How-To: Wall Mural
This post is sponsored by I Love Wallpaper. As always, all words, anecdotes and opinions are entirely my own.
Use the code LLL10 for 10% discount on all wallpapers and murals on www.ilovewallpaper.co.uk !
It’s no secret that I LOVE a feature wall. Whether it’s a bold paint colour, trendy panelling or a stunning wallpaper print, it’s a great way to breathe life into your room décor. While you may assume that feature walls have to be high impact, they can also be a great way to subtly bring a space together. This is exactly what I’ve done in our Home Office, by adding the detailed tropical-print Jungle Escape Mural in Green from I Love Wallpaper to what was previously a white, blank wall. Wall Murals are the perfect way to add interest to a room without overwhelming or making a space feel too busy. The aim of a Mural is to stand out enough to add interest, while still blending in with the style and décor of a room. They give a cleaner, more modern look than smaller-pattered wallpaper, and the great news is that they are also much easier for amateur DIY-ers to hang – I’ll explain why later in this post!
I’ve come a long way since I first attempted DIY wallpapering, having now completed five feature walls in different rooms in my house. Practise makes perfect; however I’ve also learnt some key tips to pass on to any first-time wallpaper-ers, which will make a huge difference to both the length of time it takes you and the quality of your finished project. In this blog I am going to walk you through how we hung our I Love Wallpaper Wall Mural, with a step-by-step guide that I hope will give you the confidence to try it yourself in your own home.
Step 1 – Chose your print
When I discovered that I Love Wallpaper had just launched a brand new range of Wall Murals I couldn’t wait to get browsing through the stunning collection. I’d already used one of their wallpapers in my master bedroom so was confident of the quality of their papers, and upon looking online was pleased to discover the added benefit that I Love Wallpaper’s Wall Murals are incredibly reasonably priced. Another important consideration was that the papers are Paste-The-Wall, which makes the hanging process much easier, especially if you’re a first-timer.
I’d always had in mind that I wanted a Wall Mural in the Home Office, but just hadn’t yet seen the right design for the room. Our Home Office is the smallest room in the house, north-facing, and has wall cabinets along the entire length of one side, so it was important that whatever wall finishing I chose wouldn’t darken or enclose the space. The design scheme of the room centres around a dark smokey-green with concrete and brass accents, so it was important to choose a Wall Mural that complimented the colours but had a light base. I always recommend using the classic 60-30-10 decorating rule when choosing a colour palette for your room, where a lighter dominant colour accounts for 60% of your space, 30% is a secondary colour/texture, and the remaining 10% is allocated to your finishes and accents.
There were so many incredible designs in the I Love Wallpaper Wall Mural Collection which would have worked beautifully in the room, that I actually shortlisted three other prints before settling on the Jungle Escape Mural in Green. The other designs that caught my eye was the sketched-landscape Etched Palms Mural in Grey, dreamy and relaxing Ombre Mountain Mist Mural and quirky Monstera Leaf Mural. I’ve always found choosing wallpaper or murals is ultimately a matter of heart over head, however I not only fell in love with the muted green tones of the Jungle Escape Mural, but also my practical side recognised that the fading white background would lift and brighten the rest of the room. I thought that the light tones would perfectly balance the dark green wall it would face. I particularly love the way that, even though it’s a simple, non-repetitive pattern, the contrasting green shades create a sense of depth and give each tree and leaf an individual feel.
Step 2 – Prepare your wall
If you live in a newbuild like me, and your wall hasn’t been previously decorated, this is a relatively easy process. Remove any hooks or nails and fill in with Polyfilla before sanding down. It’s worth giving the whole wall a quick light sand to make sure there are no leftover paint bumps and you have a smooth and even surface. Give the wall a wash with a multi-surface soap and wet cloth 24 hours before you are going to hang your paper.
Step 3 – Mix your adhesive
I have always used Solvine or Bartoline wallpaper adhesive for my wallpapering projects. As I previously mentioned, if you are able to buy Paste The Wall wallpaper/wall murals, this will really help minimise mess and reduce the amount of time it will take for you to hang your paper. It also means you can get away with completing your project in a smaller space, as you won’t need to set up a wallpaper table.
Add the specified amount of water and paste powder to an old mop bucket, large bowl or measuring jug. Mix vigorously for 30 seconds, leave for 3 minutes and then thoroughly mix again. My husband did the mixing this time, and smugly informed me that I will never be allowed to be in charge of this again, as apparently my previous mixes were far lumpier than his!
