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Decorate Your Living Area with a Beautiful Photomural

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John enjoys home improvement projects that improve the quality of home living.

Figure 1. Our Photomural Before Trimming to fit Wall Space

Figure 1. Our Photomural Before Trimming to fit Wall Space

How we Enhanced our Living Area with a Wall Photomural

Some years ago my wife and I were living in a attractive condo that had a long off-white wall along one side of our living area. We could have hung framed paintings or mirrors, but that fell short of the feeling we wanted to create. We decided on a wall photomural with a scene that would give us that feeling.

We searched the internet and found a German-made wall photomural of a garden seen dimly from inside a conservatory through French doors with curved tapered glass windows. Palm plants and ivy were placed in front of a pale yellow wall. Sitting in an easy chair facing the mural, I can look dimly through the slightly open French doors and wonder what lies beyond. My imagination takes over for a while. The photomural has given us many hours of enjoyment.

We created a theater-style backdrop for our photomural by pasting it on muslin stretched over a 1"x3" wooden frame similar to a "flat" for a theater stage. This gave it an air of three-dimensionality. The overall frame was divided into four panels, fastened together so that the installation could be taken apart and moved to another residence.

This article shows you the steps we followed to install our photomural. For some years we have enjoyed the décor and mood it created in our living area. And we easily moved it with us to a new apartment.

I can look dimly through the slightly open French doors and wonder what lies beyond. My imagination takes over for a while.

Create a Plan for Your Living Area and Walls

What sort of mood do you want to capture? What colors and styles do you like? What furniture will be placed around the mural? Once you settle on a theme for your living area, look for photomurals that complement and enhance that theme.

Sketch your floor plan and take careful measurements of the wall space you want to fill. Be especially careful to measure the distance from floor to ceiling -- that measurement will be the maximum height of the photomural. Make sure to allow extra inches to overlap the edge of the frame, and trim. Measure the length of the wall space to be covered and allow extra inches for overlap.

When you shop for your photomural be sure the check its size and make sure it will cover the wall space in your plan.

Purchase Your Photomural

Photomurals for purchase can be obtained from many vendors -- on the internet and in stores. We searched the internet and found the one we liked shown in Figure 1 above. Other sources include the two shown at the end of this article.

You will find that photomurals are printed on a wide variety of coverings -- from simple wallpaper-type printed paper, special photomural paper, silk, canvas and more.

They can be applied by methods ranging from peel-and-stick to old-fashioned wallpaper paste.

Figure 2. Packing Tube for Our Photomural

Figure 2. Packing Tube for Our Photomural

Two Types of Wall Photomural Installations

1. Photomurals with Adhesive Backing

A wide choice of scenes are available from many sources that come with the adhesive backing ready to apply on your wall. The Conservatory Scene in the photo shown in Figure 1 is available for wallpaper paste application from the German supplier Baur.

2. Photomurals without Adhesive Backing -- Requires Use of Wallpaper Paste

We chose the design shown in Figure 1 on a photomural requiring wallpaper paste so that we could install on muslin stretched over a wood frame. The product came in the tube shown in Figure 2 above.

Tools and Supplies Used for Our Photomural

Tools needed included saw, hand drill, stapler, box knife, long metal straight-edge and a carpenter's framing square. Supplies were purchased from Lowes and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts:

  • Heavy Muslin (from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts)
  • 1"x3" poplar wood slats to create frame (see Figure 3)
  • small fluted wood dowels to assemble four frame subassemblies
  • small threaded rods, nuts and washers to connect the four panels
  • wood glue and wallpaper paste
  • "L"-shaped wall screws and anchors to hold frame against wall (see Figure 4)
Figure 3. Wall Photomural Divided into Four Removable Panels Showing the Underlying 1"x3" Frames

Figure 3. Wall Photomural Divided into Four Removable Panels Showing the Underlying 1"x3" Frames

Assembling and Installing a Removable Photomural

Clear floor of furniture to allow the entire photomural to be assembled flat. To protect the floor we covered it with butcher paper.

  1. Assemble four separate wood frames. (see Figure 3). Cut wood 1"x3"s and connect them together with fluted wood dowels and glue.
  2. Connect the four panels together using threaded rods through small holes drilled through the wood frame, nuts and washers. Once you have the entire theatrical flat frame assembled, separate the four panels and cover each panel separately with stretched muslin.
  3. The muslin we purchased was wide enough to cover each panel without a seam. Wrap the muslin over the edge of the frame and attach to the back side with staple gun. (Learn the difference between muslin and canvas.)
  4. Use flat white primer paint and "size" each muslin frame as if you were preparing it as a painting canvas. Once the paint has dried thoroughly, turn the panels over and reassemble them into the one overall flat using threaded rods. Turn the overall flat over so that the stretched muslin is on top.
  5. Apply wallpaper paste to each photomural strip and "book" the strip (let set for a minute) as if you were applying wallpaper. Apply the paper panels carefully working from the top center down being sure to smooth our air bubbles. Slightly overlap edges to allow for shrinkage. Wrap paper around edge of the flat and attach to rear of the frame. Allow to dry thoroughly.
  6. Use a sharp box knife and long metal straight edge, and cut the paper precisely along the joints connecting the four panels. (see Figure 3)
  7. With the help of an assistant, raise the entire flat against the wall and hold it fast with "L"-shaped wall screws and anchors. (see Figure 4)
  8. Replace furniture and enjoy your removable photomural.
Figure 5. "L" Screws and Anchors hold Photomural Flat Against Wall

Figure 5. "L" Screws and Anchors hold Photomural Flat Against Wall

Other Photomurals With European Street Scenes

If you are not satisfied with the scene we chose (Figure 1) there are many more to choose from. Here are two -- one from Lightinthebox, the other from HUIJIE available from Amazon.

Figure 6. Photomural of European Street Scene

Figure 6. Photomural of European Street Scene

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