We’re smack in the middle of a bedroom makeover at our house, and if you follow along on Instagram you’ll have seen some of it unfold. We live in a 70s house, so there are plenty of projects and updates to choose from, but until this Fall we hadn’t given any attention to our room (the kids have the best rooms in the house!). While our room wasn’t terrible, the chocolate brown walls were starting to drive me crazy and I was craving a brighter, lighter, calmer space. So first up was a fresh coat of paint followed by the addition of some wall decals for an accent wall.
We’re taking our time with this project, partly to enjoy it and make sure we like how it comes together (this is our bedroom after all, so we want to enjoy spending time there!), and partly due to budget, as we put money aside for different elements of the makeover as we go. Still on the checklist are a new headboard and light fixture, and eventually moldings and new floors, but even though we’ve still got plenty left on that list, I’m already so happy with how everything is coming together. To keep things simple and the cost down, I opted for wall decals on the main wall as an alternative to wallpaper (I don’t think I’d stand a chance hanging it myself!). After spending
some time probably way too much time looking for inspiration on Pinterest, I decided on these beauties from Urban Walls.
I knew I wanted something that would compliment the new light grey wall colour but also add visual interest and a ‘wow’ factor to the room and I think these large grey floral decals do the trick. I decided to go for a random/ asymmetrical layout and even wrap them around the two side walls a little (I love the wrap- around effect!), combining both the large and small designs that came in this set (4 each of a large and small design). The process is pretty straightforward and something I was comfortable to tackle without help- the perfect weekend warrior project. If you’ve got a room in your house that you’re wanting to freshen up/ give a facelift to, wall decals are a great option. I’m sharing some photos of the progress so far plus tips for applying wall decals and the ‘oops!’ moments that might pop up below.
Get your walls ready ahead of time- Clean & prep your walls first before you apply your decals. Start by giving your walls a wipe down with warm water and if you need to, fill and sand any holes or bumps and touch up paint. Since we had recently painted our walls I just gave them a quick wipe with a damp cloth. This just ensures that you have a clean surface for the decals to adhere to and that you minimize any uneven areas on the wall (decals are also a great option if you have imperfect walls and are trying to cover up/ camouflage problem areas).
Test out positioning– This is important to make sure you’ll love the finished product (I think I spent as much time figuring out positioning as I did applying the decals!). Before you commit, take some time to figure out placement; use painters tape (and another set of hands!) to hold decals in place while you play with the design. Whether you want a measured- out design- such as perfectly placed polka dots- or a random layout like the style I went with, it’s a good idea to figure out placement before you start applying the wall decals (this is also really helpful if you want your decals to overlap).
Four hands are better than two– If you need it, ask for help. While I had waaaay more confidence applying wall decals than if I’d been hanging wallpaper, having an extra set of hands to help would have come in handy (no pun intended!). For smaller decals you may not need it, but for larger ones like the ones I had, having help to hold/ reposition/ tape/ apply the decals would have made the process much faster (Ari was my tape dispenser, but you can only get so much help from a toddler 😉 ). This is especially true if you’ve got high ceilings and might need a ladder or need to measure/ mark where on the walls you want the decals to go.
Slow & steady– When it comes to applying the wall decals, take your time. Even with smaller decals like polka dots it’s good not to rush to avoid air bubbles, ripples, or tears. Peel back the backing slowly so you can apply as you go (this is especially important if you’re overlapping decals and/ or working in corners) and avoid the decals sticking to the wrong area. If they do, carefully peel them off and try again. The floral decals I used had some intricate edges, so it took me some time to get them on. I used a credit card to help smooth the decals on and made sure they didn’t have any bubbles or areas that hadn’t adhered as well (I went over them a few times in several directions, and went over the edges carefully to make sure they were pressed on firmly). When it comes time to peel off the top protective covering (similar to a wax paper), follow the same steps. If the decal peels back with it, use your fingernail to separate them and a credit card to smooth them back onto the wall as you pull off the covering.
If there’s an ‘oops!’– The great thing about decals is that they’re pretty forgiving. If you step back after starting the application process and aren’t happy, you can (carefully) peel them off and try again. Some tips I found helpful for the ‘oops’ moments I had:
- If there’s a ripple- carefully peel back the decal and smooth it out, working from where the ripple is to the edges
- If there’s a bubble- try the same technique as with a ripple or use a pin to poke a tiny hole and squish out the air/ smooth the surface with a credit card
- If the decal tears- carefully line it up with the design on the wall and press firmly into place, in most cases you won’t be able to tell the decal has torn (this happened to me in a few spots around the edges when I went a little too fast and unless you look reallllllly close, you can’t tell I goofed up)
Next up on the list: new light fixture and headboard! Any suggestions?
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