Easy DIY Fabric Wall Treatment
I have an idea! My husband always loves it when I say that. The conversation went like this. ” I am going to stick fabric on the wall using starch.” Husband, “Huh?” Me, “I’m sure it will work. I’ve heard it works”
Guess what, it totally works!
That was pretty much the conversation when I told my husband that I was going to do a fabric wall treatment in our living room/kitchen area.
In the land of Chic California, we are renters. Partly because when we moved here from Ohio 2 years ago we weren’t exactly sure we were choosing the right neighborhood. Mostly, because does anyone know how much a house costs in the Bay area? Having moved around a few times during the real estate bust we haven’t faired too well owning our last 2 homes. Cold feet.
So renters we are. Which for someone like me, who
likes loves to decorate and paint, then change her mind and paint again renting can be torture!
If I could, I would paint the walls a pale gray like this pic here.
I would paint the kitchen cabinets white and change out all the hardware and do a few million other projects. But alas, I have to come up with things that are non permanent solutions to design dilemma.
I was actually fortunate enough to choose the paint color of our walls before we moved in, as the house we are renting was being fixed up. I choose a lovely grayish, khaki color.
When we moved in everything was cream. Our landlord swears that’s the color I chose. I can promise you it is not. I know my colors. But what could I do other than get creative?!
So I was sitting around on a Friday night watching one of my favorite mindless shows, Fashion Police. This set was designed by Jonathan Adler and I love his work. Its a little chic, a little modern, a little whimsical and a little glam all together. I realized that my style and some of my furniture already looked similar to the set. All that was missing was some chevron. By the way those curtains change often. They are a gray chevron if you watch the show now.
Aah, here’s one with the Chevron Curtains!
If you visit my Pinterest boards you will find a whole board dedicated to chevron. Love me some chevron! (Yes, I know that is not grammatically correct.)
I found this fantastic Chevron fabric online at Hobby Lobby. It was perfect because it was a heavier canvas fabric and it had a creamier background instead of white like most chevron fabrics I have found.
First, I had to figure out how much fabric to order. Uggh, math. I measured my wall and converted that measurment to yardage using a handy dandy converter I found online. I figured I needed about 10 yards to cover my wall. I ordered 12 just to be sure. I figured I could always make something fabulous and chic out of the extra.
Here is what you will need to get started:
Push Pins (lots of them)
Liquid Starch- I used Sta Flo that I picked up at Walmart in the laundry detergent aisle
Fill your spray bottle with the liquid starch. I did not even thin mine with water. It sprayed perfectly.
I picked it up in the laundry aisle at Walmart for less than $2 a bottle and I ended up using 2 bottles for one wall.
I started by hanging the first piece of fabric with push pins along the top. Unless you have a helper or 4 hands, it is tricky to hold the fabric in place while spraying the starch and smoothing the fabric. I used the selvedge edge to make sure I had a straight line along the wall. I also left about an inch of extra material at the top that I would trim later. Once the top edge and some of the side edge were secured I started spraying.
I sprayed the wall first, then the back of the fabric, then the front of the fabric until everything was pretty well saturated. I started with a drop cloth on the floor to catch any drips but I kicked it out of the way after awhile. My floors are wood so I knew I could mop any drips. If I had carpet I would have left it.
I smoothed the fabric as I went along and I pulled the fabric tight as well.
On the second sheet of fabric I had to work around the light switch and outlet. I will admit I am kind of a sloppy DIY’er. So I just smoothed the fabric over the light switch and outlet and went back with a rotary cutter and cut around it.
If I was doing this again, I would be a more patient DIY’er and I would have removed the switch plate and outlet covers all together before I started applying the fabric.
By my third sheet I hit a snag. My chevron was starting to slowly slope. Not sure if it was the fabric or me or my wall. So I carefully lined up the chevron to keep things on track. This meant overlapping my fabric a bit at the seam. When you are up close to my wall you can see the overlap. But because the Chevron is such a busy pattern from a normal distance it is not even noticeable.
You can barely see the seam in the uppers left hand corner.
I continuted to push pin the top of each sheet of fabric until I got to the end of the wall. When I had all the fabric up I went back and gave everything another spray and smoothed out any air bubbles just for good measure.
The last thing I did was use my rotary cutter along the moulding and baseboards to cut the excess fabric.
This ended up being a much easier project than I anticipated with a bigger impact on the room than I anticipated too. It took about 3 hours total. There was a lunch break and a school pickup in between!)
This is what the wall looked like before.
Here is the after!
Here are a few things I would do differently next time:
1)Remove light plate and outlet covers first
2)Loosen moulding to put fabric under. It would have saved me from using my rotary cutter and I would not have had to be so even with my cutting. I could have just covered it with moulding.
3) Use a more forgiving fabric. I love the Chevron on my fabric but for a first timer it would have been a bit easier to use something that didn’t have to be lined up so precisely.
When you get up close to my new chevron wall, you can see some imperfections. But I think that the Chevron fabric actually camouflages my mistakes and everything blends together.
If we ever move from this house this wall treatment will simply peel off. Then the wall will just need a wipe down to remove any starch residue. And the best part is the fabric can be reused. A toss in the washing machine and the fabric is good as new.
I’m so happy with the result. It looks like wallpaper. It warms up my room and gives me the look I wanted without the commitment. Perfect for any renter or homeowner that just wanted a temporary solution to an ugly wall problem.