In most rental properties you won’t be able to change the wall color from what is often a bland, no-personality white. But altering color is also the quickest way to give a room a facelift, so what’s a stylish urbanite to do? One of the best ways to transform a room is with fabric. No, not a hippie paisley print tapestry billowing out from the wall à la college frat house–instead, an alternative technique using fabric as wallpaper.
- Tape measure – For measuring wall
- Fabric – To act as your “wallpaper”
- Push pins or tape – To help anchor and position fabric
- Liquid starch or cornstarch and water – To adhere fabric to wall
- Paint roller – To apply adhesive solution to wall
- Bucket or paint tray – To contain your starch
- Old newspaper or drop cloth – To protect floor
- Piece of cardboard – To smooth out the fabric once on wall
Before You Begin
First, measure your wall. It’s most important to get the length of the wall you would like to cover, as many fabrics come in bolts of differing widths, and likely you will not be able to get a single piece to cover the entire wall. The width of the bolt (the cardboard piece your cloth comes on) will determine how many rows you need to cover your wall.
Once you get a ballpark figure of how much fabric you will need, the next step is to head to the craft store. Keep in mind some fabrics work better than others– a heavy brocade or corduroy will probably be much more difficult to adhere to the wall than a silk, for example. A print will also be more difficult to use than a solid color, as you will need to make sure it lines up from one section to the next.
Preparing your Materials
You’ve got your fabric and are ready to begin. Make sure to grab a friend or two to help you out, since it’s rather difficult to manage all the fabric by yourself. Prepare your adhesive solution by combining ¼ cup of cornstarch with 4 cups of boiling water and allow to cool before handling. If you’d rather use liquid starch, it can be found in the laundry section of most grocery stores. Place your starch solution in a bucket or paint tray depending on which of the following methods you employ to apply your material. Make sure to also cover your floor with the drop cloth or newspapers to protect against drippage, of which there will be a lot.
Applying the Wallpaper
There are a few different ways you can apply the fabric. Some people find it easier to dip the fabric into the solution and completely saturate it before applying it to the wall . Others paint a layer of starch on the wall, cover with the fabric, and paint another layer of starch on top. You want to make sure to smooth out any bumps along the way with your hands or piece of cardboard. If you are alone, or need further assistance, you could also use pushpins or tape to keep pieces of fabric in place until they are positioned and dried.
We Hope You Try it Out!
The beauty of this DIY wallpaper is that it is inexpensive, and you can take it with you when you leave your rental. You can wash and reuse it, or completely replace it if you get tired of it. Best of all, it leaves absolutely no marks on the wall! If you’re someone who changes your mind often or are just looking to inject some life into your living space , then this is the perfect weekend project for you to try!
If you try it out tag us on instagram @effective.coverage so we can see your creation!