Should It Stay or Should It Go? The Art of Painting Wallpaper.


I’m a fan of wallpaper.  For just the right places and spaces.  Patterns and color are important to contemplate when designing a room.  Not only should you consider whether you think something is ‘cool’ or beautiful, but it’s smart to think about how you want to feel in the room you’re papering, and what you hope to accomplish there. (Do you want to rest, play, or be productive?)    Sherwin-Williams carries a variety of papers from The Softer Side to Livable Luxe and Coastal Cool to Global Spice, to name a few.


So, that’s a chat about patterns and paper…

But what to do when the paper is already there, and it’s just – not – right for how you want to feel in that room?  Well, you’ve got two options:

1.) purchase some heavy duty, potentially toxic, stripping cocktail to spray on your walls (plus, A LOT of elbow grease, scraping, and *sighing… *this is for the dramatic, and if you know me, I have a flair for the theatrical side!), or

2.) paint your paper!

Painting paper isn’t always an option.  But if the paper has been applied very well in the past, has no signs of peeling, AND has a raised pattern or texture you adore… why not give painting it a try?!

Here’s a look at our wallpaper before…


A really neat pattern, but kind of dark and opulent for the clean, restful, and simplified feeling we wanted for our living room.

We started by adding primer to see what would happen.  If we had planned an Old-World, Worn & Weathered design for the room, I would’ve stopped the process right here!  Isn’t that beautiful how the pinky tones show through?  I just love it.


But we continued to paint with the original plan.  I’m a fan of Sherwin-Williams’ Harmony paint line.  It is zero VOC and GreenGuard® certified for indoor air quality, children & schools.  It’s happy for the environment, and great for the creative, expecting mom!


Though, it helps if you choose the right colors first.  I wasn’t thuper thmart the day I selected colors for the room, and ended up purchasing a hue that was too light.  Next time, I plan on using the handy dandy ColorSnap® app from Sherwin-Williams to pre-plan my color choices.  Think about using your digital device to decipher your decor next time you get daring!  😛

Then you can also avoid your fiancé giving you scolding looks as he has to paint the room a SECOND time!


That doesn’t look super angry, does it?  How bout this one?


“Next time you’d better use ColorSnap®!” Says, Todd.  (haha) “Yeah, okaaay…” say I, behind the camera, snapping away while admiring his wild hair.  Pretty much every day is a crazy hair day around here!

Another bonus to extra painting, is teaching the resident teenager how to work a roller.  He was thrilled I was taking pictures.


Also, beware of painted, puppy paws if you are a careless creative like me.  Leaving paint lids lay for unsuspecting pooch pads inadvertently leads to stamped hard wood floors.  Although cute, it’s not entirely a design-choice!


So we ended up using these restful, Sherwin-Williams, Harmony colors: eg-shel, Pussywillow & Thunderclap for the walls, satin, Snowbound for the trim, and flat, Nebulous White on the ceilings.


I will post full room photos once we are done with the decor!  You’ll see some of our purchases from the Rose Bowl Flea Market, for sure, but here’s one last shot of the painted paper for you to see.  I’m glad we chose to play with paint layers, rather than stripping this unique pattern from the walls!




When I think of wallpaper, I think of my childhood and the dark, forest green, floral walls of our dining room that felt a bit like the Secret Garden mixed with an enchanted forest.  It matched many 80’s, puffed-sleeved, floral dresses at the time.  And although my mom, (a.k.a. The Prairie Chick) has long since stripped and painted those walls (many a time!), it makes me smile to think about it.

Is there any wallpaper from your past that comes to your mind?  I’m also thinking of the totally sensational designs on my grandparents’ walls from the 70’s.  It was gold leaf with flecks of bronze against deep rust colors that matched their copper covered fireplace and accent pillows.  Ah!  I will find pictures and share those too!

Happy painting!!!!…

Add my songs to your Spotify playlist for new background music if you’d like!

Catch you later (probably in some old, torn-up jeans and paint-splattered sweatshirt),

Miss Mak




About Makie ↞ Maker of Indie/Folk Music & Art. Lover of horses, farm & natural living. Earth child here @NativeGypsies. Living the SoCal Beach-Life & Midwest Farm-Life. ↠ Meet MakieStories by Makie

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