Welcome to week 3 of the Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge! If you are wondering if I was one of those super-smart participants that got a head start on renovating my space – I AM NOT! These weeks keep flying by and I am doing my best to keep up. This week, I added some personality into the space by installing a wallpaper mural on one wall and LOVE how it turned out!
My son spent the first 5 years of his in Denver, CO and he has a special place in his heart for the mountains. I knew that I wanted to add the mountains into the design of the space and a wall mural was the perfect opportunity. When I checked out Rebel Walls, they had so many fantastic options! I loved the look of the foggy fir trees, the winter mountains, and even the more whimsical mountain mural, but, in the end, I decided on the gradient mountain mural. The color scheme was perfect with the blues on top and it was mature enough for him to grow up with.
Today I am going to take you through this super easy installation! It took me a few hours to complete this project and my little boy is thrilled!
How to Install a Wallpaper Mural
- Wallpaper Paste (included with the mural)
- Bucket for Paste
- Bucket for Water
- Paintbrush for Application (I used one I owned)
- Long Level
- Exacto Knife or Box Cutter
When you begin, you want the wall to be clean and smooth, with no flaking paint. Here is the wall where I installed the mural – it is clean and freshly painted!
Step 1 | Cut Mural Rolls
The mural arrives in a single tube that provides instructions for where to cut to create each strip of the mural. Each strip is numbered so you can easily determine which strip goes up to create the mural image. Cut out each strip and lay it out to make sure it is the correct size and there are no defects with it.
Step 2 | Make the Wallpaper Paste
The package for the mural also comes with a powder to make the wallpaper paste. I followed the instructions on the box and mixed the powder with a gallon of water in a bucket. Before you begin hanging the wallpaper, lay down a drop cloth to prevent any glue falling on the ground. Fill another bucket with water and a sponge to wipe away any excess glue that may get on the front of the wallpaper.
Step 3 | Mark Line for the First Strip
The first strip of wallpaper hung is the most important. Measure the width of the first strip and mark that same distance from the corner of where the mural will begin.
Put the long level at the corner of your wall to see if it is perfectly straight. If it is not perfectly plumb (which is usually the case), mark the appropriate width at the top middle and bottom of the wall. If you line up the bottom and middle line and the top of the level needs to be brought slightly closer to the corner to get the air bubble perfectly in the center, you will use the lower mark as your guide for the straight line. It is better to be able to take off the excess wallpaper in the corner than to have one part of the wall perfectly align and then a sliver of the wall is not covered by the wallpaper. I hope this explanation makes sense! Once the line is determined, created a full line with a pencil from the ceiling to the baseboard.
Step 4 | Apply Wallpaper Paste
You can use a roller to apply the wallpaper paste, but I ended up just using a paintbrush. Apply the wallpaper paste directly to the wall and make sure every part of the wall is covered. I applied the paste a little bit past the pencil line where the first strip would be placed. This wallpaper paste is only meant for the back of the mural, if you get any on the front, use the sponge to wipe it away as soon as you can.
Step 5 | Hang the First Strip
As I mentioned earlier, hanging this first strip of wallpaper is the most critical. If this strip is not straight the rest of the mural will be crooked. Start at the top and align the wallpaper edge right on the pencil line. Move your way down the wall lining up the edge of the wallpaper directly to the pencil line. Next, use your hand to smooth and press the wallpaper to the wall and remove any air bubbles. Use the wet sponge to wipe away any glue that may get on the front of the mural.
Step 6 | Cut Excess Wallpaper
Use your Exacto knife or box cutter to remove the wallpaper at the top and bottom of the strip. This is when you will remove any extra wallpaper in the corner as well for that first strip. I began with the top of the mural. Then, I pressed the wallpaper into the corner crease as best as I could and used the box cutter to cut as straight of a line as I could. I used the wet sponge to press the wallpaper firmly to the top of the ceiling. I repeated this process at the baseboard and in the corner.
Step 7 | Hang the Next Wallpaper Strip
Apply the wallpaper paste so that it extends past the width of the next wallpaper strip to be installed. Take the wallpaper that is marked with the next number in the order and align the mural on the wall.
You want the wallpaper strips to be installed directly on the seams without overlapping. Work your way down the mural strip to make sure the image matches and the seams are as tight as possible. Once the edge is down, use your hand to smooth down the rest of the wallpaper. I like to start in the middle of the wall and fan my hands out diagonally to push any air bubbles out to the side, top or bottom of the mural.
I like to use the damp sponge to press on the seams and get a really tight seal.
Remove the excess wallpaper and move on to the next wallpaper strip until the mural is complete!
Thomas is SO excited about this fun mural and making my little guy happy is what this renovation is all about!
Thanks for checking in, don’t forget to visit next week to see what DIY project I tackle next! Check out the progress from all of the other OCR participants on the One Room Challenge blog too!
Want to save this tutorial to reference once you start your next project? I’ve got you covered! Use the pin below to easily find your way back to this tutorial.