Paint and Paper

Time for Paint and Wallpaper in the Study!

There was a thin wallpaper border on the ceiling, and it didn’t come down super well. I actually just painted over where the wallpaper had been, and paint the crown black. I’m adding some more moulding to the ceiling to complete this, and I can’t wait to see it all together!

Buying scaffolding was beyond a doubt the best thing we’ve ever purchased for the renovation. I love it so much.

It took several layers of mud and sanding, but this is the big settlement crack that was on the wall. It looks great now!

Don’t worry that the edge isn’t even. It’ll be covered! And this is the silkiest shade and sheen of black. I really like it!

Almost done! And super happy about it.

The ceiling is going cream! Which is really boring for me. But once everything is on the ceiling, it won’t be boring.

I hand painted the ceiling. I used a 4″ brush, and I like doing that instead of rolling. It does take a little more time, but it’s cleaner. Whenever I roll on the ceiling, I get so much paint splatter on my face, no matter how slow I go. It’s just not worth it to me.

Also, sweet Marina is in this picture.

I sent this picture to show a friend who has been to my house a million times, and he said, “I can’t believe you put a ceiling fan in there. That doesn’t seem like you at all.” I told him I just hadn’t switched out the lighting yet, and he said now that the ceiling isn’t pink, you can see it. Good thing? Bad thing? I’m not sure.

On the paint chips, the wall color and the ceiling color are distinctly different. But depending on the time of day, they look identical when they’re up. Grrrr….

Also, depending on how the light hits the room, it looks like two different shades. The wallcolor on the right is more like the paint chip I picked out – a hint of gold. And you can see it’s different than the ceiling. On the right wall, it’s much more beige and the same. It’s fine. It looks good. I think.

Wall color complete!

Time for some paper! I ordered a TON of samples, because the wallpaper I picked out a couple of years ago (because I’m always planning future rooms) is discontinued. Black and Gold is the scheme (because, Purdue). Here are just a few of the samples! I think the Bee paper is really cool, to be honest.


After all the samples came in, I separated them into two piles : one I liked, and NOs. I showed the liked wallpaper to Doug, and asked what his favorite was. He picked the same one that I liked. I was actually kind of surprised – I thought he might pick one of the more Art Deco papers I had pulled. But he loved this one. Which is AWESOME, because so do I.

The paper is from Graham and Brown. I LOVE a lot of what they do. To me, it’s like a modern twist on Victorian. It feels right, but doesn’t feel like a museum. AND, when I went to order it, it was 25% off, which was AMAZING, and proved it was meant to be.

ALSO? It has glitter imbedded in it! I asked Doug, “It’s your favorite? When it has glitter in it?” He said, “Totally. I love the it’s really got a lot going on.”


No arguments here. Plus, the added bonus is that the room can double as a night club. Who doesn’t love a multi-purpose room?

First strip up! The top edge will be covered by a wood moulding (that I stained one shade too dark, but I’m embracing the quirkiness).

I know I said that I was doing this room mostly on my own, but Doug helped out with the papering some, to get me started. And then I took over.

First completed chunk. SO GOOD. 

I’m so happy with it! It looks 3-D, but it’s not. The jewels and sequins really look like they’re real, and I keep touching them even though I know there’s nothing there. It’s really pettable wallpaper. 

I know I’ve done some talking about hanging wallpaper before, but I’ll do another quick run-down of tasks. We use two plastic folding tables end-to-end, covered in craft paper. That works really well. We lay out the paper and measure.

You cut it a few inches longer than what you need. You’ll also have to trim the top, to make it match your starting place.

Using a level or a long metal straight edge helps to keep the cut where it should be.

Next, you paste it! There are wallpaper brushes that are wider, but we just use 3″ chip brushes. They work well, and if they get too messy they aren’t a huge loss to throw away. Well, except for Mother Earth. It’s probably a huge loss to her. Sometimes, I think that lady is going to be super mad at me. I try hard to reuse a LOT, but sometimes, paint brushes just need to go.

Paint the glue on. Make sure it’s well-covered, but not goopy.

Then, you Book It! And let it sit for 5-7 minutes to get tacky. Use those 5-7 minutes to reminisce about the Book-It reading program, and things you think are tacky (like Sandals and Socks).

Book It complete! Now, wait 5-7 minutes. (Also, more tacky things to discuss.)

You start at the top, and match the patterns up. Sometime, you have to pull back and reposition to get it to lie perfectly flat. But you have a little time, so it’s okay.

When you trim, put on new blades ALL THE TIME. Blades get dull really quick, and then they tear. You’ll be a lot happier (Ugh, I know, Mother Earth, NOT YOU) if you change blades for each sheet of paper.

If you have a puppy partner, show her how it’s done. If she’s going to try and be as good of a manager as her big sister, she HAS TO LEARN.

Wrapping it around the door casing allows you to pull it tight and get it really flat.

Sweeping is next! Use pressure with the wallpaper sweeper to get the paper really adhered to the wall.

Then sweep again with the smoothing tool to get out any excess glue or bubbles.

Use a metal edge against the paper, and run your razor blade to trim against the mouldings.

The last step, which I apparently didn’t take a picture of, is washing the paper and woodwork. Use a sponge and water, and wipe everything down. This gets the glue off the paper (because there will be) and gets it off the woodwork.

I’m in love! It’s very dramatic.

This room is moving along! But band camp is next week, so don’t worry – things will go back to their normal pace soon.

As Miranda Priestly says, “By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.”






  1. I love the wallpaper!! Maybe you could put a picture rail above what you already have so that way it looks even more Victorian!! I love it!!

  2. I need links to where you get your wall paper samples, please! I’m not in a position where I’m able to work on my house right now, but I’m a plan aheader, too.

  3. Your rooms are always so beautiful. I need links to where you get your wall paper samples, please! I’m not in a position right now to do any work on my house, but I’m a plan aheader, too.

  4. Oh I love it…. I was not so sure when you showed what paper you were choosing but it’s a knock out.

  5. I only recently found your blog, but I’ve been enjoying the archives very much. Now that I’m up-to-date, I’ll have to wait in real-time to see your progress. 🙂

    I’m a quilter, so I completely understand your fascination with mosaic tiles. Quilts might be a good place to look for future inspiration–we quilters do it the other way around. You’d be amazed at how many of us take pictures of tile and other architectural detail to use in future projects.

    Best wishes,

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