DIY Girl's Wall Mural
When it came time to convert our daughter's room to a toddler friendly space, the first thing I knew I wanted to do was build her a floor bed so she would be super close to the ground. I stumbled upon some plans by The Design Confidential for a twin sized house bed. After looking for some design inspo, I loved the idea of having a large mural in behind the bed. I found a company through Etsy called Dreamy Wall that creates custom sized wall murals that can be applied like wallpaper. I worked with Vivian in requesting a quote for my custom size. I went with an 8x8 mural with the intention of it covering nearly the entire wall beside the window. The estimate and digital proof were sent to me very quickly, and the actual delivery of the mural took about 4 weeks (make sure you plan early if you're ordering from here!).
Here's a pic of the mural on the Etsy listing:
Once it came time to put the mural up, I realized I bought more supplies than we actually needed. Here's a list of all the items we ended up using for the project:
· Level, measuring tape, pencil, metal edge and utility knife · Paste, roller tray and ½” pile roller. (6” worked well) · Wallpaper brush and large sponge · Seam roller
The list of instructions below seems more intimidating than it actually is! Nadine has put up wallpaper several times, but for me this was a first and once the first panel was up, the only hard part was getting the panels to line up. Here's a quick rundown on exactly how to do it:
1. Size the wall. You can fill a bucket half with water and half with PVA, brush the walls with the mixture and let it dry completely. When it comes to applying the wallpaper paste, it will attach itself to the glue. We did not size the wall for our project, mostly to test how well the mural would work without this step. We were working with a textured wall and although you can feel the texture behind the panels just slightly, it didn't cause us any issues. It's been up for about a month and has not lifted or rolled back at all.
2. One of the most important steps is to make sure the first panel is level perpendicular (top to bottom). This can be done using a large level or by using a plumb bob.
-Determine how high you want the mural. This is an 8 ft mural and we were working in a room with a 12ft ceiling. If your wall is 8ft, then apply it at the ceiling and trim the bottom after all panels are installed. Be sure your ceiling is level (sometimes they aren’t) then make sure you put all panels level with the highest point and trim when all panels are up. If you end up with a gap between the top of the paper and the ceiling, no worries, you can always put a piece of trim to cover it.
-We started at the corner and worked left to right. Fortunately, the wall at the corner was level and we were able to use that as a guideline.
3. Lay the first panel on a drop cloth, face down (The glue will eventually soak through the drop cloth around the edges of the panels, so it's best to do it in the garage or outside).
-We poured glue into a small paint tray and used a ½” pile roller to apply the glue. Be generous, it allows for longer working time when hanging it
-After applying the glue, book the paper by gently fold ends to the center glued sides together. This makes it easier to work with the panel, keeps it from stretching out of shape and keeps it from sticking to you.
4. Take the panel to the wall and open top end of the booked panel and carefully begin aligning the edge of the paper along the straight edge you marked with the level. -Using the wallpaper brush begin smoothing the paper, working from the center out to the sides. However, we found that using a damp sponge and dabbing to smooth the paper worked much better and virtually eliminated creases that can be created by pressing too hard with the brush or a spatula.
-Unfold the bottom half of the panel, align along the marked straight edge and continue smoothing out air bubbles until the paper is nice and smooth. If you find that there is an air bubble trapped in the center and you aren’t able to smooth it to the edge, you can make a small slit in the bubble and, using the sponge gently try to work the air out.
-You now have one panel up, congratulations! Work the remaining panels in the same way, matching the pattern and then gently rolling the seam with the seam roller. This seals the seam nicely so the edges don’t lift or curl.
-Using a metal edge and a sharp utility knife, trim the bottom edge of the panels along the baseboard (and CAREFULLY cut a hole for any area that is sitting over an outlet. Doesn't have to be perfect, as the outlet covers will hide the edge).
-As you move from panel to panel, pay careful attention to the pattern, ensuring everything lines up perfectly across the edges. Don't pull too hard at the paper or it will stretch.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before starting:
-Don't press too hard when smoothing paper onto the wall, it can cause the paper to stretch and make it difficult to align the pattern between the panel you’re working on and the next one. It also causes creases in the panel.
-Don't trim when the paper is still too wet, or if the knife is dull. It will tear the paper.
That's about it! Shoot as a message if you've got any questions, but it's much easier than you think. Happy pasting!
Nadine & Taylor