Tutorial: Painted Vintage Wallpaper

This tutorial is for creating a wallpaper look on your walls or anywhere you like. I decided to make a tutorial about how I'm painting my walls in case any of you guys are interested or even as crazy as me to take on this time consuming task.

1. The first thing you need to do is have your design, either look for it on the internet or draw it. In my case, I searched for it on the internet. There are many intricate designs available, so if you look for it online make sure the image is good quality so you can see the little designs clearly. Here is the one I chose:

2. Now that you have the image of your design, print it. Make sure to print it big enough so you can easily cut the little designs. But also take in account how big you want your stencil.
3. When you cut of the excess paper, make sure to leave a square around the design. We are going to use that as a guide when stenciling. I left 1cm on the top and bottom, and 1.3cm on each side.

4. After you have cut it, you should be left with a 11.4cm x 11.6cm square stencil.

5. Now take an exact-o-knife or a very thin scissor and cut out the design. Now decide if you want a stamp stencil or a tracing stencil. 
6. Constructing your stencil:
  • For the stamp stencil: After you have your pieces cut, take a foamy sheet and trace the designs. Cut them. Take a thick piece of cardboard or a thin piece of wood (11.6cm x 11.4cm) and using your stencil square (now holey) trace the designs with a pencil. You need to do this as a guide to glue the foamy pieces. Now glue the foamy pieces on top of the pencil lines. Make sure to use a very good glue (I used Elmer's Contact Cement) Let dry. F.Y.I. You need to trace and glue them upside down so when you stamp it, it comes out straight. 
  • For the tracing stencil: Print the design on a cardboard paper and cut out the pieces. Now you have a holey stencil. To protect the stencil I wrapped it in contact paper and cut the the contact paper out of the holes. There you have it.

7. Using your stencils: 
  • Stamp Stencil: Cover the foamy part with paint and stamp away. Make sure not to put the coat of paint too thin or too thick. If it's too thin the design won't come out complete and the paint will dry before you stamp it. If you put it on too thick when you press it, the paint will spread everywhere and you will have a blotch design rather than a clean look.
  • Tracing Stencils: Place it on the surface you will paint and with a pencil (I don't recommend using a pen because if your using a light color paint the pen will show through) trace each design. Take off the stencil and with a thin paintbrush paint each design, one by one. This is the most time consuming of the stencils. I know that you can also paint it with the stencil on, but I don't highly recommend it if you have cement walls, because the walls are not smooth enough and the paint may seep under the stencil. If you have very smooth walls I think it should be fine, just don't pile too much paint on it, or otherwise you'll get a 3D effect.
8. Making the wallpaper: I started with the top right corner of my wall. The first and second design are the most crucial, because they will serve as your guide. You can either start with a complete design or a half-design as I did. (To make the corners, top and bottoms: when printing your design, print more than one. Measure it as explained in the steps above; the only difference is that you cut it in half.) Align your stencil with your ceiling and bring it as near as you can to your opposite wall corner. As soon as your sure the stencil it's in its right position, stamp or draw it. You want to make your design below the first, leave a thumb-sized space between the designs and stamp or draw your second design, making also sure that is as close as possible to the opposite wall corner.

9. Now that you have at least the two crucial designs you are going to make your third design. Align the left edges of your stencil with the right side dots of both your first and second designs. and draw your third design. This is the reason why you need the stencil to be square. In some cases the distance between each design will be a little more spaced out and the edges of your stencil won't fully be align with the dots, if this happens just try to place the stencil in the middle of the two dots. 

10. And that's it, just keep using your stencil edges and the outer dots as a guide. When you finish you will have a beautiful wallpaper design on your wall.

At first, I was using the tracing stencil, but it just took to much time, so now I switch to the stamp stencil. The only difference between the both is that the tracing stencil makes a more clean and beautiful design, whereas the stamp stencil, they don't come out as beautiful and complete as the other one.

If you have any questions, write them on the comment box and I'll help you as much as I can. If you take on the challenge send me a picture of how it turned out.

Update: I still haven't finish painting my entire room. I have like half a wall done. Hope I'll be able to finish it faster with the stamp method.

Update: Room Redecoration

Hi, everyone! I recently finished painting my bed side table. I did the same things as the bookcase. First, I sanded it down, to remove the varnish. Second, I gave it 3 coats of paint, waited for it to dry very well and gave it a quick sand to get a smooth surface. Finally, I sanded the areas I wanted it to look distressed, in this case, the edges and on top of the intricate designs. I did all this in one day. I had already painted the drawers the day before, but I think it's possible to paint it one day. Because the paint I used (details below) dries very fast. Here is the before and after picture:


As you can see, it is already sanded.


