DIY Wallpaper Mural

Last week I told you to be watching for the ‘official announcement’ of the business expansions I’m undertaking. (You can read more details in THIS POST) I’ll be offering a few different avenues of decorating consulting and am super excited about being able to help people achieve the style and function in their homes that they seek. This was the peek of the name of the new decorating consulting business:

Still just a teaser…

I’m almost ready to reveal the name, but once I do, that means the web site for it goes ‘live’ and it just needs a little bit of tweaking still. (I’ve had a few people ask what the ‘F’ stands for… you’ll see… very soon! I’ll give you a hint: the name of the business is an alliteration and it has to do with houses… I’m going to go out on a limb and say I don’t think you’ll figure it out from that hint, so if you do, you must be a genius and I’ll be amazed! LOL)

Besides getting the website up and running for the new business, (e-design is one of the new avenues I’ll be offering for consultation), I’m also getting the studio set up to meet with clients and for small groups to gather for a group project class consulting idea I have. Our house has the perfect set up for this too. We have a lower level apartment that we renovated and lived in for several months while the rest of the house was renovated. (in THIS POST you can read a little about that crazy apartment renovation, and the surprise I found lurking in the rafters!)

as apartment

Since moving out of the lower level apartment and moving into the main part of the house, we considered renting the apartment out, and spread the word a little bit, but quickly realized that to expand my business in this space is actually the perfect use of this space right now! It gives me a space for my office and a space to meet with clients with an outside entrance, and even has it’s own bathroom, so no one has to traipse through the main part of the house.

The decor in the apartment was quite plain, all white and neutral. Perfect for a tenant, but not fun, (BORING!) for a decorating studio where I hope to meet clients. It needed a bold statement. Finally, I’m getting to the point of this post, the bold statement is the wallpaper mural and I’m about to show you how I installed it.

For years now, I’ve been eyeing wallpaper murals of all sorts. There are choices available. You do need to dig a bit to find them. A few higher end wallpaper books offer a mural or two, online I’ve searched murals out as well. Some of the bespoke wallpaper murals from Europe are very expensive. Lovely, but very expensive. The mural company I decided to go with for for the studio is definitely in the budget I could justify for this space. It was exciting to finally be installing one for the first time! The process was fairly simple too!

I selected a mural they offered, I could have uploaded a picture of my own and had that made into a mural, and maybe will do that in my upstairs hallway, (I have so many great pictures from Maine) but for this space the vintage floral painting print seemed like the right choice.

It’s important to carefully measure the wall your mural is going on, they will make the size of the mural precisely according to your measurements you give them, with a few inches extra for trimming. I recommend measuring, writing down the measurements then going back and re-measuring to be sure it matches what you wrote down. More than once I’ve written down something incorrectly and this method of checking has saved me.

The mural came in less than a week from when I ordered it.

mailing tube for wallpaper mural

It was shipped in this very sturdy cardboard tube. I was super excited to see it… I wasn’t sure what to expect… was the paper it was printed on going to be like what a cheap poster is printed on?

As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised with the weight, quality and texture of the wallpaper mural paper. I ordered the standard weight, (they offer a heavier weight paper too). This standard paper was nothing like the cheap poster paper I had feared, it was heavy weight paper with a wonderful texture resembling the original oil and canvas the mural was printed from.

wallpaper mural installation instructions

The instructions that came with the wallpaper mural were very clear and easy to understand.

Unpacking the murals:

cutting wallpaper drops apart

The drops, (each separate strip that goes on the wall) are printed on one single roll and need to be cut apart and put in the correct order.

each wallpaper drop is labeled in order of placement

Above each drop is the label for where it belongs in the order of placement.

last drop on wall is narrower for my wall

On my studio wall project, all of the drops are the same width, except the very last drop which was a few inches narrower.

The actual way they instruct for the wallpaper mural installation is very different than I was accustomed to.

