|Starching Fabric to Walls|
Matt and I have tackled the project of starching fabric to walls at least three times in residences, and then we took the whole process on the road one year as well. Why do I mention this? Well, because many people wonder about the sturdiness of starching fabric to the walls and I’m here to say that it works. We carried three 8 foot starched fabric walls around with us, shoving them into our van, carrying them through home shows and just generally abusing them, and the fabric never budged. I guess this means that in your home, with regular wear and tear, starched fabric could stay on the walls forever!!
However, the opposite also holds true. If you want to get the fabric off of the walls, simply pick at a corner of the fabric and pull. It will come off without harming the wall and you can wash and use the fabric again if you like. Yes, it’s like a miracle! And here is how that miracle is accomplished.
1. Start by measuring the height of the wall space to be covered, add 6” to this dimension, and cut out your fabric strips.
2. Methodically dip the fabric panel into the starch and make sure that the entire piece is coated on the front and back. It doesn’t need to be dripping, just wet all over with starch.
3. Go to the wall and press the fabric on the wall into place. Allow the fabric to wrap slightly around the corner. Use your hands or the wallpaper smoother to get out all the bubbles.
I used push pins to hold one end of the fabric in place while I smoothed the other end.
4. Once the fabric is smooth on the wall, you need to trim off the extra at the top and bottom. I used a very sharp utility knife and a flat blade just like I would with wallpaper. The type of fabric you use will determine your cutting and trimming method. My fabric was woven so the loose threads kept unraveling which was a big problem. I found that if I waited until the starch was dry it was easier to cut a straight, unfrayed edge. If you use a regular printed cotton fabric, it won’t do this.
Last, let me mention that I did get a little bit of bubbling once the fabric had dried and stiffened. To remedy this I grabbed a paint brush and some starch and painted the starch over the bubbly area to saturate it again and I pressed it in place. This worked well and everything is still lying as flat as can be.
If by some chance you have jagged edges that need to be covered up, purchase a braided trim and hot glue it along the edge for a nice finishing touch. I used this to hide the staples on the fabric I upholstered to the wall but it would work on the starch as well.