Grasscloth wallpaper is timeless. But also expensive. See how to DIY grasscloth wallpaper for a cheap grasscloth wallpaper alternative. This navy grasscloth wallpaper completely transformed our bathroom- and for under $40!
I should have titled this post: When there’s a will, there is a way.
But let me start from the beginning.
A few weeks back, the Big Sweet had a week-long work conference. This happens every year and every year I get myself through the week by planning to tackle a big project. This year, I decided it would be adding DIY Navy Grasscloth wallpaper to the powder bathroom.
When we moved in almost 6 years ago, I painted this powder room a light aqua and brown and hung a random collection of mirrors. Along with Mr. Moose. I even painted the ceiling blue. And then I checked the box.
Powder room, done.
But after six years, I was OVER IT and you know I can’t leave anything alone. So I decided it was time to give this tiny little powder room a facelift. I knew I wanted to go bold in this little tiny space because, well, I could. I was just waiting for inspiration to strike. And strike it did.
Have y’all heard of Draper James yet? It is a lifestyle brand started by Reese Witherspoon and the flagship store is located in Nashville. (ps- Reese come on down south!!) I follow them on Instagram and when I saw this aahhhh-mazing navy grasscloth wallpaper from her store, I was smitten. #navyismylovelanguage after all.
I mean, could she be any more adorable? But I digress.
OK, so when I fall asleep dreaming and wake up thinking about something, I seriously start thinking of a way to pull it off in my own home. So I started researching navy grasscloth wallpaper. But then I was smacked with the reality- her store used Phillip Jeffries wallpaper and the best I could tell it was going to be WAY out of this homegirl’s price range. Really any legit grasscloth wallpaper was going to be out of my budget…
But like I said, when there’s a will, there’s a way. And I started looking for ways I could pull it off on my budget. I found this pre-pasted “grasscloth” wallpaper from Lowes. Although this paper came in a natural color, I figured I could try to paint it navy to achieve a DIY navy grasscloth wallpaper. In the store, it was actually only $15.73 a roll and I needed two rolls, so for around a $40 investment I figured it was worth a shot. (Note: I have NEVER attempted a wallpaper project before)
Supplies Needed for DIY Navy Grasscloth Wallpaper Project
- Allen & Roth pre-pasted “grasscloth” wallpaper from Lowes
- Hale Navy paint ( I had a half gallon left over from the master bedroom and foyer projects)
- Air bubble smoother (yes, that is the technical name)
- Water bottle sprayer
Step 1: DIY Navy Grasscloth Wallpaper Tutorial
To start, measure the wall and cut the panels. Since the grasscloth wallpaper only came in natural, I started by giving each panel a good coverage of navy paint.
Because I wanted to be sure that the grasscloth texture would show through, at first I tried using less coverage and watered down the paint. But that was an epic fail. With a little trial and error, I realized that even with three coats of paint you would still be able to see the texture…and YES, it took 3 coats for it to get full coverage.
Step 2: DIY Navy Grasscloth Wallpaper Tutorial
Then I just started pasting it up to the wall panel by panel. This paper is prepasted so you just have to wet it and apply it to the wall. It is pretty user friendly and I would just spray the top of the panel and affix it. Once I knew it was level, I would squirt the rest of the paper and smooth it out using the smoother tool. I started a little assembly line of painting panels in the garage and then getting them up on the wall…the corners were tricky but I just played around with it until it worked. (remember- I have NEVER attempted to hang wallpaper before)
This is about when I started REALLLLLLLLY doubting my decision to tackle the powder bathroom with wallpaper. What was I thinking? So I called my neighbor over for reinforcements. Thankfully she loved it and confirmed I needed to keep on going.
And she brought wine. When in doubt, drink wine.
OK. I can do this. So I kept going.
But then…Ey-yey-yey. I really didn’t think this through! I needed to remove the light fixture in order to wallpaper around it.
But, I did it y’all. It may have included a couple calls to my Dad. (“so, how exactly do you rewire the white wires and black wires… and what is this extra wire hanging here for?”) And a couple google searches.
But I did it all by myself. If I can do this, you can too. I promise!
PHEW! We made it!!
Step 3: DIY Navy Grasscloth Wallpaper Tutorial
Once all of the panels are up, touch up the edges and seams with paint to give it a crisp edge. Also because my house is 65 years old, the walls are not straight and I did my best to make it all straight with painters tape.
For a $40 investment and a week of working on it, I am so happy with the way the painted grasscloth turned out.
