apple Our Fifth House: DIY - Grasscloth Wallpaper (My first wallpapering experience)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY - Grasscloth Wallpaper (My first wallpapering experience)

From the very beginning I knew I wanted grasscloth wallpaper in the hubs office.  When I say "from the beginning" I mean from the day we moved in to this house (like almost 3 years ago).  However, being that I had never wallpapered before, I didn't want to dive in to this project without doing some research first.  Right away I decided that working with a pre-pasted wallpaper (one that doesn't require applying wallpaper paste) sounded like something I might actually be able to do.  This is one of the main reasons why I chose to use this grasscloth-like wallpaper by Allen + Roth that is sold at Lowe's.


It's not actually grasscloth -  it's vinyl!  Let's keep it a secret - mmmkay?  ;)  Seriously, it looks just like the real thing.  Apart from the fact that is was super easy to put up all by myself, it's a lot less expensive at about $20/ roll in comparison to the real unpasted thing.

lowes grasscloth wallpaper

So here's how I did it.  In typical Carmel style I didn't follow the directions which called for submerging in water to activate the pre-pasted glue.  That just sounded like a crazy hot mess to me, so I opted to use a spray bottle of water.


I measured, then cut, then moved the cut piece over to the drop cloth and sprayed it very liberally with water.  I waited about 5 minutes to let the water activate the glue and then I attached the piece to the wall.


I started in the least conspicuous corner of the room and worked my way around from there.  Once the wallpaper was on the wall I lightly sprayed it again and used a wallpaper smoothing tool to work out any bubbles.


I used that big blue sponge you can see on the floor 2 photos up to wipe away any excess water.  The great thing about wallpaper is that while it's wet you have time to wiggle it into place, so if you don't get it to lay right the first time you can adjust it accordingly.  I never used a level I just eyeballed it and it turned out just fine.  There were a few sheets that didn't meet flush up against the crown moulding, so I went back and filled in those places with a little trim paint.

The main thing I messed up on a few times was measuring (story of my life).


No worries though as those pieces were then taken down and used around the window and over the doorway.  Because of these silly mistakes I ended up using 3 1/2 rolls rather than just 3 which is again no big deal considering how inexpensive this paper was.

One thing I want to point out about grasscloth in general is that you will have seams,  There's no way around that.  It's not like a typical wallpaper with a repeating pattern that you can match up.  I think that is part of its character.

grasscloth wallpaper

I actually grew up with grasscloth.  Yes, my mom and dad had grasscloth in our family room when I was a kid (they also had the coolest velour chevron sofa!).  It was all kinds of 70's hotness, and it may be why I totally dig grasscloth today.

This project was way easier than I dreamed it would be and I'm quite pleased with the end result.

grasscloth wallpaper

As you can tell from the photos the color changes a bit depending on the time of day.  It's another one of the things I really love about this paper.  In my hubs home office the wallpaper plays a supporting role to the built-in bookshelves which is another reason why I didn't feel the need to go with real (much more expensive) grasscloth.

built in floor to ceiling bookcases

grass cloth wall covering


I painted the register on the wall to match the paper - Waverly Lambs Wool (the color of the guest bedroom walls).  That was just a happy accident as I had no idea that color would match so well.

So that's the story of how I wallpapered for the first time ever and lived to tell the tale.  On a diy scale of 1 to 10  - 10 being the hardest, most frustrating project - I would give this a 5.  It was time consuming (it took me 2 days working by myself with kids coming to ask me for snacks every 5 minutes)  and a little messy, but it was worthwhile.  In fact, I may actually wallpaper again......but only if it's pre-pasted.

Oh, and one other great thing about this wannabe grasscloth paper - it's wipeable.  So if something spills or splats on the walls it's can be wiped up easily unlike most natural grasscloths.

Have you ever wallpapered before?



*Linking up at Thrifty Decor Chick 

45 comments:

  1. It looks great! I'm a Kentucky blogger too....how 'bout you come over and help me do my dining room mmmm'kay? :)

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  2. You are a brave brave woman! I love wallpaper and want it so bad but I know I would just end up in tears trying to attempt it. The office is so warm and inviting!

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    Replies
    1. I promise it's not as hard as it looks! You could totally do it!

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  3. Yes, I have wallpapered a lot, and this looks amazing. Great paper, I have seen it and it really is fabulous. You did a great job. Hugs, Marty

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  4. The closest I've come to wallpapering is the beadboard wallpaper I put up in the kids' Jack & Jill bathroom, and that was plenty for me! I had a hard time cutting it when it was wet (maybe that was my mistake), because it would bunch up and make a mess. But, I figured it out in the end.

    Love the grasscloth in the office! Makes it even more character-filled and cool. We have grasscloth in a couple of areas in the basement, and I love it - one thing I won't be changing anytime soon. :-)

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  5. Love this!! The whole office has come together so beautifully!! And that wallpaper really adds some fantastic texture and intrigue. Well done Carmel :)

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  6. I love the look of this wallpaper Carmel! It looks perfect in your husband's office!

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  7. Great job Carmel! I love that with grasscloth there is no pattern to match, that is the absolute best thing about it. I have wallpapered and removed wallpaper too many times to count. The office came out so great!!
    {If you ever do it again, the trick to submerging the sheet in water to wet the paste is to roll the piece paste side out, put in your sink or tub and unravel…..let it drip a bit then throw that sucker up on the wall. Oh and a razor is a must for cutting around window sills and outlets.}

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  8. Okay, that doesn't look too intimidating! Love the way it turned out.

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  9. Looks fantastic. Love the way the whole room turned out!

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  10. I am so in love with the grass cloth in our living room! When we move I know I'm going to have to have it in our next house. One question, we painted ours...can you paint on this one?

