a vision. When I first read that you were using the Anaglypta as a wallpaper border, I cringed a little. However, I learned a little something. Trust Amy. She knows what she’s doing. πŸ™‚ Great job!

    1. That is such a great compliment – I’m so flattered! My husband said the same thing when I said I was painting the room black. “This sounds like a terrible idea. But somehow, it always works out, so I’m going to trust.” Ha! Half of what I do make me cringe, as well, so it’s nice to find a kindred spirit. πŸ™‚

  3. Love the textures. Real ladybugs do not like coming indoors … these are most likely asian lady beetles, an invasive species. They like to come indoors in droves. They tend to die off but they can leave a yellow stain so I’d try to get them off all your nice new white Anaglypta borders. They are attracted to illuminated sunny surfaces.

  4. I loved this post on Anaglypta (which my phone keeps correcting to “analysts”, haha). Your border looks fantastic, as does the ceiling. This room is going to be stunning.

    I have an 1880s Victorian and am fantasizing about the day when we can put up Anaglypta or Lincrusta in our living room. I spend far too much time looking at patterns online. The living room is the last room on our list, so perhaps we’ll get to it by 2020 πŸ™‚

    1. You can never research too much or too early, in my opinion! Half the fun is in dreaming about the end product, isn’t it? I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  5. I am systematically making my way through your blog. I love all the things you do. Can you tell me where you got your crown moldings and picture rail? I love the look of this.
    I am renovating an 1885 Victorian in Wyoming and would love to put picture rail and crown back up. For some reason they removed it all as well as the ceiling medallions and put up wood paneling in every room! The walls aren’t even that bad. I can totally relate to the wallpaper discoveries though. Oh, and the scaffolding has been one of my favorite purchases. My three year old loves it too unfortunately.

  6. Hi from London

    Loving this blog, and glad to see there’s someone as keen on Anaglypta as me! I’m about to do it on the front room ceiling (having done the hallway and bedroom). Chosen prudently, the stuff is magic. My wife thinks it makes our flat look like a Victorian pub! I don’t see that this is a problem πŸ™‚

    I’m currently two weeks into Ashlar rendering our front wall (agonised for ages that this style was slightly period-inaccurate for our 1890s property but thought oh well!). Hard work much?!

    Best wishes

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