Shannon Berrey

big, better, best

Friday, November 16, 2012



Years ago, I saw this room designed by HGTV producer/designer Brian Patrick Flynn, and fell in love with the billboard size photo mural on the wall. It was an old picture of his very young parents. I think it's just the coolest thing.



He even took the idea into his kitchen with another photo that he used as his backsplash. love.



I knew right then that this was a project that I was going to attempt one day. Playing with the scale of a simple object can be such a fun an expected design element.

When you have a million pictures of your kids that you love, it makes it hard. But, as I have been going through boxes of old photos in preparation for Maris' upcoming senior parties and yearbook deadlines, I landed on a photo that I knew was 'the one'.




A picture of my sweet superheroes when they were 3 and 6. I scanned it on the printer using the highest quality setting and did a little editing. I debated with making it black and white, which was always my original thought. But I decided that the grays and the soft yellow were actually really nice in color and quite subtle.    


 Murals Your Way is the company that provided this great service. To begin, you simply upload your image and it lets you know if the quality is acceptable.


After you enter your desired size, you get to view it in different rooms to get a feel of the scale. This is a very cool feature and the entire site is extremely user-friendly.



There are several materials to choose from. I chose the 'Smartstick' which is repositionable, removeable with no damage AND reuseable. yea, no brainer. But you can choose a more permanent paper or canvas.  

This was the 9'x 9' wall I chose. It is up in the kids area outside of Maris' room. {I dare anyone to have more chalkboard walls in their house than I do} I removed the clock and the nails and gave the wall a light sanding. Then I washed it down with a damp rag.


This particular size gave me 3 vertical panels. They allow a couple of inches of overlap with each panel to match it up.


They suggest starting with the left and working right, but I am awful at rules and it made more sense to me to start on the right since I had a wall on a 45 degree angle here and a corner on the other end. I used this right wall as my guide. Now I am a huge DIY'er. I feel like I have tried every project imaginable--except wallpaper. I have no experience. Which may be why this was not easy. You need 5 2 people to hang this. You start by pulling a little of the paper backing off at the top, smooth any bubbles, and work your way down. Sheets this long were heavy and once you peel the back off and you aren't paying attention--it can and will stick to itself. Then you throw a tantrum and watch impatiently as your husband performs decal surgery by slowly pulling it apart while you scream 'it's ruined!!'. Unbelievably, it was ok.   



This was also the time when I discovered that you can see the wall through the paper....for most it would probably not be a big deal because walls are generally all one color. But mine had the painted green exterior stripe. After I stood back and stared at it for a little while, I decided that it kind of gave it a cool frame effect and it would be fine {aka-I did not have any desire to repaint this wall}

Because we only had 4 arms, I taped the seam {with the paper backing still on} with painters tape to help tweak it's exact location. This helped me to figure out where to place the top of the 2nd sheet.




The polyester wallpaper is thin and does have some give, but you don't want to stretch it too much and distort the image.



After all 3 panels were up, I pressed the extra paper tight into the cracks. The company prints your image a few inches larger than your desired size to allow for 'out of square walls' and/or 'out of square installers'.



Then I took this metal 'dry wall mud putter upper' to create a straight line and pressed against the trim. Using a utility knife, I cut off the excess. {I had to hold the camera with my other hand, so you have to imagine the knife cutting} I continued around all of the edges.



I love it! 

 Murals Your Way offers tons of examples of other peoples murals on their site and they are always having a sale, a discount code or a groupon offer.   


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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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