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  11. Carmel,

    What a great tip! I had no idea about paper like this! I think I need to use it upstairs! I am totally pinning this!

    Hope you and your sweet family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    blessings,
    karianne

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  12. It looks wonderful! I am going to check out that wallpaper for sure...been dreaming of grasscloth on the backs of my living room built ins for a while now. So nice that it's so affordable!

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  13. I feel ya on the measuring problems ;) Luckily my engineering husband insists he do the measuring and cutting! Ha! That way when he messes it up, it's not my fault!

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  14. We had a professional hang grasscloth in our family room above the chair rail and paneling (it was the 80's.) I loved it, and am pleased to say, three young children's hands did not leave their marks. But, I had it removed, again professionally, three yrs. ago. Just needed a change...paint. I still have string wallpaper in my living room and plan for it to stay awhile longer.
    Your husband's den is awesome with its built-in shelves.

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  16. I grew up with grass cloth too and still love it. Looks great Carmel!

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  17. Kudos to you, Carmel! I still drag my dad over when I need any wallpapering done-not something I've wanted to tackle! I've wanted to do grasscloth on the backs of some shelves but haven't found an affordable option, so I'm totally going to check the out at Lowe's. So you think if I use it on the back panel of painted bookshelves it would peel off easily if I want to remove it later? Love the weight and interest it adds to your room!

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    1. On the back of bookshelves I might try just using double stick tape first before actually activating the glue, but it should come off with wallpaper removal spray.

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  18. I seriously love the grasscloth wall paper! I don't think I would have been brave enough to try it myself!

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  19. It really looks so awesome Carmel and you did a fantastic job! My first time trying to wallpaper a room didn't turn out so well...I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I had a glass of wine before I started. LOL! You rocked it out though and I know you're enjoying the results of your hard work! :-)
    Vanessa

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  20. NO WAY! This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Just imagine the possibilities! ;-) The office looks fantastic.
    Abby

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  21. Wow I love the texture! The one thing about wallpaper, it has to come down, one day! I am currently stripping wallpaper and I vow to Never put it up, ever! Haha
    But yours looks great!

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    Replies
    1. yes, all good things have to come to end don't they? ;) The newer paper is much easier to remove - or so I've heard. Maybe in the future there will be some new invention that makes removing wallpaper super easy - one can dream right?!

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  22. You so have me thinking now! I love great finds in the big box store! I am running now to see if they have any other great colors! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  23. Hi Carmel! The wallpaper is fab! I jut have a quick question. Do u have textured walls? Most newer construction like my home pretty much comes standard with some type of texture on the walls. I've always loved wallpaper but have been hesitant to try it because of this. Do u think this application will work wih textured walls or would u suggest skipping it altogether?

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    1. Hi Shavonda! I think it will work on textured walls - the packaging says it will cover over cracks so texture shouldn't be an issue. My walls have just a little texture not much. This paper is pretty thick so I think it would work just fine. You could always buy a roll to try it out and see - it's so inexpensive so it wouldn't be too painful if it didn't work out.

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  24. We just used Martha Stewart brand textured wallpaper from Home Depot that looks like wainscoting. Best stuff ever! It got great reviews online and it was so so easy to use - and not pre-pasted. Works wonders on textured/beat up walls.
    Your office looks great!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for posting this Katy - so good to know!

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  25. I wallpapered once and it was not as bad as I had feared. One thing about cutting the paper: you're supposed to cut it a little long, put it on the wall, and *then* trim it (razor knife). MUCH easier to get it right, particularly for those of us with older houses and/or non-straight walls.

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    1. Thanks for that tip - I'll definitely do that next time!

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  26. You could have kept the short pieces of wallpaper on the wall by adding a piece of quarter round moulding on top of your baseboard moulding. I think it would have looked great!

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    1. I did think about doing that but I didn't want the baseboards in this room to look difference than those everywhere else in our home. Although next time (if there is a next time) I might do that because it would probably save me a little time.

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  27. I am planing to use it in a 1842 cira house. I have some mild cracks that I am trying to cover. Plastering and repainting is not the answer. I have to use sheet rock and prim and paint . Do not want to do that. Do you think this wallpapering will cover those nasty cracks? They are not big cracks. Thanks ladies...

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    1. It is supposed to cover small cracks. I would take a few phone pics and ask the sales people in the paint dept. at Lowes. They've always been very helpful with my questions about things like this.

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    2. Thanks Carmel. I will do that and will let you know how it goes.

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  28. That looks great. You did an excellent job. I wish i can do the same. It sounds easy but i don't have the patience but i could give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

    - FrenzInteriors.com

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  29. Just came across your site...I used the same wallpaper in my dining room and loved it so much I added it to the alcoves in my living room. What a great price...I did find that it was a little "over-glued" -- I followed the instructions, and had paste running down my walls as I smoothed it out...maybe I should have used your method! Still, it's a great look, and much easier to install than "real" grasscloth. I only wish they had more color options.

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  30. Just came across your site...I used the same wallpaper in my dining room and loved it so much I added it to the alcoves in my living room. What a great price...I did find that it was a little "over-glued" -- I followed the instructions, and had paste running down my walls as I smoothed it out...maybe I should have used your method! Still, it's a great look, and much easier to install than "real" grasscloth. I only wish they had more color options.

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  31. I have never tried wallpapering in my life, i wanted to but i'm a bit scared. I'm glad to have found this site, i want to give it a try. I just love the paper! I love grasscloth, i want this paper too on my walls. Is it expensive? It is easy to hang?

    - FrenzInteriors.com

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  36. Do you still like it? Can I also ask around how much it cost to do the whole room?

    Thanks!
    Gia
    dressupfiles.com

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Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C

 
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