If you remember from my bathroom design, this Serena and Lily feather wallpaper was a key element. When I show people my bathroom, the first reaction is usually, “wait, you painted that!?” Well, yep, I sure did! I’m not going to lie, it took significantly longer than I had anticipated. But, would I do it again? Yes. I fricken love it!
Why I DIY’d
The Serena and Lily feather wallpaper that this is modeled after is pretty darn expensive. As in, almost $100 a roll. And I would’ve needed three rolls, plus the wallpaper paste. Instead, I spent $4 on a paint sample, and $5 on the paintbrush. That’s a savings of at least $300!
The second reason is that I have never wallpapered before and I really didn’t want my first wallpaper project to be this expensive paper that I’d be too scared to damage! I’m terrible with contact paper, so I assumed this would be the same. Wallpaper still scares me, although I’d be intrigued to try it somewhere small in the future!
Step by Step
Order Sample from Serena and Lily
You can order a sample from Serena and Lily. I used this sample for a variety of reasons throughout the project, and it was definitely helpful to have the actual thing on hand.
Select Paint Color
I wanted to pick a color that was as similar as possible to the actual color since that was one of the things I liked the most. So, I went to both Lowes and Home Depot and picked up a bunch of paint chips and brought them home to compare. The closest I could find to match the Serena and Lily “french blue” was Behr’s “Sailor Bay.” There is definitely a bit of a difference, but I like the color so I’m happy! I grabbed a sample in the Behr Marquee line and selected a flat finish.
Measure and Mark Where to Paint
This is probably one of the most important steps, so take your time! Since I had that sample piece, I was able to measure how far apart the vertical lines are. I then cut down a piece of scrap wood to that size and grabbed a large level and a blue colored pencil.
I used the scrap wood as a spacer and used the level to draw all of the vertical lines. They weren’t perfect, but neither is the design, so I liked that. I also somehow managed to make everything end perfectly. I was nervous that I would have either a huge gap or tiny gap where the first line I drew met the last line, but they magically all fit in pretty dang perfectly.
Next, I started drawing the diagonal lines. Again, I wanted this to be more organic like the wallpaper, so I wasn’t precise, but you want to make sure that all of your lines connect. I did make a mistake in this corner and you can see I skipped a line when painting so now this corner doesn’t line up. It bothered me a lot in the first month or so, but now I don’t notice it anymore. Once we put the wall cabinet up, it also hid it pretty well.
I debated on whether I should start by just painting on all of the vertical lines first, or just do small sections. I was antsy about how everything would turn out, so I wanted to see the final product, even in a small section. So, I decided to start at the front and did the entire section and continued that way.
I used a craft brush from this set and just started painting over my pencil lines. This was the part that took some time. Probably because I chose flat paint, it didn’t glide that well so there was a lot of re-dipping into the paint.
Pro tip: rather than carrying around the entire paint sample, shake it up with the lid still on, and just use the paint that’s on the lid. Even though the sample size is small, it’s much easier to maneuver with just the lid, and after a while, that sample can start to get heavy!
It didn’t take me too long to realize that I would need two layers. This is something you can make your judgment on, but I just didn’t feel like the first layer had enough coverage to pull off the look I was going for. This was kind of a bummer because it did take SO LONG, but worth it in the end.
After the second coat was complete, I did go back and just do any final touch-ups. This also included touching up the white paint in some sections where the lines got askew or I accidentally splattered.
Even though this project took many, many hours, the time saved, and the fact that this was straightforward makes it worth it. I really do love it! I’m still obsessed with the Serena and Lily feather wallpaper, and I’m glad I was able to achieve the look for a much smaller price.
The only part that I don’t love is the very top where the design hits the ceiling. To me, it just looks like the ends are a little weird because it was hard to get the lines to properly “die” into the ceiling. After all, the corners aren’t completely crisp. To fix this, I may add some crown molding in the future, but it’s not a huge priority, so we’ll see!
Next week, I’ll be taking you through the bottom part of the wall, the board and batten, so make sure to check out that post!