Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hand Painted 'Wall-paper'

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to own a home, for one reason and one reason only. Wallpaper.  When we were house hunting last year, I think I browsed through wallpaper online just as much as I did houses.  Many people warned me that wallpaper was expensive and I brushed it off, because ... duh! it'd be worth whatever the cost.
I now think there should be two different words for expensive. One which means you'll be slightly embarrassed for how much you spent and the other which means 'Holy wallpaper Batman, no one in their right mind would spend that'.
 I know now, that wallpaper is the second kind of expensive. and yes, I think my heart broke a little bit the day I found out.  After moping around for a bit, I quickly started pinteresting. There must be another way!
and although what I've done is nothing like what I originally wanted (think Red. Velvet. Scarlet and Rhett kind of wallpaper). I am super super SUPER happy with how it turned out.

So of course the first thought I had was to paint the room red then paint a darker red or gold damask print on it, but after sitting on that idea for a couple weeks I realized there is no way it will ever look like the flocked wallpaper I've dreamt of and I would never be fully satisfied.  So I had to change directions. All I knew is that I wanted something that would make my bedroom feel warm and cozy and cave-like (the rest of my house is pretty bright and colorful).  Think Abigail Ahern. I wanted that look (sadly though, without the high ceilings and fireplaces...)

And then it hit me, duh! Black! I thought I was absolutely crazy and genius (of course until I did some googling and realized I'm not that original, black is totally the 'it' thing right now).  Nevertheless you can see my total excitement below

The first thing to do was choose a color.  I'm not sure how most people do it, but I go by the name. So, what other choice did I have than to go with 'night club'?

So I read two separate things about black paint. On one blog I read to go with flat-matte because black will show every single imperfection, on another I read to go high-gloss because black sucks up all the light and the gloss will help reflect it.
I ended up going with a flat finish and am so glad I did, because holy cow, I didn't realize how many imperfections were in these old walls until I painted them dark.  I honestly don't think I could've lived with it without the design on top (which is in high-gloss), it really helps hide it all.
Choosing the pattern was difficult.  I wanted something simple that I couldn't mess up.  Something that didn't need to look perfect. Something that I could do relatively quickly, because at 32 weeks pregnant my body isn't up for spending many hours up on a ladder. 
I finally decided to go with these squares.  I found it incredibly important to vary the sizes of the squares, if you try to do it all the same, when you mess up it would be really noticeable and I didn't want that. And, it's just much more fun this way.

I know these aren't fabulous pictures of my room, but I have a few more little projects to do in here before I share the whole room with you... so stay tuned :) 



  1. Your patience is incredible! My boyfriend and I just painted large gray horizontal stripes on my bedroom wall. All we had to do was paint three stripes and we complained the whole time. I don't know what he'll do when I tell him I wanna give this a try! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  2. WOW! That is stunning! I'm also super impressed with your stick-to-it-ive-ness (lol). I don't think I would've had the fortitude to keep painting all those tiny squares on top of painting the walls myself.

  3. That is beautiful!! I love it. I have always had dark, as goth as I could get, bedding...but I changed it up haha. I think I want to go back because I miss the dark bedroom. It makes it easier to sleep.

    And holy crap, you are patient/dedicated. It looks amazing.

  4. Your room looks awesome, great job! It must have taken forever to do but the outcome is well worth it. I am thinking of doing a black statement wall in my kitchen, so thanks for the recommendation on going with flat matte paint.

  5. So cool! And I am super impressed that you did all that while pregnant and with a toddler to boot. Go super woman! ;)

  6. Great job and I love the pattern. You definitely have some patience!

  7. wow, this looks so cool! the pattern is pretty darn awesome :) awesome job!

  8. Holy crap! You painted all of those little squares by hand?! WOW. And it looks awesome! I would have never thought to paint black walls, but this looks so chic and fabulous!

  9. i love this so so so much. what a great idea, too---awesome way to work around the ridiculous prices of wallpaper. between this and the mural, im thinking i need a visit to your house soon :) #lovelovelove