Monday, January 23, 2012

Painting your Paintable Wallpaper

No I didn't find my paintable wallpaper at a garage sale, although I have seen some before. I thought this was a good opportunity to show you all how I gave my wallpaper in the center of my fireplace a faux bronzed ceiling tile look.
Here is my before picture of my fireplace. As you can see, it needed some help. When I bought this fireplace at a garage sale we had not yet bought our house. I had always pictured my home having a fireplace so I took a chance and bought it anyway. After finding a home we loved you can imagine my dissapointment when a fireplace was not included. I was unsure about what I was going to do with the one that was sitting in my garage! Once we moved in I decided that not everything had to be practical. I could have a fireplace that was purely decorative if I wanted. So up it went. But what was I going to do with the blank wall where my fire should be burning? I couldn't just leave it bare. I thought about little tin ceiling tiles but knew they would be too expensive. Then I found paintable wallpaper and thought it would be perfect. I bought my paintable wall paper at Lowes because I really loved one of the patterns they had. In hindsight I wish I would have bought my wallpaper online at this website called Wallpaper Wholesaler. The wallpaper is much cheaper on this website however they are sold in double rolls so you have to buy two of them. I have another paintable wallpaper project that is pretty big so this would have been a better bet for me. If your paintable wallpaper project is small you may prefer to buy your paper at Lowes. The particular wallpaper I chose from Lowes covers 56 square feet and was a little under $20. On the Wallpaper Wholesale website most rolls were $12.99. But remember you have to buy two which means you would be spending $25 plus shipping.

So now that I had my paintable wallpaper I had to figure out how to give it the best look. I loved this two toned look.
I thought I could recreate this look with some of the paints I already had at my house so I went out to the garage and got the paint we used in my youngest daughters bedroom. Before you put your wall paper on your wall always test out your colors and painting techniques on a strip. Paintable wall paper comes off the wall easily but I didn't want to waste any.
I used a medium brown as my base coat.
And a Martha Stewart Metallic paint as a top coat to give my paper more details and definition. I think this was about $6 at Home Depot.

When you are choosing your paint color, I would suggest that you use two colors. If you just simply want the metallic look without any other color showing through I would still suggest using a plain base coat that is really similar to your metallic color. Paintable wallpaper is really dense, which means it takes a lot of paint to cover your first coat. Depending on how big your project is you may not have enough metallic paint to cover the whole thing without using a base coat. If your project is small enough you could also just buy a sample paint of your base coat instead of an entire quart to keep your cost down.
One more piece of advice when your shopping for your paintable wallpaper is to try to get paper that already has adhesive on the back. This will save you time and money. After following the directions on how to apply the paper (we soaked ours in the tub to get it all wet at the same time) we put it in the center of our fireplace. I was really surprised at how easy it was to work with. We were able to place it on the wall and slide it around to make sure we had it in the right spot.
C.J. making sure the pattern lines up.
The directions say to wait 24 hours before painting....oops i didn't read that part. I let mine dry overnight and then painted it and it worked out just fine. Don't forget to tape off your area so you don't get paint where it's not supposed to be!
Here I am painting my base coat.
My base coat after drying
After it's dry take your metallic paint and lightly brush it on top of your base coat allowing some of your base coat to still show through. Sorry about the blurry picture
Letting my metallic top coat dry.
Here is the difference between using one color of paint and lightly brushing a second paint color on top of your base coat. Major difference! With my next paintable wallpaper project I think I will go a step further and VERY lightly brush a third gold metallic paint on top of my browns. Remember, you can use however many colors you want!
The finished product! I love it!
All decor was bought at garage sales! I paid $75 for the fireplace, $17 for the metal embellished mirror and $15 dollars a piece for the large wood sconces!

and I still have lots of wall paper left over!
I am linking to these parties:

DIY projects and crafts

Sumo's Sweet Stuff


  1. What a fun look--thanks for sharing your process!

  2. Oh wow! that looks fabulous - great idea with the metallic paint and embossed wallpaper!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. That is so cool and it looks beautiful.
    Jilly oxo

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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