How to Install Fabric Wallcovering

Instead of traditional wallpaper, use a favorite fabric to add texture and pattern to your walls.

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Seating Area in a Mid Century Modern Living Room

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.

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.

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