Materials used:

  • Plain wood 220 sander sheet
  • Glidden Premium Collection Paint in Glistening Moonlight in a satin sheen. (This paint has primer, paint and __ all in one).

Tell me what you think of the finished product in the comment box below or ask me any questions!

See you later! ;)  


Under Construction: Bedroom Redecoration...

My room has gotten 3 different decorations and themes throughout these years. When we first moved here, I was crazy in love with Asian stuff (I still am, but more subdued) so the decoration was Asian, with reds and cream, I even had a little lantern and a frame with a porcelain Geisha inside. Then, I got tired of the dark colors, and decided to paint my room a neon pink (to be exact, Tutti Frutti was the color of the paint), don't even ask me what inspired me to paint it that way because I don't even know myself. Approaching my senior year my interests changed to vintage, Victorian, indie, boho things and I wanted something more grown up that would suit my new interests and age. Thus come this new redecoration. First thing I made for my new decoration was a painted reproduction of an ad for Biscuits Brun (the biscuits from Grenoble, France from 1920) on my art class. Here is an image of the original ad (first) and an image of the one I painted (second):
Original Ad
One I painted
I still have a lot to do on my room, I'm far from finished, but I wanted to show you guys the progress so far. First thing I did was get rid of that awful neon pink color; I did that with ivory paint. When I was searching for ideas on the internet I saw a lot of vintage/Victorian wallpapers and I wanted to have some designs on my wall, I didn't wanted it to just be a plain color, so I weight my options. I wasn't going to spend on wallpaper, because first I haven't got the money, second I wasn't going to cover my walls with wallpaper, and third I don't know how to work with wallpaper. So the other option I had was to either have my walls a plain color or either paint them by hand. I'm very persnickety, so of course I choose to paint it by hand, did I know it was going to be a lot of work? not so much. But I wanted to do it. I was going to do it. So, I embarked on a task to paint my walls like a Victorian wallpaper. Since the day I made the decision to today, I have only painted half of 2 walls but, I haven't given up.  Now I know it's hard work, but in the end I know it's going to be worth it. Without further ado, this is how it looks so far:

Close-up of wall designs

I love to read and because of that I have a lot of books. Previously I had a small bookcase of three shelves I got from Home Depot or Wal-mart (I don't remember), and that thing was splintered and weaken with all the weight of my books. I needed a bigger and sturdier bookcase and last year the opportunity arose. As you are all aware of, last year Borders closed its doors (a sad and heartbreaking thing it was) and they were selling everything even the furniture (this is where my new bookcase comes in the story). I ended up buying one 8ft bookcase for $50 and two extra shelves for $6 each. I painted it white and distressed it a bit to give it an antique look. I also made my dad, the handyman in our house, mount it on my wall with some pretty strong screws and wood planks, because I didn't wanted to have to move it to clean the floor and the back of it. That was one of the things that ruined my other bookcase; it splintered from moving it so much. Here is a picture of my new bookcase. I didn't take a before picture, but here is the finished product:

I have a ton of books. I don't know what I would do
when this one fills up. :S
Close-up of the minor distressing I did on the bookcase

I still miss Borders, it was the only place where I bought books here on PR. It was the only library worth visiting. But, at least I still got something to remember it by. :')

Recently they announced that a group of inversionists called Washington Group International bought Borders in Puerto Rico and this year they plan too open three stores, called now Borders Puerto Rico, in Las Catalinas Mall (situated in Caguas), another in Plaza Carolina (situated in Carolina), and the third in The Premium Outlets of Barceloneta. I hope they maintain the same plan of the original Borders. So, I'm excited about that. I'm even keeping an eye out for job applications. :D

P.S. I'm currently painting my night stand. I'll let you guys know when I'm finished! Here is a sneak peek of how it's turning out! ;)

Painting colors used:
-Walls: Eloquent Ivory in semi-gloss from Glidden
-Bookcase: Glistening Moonlight in satin from Glidden Premium Collection
-Wall design: 901 Wicker White from Folk Art (regular acrylic paint) [Didn't use the gloss sheen because I wanted the contrast of sheen)

Sandpaper used for prepping wood and distressing: 220-Bare Wood
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