Don’t throw out your Grandmother’s wallpaper

Do you know how hard it is to find wall paper these days? The wall paper sold now is nothing like the wall paper I remember seeing in my childhood. Thank goodness, right? What were we thinking with all the cutesy florals and if that wasn’t enough, wall paper borders were a MUST. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that was ever a thing, especially because it was such a hassle to adhere it to the walls in the first place. Mom always said that it was likely the leading cause of divorce!

This project began with a need to replace my vanity in my make-up room (you’re thinking who has a make-up room? I know, right? But before children, you can get away with these luxuries). I wanted the vanity to be homemade (a theme in all of our household décor) and most of all, I wanted it to be girly. I will share a post for the vanity one day but today, I am focused on the découpage finish that I did on the vanity top. My inspiration for that came from this photo from a pinterest pin:

cover wooden boards with wallpaper, and then take sandpaper to it.:

This is actually a digital print, not the real thing – SO, I had to come up with a way to recreate it in real life.

Since I couldn’t find vintage, floral wall paper anywhere, I settled for scrapbook paper from Michael’s. I purchased the thinnest paper I could find in the patterns I liked as well as some Matte finish Mod Podge.

**Although I used scrapbook paper and it worked well, I would try this project again with patterned tissue paper or wrapping paper as they are thinner and might result in a more transparent finish – but totally a preference thing so good to try a few options on scrap wood before committing**

I began by sanding the wood with 120-grit sand paper for a smooth surface, especially around any knots in the wood. I applied Early American stain to the boards to achieve a more rustic look as a final result.

Then I cut my paper into halves and laid them out on the boards. Then I generously applied the mod podge to the back of the paper and pressed it onto the wood. This is where you can take a straight edge and smooth out any of the excess glue. After the paper was applied to the length of the board, I applied the glue to the top of the boards. I let this dry over night.

The next day, I attached 80-grit sand paper to my palm sander and sanded the edges of the paper, some spots more than others, and made some randomized wear spots along each board for authenticity.

After cleaning the boards of dust and paper debris, I applied a clear top coat in Matte finish x3 (light sanding by hand in between each coat).

And this was the final result:


💜 🔨




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