This powder room is off the kitchen/dining area close to the family room and gets used all the time. I am so happy to have it feel more like “me” now.
I must say the painted grasscloth looks much better in person because it’s hard to capture the texture in photographs. Here is a close up of the texture. Y’all- IT IS DEFINITELY NOT real grasscloth. Maybe someday we will splurge for the real deal. But I love the texture it adds to the tiny space for now.
The jury is still out on whether I am going to hang more art on the walls and repaint the ceiling (it is still light aqua). This is definitely one of those projects that was ALOT of work, but SO worth it in the end.
See that yellow canvas art? Yes, I knocked-it off it using inspiration from the Draper James picture. Inspiration really is everywhere! Thanks Reese. This room isn’t quite done but I am pretty sure the hard part is OVER!
So, I’ll stand it in and hold a vase of Camellias clipped from the yard. Because taking pictures of a bathroom is kind of awkward. Might as well make it more awkward.
I love the way the DIY navy painted grasscloth wallpaper turned out. If I can do it- SO CAN YOU!
Heather- thank you so much for posting this! I am smack dab in the middle of my powder room makeover and lost at how to finish it since discovering the wallpaper I picked is $$$$. I will definitely give this a try when I get to this step and my Lowes gets more in stock!
It looks AMAZING! And I love that you made the art too. It looks so good against the navy walls!
Thanks Sarah! It’s amazing what a little determination and inspiration can do to a girl!
Love it! I have yet to do a wallpaper project and seeing this gives me hope that it is doable! Oh and love Draper James. Enjoy your new walls.
I love your style! XO (you are very pretty, too!)
Aw thanks Julie!
I LOVE IT HEATHER!!!
Aw thanks my heather sister from another mother!
Still testing! Please let me know if you get this! THANKS!
Charlotte @ Ciburbanity says
SO freaking smart!!! I LOVE grasscloth and would never ever EVER have thought to paint the cheap stuff. Game changer, girl. FOR REAL! xx
Thanks Charlotte! I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out… and now I am trying to figure out what else I can grasscloth in my house!
This is amazing! I love anything navy and I was thinking of doing something similar in my bathroom but just the top third. Do you think that you could install the paper and THEN paint it? Did you find it easy to paint the paper before it was up? Thanks 🙂
Absolutely- I actually had to give a couple panels another coat of paint once it was up on the wall. I just did it before so I could avoid having to tape off the trim, but I still had to do that in some areas anyway. I did find it really easy to paint the paper before it was up because I didn’t have to reach up high and could do it on the ground instead. I’d love to see how it turns out if you do it!
Ellen Braunberger says
Christy @ 11 Magnolia Lane says
Girl, you are IMPRESSIVE–that looks amazing, and way to DIY it on the cheap. Yay!!
Brenna@Domestic Charm says
OMG! So adorable and creative! I love how it turned out.
Kimberly Absher says
I loved the Before and I love the After! So clever! While dark colors can shrink a room, this adds depth to your powder room. I would leave the aqua ceiling. It reminds me of all the front porch ceilings painted blue or haint blue in the Lowcountry.
Love the texture and of course the navy is fantastic! Great job!
Vineta @ The Handyman's Daughter says
LOVE it! The texture really gives it dimension, and you were genius to paint it. The pop of yellow art really brightens it up too. Want to come to my bathroom and do the same thing? 😉
Ha, if you come watch my kids for the weekend I will GLADLY come wallpaper your bathroom! 🙂
Sarah Vogel says
I love your new bathroom!! And, yes, you can easily paint wallpaper after you put it up….We moved into a 90 year old house and one of the bedrooms had textured wallpaper…it was in good shape but not a great color. We just painted two coats right over it, and 24 years later, it still looks like new!! It actually looks like grass cloth because of the color we painted it. Also, if you do it this way, you can roll the wallpaper inside out and wet it in a wallpaper water trough before applying it to the wall, which you can not do if you have painted it first….of course, let it dry a couple days at least before painting it! I like the simplicity of the bold yellow picture…well done!!!
Thanks so much! And great tip… Thanks!
Lisa | Shine Your Light says
Heather I absolutely love the navy grasscloth and love how you got the look for less. It came out so great!!!!!! Especially with the white trim and lower wall. Way to persevere. Cheers to neighbors with wine!
I love how this turned out! Can you tell me what sheen of paint did you use and is that what you would recommend? Thank you!
kristin salazar says
so pretty, I love the wallpaper you chose! Wanting to do this in our laundry room 🙂