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Wallpaper and Wall Work

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There was some slight water damage near the bottom corner of the shower. I removed the old wallboard and nailed a small piece of scrap wood in place. I then added a layer of joint compound let it dry and later added another finishing top coat.

I started from the top down painting the ceiling first and then moving on to the wall preparation. Wallpaper requires a smooth surface. I purchased some topping joint compound and went to work trying to get a smooth surface over the textured wallboard. Try as I might I couldn't get it smooth enough. I discovered that by adding one coat, letting it dry and then adding a second coat I could get a very smooth surface. I used a large rectangular trowel and used moderate pressure to apply the joint compound. Holding the putty knife at a 45 degree angle to the wall gave the best results.

A salesperson at Lowes said that I needed to apply a coat of special paint over the joint compound before applying the wallpaper. I don't know if that is true or not, but I did buy a product called Shieldz that allows for easy adhering and removal of wallpaper. It also has a mold inhibitor, which is a consideration for a bathroom with a shower. I like nice an occasional hot steamy showers on cold days.

It had been about 20 years since I installed wallpaper and I had forgotten just how much work proper wallpaper installation can be. I don't know after the fact if the time invested is worth the effort. It does make for a neat and unique look.

Tip: Most wallpaper is patterned. Start your first strip in the least visible corner with the least amount of wallpaper. This will reduce the amount and visibility of the inevitable mismatched wallpaper pattern.

I am also including some pictures here that show the template that I used on my radial arm saw to help with the complex cut that I had to make for the ceiling trim. The trim sat at a 45 degree angle between the ceiling and the wall and the ceiling sloped making for a very complicated cut. I did test cuts using an extra piece of trim. After a couple of hours of trial and error I finally hit on the right combination using a 45 degree angle of cut (miter), a 22.5 degree blade angle (bevel) and aligning the trim piece along the edge of the template.

I attached the ceiling trim with galvanized finish nails by predrilling the holes and finishing with some wood putty in the nail holes and in the corners.

Item Manufacturer Cost Source
Wallpaper Graham & Brown $27.73 Lowes
Joint Topping Compound USG Sheetrock $4.73 Lowes
Joint Topping Compound Primer Shieldz $5.15 Lowes
Ceiling Trim Unknown $6.00 Habistore
Baseboard Unknown $12.42 Lowes
Galvanized Finish Nails Unknown $2.69 Home Depot
Wood Stain Carver Tripp On Hand N/A
Polyurethane Carver Tripp On Hand N/A
Dark Brown Paint N/A On Hand N/A
Wall Work Total N/A $58.72 N/A

Before Before
Ceramic Floor Tile Work Ceramic Floor Tile Work

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