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Making Pretty Spaces


How To Wallpaper A Feature Wall



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I’ve been casually thinking about how to spruce up my daughters room for over 6 months now. I love the impact a feature wall can bring to a space but nothing I could think of really jumped out at me until a few weeks ago!

I came across this wallpaper from A-Street Prints and fell in love with the subtle texture and neutral but playful color. I knew I wanted to use it… but then comes the question of how. The full room? Trim halfway up and wallpaper the top? One full wall? Just the ceiling? The possibilities of how to use wallpaper as a statement are endless.

Originally, I thought I would do box molding as I talked about in this post. Once I started laying out the dimensions, I ultimately ended up using 1×4 trim and cove moulding to create dimension and a little interest. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and am here to give you a step by step of how I did it!

Where we started…

This was my son’s nursery and I had some really cute peel and stick vinyl wallpaper complimented with a soft grey-green. Note: I chose not to paint over this before starting because this wallpaper was very thick, but I would check to see if anything would show through before deciding not to paint.

Deciding Where to Start.

My recommendation is to start in the center of the wall if you are doing a single feature wall. If you were wallpapering an entire room, you would want to start in an inconspicuous corner.

I found the middle of the wall and made plum lines where the edges of the first piece of wallpaper would hit. This will serve as a guide to make sure your first piece is completely straight. All your other pieces will line up based on this first strip, so make sure it’s straight!

This wallpaper is unpasted so you will need a wallpaper adhesive to apply to the wall. I’ll include a full list of supplies in my Amazon shop! Some wallpaper will come pasted so make sure and check which kind of wallpaper you buy. I will also note that this wallpaper has the most beautiful texture which really added to the final result. This was by far one of the best quality wallpapers I have ever used.

I used a 3/8″ nap roller to roll it on the wall… being careful to only apply it to the area where the strip would go. The instructions called for it to only be applied to the wall, but I chose to apply it to both the wall and the back of the paper. I found the paper to slide better and allow me to get perfect seams. The edges of the paper are very important to make sure you have enough adhesive on!

You can also use a brush for tight areas or along eges.

I use a large framing square to make all of my cuts. If you have a big table, you can use a utility knife. I found that making a clean pencil mark and using scissors worked just fine.

This post is specifically showing how to wallpaper a feature wall with trim – so it was not necessary to have exact edges. I knew there would be trim covering those areas. I also skipped an inch (see below pic) strictly to save myself from having to open another roll. Trim would be covering it so it wasn’t a big deal but it does look a little funny here!

My trick for getting wallpaper to line up is to go from the seams and work down and out. The paste allows you to move it quite a bit before it dries. I can slide it around pretty easily until I get the seams lined up perfectly! I mainly use my hands to smooth it out and then will use a wallpaper brush to really get a firm adhesion.

I also take the time after each strip to take a very lightly damp rag and wipe off the seams as there is most likely glue that has escaped.

After the full wall received the wallpaper treatment, it was time for the trim! I used 1×4 select pine and started with the bottom and top. I used 12′ boards so I didn’t have to have a seam. I wanted to beef up the bottom so I used a piece of base cap to place on top of my trim before adding the 1×4. \ This trick will work regardless of the type of baseboard you have so that 3/4″ material will fit seamlessly against it!

I nailed each piece of trim in, trying to hit studs where I could. I used 2″ brad nails and a nail gun to make sure the nail went through the trim, drywall and potentially a stud.

At this point, you could paint and easily be done! I knew I wanted to add some dimension so I chose to add some cove moulding inside each box. First, I cut each piece to length, then I primed and painted each piece before installing since these pieces would fit tight against the wallpaper and I didn’t want to have to worry about painting the wallpaper!

I used DAP wood filler on all the seams and nail holes… sanding the seams smooth after it dried. I also caulked any corner as well as the space between the trim and wall with paintable latex caulk.

The cove moulding adds such a nice touch doesn’t it?

Almost done! I had a color matched to the wallpaper that was a paint and primer in one and painted all the trim, including the baseboard.

I really love this brush for trimwork!

This wall is full of character and I couldn’t be happier with how it transformed this room!

I already had most of the furnishings so I just brought everything back into the room and hung these new sconces right on the trim (Yes, this was planned!)

What do you think? Would you tackle a feature wall like this? Stay tuned for some finishing touches on the rest of her room!


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Read the Comments +

  1. Rebekah Evans says:

    Beautiful Room, but Wow! Doing a project is one thing, and then photographing, documenting, linking info, and posting about it!… You are a whole other level of Amazing!! Love the trim work brush you linked! New tool for me to buy! Thank you for such great information!!

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