We found a quick way to prep our walls to install a wall mural and I’m sharing it so you can see how much easier and faster this was. I also think you could call it temporary. It looks permanent but it’s easily removed with minimal damage to the walls so read on!
I have had a wall mural that I’ve been wanting to hang up for almost 5 years now. I’ve moved it from closet to closet and room to room trying to decide where to place it and I finally settled on the right spot for it.
I decided to make it an accent wall in our front guest bedroom since it’s definitely an eye catching accent. The pattern is bright and floral. All the things that I like.
Since we just installed wallpaper in the bathroom we were brainstorming an easier way to smooth the walls for the mural.
Okay, we didn’t just install the wallpaper but it sure does feel like we did. Sidenote, I absolutely love this room with it’s whimsical wallpaper and you can see the project in our one room challenge posts. This is the reveal post!
Getting back to this project…..
An Easy Hack to Smooth Your Walls
Instead of sanding the walls, skim coating them with drywall mud and sanding some more, we decided to add a smooth surface to them.
For less than $100 we bought floor underlayment at a home improvement store and used staples to attach it to the wall.
I’m here to tell you that we were able to finish this project in the amount of time it would have taken us just to prep the walls, wait for them to dry, sand, touch up and primer them.
The Product we used for Smooth Walls
This is what the floor underlayment that we chose to use on our walls looks like.
You can still pick up these boards for a somewhat reasonable price, although they’re getting more expensive each week. Much like all lumber is right now.
For our wall it cost us around $60 for enough panels to cover it.
The other considerations for this project in our mind, beside the cost, were time. We spent less time on this entire project than we would have just on skim coating our walls to make them smooth.
We also considered that we might want to remove this someday.
I mean, I don’t know why my husband would think that I might want to change it. I’m not sure whether to be offended or flattered by that lol.
Anyway, since the wood is just stapled to the wall it can be removed and the staple holes will be very small. So with a minimal amount of touch up the wall is ready to be repainted, or whatever the next project on this wall might be.
Although I’m convinced that I’m going to love this mural forever!
The First Step to Smooth Walls
The very first thing we did was use a stud finder to go across the wall and mark where the studs were.
We marked the wall higher than our boards so that we’d be able to see the marks while we were installing the wood. Seems like a no brainer but sometimes those details slip my mind!
If you look at the photo above you can see there are three marks at each spot. These are the sides and the center of the studs. Again, I need all the details so when I get going with the staple gun there’s no question about where I’m supposed to be stapling.
The bottom row was easy to install the boards and then we had to cut the upper boards to fit into their space.
We staggered the seams from the top to the bottom so that they would be less obvious on the finished project. There’s always a chance that you might be able to see the seam so at least this way it won’t be all the way down the wall if that happens.
A Few Tips for a Smooth Wall
The floor underlayment has one side that’s very smooth and one that’s rough so be sure that you’re putting the good side facing outward when you’re installing it.
When you’re cutting your wood you may find that it splinters. It will splinter on the top side while you’re cutting it so be sure that you’ve got your good side facing downward when making your cuts. You’ll get a lot less splintering if you use a saw blade specifically made for paneling but for such a small project we didn’t go that route.
We used our stapler to attach the boards to the wall. This way if someone wants to remove this in the future it will be an easy process and the texture on the wall won’t be damaged.
We ran a bead of caulk between the board seams and along the edges so that we’d have a nice smooth surface.
You’re also going to need to sand the whole wall once you’ve installed the wood too be sure you don’t have any rough patches.
Good news though, it’s not as bad as sanding drywall and one pass should be all you need!
Install a Wall Mural
Once you’ve got the wood up on the wall and smooth you’re ready to install a wall mural. Or wallpaper.
This project will work for both products!
For this you’ll just need to follow the directions for your product.
Our wall mural had us start in the middle of the wall and work outward. Each piece overlapped the previous one a little bit to match up the pattern.
We’ve definitely never done a wall covering that you overlap the seams so that was a new experience for both of us but it was easy to hang and looks great now that it’s finished!
So now you know the trick we used to install a wall mural faster and easier than in the past! What do you think? Are you going to try it?