Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Leafy Canopy

Its been such a joy to finally have my bathroom ceiling wallpapered. I'd been wanting to do it for months, but worried with such a project I'd be getting in over my head (get it? a friend recently commented that the punchlines to most of her jokes were "get it?" which probably means they aren't funny - so it is with hesitation that I went ahead with the lame pun...). The Sunset article deadline was just the push, my bathroom ceiling needed. And, the willingness of my meticulous friend, Michael, was just the help I needed.

We started by rolling on a layer of wallpaper paste. After Michael realized he was much better than me at evenly smoothing the paste onto the ceiling in a non-globbing way, the "we" quickly became "he." It actually is really important to only apply a very thin layer of paste and to do so as evenly as possible, otherwise you spend a lot of time having to smooth it out from the underneath. In egregious cases, too much paste can actually seep through the paper and cause discoloration.

One strip up, four to go!
With two strips done, we were really getting in the groove... We started in the middle because we had to work around a vent. Usually, you'd want to start at one edge, I think. Not sure it makes a huge difference, though.

Only two strips left... By this point my role was to hold the wallpaper up so it would fall on Michael's head. Every now and then I helped with the smoothing too, but I'd be stretching the truth to say we'd split the responsibilities evenly or even to say that my contribution to this project wasn't somewhat redundant. But, I still maintain a ceiling project requires two people, if only so you have someone to relive the unique experience with later...

The final strip, and it's not even lunch time!

I'd recently learned about a lovely tradition - to sign and date the wall right before the last piece is pasted. I fell in love with the idea of doing this for my wallpapering jobs. I think it appropriately calls attention the pride one should take in the craftsmanship of wallpapering. I also think it would be so intriguing to find someone else's name and date unexpectedly when wallpaper is taken down in the future. I hope more people will start doing this.

So, we signed and we pasted, and then we let the light shine! I will say that this ceiling wasn't nearly as difficult as we'd anticipated.

It was definitely worth the effort too, as I've been enjoying my ceiling of little leaves ever since. Thank you so much for all your help, Michael!

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