do it: book-page wallpaper.

Previously I blogged about my office inspiration here. My starting point for creating my workspace was the book-page wall. Here’s how I did it.

Start with a clean wall in good condition. We had electrical work done, and when the electrician was pulling new wires, some of the plaster inevitably was broken. My first step was to repair all the plaster that needed it on the wall. Then, the wall was washed with soap and water and left to dry for an hour or so.

Next, we wallpapered the wall with a liner paper. The paper we used was pre-pasted, but we also used a diluted wallpaper paste. I wasn’t taking any chances. You wouldn’t have to do this, but it smooths out any inconsistencies in the wall. This is the first time we’d done wallpaper, though I’ve watched people do it before. Really, it isn’t too difficult. Follow the directions for pre-pasted paper, and follow the directions on the wallpaper paste for diluting it, if necessary.
• Work slowly. You have time.
• Do one complete sheet, then prep the next one.
• Make sure your sheets are cut just a bit larger than you need. An inch or two is great, it’s easier to trim that way.
• When the sheet is on the wall, carefully smooth it out top to bottom and side to side (you’ll need a tool like this one).
• Once it’s smooth, use that same tool to help give you a sharp line to cut the excess paper off with a sharp utility knife.
• Clean the edges of extra glue with some warm water and a sponge.
• Repeat until your wall is covered!

Let the pre-paper paper dry for two days.

In the meantime, take your old book and carefully cut out the pages. I took it apart in the groups of pages rather than page by page, because it was easier. Then, I just trimmed the folded side on a paper cutter.

After two days you’re ready to put up your pages. To attach them to the wall, I used undiluted wallpaper paste. One at a time, I glued each page, smoothing each one. I lucked out–the pages fit horizontally perfectly, so I didn’t have to trim them in that direction. Row by row, I worked my way down the wall, being careful to cover the wall behind them, but not letting them line up perfectly. Some are crooked on purpose. Do whatever you like.

When these are up, let it dry for two more days.

Almost done. The final step is to protect the pages. I used Matte Mod Podge, you could probably use any number of other things. Paint the Mod Podge on (I used a foam paint brush instead of a regular brush so I wouldn’t get the lines), covering every bit of the wall. After it dries, run your hands over the wall to make sure you got it all. Once you’re satisfied, you’re finished!

This would be just as cool with old sheet music behind a piano. Hmm, I have one of those …

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