Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wall coverings, the western way

One of the first decorating decisions I made when I moved to the ranch nine years ago was to do something fun 
with the half walls that separated the living room/office and the kitchen/dining room. 
I wanted something western, which in my mind meant leather and nailheads.

Here's a close-up of the office wall treatment. I loved it then, I love it now. But I'm so over brown.
I used red, non-tooled faux leather for the dining room wall, which I'd been loving 
up until I re-painted that room a pale green. The red had to go.
Since I'd be getting rid of the red, it seemed only logical to re-do the brown at the same time.
What follows is a sort-of how-to lesson on the process, in case you're inclined to try something similar.

Ripping out the old stuff was shockingly easy. 
The nailheads, which I'd spent days pounding in, took but a few minutes to pull out.

And the fabric peeled right off as well...

...taking just a little plaster stuff with it, which was a good thing. I finally saw why it was so hard
to pound in all those nails – I was pounding through a metal edging strip. 

Smooch: Shut up and show them the new coverings. That's what they came to see.

No more dark brown in the living room/office and a sage green for the kitchen/dining room. 
I ordered the material online from Worth Fabrics, after a very nice lady sent me a bunch of swatches.
It was about $14 a yard, which seems like a bargain for how nice it is.

Measuring and cutting these large pieces of material was best done on the largest surface available,
which in my case was the dining room floor. 
It was when I was crawling around the concrete on my knees that I heard a whisper.
Whisper: Knee pads
Me: Yeah, I sure wish I had some knee pads.
Whisper: Knee pads.
Me: I heard you the first time.
Then I thought about it...did I bring home knee pads when I cleaned out my dad's garage?

I did! Even better, I was able to find them in my messy garage!
I could have crawled around all day after that. 
Anyway, with all the materials cut, it was time to spray them with adhesive.

The Ranger saved the day again. 

This is the stuff I used. The vapors are kind of strong, otherwise I might have sprayed the wall instead. 
It's very forgiving, in that you can peel and re-stick multiple times until everything's in the right place.

I lightly stuck the fabric to the wall, then went back to the right side and worked my way west.
The important thing here is not to panic. If the fabric gets all crooked, you can peel it off and start over.
I'm guessing this job would be even easier with two people – one to hold the unstuck portion
and the other to do the sticking – but then there would be disagreements and bickering
and who needs that?

I smoothed and pressed out the air toward the top and bottom, then smoothed some more.

The closer I got to the end, the easier it got because there was less to peel off and re-stick.

I rounded the corner, then used a utility knife to trim around the final edge. 
The knife also came in handy to cut around the outlet that I had covered.

Smooch: I like it. Not so Christmasy anymore.

Tomorrow, we'll talk trim.


  1. After 25 years in the fabric business, I can't say that I have seen a better job! Three Cheers! Congratulations!

  2. That looks very nice! More subtle. Smooch looks so cute sitting there -- does she slip on the floors at all? Ours are wood & if I don't keep their paws trimmed, the dogs slide around on them. "Disagreements and bickering"...do you live in my house?

    1. If Smooch really gets going, she might slip on the floors. Usually there's enough dust on them to provide traction.

  3. Great job. Looks awesome.

  4. Beautiful! Great job!!

  5. You're so talented -- and so ambitious -- and so energet ---zzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. looks great from here... you are so talented

  7. I like it. Smooch seems to appreciate the effort too.

  8. Wow, looks great. Was the house already there when you bought the ranch. I've always thought you had it built for some reason.

  9. I love the colors ... great job!!

    Marcia in CO

  10. Lovely! Perhaps even Inspiring as I also have a half wall in a state that lends itself to the cowgirl look. Thanks for the how to and where to. Aunt Jean

  11. Looks great. Good to have fresh stuff to look at indoors in the winter. And Smooch is so appreciative.

  12. Good to know about the adhesive - I always seem to get one that sticks instantly and is totally unforgiving. Hear ya loud and clear about the advantages and disadvantages of having a second person to help.

  13. Love both of them! Good choices and glad to see Smooch approves! Now if JohnnyCashCat agrees, too. :)

  14. Looks FABulous! I never thought of doing the walls with leather! Now I have some ideas brewing!

  15. Oh yeah...love the new patterns and colors! I have a hand tooled purse made in Mexico with a similar pattern. ( Goodwill )
    I did glaze up over the knee pads, and if I would have been there, I would have tried to help but would end up doing my usual..." Get it Carson, do it Carson..."
    Circa 1970-71 tennis

  16. ((clapping wildly)) It looks amazing!!!!
    But disagreements and bickering? I beg to differ. No matter who was there to help, I think there would be crazy-loud laughter and somewhat foul (yet tremendously eloquent) cursing!
    Hahahaha :-)

    1. I was thinking of my imaginary husband when I made the disagreements/bickering remark. Surely there would be the crazy-loud laughter and eloquent cursing had I attempted this project with an able ranch hand... especially when someone would get accidentally (?) stuck between the wall and the material.

    2. Ah yes, the imaginary husband. George or Jack. :-) :-)

  17. The wall looks fabulous. Now that you've applied neutral, you probably won't have to think of doing it again. Those color choices should go with anything. Great job.

  18. wow. that looks fabulous

  19. Looks super. But the most incredible part is that you did it solo. That couldn't have been easy.

  20. Beautiful work. I have never seen that type of fabric before, you have given me ideas.

    Can't wait to see the rest.


  21. Wow, you are one crafty lady. I love the color and texture of the fabric. Very pretty.

  22. love it, green is my fav colour! first class kitchen, enticing to cook luxury meals!

  23. An American in Tokyo1/27/15, 6:09 PM

    Oooo! I like it so far! Looking forward to seeing the next steps! =)

  24. That is really nice .I very seldom comment on blogs but just had to say how great that looks.
    I need to paint my bedroom or do something to change it.
    I have a very small house 2b 1b liv and kitchen and carport your normal small town FL house.
    I have owned this house 19 years and have lived in it for 3 yrs. I worked out of state and
    came here a couple times a year. It is starting to grow on me but being alone I am kinda
    nervous about doing things.My kitchen is small but the floor plan is open.Again like the new look

  25. That is beautiful, the color and the pattern.

  26. That is such a cool treatment. I'm going to have to keep that in mind when we build our next house. Thanks for the inspiration