I wrote yesterday about my bathroom drama, and the journey we’ve made to bring the decor out of the 1980’s. I was, at first, skeptical that this "paper-bagging" technique would accomplish its purpose. But I am, for the most part, pleased.
First, I’ll show you the websites I looked at to get some guidance: check here and here. I also talked to a couple of friends who had tried it (including this one…thank you, AM!). I piece-mealed all this advice and here’s how I did it:
- Though this technique is called "paper-bagging" you don’t actually use paper bags (or you might end up with something like this). Instead, buy a roll of contractor paper. It only took me about 3/4 of a roll to do this whole bathroom. Rip paper into random-shaped pieces. I used a dinner plate as the general size guide.
- Wad up pieces tightly and let them sit for a while, so the crinkles will "set in"
- Un-wad and coat one side with wallpaper glue (I used the kind that is NOT for pre-pasted paper).
- Apply to wall, and firmly smooth with a tool like this one. No matter how much you smooth, wrinkles and bubbles will reappear. This was the point in the project where I panicked. But the wrinkles will smooth out as the glue dries (at least, mine did). Some wrinkles are a good thing–it adds to the texture.
- Repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat about a bazillion times until your entire wall is covered.
- The finished product in our bathroom can be seen here.
Really, that’s it. It wasn’t hard, just time-consuming and messy. Some people recommend covering the finished product with a glaze mixture or polyurethane. We experimented with several different techniques, and none of it worked for us. So we left it as it is, and if it falls down in three weeks you will hear hysterical screaming from the general direction of Oklahoma.
(Special thanks to my faithful friend Chilihead who gave up an entire evening to apply a little additional elbow grease, and who talked me out of giving up!)
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