I spent a little time on Rachel Ashwell’s blog the other day. She doesn’t really blog a whole lot, but every once in a while I check out what’s new. Her latest post was about vintage furniture and here is what she had to say:
“When hunting for wooden pieces, I am usually looking for authentic paint in the Shabby palette (white, ivory, pale pink & blue, grey teal or bleached raw wood) or pieces that can create a rustic vintage decor and on a rare occasion I will repaint. I get great joy when I see pieces come through our “restoration for reloving” process. Each piece is cleaned, shored up if wonky, drawers and shelves lined with vintage wallpaper, new glass, marble or hardware applied…and when ready we proudly tack on our branded brass plaque.”
Well, I am rarely lucky enough to find a piece that has an authentic vintage paint job in a color that I like so when I find one, much like Rachel, I like to preserve it. Such was the case with the Nokomis dresser.
It was really pink, but not a terrible pink. It also had some great layering under the pink. Some blue and some cream. I like to believe that Rachel would have snatched this one up had she come across it somewhere too.
Even though I wanted to save the original paint, I felt like I needed to tone down the pink-ness just a tad. Adding some vintage wallpaper to the drawer fronts was just the ticket. I chose a paper that had pink roses, but also has the blue and cream (ordered from Hannah’s Treasures via Etsy).
To me this is the quintessential farmhouse floral wallpaper.
Now, I’m going to give some details on wallpapering furniture here. If you are never in a million years going to wallpaper anything, feel free to just skip right over this next part.
But, if you have been thinking about using vintage wallpaper on something yourself, here are a few tips. First of all, I use Zinsser Sure Grip all purpose adhesive (I got mine at Home Depot). I use the powder, because I can just mix up as much as I need, which isn’t much. I usually cut my pieces just a bit bigger than they need to be. For example, these drawer fronts were about 7.5″ high, so I cut 8.5″ strips. I apply the adhesive to the back of the paper using an inexpensive chip brush. Then I “book” the paper. This is basically just gently folding half of the paper over to the other half, glued sides together. Gently! Don’t make a crease in the middle. I was taught to do this back when I was wallpapering entire walls. I don’t really know why. Google says two things. One, if your paper is going to stretch, this allows it to do so before you apply it. Two, this allows the adhesive to “activate”. I don’t know if either of these things are really true or not, I just do it anyway. Next, since this pattern had a stripe, I tried to pick an obvious position on the paper to start at the left hand side of each drawer. I could go into a bunch of detail here about ‘repeats’ and stuff like that, but that would really get boring. For the most part, I didn’t pay too much attention to the repeat on this paper. If you know what I’m talking about, go back and take a look a the pictures. Yep, didn’t get the repeat perfectly, did I? Did you care the first time you looked? Probably not. However, I did have to get the stripes lined up. That would have been easier had I started with the bottom two drawers, and then lined up the upper right hand drawer last. But, never let it be said I do things the easy way. I had to rip the paper off that upper right drawer and re-do it when the stripes didn’t line up with the bottom. I didn’t take that piece separating the upper drawers into account. Ooops. Luckily I had enough paper.
I actually had more than one person ask me if it was going to be difficult to trim the wallpaper around the keyhole escutcheons. Sometimes it catches me off guard when I realize that not everyone knows how some of these things work. Although they were fairly painted over, the escutcheons were just held in place by two small nails. I used a razor blade to loosen the paint around them, then just carefully pried them off. After I wallpapered the drawers, I put the escutcheons back on using the nails. Easy peasy, no trimming around them required.
So far I have had very good luck with the Zinsser adhesive. I find that the wallpaper goes on and stays on. I wait 24 hours or so after applying it, and then I go back and sand the edges. Yep, you read that right, I sand them. It gives them a nice smooth edge, and leaves nothing loose to catch on stuff.
My little Artissimo blue chair makes a great companion to this dresser. It cuts a little of the pink sweetness, and it brings out the blue in the wallpaper.
I like to think that Rachel would approve of this one, what do you think?