The Horrible Man Cave
This room could also be called
the den or recreational room, located in the lower level of
the house. The area measures approximately 14"
x 25" and like the rest of the house, it was stuck
in the 70's with...oh yea...wait for it...the
dreaded dark wood panels.
For years there was nothing in this room. We used it
primarily as a room to place the dogs when we went
to work. The backyard door is in this room
with a doggie door. A wrought iron gate across the
third stair kept our dogs downstairs until...one of
them ripped the gate out of the wall....and tore out
the carpeting on the bottom stairs....and mangled
the door frame for the laundry room, etc.
A few years after we moved in, my
husband claimed it as his room. Ladies, you
know what this means.
In 2011 my husband left town
for a few months for work. The room was now in
my control! It was now mine to do with
what I wanted! The other reason I wanted to
update this room first was to increase the
desirability of this house, in case we ever decided
to sell it. Most women would have taken one
look at this room and ran out of the house in
View of the downstairs den from the stairs prior to
working on the walls. I moved the furniture
away from the walls, removed all of the wall
fixtures and moulding. The white haze on the
left wall is wallpaper primer.
The first thing to tackle
was the walls
the panels and replace with fresh drywall? I
was hesitant to do this. On the other side of
the wall facing the inside of the house (left in
photo) is the crawl space underneath the house which
is not finished. Frankly I was afraid to tear
off the paneling not knowing what was on the other
side. I was really glad I decided not to do this a
couple years later.
Paint the panels? Again, I dreaded doing this. Many
years ago I painted the dark panel wainscot in the
kitchen. It took 2 coats of primer and then 2 coats
of white latex paint to cover it completely.
What I did come across about a
year before taking on this project was a textured wallpaper
that claimed to be able to cover paneling and other
uneven walls. So I decided to try this out and
purchased enough to paper this room.
|The wallpaper I
purchased is called Wall Doctor which
is made by
Graham & Brown. The pattern I
bought was the paintable beadboard pattern.
When I purchased this paper, I got the
un-pasted. Graham & Brown now has
pre-pasted. I also liked the idea of
it being paintable.
I forgot the actual company I purchased the
wallpaper from online. There are a few other
websites that sell wallpaper from Graham & Brown
and I was lucky to get it at a sale price at
Lowe's here in El Paso also carries a
beadboard patterned wallpaper. In El Paso,
we have 2 choices for big box hardware
stores. Lowe's and Home Depot. The
Home Depots here
Beardboard patterned wallpaper
not carry wallpaper. Lowe's is closer
to my home, so that is where I go for most
of my purchases.
beardboard wallpaper at Lowe's
is made by their Allen & Roth line which
looks almost the same, except that the paper
is thinner. It also costs less.
I learned about the Lowe's textured wallpaper long
after I bought the Wall Doctor. In
retrospect, the thicker Wall Doctor was a
better choice for my paneled walls because
they were also damaged in places. If
you have a smoother surface, the thinner
textured wallpaper at Lowe's should work just fine. I
have used this for other projects.
|I had never hung
wallpaper before this project. So I Googled "how to"
pages on the internet to make sure I purchased the
supplies and tools I needed. I read up on
wallpaper hanging techniques and then ran to the
hardware store to purchase what I did not have. The
supplies needed for this job were:
- Wallpaper (bought online)
- Wallpaper primer
- Wallpaper paste (because I had un-pasted paper)
- Inexpensive paint brush for the primer and paste
- A smoother for the wallpaper
- A rag or sponge to wipe off excess paste
- A metal scrapper to scrape down high spots on the
Wallpaper primer was essential
for my project. It went over any oils or "other"
items on the wall so I did not have to scrub down
the walls first. Skipping this real fast step
would just be silly. The primer goes on easier than paint, you don't have to be
neat, and it dries real fast. The primer
provides a nice smooth, slightly tacky surface to
receive the wallpaper paste. I primed as I
went along the walls instead of priming the whole
room first. I used the same brush for both
primer and paste washing it with water between uses.
Now I was ready to start hanging.
A few things I learned quickly when I started doing
1) Hanging long sheets of wallpaper is not easy to
do until you get the "hang" of it (pun intended).
The paper is usually longer than you are, even with your
arms holding it in the air. It is not easy, if
you are older, to climb a ladder with no hands to
get the wallpaper on the wall. The wallpaper
likes to stick all over the place before you can get
it to where you want it.
2) Put lots of paste on, I mean lather it on.
By the time you get around to putting paste on the end of the paper, the other end is starting to
dry. Also, having good wet paper allows you to
slide the paper around on the wall to get it into place. Very
critical for this type of textured wallpaper because
you need to butt the edges together instead of overlapping
the paper. You need to slide the edge right
next to the previous edge. When you smooth out
the wallpaper with your smoother, the excess paste
will ooze out of the
edges which you can wipe off with a damp rag.
3) You need a flat surface to slap on the paste.
See the platform bed frame in the photo above, yep,
that was my flat surface since I intended to get rid
of the frame after the job was done. A piece of old
plywood set up on a couple of work horses would also
do the trick.
The wall after I put up 5 rows of wallpaper.
Remounted one register and an outlet cover. I needed
to purchase a new intake register. The old one was
brown and the paint pitted. Cheaper to buy a new
register than the time it would take to sand and
re-paint the old.
I had intended to start on the far left corner of
the wall where the stair banister was, but this was the
first piece I tried to hang and screwed it up
horribly trying to cut around a light switch hole
and stair and corner mouldings. So the next piece
was just a simple cut and I got it up just fine.
When I eventually got back to this part of the wall,
I removed the wrought iron banister from the wall.
If you have any high spots on
your surface you will have to flatten them.
Where nails had been pulled out of the panel, I had
dimpled high spots. High spots will show up on the
paper like a neon light. On the other hand,
dents will not show up. You do not need to
fill holes or the indentation in the panels when
using this type of wallpaper.
I also planned to place moulding at the top and
bottom of the walls so my edges at the top and
bottom were not always perfectly even. It also let
me skimp a little on the length of the wallpaper
rows. 1 or 2 inches can make a difference over
the length of the whole project.
smoother I ended up using is pictured at
right. I had bought several to see
which worked the best on this paper. This
one worked great. It was rigged enough
to really press down hard and get out all of
the excess paste and air bubbles. But the
edges are smooth enough to not dig into the
paper and tear it.
How does the whole
room turn out?