World Map Mural in a Baby’s Room

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital ImageMan, I’m doing a lot of baby’s rooms lately, accent walls mostly. Today’s soon-to-be-born kiddie got a map of the world. I think maps are a new trend for babies’ rooms.

Unlike most murals, which come in eight rectangular panels, this one came in nine floor-to-ceiling strips. Since the mural was not wide enough to cover the entire wall, I had to measure carefully before priming, so the white primer would be under the map, not on top of the nice brown wall paint. 🙂

I was a little caught off guard, though, because I ASSUMED (1. Never assume! 2. Measure twice, cut once!) that because the mural came in strips rather than panels, that the strips were to be butted like regular wallpaper. I have done several like this before. WRONG. It turned out that the seams were to be overlapped, like the 8-panel murals. This means that I was losing 1/4″ on every seam. That could mean the overall width would be two inches shorter than planned – and the mural might not cover that white primer. Ark! Luckily, I had allowed for a 1″ “easement” on both the right and left sides, and that, along with the natural expansion of the paper when it got wet, was enough to bring the mural well beyond the white primer. Whew!

Another dicey thing happened on this job. I had carefully measured the height of the mural, with and without the white border and black band. I calculated that without the white band, the image itself came to 2″ taller than the height of the wall, giving me an inch of play at top and bottom, which is just about perfect because you always have to trim some off the top and bottom. So I cut off the unnecessary white border.

MISTAKE. For some reason, when I got the first pasted strip to the wall, the strip was too short! Yes, I could splice in the pieces I had cut off. But since I had gone and written the numerical sequence on each piece in Magic Marker (What’s up with THAT?… Paperhangers ALWAYS use PENCIL, never INK!), those numbers would stand out at the top of each strip.

I stood there on the ladder, wet paper partially stuck to the wall, trying to figure the best way to deal with this. What I ended up doing was to drop each strip about 1″ down from the crown molding, then take the part of the border I had cut off and place it, with the black band at the top, along the ceiling line. It was wide enough to cover the black numerals written on the paper, plus the black band nicely outlined the top of the map.

At the bottom of the wall, the black band had dropped low enough that it got cut off. This was fine with me, because, since wallpaper and floors and ceilings and moldings are never perfectly level, it would likely have gone a little cattywhompus at the baseboard and looked uneven. So I trimmed it off, then went back and trimmed those scraps right up to the black band, and then pasted them on top of the bottom edge of the map, right along the baseboard, so the black band outlined the bottom of the map. Looked super.

However, if you remember, I had also cut off the right and left white borders of the map, because I had originally plotted to have just the image showing, not the white border. But now the border was back on the top and bottom, and so was the black band, so for it all to look even and correct, the white border and black band had to go back on the right and left sides.

I never throw anything away until the job is all finished, so the border strips were still there. All I had to do was trim carefully along the outer edge of the black band, and then place the border next to the edges of the map. And since the primer had not reached out as far as this, I had to use extra paste, to ensure there would be enough to stick the paper to the thirsty, flat finish brown paint.

All this added at least an hour, probably more, to what should have been a simple job. But it just would not have looked right without those white borders and black bands in place. And this particular material lends itself to overlapping, and when it’s all nice and dry, you hardly notice it. Especially when there’s a cute cuddly baby taking center stage in the room!

The homeowner loved it, and gave me a great big hug when I left! 🙂

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