I remember this website where they were explaining how you can apply torn up wallpaper specially designed for a faux design look. I am wondering: do you think I can take a regular roll of wallpaper & rip it up and apply it in pieces overlapping, as the faux design wallpaper does it? Of course that is supposed to give a marbled look, but it costs about $30 a roll and I was wondering — maybe I could do it with regular (cheap) wallpaper. What do you think?

I have a friend that did that with paper grocery bags. let me tell you she worked and worked we thought she was nuts but when she was done it looked fabulous.looked like she had an expensive leather wall paper up there it was awesome!

I believe it would work just fine but I do believe that you would need to wad it up first and then spread out and let dry and then apply. I did it with the wallpaper that you were speaking of but got the idea from a lady that used just plain computer paper for hers.

With the brown paper, you wad it up then smooth out to the extent you choose, then glue it on the wall. I presume you could handle wallpaper the same way. The creases will add dimension to the finished wall. The brown paper really does look like leather. Not sure how it would look with shoe polish added but would be interested in seeing this effect.

Question: are you going to use a sponge to color it, or leave it as the color the wall paper already is??? Now here is a suggestion I was told to do for my sons soon to be western decor..after you apply the brown torn up grochery-bags, allow it to dry…then put on plastic gloves..and using tan and some dark brown shoe polish gently sponge over the papered wall..Stand back and see if you want more dark or lighter tones. Allow to dry..then with clear varnish go over the wall. I am wondering if best to not cover with varnish..If that would in time look horrible? It may be best to just apply the shoe polish and allow it to age over time, to look even more like leather. I have been wanting to do this, and I think like someone else here suggested. Try an area first. Like maybe a 12 by 12 inch or larger.. You can always scarp it back off. And do then something else. I think I am using a piece of left over dry wall. You could try it on a piece of poster board, then stand it up at the wall..with lights on it, and without.

Right now I’m in the midst of cleaning the walls, removing as many pieces of wallpaper & paste left behind from my pulling as much off as possible and then smoothing the walls if possible. It’s a mess and time-consuming, but I’m forging ahead, due to sheer stubbornness, possibly stupidity, because I have the money to hire someone. So– explaining that, I must say that my first thought was to faux texture the walls because of the problems left behind on the walls, but recently I was wondering how ripped up wallpaper would look. Paper Illusions makes a product that seems easy enough to apply, but you will have to have a pretty good background for the paper to adhere to. Smooth. It’s rather expensive, but many people have praise for it. I was wondering just how to apply a ‘regular’ roll of wallpaper ripped up. Do I simply wet it and slab it on (after I tear it, of course)? Well, I might experiment with it. I don’t want to “brown bag” the bathroom walls yet, but if I could paint over it, it might prove interesting.

I am an avid fan of paper bag/kraft paper finishes. I have uploaded some photos in “Cyndi’s Stuff”. I have done this finish on walls, desks, shelves, tables. It is cheap, easy and fun. I learned this technique in 1992 and have had success every time. I either use torn up paper bags (for smaller projects) or buy the rolls of paper at HD or Lowe’s.

If you are doing this on Formica or fake wood furniture I recommend using primer for better adhesion. On a wall with old paper and paste just go for it. The paper should be torn into uneven pieces at least 6″ x 6″ but weird little tears make it have more personality. You must tear any straight edges so that they no longer look like an edge.

The paste solution: I prefer to use dry wallpaper paste but it is becoming harder and harder to find. Mix it to a consistency of very thin cream of wheat. Soak your torn paper in the mix until thoroughly wet. Now taking one piece at a time, squeeze the paste out of the paper and apply to your surface. Smooth it out with your hands and just continue doing this. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth but don’t worry about a little paste on the surface of the paper. If you can’t find dry paste, water down the premixed stuff. If you have never done this before, try it on a piece of drywall or old plywood, this way you have a way to practice the final finish as well.

Let this dry thoroughly before applying any finish. For a leather look I have used stain which seeps into the wrinkles you make when you squeeze the pieces out, and the feathering on the torn edges. Once the stain dries I have added metallic paints to get a bit of a modern edge. The bathroom walls I posted were painted with a base coat of the paint used on the trim of the home applied with a rag and rubbed in, then I rubbed two additional colors on (I prefer to rub with my hands but you can do it with a rag and watered down paint. Once the paint or stain has dried, I seal with a coat of polyurethane or in the case of the bathroom I used Marine Varnish.

Some things that may or may not happen in the process. When the paper dries you may have some bubbled areas if you didn’t smooth it well enough, don’t panic, make a small slit or tear, put some paste under it and smooth it out, if you are unhappy with the way the slit looks, put another small patch over it. You really can’t screw this up. Next, when you apply paint or stain, it may start to bubble, again don’t panic, as the paint dries the bubbles go away. Once you have the finish you are looking for sea; it off. I hope this makes sense. If not, email me and I will try to explain it better.