DIY Fabric Wall Treatment//How To Use Fabric As Temporary Wallpaper

Do you like the look of wallpaper but can’t commit to installing any? Same here. A lot of the projects I do in my apartment have to be temporary because I rent, so I’m always trying to find inexpensive and temporary solutions to my design problems.

When I redecorated my living room earlier this year I knew I wanted to do an accent wall behind my sofa, and I knew I wanted it to be a pattern. I’d heard of people using fabric as temporary wallpaper before and decided I wanted to give it a whirl. I fell in love with a fabric that I ended up scoring for $6, and the other materials are really inexpensive, so it was no big loss if it didn’t work out.

For this project you need fabric (I used a light weight cotton), liquid starch, push tacks, an exacto knife, and a paint roller. For everything I paid less than $20 total!

Side note: I did this project on the rainiest day of the year, so please excuse the lighting in some of the images!

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First, I used push tacks to hang the fabric up on the wall. I tacked at the ceiling line and sides.

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Then I used a paint roller to apply the liquid starch to the fabric.

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I started at the top, smoothing out air bubbles and wrinkles as I worked my way down. Make sure you saturate the fabric thoroughly so it sticks to the wall very well. I repeated the process for each piece, matching up the edges on the sides. This fabric had a label on one of the selvage edges, so I cut that off before applying it to the wall.

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Let it dry thoroughly for several hours. I let mine dry over night.

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Next, I used an exacto-knife to cut around the edges of the wall and around any details like air vents and electrical sockets. For any left over air bubbles, I just sliced them and re-saturated, then pushed any air out. DIY Fabric Wall Treatment (9).jpg

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That it! I was actually shocked at how much easier it was to do than I imagined. It took me a few hours but wasn’t as labor intensive as I anticipated. Here’s how it turned out!

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I love it! 

To remove it all you have to do is set a corner with warm water and peel it straight off the one in one piece. I actually removed a piece and put it back up on the wall because I didn’t like the placement. The best part is this fabric can be laundered and reused whenever I choose to remove it! 

Clean up is also a breeze. Just regular soap and water will do! 

Have fun! 

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9 thoughts on “DIY Fabric Wall Treatment//How To Use Fabric As Temporary Wallpaper

  1. I love it!! My only concern with the temporary wallpaper stuff is I can never get it straight enough or get the panels to match up. Yours looks so clean and the edges look great!

    1. That’s a problem I’ve had and was worried about when I started this, but the wet fabric has a good amount of working time that allows you to line everything up and smooth it out before it dries to the wall. That made it really easy to get it lined up and fix any mistakes. I loved that about it.

    1. Good question! I’m so glad you asked. I’ll add a paragraph about that. Basically you just wet a corner enough to lift it from the wall and then pull the fabric off in one go. The fabric can be laundered and reused for another project, too.

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