Paintable wallpaper and a bathroom door

I wouldn’t be the first to say you can transform anything with the right attitude, tools and materials.  Here’s a perfect example.  The bathroom door in my bedroom was in pretty bad shape.  And I love texture.  Paintable Wallpaper and my love of texture inspired this bathroom door fix.


What I used / what you’ll need

original door

green frog tape


One Time Spackle  (ace hardware, this stuff is fantastic)

Kilz Water based primer

enamel paint for finish coat

Different color for trim

swelligant metal paint and patinas for hardware  (cindy Friessen)

paintable wallpaper (do a google search to find one you like.  This will be your biggest expense.)

wallpaper adhesive for non porous surfaces.  (lowes)

wood trim (I used the tiniest I could find)  (lowes)

sponge rollers for wallpaper glue and for paint.

1.  Take the door off the hinges and remove hardware, or tape it off with green frog tape.  Lay the door on some flat surface.  I sanded with a rotary sander, till most of the varnish was off, until I had a very smooth surface for the wallpaper.  Fill any holes with One TIme and sand again when dry.

door 1


2. Next prime the door with Kilz.  It needs to be white underneath the wallpaper.  Sand lightly when this dries.  The emphasis here is that you really want a very smooth surface.  I did 2 very thin coats of primer.  Cut the wallpaper to the size you desire.  (It helps to have a squaring tool of some sort.  I have a sewing ruler that is a right angle and works well.)  If necessary make sure you cut the paper away where it goes over any of the door hardware.   Also give yourself some pencil marks directly on the door so you know exactly where to lay the paper.  You do not want to do a lot of repositioning.  I was so happy that I was able to lay a glued piece without a second pair of hands.


3.  To apply the glue, I lay brown craft paper on top of the door, lay down the wallpaper wrong side up, and applied the glue with a sponge roller. I then quickly pulled the brown paper out, grabbed two corners of the wet wallpaper and lay it in position on the door.  Because of the texture, I used my hands to burnish it.  The smoothly sanded surface was what made this work so well.  (Sorry no picture of this stage, but using the door as the flat surface worked perfectly rather than running through the house with a sheet of glued paper. . . )

4.   Next paint the door.  I used 2 coats of the oil based enamel paint and a sponge roller to go over the whole door, wallpaper and the sides of the door.

painting door


5.  Measure your trim, grab your miter box (if you have one), and saw the trim with 45 degree angles for your corners.  You can use the one time to fill in any little gaps when you connect these pieces.


6.  Paint the trim BEFORE you nail it in position. (I used my bedroom wall color) Once dry, use small wood nails to lay the trim down.  I was going to use some wood glue, but decided it wasn’t necessary.  Honestly I didn’t want to figure out how to apply constant pressure to the trim as the glue dried.  I sunk the small nails into the trim using a tiny screw driver, because of course I couldn’t find my nail sinks.  (Found them as soon as I was finished).  Use the One TIme caulk to plug the tiny nail holes, sand when dry and paint.door6

7.  Finally, I replaced the door knobs with vintage looking crystal, (it just felt like the right look) and rather than buy the whole door knob kit, I used Swelligant Bronze metal paint on the rest of the hardware. Once dry, using cotton balls, I applied several coats of Stazon dark brown archival stamping ink.  That darkened everything to the right value of bronze.  (Swelligant is a product by Cindy Friesen, there are any number of tutorials on how to apply this metal patina.)

You are done. Remount the door.  I absolute love how it came out.  There wasn’t a single hitch. . .


* the trim around the door was already painted when the door was reattached.  It is sticking in the upper right hand corner, and I am in the process of sanding the door down, until it stops sticking of course.

That ‘I did it, I am finished” moment is highly elusive in the world of “do it yourself “.

Now imagine all the possibilities with this wallpaper.  There are some beautiful designs, and i was thrilled at how easy it was to work with.  I did not however, use this paper where I needed to put down more than one piece and match the repeats.  That’s a bit more challenging.  Another time perhaps. Probably the kitchen.

it’s me viv


11 thoughts on “Paintable wallpaper and a bathroom door

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