Powder Room – One Room Challenge: Week 4

If you are new to my blog, welcome! I’m Sanda Stojakovic and I’m the author of My Design Playbook. A year ago my husband and I bought a 1970 Colonial house that needed many updates but we were so excited about this purchase that we knew we could turn this house into our home. Ever since we started on this journey to modernize our house I realized that we really enjoy this type of work and it quickly turned into something we love doing together. Follow along as we renovate our powder room over the next few weeks for the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge and mark your calendar for the final reveal on November 12-29th.

Spring 2020 ORC | Fall 2019 ORC

Previous weeks can be found here: Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

How to Prep Your Walls for Wallpaper Installation

One theme that kept coming up during my research on wallpaper installation is that it is an art form. It takes many wallpaper installations to hone this art form for beautiful results. What if we don’t have many projects to practice on? Where are my people who want to try this for the first time and want the first time to be a success story?

While I can’t ensure you will not botch wallpaper installation, here are some tips for prepping your wall that will make wallpaper installation easier and we all need easier when attempting this art form.

Step 1: Smooth the wall. When you start taking of the vanity mirror, light switch plates, and any other hooks and nails you will inadvertently raise the walls surface causing bumps and craters on the wall. Having an uneven surface will be visible with wallpaper so to smooth it out any of these bumps you will need to use spackle. After the spackle has dried completely, smooth out the wall with sandpaper and remove any access dirt. A smooth wall will ensure that every inch of the wallpaper adheres to the wall.

Step 2: Clean Your Walls: Wallpaper can’t cling to dirty, greasy walls, wallpaper or paint. If your painted walls are in good condition, simply wash them with a multi-surface soap and then let dry. If you have old wallpaper, remove it. Cleaning is particularly important after step number one as sanding mostly has resulted in small particles all of your walls. You can clean wall with hot water and vinegar and a wet cloth right before you start installing wallpaper.

Step 3: Use a wallcovering primer: While any primer will most likely work, I found that this primer for wallcoverings has excellent reviews. Priming the wall is important because seals the wall before applying the wallpaper paste. Don’t skip this step! Using wall size will help the paper adhere to the wall and reduce the chance that the paper will shrink. It also makes it easier to remove the paper when the time comes.

That’s it! Three simple steps to ensure your are off to the best start possible. Wallpaper installation is not easy but you can make it easier on yourself by prepping your walls.

What Happened This Week of the ORC Powder Room Transformation?

I completed all of the above steps (1-3) to get ready for the wallpaper installation that is happening this week. As you can see the wallpaper primer I used does not make the wall look great but that is not the goal here.

I also painted the chair rail and wainscotting. It took three coats of paint to cover the dark gray that was in the powder room but effort was worth it.

The paint color I ended up choosing is Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. I thought I was going to sample a bunch of white paint colors and then decide but this season of the One Room Challenge, I’m more practical. We used Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace below our chair rail in the whole lower level of our house and we used it for the our kitchen cabinets. Since the powder room is part of the lower level of the house, I thought it would be more cohesive if I continued with that color and I had the paint and the sheen I wanted to use already at the house so I went with it. The benefit of using Chantilly Lace is that it’s one of those really pure white colors. It has not yellow or gray undertones making it really simple to incorporate in any room regardless which way room is facing.

This week we also removed the old exhaust fan/light and installed a new one. Our old exhaust fan used to be so loud that we just avoided turning it on. It sounded more like really loud white noise that babies need in order to fall asleep. Since the new exhaust fan/light is smaller than the previous we had to patch a bit of the ceiling to make it work.

The new fan is much quieter and the light is bright white making the room appear bigger and brighter. We also remove the old sconces and patched the holes that came with removing such an old light figure.

Here is the updated project to-do list:

  • Remove towel and toilet paper holder
  • Remove vanity and light
  • Install chair rail
  • Install trim work
  • Sand walls
  • Choose paint color for trim
  • Paint trim
  • Prime walls
  • Install wallpaper
  • Paint ceiling
  • Install vanity
  • Source vintage mirror
  • Install ceiling lighting
  • Install Sconce Light
  • Install exhaust fan
  • Install trim on door
  • Order towel and toilet paper holder
  • Install towel and toilet paper holder
  • Order small rug
  • Order sconces
  • Order towels
  • Photograph room for reveal

Next week we are tackling this wallpaper installation.

It’s not only going to be our first time installing wallpaper but it’s also our fist time installing very non-traditional wallpaper. More about what makes this wallpaper different from typical wallpaper and how we installed it, on next weeks post.

Thanks for reading! As always you can find my daily progress updates on Instagram.

Check out other room transformations here.

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