I’ve installed lots and lots of wallpaper, from new pre-pasted wallpaper to vintage un-pasted wallpaper, and one thing I’ve always done is either dipped and booked the paper, as in the pre-pasted variety, or painted the glue on the paper and booked it as in the un-pasted variety. (Booking the paper is when you get the glue activated on the wallpaper back and fold it back to back to do it’s thing before you hang it on the wall) But I’ve never only put the paste on the wall and stuck the dry wallpaper onto it.

However, for this wallpaper mural, that’s exactly what they recommend. I was so nervous about doing it that way, I even contacted the company and double checked with them about this procedure. They assured me, they found it was the best way to install their murals.

I measured the width of the first strip going on the wall,

all other drops were around 17" wide

just under 18″.

Oh, one thing I did as I was waiting for the mural to arrive in the mail, I painted the wall it was going on with a quick coat of black paint. The background of the wallpaper is very dark, almost black, and if there is even a hairline of a crack between the seams, the bright white wall would shine out. Having the wall behind it black, gives my wallpaper seams a little grace if they’re not perfect.

I took that measurement of the first drop width, and marked it on the wall, adding about an inch to be sure the glue covered the entire area where the paper was going.

marking width on wall for glueing

Using my level, I marked a plumb line down the wall based on that 18 1/2″ mark.

bubble on the level

If you’ve never used a level, it’s super easy. That little bubble is exactly in-between the black lines when it’s plumb. (‘plumb’ is the term for a vertical line and ‘level’ is the term for a horizontal line. I almost always forget to say ‘plumb’ for the vertical and usually wind up calling them both ‘level’ but that can get confusing.)

plumb pencil line

To follow this plumb line on the wall, for the paper installation is very important, especially on the first piece. Every piece after it will follow that first piece, and if it’s not plumb, the entire wall can look askew.

Once I has my area marked, I could ‘paint’ the wallpaper glue onto the wall. Wallpaper glue is much thicker than paint. It’s sort of like the consistency of cold gravy, you know when it gets all gelatin-y?

wallpaper glue

I brushed the edges by the trim and ceiling in in the corner, and used a paint roller with a 3/8″ nap to get the main parts.

Here you can see the first drop of the wallpaper mural installed:

one strip up, next area glued

The spot for the second drop has the glue applied, ready for the wallpaper to go on. I did find that a liberal amount of glue is good. I didn’t put it on quite thick enough for the first piece and it didn’t stick on the wall very well, so I immediately lifted it off and re-painted the glue on thicker. All the rest of the drops were great once I realized to put the glue on a little thicker.

Very gently I smoothed out the bubbles with a vinyl wallpaper smoother, (like the one I showed you in THIS POST). Then with a slightly damp cloth I wiped off the face of the paper to wipe away any glue that might have gotten on it.

For trimming the edge of the paper after it’s in place and smoothed out, I used a wide blade putty knife to hold the paper in place.

trimming installed wallpaper

With a brand new blade in the utility knife, I carefully cut along that crack created with the edge of the trim and the putty knife.

use sharp blade to trim wallpaper

If the blade isn’t absolutely new and sharp, it can tear the paper during this step, which is very frustrating, so invest in some new blades before you start!!

Here is the new studio wall about half way through my mural hanging.

half finished seams still wet

When the glue was still wet, the texture of the wet glue from underneath does show a little. But once the glue was totally dry, that dried nice and flat.

I was feeling kind of giddy over the look of the mural.

It’s done and I love it!

mural finished in studio

It is the perfect bold statement this space needed. The texture of the paper is just gorgeous.

studio mural finished

I’m getting so close to when this space will be ready for clients! Yay!!

A little more reading about my Frame and Frills e-design business:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.

Reader Interactions


  1. Marlene says

    Gorgeous! I see a really cool new ceiling light, too. I have never hung a wallpaper mural but your Dad has. His was deer in the forest and looked great for a very long time! Seems you have a lot of his talent.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *