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Brown Paper Bag Wallpaper Technique

To create an unusual decorating effect, try using brown paper bags in place of traditional wallpaper. This is a guide about the brown paper bag wallpaper technique.

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Brown Paper Bag Wallpaper Technique
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December 20, 2011 Flag
9 found this helpful

I live in an old home and many times the plastered walls have cracks in them. Here is an alternative if the cracks keep showing up soon after you paint. I "papered" my walls in brown paper and rosin paper that have been painted. View of bath mirror and sink area.

I wanted to go with a copper theme and have always wanted an elegant bathroom so I took pieces of brown craft paper and tore them into irregular pieces, saving some of the ones with a straight edge for where the ceiling and the wall meet. I then crumpled them all up very hard and then semi smoothed them out so that you could clearly see the wrinkles in them.

I used a sponge brush and brushed on copper leaf paint on some, barely touching the surface of the wrinkles and then used gold spray paint on others. Let them dry (doesn't take long at all) and then apply them with wallpaper paste. The wall should be sized first. Copper colored leaf towel holder mounts.

I already have a claw foot tub and my kids inserted a sink into a dresser that I faux painted and applied copper paint stenciling. I had rough plastered walls so the roughness of the walls added to the dimension of the treatment. My curtains are copper colored and I made a shower curtain with some copper color in it and put copper colored beading on the edges. I painted the bottom of my claw foot bathtub brown.

By Elaine from Belle Plaine, IA View of the corner of bath with painted brown bag wallpaper.

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June 7, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I'm looking for Paper Illusion wallpaper in a light color. This is the tear, dip, and apply type of paper. Any help appreciated. TY

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September 23, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

Torn paper bathroom wall.The walls in my bathroom were not in super good shape when I bought my 100 year old house, they had the old bumpy type plaster. After several attempts at painting, I finally came upon a solution.

I took both brown craft paper and red rosin paper (both available at home improvement stores) and tore it into uneven pieces, keeping some of them with a straight edge to put at the top of the wall where it met the ceiling. I then took them and crushed them between my hands really good and opened them up again, revealing the wrinkles. At this point smooth them slightly, but not very much.

Then, before I applied it to the wall, I spray painted some gold and used copper leaf paint on others (I bought the copper leaf paint at Wal-mart). I used a foam brush dipped in the copper leaf and very lightly drug it over the creases so it just hit the top of the creases. I let it dry and applied it with wallpaper paste. When it was all done, I applied a coat of water based polyurethane over the top.

I get more compliments on this room than any room in my house. I have a clawfoot tub and a vanity made from dresser. I also have chandeliers in there that adds to the glamor.

By Elaine from IA

Editor's Note: Here is Elaine's dresser vanity:

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July 19, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

Do I need to prime the wall first if I am using the brown paper bag technique and do I put anything on top of the bags to seal the wall or coat them like a glaze or something?

November 9, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

I want to do the brown bag wallpaper treatment on my wall. Can I use wrapping paper instead?

By Cindy

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November 10, 20110 found this helpful

They sell brown kraft / craft paper just about everywhere, including dollar stores (although you can get a bigger roll elsewhere).

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November 11, 20110 found this helpful

Yes you can. I did my bathroom using this method and some copper paint and gold paint. I get many compliments on it.

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November 11, 20110 found this helpful

Sorry, I thought you meant craft paper not wrapping paper. I got mine at Walmart but I think the $1 stores have it too.

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August 29, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am currently looking to brown paper bag the walls in my living room. Can you tell me if you can do this procedure over existing wallpaper?

Julie from Cameron, TX

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August 30, 20080 found this helpful

I saw them do it on tv once.But forgot all about it.It looked really cool. Here's a HOW-TO : http://www.bozzle.com/bbwBonnyeManning.html Good luck!

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September 2, 20080 found this helpful

For anyone who is contemplating brown paper treatment over existing wallpaper, I have found it to be easier to lose the wallpaper. It does not adhere to the wallpaper.

Thanks so much for the feedback, I do appreciate your help! Project is still in process.

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July 24, 20150 found this helpful

I used this technique in my entry. There were over 4 layers of old wallpaper. I chose to remove because they were lifting. If your wallpaper is in good shape, it should be ok. But I'd suggest sizing it first.

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March 29, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

Do you put the paste on one side or both sides of the paper?

By Juanita T. from Junction City, AR

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April 1, 20140 found this helpful

You would only put paste on one side, so it would stick to the wall.

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March 10, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

We are replacing the shower, shower walls, and floor in one of our bathrooms. Looking around it is going to cost more for the shower walls than the oversized tub/shower we want, because of the odd size. I am wondering if the paper bag wallpaper is water tight enough to be used "in the shower" as the walls. I want to do the floors that way also. So, I guess what I'm asking is, can I do the floor and the walls "inside" the shower, without danger of water damage?

By Angie from Modesto, CA

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March 16, 20140 found this helpful

No, it would not be waterproof. But, they do make a waterproof shower panel that they sell at lowes and home depot.

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March 4, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

I covered one of my kid's room walls with brown kraft paper. Though it looks good, since it is a kid's room (boys), something looks missing. The curtains in the room are of a dark green color with gold leaves. Can someone please suggest what can be added to this wall to make it look good of a boy's room.

By R from India

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March 6, 20140 found this helpful

Hi - it would be very helpful if you could add a couple of photos.

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July 17, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Can you use construction paper or even a wallpaper picked up at a thrift store for brown bag wall treatment? I can't find colored paper, only mauve and brown. I want green. What bond paper is acceptable.

July 17, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Makes it look like a leather or suede look. It's fantastic and if there is a spill or a piece is damaged later you can just add a piece.

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