Really, tissue paper is stuck on my bathroom walls. Well, actually, I glued it to my bathroom walls and it looks pretty fabulous! If you’re looking for ideas to update your bathroom, here’s an alternative that is really pretty easy. All you need is some Elmers glue, a couple of packs of tissue paper, a coat of paint, bronze glazing, and voila!
I was inspired by a faux painter who used this technique for a client of mine a few years ago. It turned out so nice, I thought I’d try it out myself. Here’s step by step directions, pictures of the finished room along with my thought process, and some tips to help you out. Sorry, but I didn’t think to take pictures of tissue papering, but I do have a before and after picture. Next time I’ll take pictures alng the way – promise! I should note that we replaced the toilet and also the vinyl floor with tile before I started this project.
Note, that the picture on the left was how it was before we bought and moved into to our home.
- Prime your walls as if you were hanging wall paper (you’ll be happy 10 years from now!)
- Mix 1/3 cup of Elmers Glue with 1 cup of water. Will be runny.
- Start in a corner and brush glue mixtrue on a 2′ x 2′ area.
- Wad up 1 sheet of tissue paper, lightly straighten it back out and place on 2×2 area. Do not put too much thought into it or stretch. Tip: Start in the least prominent area of the room.
- I found that it was easiest to put more glue on the brush and go over the top, smoothing, gently flattening and forming wrinkles. If I tried to do it with my hands, it ripped – you don’t want that. Brush over it until all bubbles are gone – wrinkles are what you want! Note that the directions I had did not say to put glue on top, but hey - that’s what worked best for me! If you get a ripped area, take a smaller piece, crunch and patch.
- The best part about this whole process is that there is no right or wrong. I have areas with big wrinkles and some with less; the mix is what makes it interesting. This project is also something that you can do a little at a time. I did a wall, put the paint mixture in a tupperware container and went back to it the next day.
- Once you have all the walls done, let them completely dry.
- Next, paint the walls, just as you would any other wall with a solid color. I chose a golden cornbread like color that went well with the rooms that were nearby.
- After the walls dried, I mixed some brown/bronze craft paint with glaze. You can purchase already colored glazing paint at Home Depot or Lowes. With a paint brush, I painted a couple of random X’s in a 3 x 3 area and then moved it around with a rag. I made sure to get the color in some of the cracks and crevices for added dimension. Again, there is no right or wrong, but it’s easier to go light and then go back to add. Make sure you get the corners – there’s nothing worse than corners that are not touched or too heavy. I actually went around my room twice and the second time aroun, I filled in areas that I thought needed it. Remember, less is more. Don’t over obsess or overwork it.
Finished Tissue Paper
After painting, the first thing I did was give away the plain old mirror and replace it with an oversized framed mirror that had some really interesting details and beveled glass. Always go with beveled glass – it adds some extra sparkle. I also replaced the yucky old light bar with clear glass globe bulbs and went with a bronzed wrought iron fixture with some interesting lines.
I chose brown, plum and a little bit of deep red as colors for accent. I found two sprays of flower for $5.00, put them in a ceramic container I had with a block of floral foam for a nice splash of color. The picture to the right of the vanity is a flavia print with a saying that I gave to my aunt the passsed away a few years ago. It reminds me of her and very special memories everytime I see it. On the left I added two candles and a soap dispenser. Groupings of three typically work better than groupings of two. Replacing the old silver fixtures with bronzed updated ones made a huge difference for less than $175.00.
I have to admit that I have an adversion to the typical bathroom rug. For the same price, why not use an area rug or even better a hallway runner to create some interest. Shopping at TJ Maxx or Homegoods always proves to be a successful venture!
My favorite thing in the room is the two bronze statues on the back of the toilet. Soooo much better than a box of tissues don’t you think? To the right of the statues I stenciled the word JOY as a reminder that we all need to live a joyful life. What I didn’t anticipate was the reaction to the men who saw it as they did their business. It’s turned out to be quite a conversation piece! haha!
Six months later, I finally found the finishing touch, and it was worth the wait. This picture is the first thing you see when you enter the room. I have 9 foot ceilings in a narrow area and needed a tall picture. This was the perfect size and the colors pulled everything together.
I’ll post another bathroom later this week which had some tile I hated. Check back to see how I worked around it.
My next project is my dining room. I’ll make sure to take pictures from start to end!