Step 4 – Cut your Wall Mural strips
The best part about choosing an I Love Wallpaper Wall Mural over regular wallpaper is that the roll comes pre-marked, meaning you don’t need to do any measuring or figuring out where to cut in order to line up your pattern. We cut our strips at the designated lines using scissors and then lined the rolls up in order on the floor (even if you get your strips confused it isn’t an issue, as they are all conveniently numbered for you).
Step 5 – Paste your wall
You can buy pasting brushes, however I like to use a paint roller to apply the adhesive to the wall. It makes the job quicker, and gives nice even coverage. I then use a small brush to do along the top of the wall and by the skirting board. Use more adhesive than you’d think you need, especially at the edges.
Step 5 – Hang your paper
When you have a 6ft6 husband like I do, this part of the process is a lot easier! If you’re flying solo, then I’d add a step ladder to your list of equipment. Starting from the top, carefully line the paper up with the top of the wall, making sure it sits straight. Gently place the paper down onto your wall. It helps having two people, so that one can guide the paper at the bottom to make sure its straight. As you go down, use your brush in swift, hard, downward strokes to brush the paper flat onto the wall and smooth any creases. Once the first strip is down, its easier to lay the subsequent strips as you just need to line up the pattern. Make sure to keep an eye on the pattern as you lay the paper all the way down to the skirting, as it can slip out of alignment and need to be readjusted. We like to leave the overhang at the top and bottom until all the strips of Wall Mural have been hung. After you’ve brushed your paper onto the wall, use the seam roller to smooth out the gaps in-between paper strips. This is one of my favourite parts as its absolutely magic the way the join disappears! If the seam is still really visible, it may be the case that the two strips of paper are overlapping slightly. To avoid this, make sure that when you first lay your strip the paper is close but not quite touching each other. If you accidentally overlap the strips, then gently life the paper up again from the bottom to the problem area and re-hang.
Step 6 – Cut your sockets
If you are hanging your wallpaper on a plain wall – great! If your wall has one or multiple plug sockets, the job will take a little longer, however I find fitting wallpaper round sockets one of the most satisfying jobs there is. Firstly, unscrew the socket cover from the wall and allow it to hang out slightly, so it would overlap the wallpaper. In order to get the perfect socket-cut, hang your wallpaper as you usually would, down to the socket, then stop. When we did the Home Office wall, it just so happened that one of the strips stopped right at the edge of the plug socket (love it when that happens!) This meant that all we had to do was cut horizontally across from the edge of the strip to the middle of the paper, where the socket would be. If your socket ends up being right in the middle of a strip of paper, you will need to cut from the middle of the paper horizontally outwards. Once you’ve cut out a rectangle that is just smaller than the socket plate, cut diagonally up into the corners, then fold the edges down behind the socket cover before re-screwing so that is sits flush to the wall.
Step 7 – Trim your edges
Once your I Love Wallpaper Wall Mural is hung, it’s time to trim the edges! Using a scalpel or small Stanley knife and long ruler (ours is metal) work your way along the bottom, sides and top of the mural to trim off any excess paper. The reason I do this last is because if the glue hasn’t started to dry and parts of the paper are damp, it will snag and start to rip. Press just hard enough to cut through the paper, but be careful not to be too heavy-handed and slice into your wall.
Step 8 – Style your space!
My favourite part after hanging a Wall Mural is being able to step back and appreciate what a huge difference it has made to the room. In our Home Office we placed a simple sideboard in front of the wall, made from light, natural materials to compliment the tropical pattern of the Mural. I accessorised with green and neutral décor that didn’t take attention away from the feature wall. The room now feels stylish and complete, with no compromise on light or space. Due to the desk being at the other end of the room, the I Love Wallpaper Wall Mural now provides the perfect backdrop for myself and my husband’s business Zoom calls…and it’s already received a lot of compliments from clients and colleagues!
For more stunning Wall Mural inspiration, head to @ilovewallpaper ‘s Instagram page. If you see something you’d like to purchase for your own home or interior project, you can use the code LLL10 for 10% discount on all wallpapers and murals on www.ilovewallpaper.co.uk !*
*I am an affiliate partner of I Love Wallpaper so if you purchase using this code, I will receive commission. This has no bearing on the honesty of my review of the product.