Friday, November 7, 2008

Alternatives to Wallpaper

I will state openly that I'm not a huge fan of wallpaper.  Sure, it can be beautiful to look at, but when its time is up, there's all that stripping and then the disposal....

Not for me.  I just can't justify the design benefits from an environmental viewpoint.

But sometimes, paint alone isn't quite enough, either.  You may want something really special for a particular wall. Or, as in the case of my new living room, you need to cover something ugly.

Former owners put panelling up in our living room.  Badly.  I can tell, at a glance, where all the studs are.  And you're just not supposed to be able to do that in a finished room.

One possibility would be to rip it all down and start again.  But does our local landfill really need more stuff?

I've been working with papier mache for many years, making sculptures and bowls.  And I really love the look of a piece when all the paper is on it but I haven't yet painted it.  So I decided to go for that look in my living room.  I'm cutting lots and lots of articles out of newspapers and gluing them to the wall.  It looks a little dark as-is, so once the glue's dry, I give it a wash of thinned down white paint.  I'm liking the way it looks so far.

What's new?

It'll take awhile to complete the room, but the cool thing with this kind of project is that you can do it in stages without tearing the whole room apart.

You may not be as crazy about the printed word as I am.  But you could try maps, or pages from a gardening book.  Stamps scattered randomly across a white background.  Different colours of tissue paper.

Once you start to think about it, the possibilities are endless.  You'll end up with a one-of-a-kind wall, that's easier on the environment.

From my last house

Have fun!

 

10 comments:

Janet said...

I am with you on the wallpaper, but this is a great alternative. You could use foreign newspapers and make it even more chic!

Janet

margaret atkinson said...

beautiful!!!

Barb McMahon said...

Thanks Margaret!

And Janet - What a great idea! I'll have to keep that one in mind....

Sandy said...

Newspaper as wallpaper makes me laugh as a looonnnggg time ago, many homes ago I wallpapered my husbands ensuite with wallpaper that was like old newspaper. Great fun Congratulations on your innovation.

pedalpower said...

I love the book page wall! I may have to try this in my back entry. I hope you don't mind me leaving a link...I thought you might like to see my bathroom covered with National Geographic maps. http://gardenjunk.blogspot.com/2006/12/befores-and-afters.html

Barb McMahon said...

Pretty funny, Sandy!

And I never object to links that lead to such great stories! Love the way that bathroom turned out!

Katie Barker said...

how did you apply the newspaper? It looks fantastic. I saw the floating shelves post and then came over here to see the wallpaper.

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

Thanks Katie! I used white craft glue, thinned half and half with water. I brushed it on the wall in small patches with an old paint brush. Put the paper on it and then brushed over it with more thinned glue.

Keep a damp rag handy for cleaning up splashes and any glue that sticks to your fingers.

Theresa C. said...

I love how this looks and the endless options of the paper you can use but .... what about when you want a change? How do you get that off down the line when you want a different look?

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

I would just sand out any rough bits and paint over it.

This is a good way to help support old or crumbly plaster...