It's finally here -- my Etched Arcadia Mural.
Anyone who knows me will have heard of this mural. I have been eyeing this thing for YEARS. It reminds me of old literature etched images, and though it is botanical it is not especially feminine, it's quite masculine, in fact, so I thought it would round out some of the more feminine and colourful things in our house. Well, now that we've settled in our new(ish) home, I finally let myself order this. That was last Black Friday (2016), during a 30% off sale at Anthropologie aka the only time I've ever seen it on sale. After ordering, there proceeded to be six months worth of shenanigans, resulting in 1) me giving up shipping this thing to Canada and 2) me giving up expecting Anthropologie to honour their word re: 30% off they promised* In the end this shipped to family in US, who brought this up to me in Canada. Thanks guys!
The point of this story is that I've waited a LONG time for this mural, and so I had to try really hard not to get my expectations up too high. And then, once I had it, we had some serious anxiety about putting it up and screwing up. We are not wallpapering experts. In fact, this was my first time ever wallpapering. It went really well, all thanks to my S.O. AND this blog:
Some pics below!
We didn't need a scraper, we just used our hands. That and a bin of water (we put the bin in our bathtub) and a smaller bucket with a bunch of rags nearby to get off the glue splooges. If you're doing this at home and you've already read the above blog, my only tip to add is just to really follow their recommended timing. 30 seconds in the water was perfect, not longer. We followed the instructions on the package which suggested to let it sit for 5 minutes after, so we pulled it out of our bucket on the bathtub, bookended it and let it rest on the bathroom floor. Here again, 5 minutes was the perfect time for us, 4 minutes was not as good. Caveat: this was on a moderately warm summer day in the Pacific Northwest, your weather might make this work differently, I have no idea.
Also as mentioned in the above blog, we went through a lot of exacto blades. More than one per panel. Probably more like 1.5 per panel.
We were also surprised that the mural had some give. It's 9 feet tall by 12 feet but one the wall it was actually more like 12 feet and 1 1/2 inches. This worked out great for us because our wall was annoyingly just a little larger than 12 feet. Our wall is only 8 feet tall so I trimmed the top of the mural before installing, I chose to cut off from the top because I prefer the forest part of mural and, realistically, the bottom is more likely to be obscured by furniture than the top. I trimmed the top before wetting so that it would be easier to use the top bits for something else if I want to (project ideas, anyone?) One random thing I learned is that this wallpaper is erasable if you're light with your pencil, at least, I was surprised with how well I could erase my light pencil marks. Not perfectly, but better than I expected.
ABOUT THE DESIGN
In real life this mural looks quite different from the image on the anthropologie site, so I'm glad I looked around on the internet for other examples of it first. It looks grey on the site, and should be navy in my mind, but it's actually a dark grey.
*In the end they told me I should expect the 30% off to show up in my bank account, only 10% off showed up, and when I told their online support this they stopped responding to me. Thanks Anthropologie! You've worn me down.