Powder Room – One Room Challenge: Week 5

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, Week 3 and Week 4.

This week we tackled wallpaper installation. Good news, it looks beautiful, bad news we ran out of the wallpaper to complete the installation. Even though I ordered more than enough wallpaper to cover a room the size of a typical powder room it was not enough because what I did not account for when using bird themed wallpaper is the amount of waste that occurs. While we technically have a lot of paper leftover none of the pieces are usable because they are not the right body parts for the birds or they are not the correct bird. Fortunately for me, the One Room Challenge was extended a week and the company I purchases the paper from in Italy has already shipped it, and should arrive by next week.

Let’s take a look how far we have gotten and what steps we took to get there.

The first step for installing this wallpaper is paste wallpaper glue on the paper. Let it dry for 15 minutes and do it again before installing it on the wall. Since the paper required two coats of wallpaper glue, I started the morning with creating a makeshift wallpaper gluing stating. I used left over birthday table cover from the dollar store to protect the floors and to designate an area for pre-pasting paper.

I pre-pasted as many pieces as I could knowing that if I ran out, there would be a 15 minute lag before I could install more paper. So made sure to always have paper that has gone through the pre-pasting process before wallpaper installation.

Wallpaper installation really requires two people if you want to be efficient and I’m really fortunate to have a husband who is not only handy but also willing to help.

Installing the first pieces of wallpaper straight is critically. If not done correctly, the remainder of the project will look off. It’s tempting to just line up the first strip of wallpaper with the corner of the wall and call it a day but remember that walls aren’t straight. To get the first strip installed straight, many wallpaper tutorials recommend you use a plumb bob but if you have done any wall trim installations the way we have you may already have a laser level tool that will make find the straight line.

As you can see above, when the wallpaper is wet it looks a lot darker and messy but once it dries it looks a lot better so do not stress out if your wallpaper does not look perfect when installing.

After the first two sheets, we got into a groove and installation was not too difficult. We used your typical tools to remove bubbles and went our happy way until we ran out paper.

Here is the area that we still need wallpaper to complete the powder room.

As I mentioned before, there is a lot of waste when using bird themes. We have a bunch of paper left over but no place to use it since it does not match any of the part on the wall that we need.

One issue that we ran into when installing the paper is contraction. When the paper dried it contracted back a bit and resulted in seems being visible on the wall. Since all paper is going to contract, the way you avoid seems being visible is by painting the wall the same color of the wallpaper before installing the wallpaper. In my case it should have been green but instead I painted it with a white primer. To fix some of the visible seems I cut tiny strips of wallpaper and use the same glue paste for wallpaper installation to simple attach the strip of wallpaper and cover the seem.

You can see with the image on the left the white seem that was visible. Once I covered it with strip of wallpaper the green above the the birds beak no longer has the seem. The other options for fixing white seems in the wallpaper is to go to your nearest paint store and match the darkest part of the paper. Paint of the seems but don’t let it dry, wipe it off with a damp sponge and the seem should no longer be visible.

While waiting on the wallpaper, I decided I would give spray painting the vanity hardware a try since the chrome pulls do not work for the powder room. I got this gold spray which I used for the girls playhouse hardware and it is absolutely the most beautiful gold out of all the spray paints I have tried and I have tried many.

If you are going to spray paint hardware I recommend using a primer first. I used this primer. Without the primer, the gold color on the metal will slowly start to fade.

Since I have to wait for the wallpaper to arrive to complete the installation, for the remainder of the week we will focus on painting and installing crown moulding. I’m also partnering with Lux Architectural to transform the powder room doors. I really wanted to replace the door but realized that they are a very custom size and that it would cost us three times the amount of a regular door replace it. Also, if we replace one door in the house then all of the doors would have to be replaced. Lux Architectural provides door wall moulding kits that are self-adhering which means no miter saw and no nail gone. Done! I can’t wait for these to arrive.

I have a couple of other surprises for the powder room, but for those you will have to wait for the reveal.

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 (almost done)
  • Paint Crown Moulding
  • Install Crown Moulding
  • Paint ceiling
  • Install vanity
  • Source vintage mirror
  • Install ceiling lighting
  • Install Sconce Light
  • Install exhaust fan
  • Install door moulding
  • Paint door
  • Order towel and toilet paper holder
  • Install towel and toilet paper holder
  • Order small rug
  • Order sconces
  • Order towels
  • Photograph room for reveal

Since the ORC gave us a one week extension, I will most likely use the extra week to finish the remaining items which means my reveal post will most likely be posted closer to the end of November. Thank you following along and for all the encouragement and support! I’m very excited to complete this project and share it you.

Don’t forget to check out other One Room Challenge participants here.

5 thoughts on “Powder Room – One Room Challenge: Week 5

  1. gorgeous wallpaper!!! sorry to hear you have to pause on the process but yay the shipment will arrive shortly. Can’t wait to see it all done!

  2. Such a pretty paper! Isn’t wallpaper a little stinker sometimes? UGH. But it’s going to be totally worth it. Looking forward to seeing it all done and knowing what other surprises you have up your sleeve!

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