Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful – William Morris
Who says women can’t wallpaper? Actually, I don’t know anyone who says this, but there’s a definite misconception that men are better at DIY than women. In our house, it’s usually me who gets most of the odd jobs done (with assistance for tasks out of reach/beyond my strength), usually because I have more time and am more capable of thinking through tasks properly. My other half has a habit of just banging in a nail where he thinks it should go, which rarely turns out well.
The above quote, by William Morris, a nineteenth-century English textile designer is one of my favourites, although gives me the perfect excuse to fill my home with completely useless objects, on the premise that they just look good. In my eyes, anything with a Morris print is beautiful, so I was keen to introduce some of his designs to my home in wallpaper form.
Our dining room was looking a little uninspired, so that’s where I set to work. I originally wanted to wallpaper the hallway but my other half put his foot down, and I must admit he was probably right. I’d already had to use my powers of persuasion to talk him round to my chosen wallpaper, and in the process struck up an agreement whereby I could buy the wallpaper if I put it up (he’s only wallpapered twice before and hated every minute of it). This was a deal I instantly regretted but never thought he would hold me to.
DIY projects in our house usually go something like this:
- I get a bee in my bonnet about a job that simply needs to be done
- Persuade my other half of the above
- Purchase tools and materials to complete said job
- Tools and materials remain in bag unused for months, as though purchasing them somehow made the job go away
So, after my beautiful wallpaper had sat in the dining room for a mere 3 and a half weeks, I decided the time had come to take the plunge. I’m going to confess that it wasn’t completely single-handed, I had a bit of help with one of the pieces round the window, and had to yell for assistance when one of the pieces started to peel down on top of me (a very sticky situation indeed), but other than that I worked away whilst my other half kept the little one out of trouble upstairs.
Here’s my top tips for wallpapering:
- Ideally it’s a two-man job
- If you don’t have a decorating table, cut up bin bags to create a protective covering for the surface you’re using to paste the paper
- Have a clean cloth to hand to wipe off any paste that gets on the front of the paper
- If it’s not quite right, peel it off and hang it again, it will annoy you forever
- Don’t trim while wet, the paper will tear (I found this out the hard way and had to replace one of the strips)
The hardest bit was to neatly trim all the edges, and I’ve made a bit of a mess round the window and plug socket, but other than that it wasn’t too bad. It’s not quite straight, but I’m putting that down to the uneven walls in my house, although I’m sure my wallpapering has a lot to do with it too.
Onto the next job…
Wallpaper: Strawberry Thief by Morris & Co.