Monday, October 21, 2013

Using Chalk Finish Paint on Wallpaper - Yes You Can!

My 19-year-old son, Ben, lives and works away from home during the week, but comes home on the weekends.  I wish I could say it was because he misses his momma, but I think it is a different, much younger, blond female he comes to see. Sigh.

Anyway, I wanted to redo his bedroom last week as a surprise.  It was looking like a tired version of a 14-year-old boy's room, and I thought it was time for it to grow up.

I started with a trip to Ikea (my favorite go-to store) where I bought bedding: a twin-sized duvet for $24.99 and a pretty, but still masculine, brown and white checked duvet cover and matching sham for $9.99 (yes, $9.99!). Unfortunately there wasn't a dust ruffle there, but a quick trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond (with a 20% off coupon) took care of that for around $15.

The next step was finding a headboard, so I shopped the basement.  That is not the name of a new, trendy furniture store, but my actual basement - where I store all of the castoffs I find on the street, or at Goodwill, or that I shamelessly take from friends and family (with their permission, of course. They get rid of the best stuff!).

I happened to have a wooden headboard I picked up on trash day about 2 years ago. Yeah, I hang on to stuff for that long, much to my husband's dismay.  But I knew I would need it one day, and last week that day had came. It appeared to me that the wood was completely unfinished - no stain at all - which was fine since I wanted to paint it. It was covered in a coat of dust, though, so I wiped it down with a damp rag to clean it.

I could have painted it just the way it was, but I wanted to give it just a little bit of personality. I had some beadboard wallpaper on hand (bought at Lowe's for a different project last year), so I added some to the inside panel, which was not difficult at all. I began by measuring the width of the wallpaper, then found the center of the panel and marked out the width of the wallpaper right in the middle of the panel.

Next, I needed to cut the three pieces of the wallpaper.  I measured the lenght of the panel, then cut the middle piece just a bit longer than I needed.  I measured the panel to the right and to the left of the outer marks I had made on the panel for the middle piece, to see how wide the side pieces would need to be.

I cut two more pieces slightly longer and wider than needed - one for the left side and one for the right - making sure I paid attention to the beadboard pattern on the front in order to keep the pattern consistent with the middle piece. I wrote (with pencil) that information on the back of each side piece so I didn't get confused when I went to apply it.

After soaking each piece of cut wallpaper in water, I then applied them, just as I would as if applying to a wall. I started with the middle piece first, putting it where I had marked it on the panel; once I was satisfied it was where it needed to be, I cut off the extra length. Next, I applied the left side piece and when it was straight against the middle piece, I cut off the extra length and width with a sharp utility knife.

I smoothed out bubbles with a slightly-wet sponge and made sure the seam was nice and "tight." The right side piece went on in the same fashion, and then I let the wallpaper dry on the headboard (about an hour).

Now came the fun part: mixing up the paint! I had a small jar (sample size) of khaki-colored latex paint I had bought a while back in the oops section at either Lowe's or Home Depot for 50¢. I made it into chalk-finish paint using plaster of Paris, which I also had on hand, and a little bit of water. If you need to know how to do this with paint you have, check out this previous post I did on DIY chalk-finish paint.

I painted two coats on the unprimed frame, legs, and wallpaper-covered panel, letting it dry between coats. That's what I love about chalk-finish paint: no sanding or priming, and usually two coats will do it! Once it was dry (about 30 minutes), I began to wax it all, even the now-painted wallpaper, using a clean rag. Waxing gives it a nice satiny sheen that also helps protect the finish. I decided to use both clear soft wax and dark soft wax (both Annie Sloan) because I wanted the color to be a bit richer when finished. Doing a small section at a time, I first rubbed on the clear wax on, then immediately followed with a small dab of the dark wax (while the clear wax was still workable). If I felt it had too much dark, I simply rubbed a bit more clear wax over it to dilute and spread it. The following picture shows what a difference the wax makes.

The left side has been waxed; the right side is only painted.
Once I had waxed the entire headboard, I let it sit for about an hour, then moved it into Ben's room.  I loved the way it looked, and no one would ever guess the middle panel was faux beadboard!

He was pleasantly surprised last weekend when he came home.  Along with the headboard and bed linens, he has all new-to-his-room furniture (reused from other rooms), including a fold-out couch in case any of his male friends want to spend the night.

As a side note, I also made faux window shades out of burlap to go in his room. I'll show and tell about them in my next post:)    

Linking up!