How to Install Fabric Wallcovering

Instead of traditional wallpaper, use a favorite fabric to add texture and pattern to your walls.
Midcentury Modern Sitting Room With Stone Fireplace

Midcentury Modern Sitting Room With Stone Fireplace

Materials Needed:

  • bolt of backed fabric
  • wallcovering paste
  • fabric scissors
  • smoothing tool
  • bucket
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • notepad
  • spackle
  • spackle knife
  • wallcovering primer
  • paint roller
  • paint pan
  • pan liner
  • roller cover
  • sanding block
  • damp rag
  • paint brush
  • utility knife

Measure the Walls

Use tape measure to determine height and width of space for fabric. Jot measurements down for reference.

Choose Fabric

Bring swatches of assorted backed fabrics home from fabric store and tape up on wall using painter's tape. In order for fabric to adhere to wall, it must have fabric or acrylic backing. Fabric without backing can be custom-backed by local fireproofing and backing shops. After a few days, decide which fabric works best in space. Keep in mind patterns with large repeats will require more yards, therefore will be more expensive. Smaller prints or textured fabrics require fewer yards, but might not be as impactful.

Choose Fabric for Wallcovering

Choose Fabric for Wallcovering

Prepare Walls

Comb walls with smoothing tool to get rid of any bumps. Fill nail and screw holes with spackle using a spackle knife. Once dry, lightly sand residue, then wipe with damp rag. Apply a coat of wallcovering primer using paint roller. Allow three hours for primer to dry.

Prepare Walls With Wallcovering Primer

Prepare Walls With Wallcovering Primer

Cut Fabric

Roll fabric out on long, flat surface. Refer to dimensions, and use tape measure and pencil to mark height on fabric. Allow 4 extra inches to account for waste, then cut using fabric scissors.

Cut Fabric With Fabric Scissors

Cut Fabric With Fabric Scissors

Paste the Wall

Dip paint brush in bucket of paste, and spread paste on wall starting from the top down.

Attach Fabric

Hold each strip of fabric up to wall allowing overlap to match up the repeat. Press against glue, and smooth out air bubbles with smoothing tool.

Cut Excess

Use utility knife to cut excess from corners and around outlet holes.

Cut Excess Fabric With Utility Knife

Cut Excess Fabric With Utility Knife

Next Up

How to Mat and Frame Artwork

Finding artwork you love is a lengthy and expensive process. Make custom art using anything flat, from a vintage album cover to a page from a book or magazine.

Add Nail Head Trim to Furniture

Bring a high-end look to an upholstered piece of furniture by adding nail head trim.

Easy-to-Sew Pillows

Add a splash of color and pattern to a room by sewing your own pillows.

How to Slipcover an Ottoman

Take your ottoman from drab to fab with this simple step-by-step slipcover guide.

How to Stencil a Focal Wall

Introduce a dramatic focal wall into a living room by stenciling a wall with a creative pattern.

License Plate Room Divider

Stylishly divide a space in just a few short steps using vintage license plates.

Build Custom End Tables

Create deep, wall-mounted end tables by cutting a vintage bench in half. The tables take up less floor space and provide ample surface space.

Create a Sunburst Mirror

Open up your living room and add style with a dramatic sunburst mirror.

Build a Shutter Console Table

Repurpose a shutter into a cottage-style console table that will add interest and soften the hard lines of the back side of any couch.

Create a Small Space Workstation

Re-invent an unused nook or niche as a handy workstation in a few simple steps.

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