1940s Black and White

One of the hardest rooms to wallpaper is the bathroom. One of the most difficult spots to wallpaper is the ceiling. This space involved both, but Maggie and I are always up for a good challenge.

First, let me apologize for the "not so great pictures". I forgot my camera and had to use my phone (she says stomping her foot!). It always frustrates me when I do that, because then you at home don’t get the full affect of what we're doing. You also aren't able to see the crisp details of the paper and the room. As was the case here. This bathroom had marvelous black and white, original, 40’s tiling and fixtures. The wallpaper had a beautiful black and white scallop pattern, with a hint of silver, subtly whisked through it, so that when the light caught it, it would sparkle a bit. The phone camera did not pick up those details.

The customer did a wonderful job matching the style of the tiles and fixtures to the design in the wallpaper. Instead of trying to "modernize" the bathroom she picked a paper that flattered the existing look.

So, when we were done "ooooing & aghhhhing" over the paper we moved into the difficulty of getting it onto the ceiling and the walls.

 It's a good thing Maggie and love each other so much, because wallpapering a ceiling together can really test a friendship! There is a lot of stretching and manipulating of ones body. Positions that when you're 44, don't come as easily to you as when you were 24. So, when you have one foot braced on the corner of a tub and the other wedged in between the toilet and the wall (like Spiderman)...things can become a little testy. 

But after a few choice words, some loud huffs and painful arm cramps, we managed to get the complicated strips into place, and move onto the walls.

There were a couple nice things about this bathroom besides its cosmetics too. We only had to work in half sheets for the remaining walls (the bottom half was tiles). Someone else had prepped the walls for us, so all we had to do was come in and paper and there was no wallpapering around a toilet! Not just for "obvious" reasons but papering around a toilet can be difficult. 

We did have a couple tricky spots on the walls but Maggie is an expert when it comes to working around fixtures. On this wall she had to tackle a couple sconces and a mirror but she did it with ease.

Maggie uses a straight edge to get a nice crisp edge. She then uses a new blade to cut the paper. A new razor blade is probably your most important tool when wallpapering. A dull blade can do so much damage and make your job so difficult. Do yourself a favor and invest in a new box of blades before you start, we do.

We also have an extra bucket of paste with us at all times too. Although, many papers are "prepasted" it doesn't always mean that there is anough glue to hold it in place. There are many factors that can affect the workability of the glue (the age of the paper, were it's been stored, etc...) so we suggest always having a little jar of extra glue for those seems or corners that just don't want to lay right.

Contractor's Tip: In a bathroom you may want to use a bit more glue because the moisture/steam tends to make the paper expand & contract, causing the paper to peel faster then it would in other areas of your home. Put some extra glue in a paint tray and roll a thin coat on the prepaired walls with a regular, small nap roller, before appling the paper. This will create an even more durable bond.  It's also good to keep some extra glue on hand as well, just incase a seem or corner starts to peel away in the future. This way you can easily & quickly glue it back down before it becomes a bigger problem.

So, did you like this transformation? Do you think the paper brough a little classy ambiance to the space or would you have gone another direction?  And how do you feel about wallpaper on the ceiling?

Mary & Maggie