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Covering walls with fabric for rental decor

If you rent an apartment or house, or even live in a dorm, you have probably discovered that you are not permitted to paint the walls or put any holes in the walls or ceiling. But if the plain walls are driving you nuts, you can fabric the walls without leaving any kind of footprint.

First, measure the height of your ceiling, and plan on adding an extra 3" to that length. Then be sure to calculate how much fabric you need based on the fabric width (it will state the width on the bolt of fabric when purchasing). A salesperson at the fabric store can help you determine how much you need.

Select a lightweight fabric (such as cotton, gingham, chintzes. Stay away from heavy fabric as it could pull away from the wall). If you are picking a piece with a pattern, don't forget you will need extra fabric, as you will need to match up the pattern just as you would need to with wallpaper.

Prewash your fabric, especially darker colors. When you begin putting it on the walls, the color could run. Iron if neccessary before adding to the wall.

Pour starch into a paint roller tray, and use a thick pile paint roller for applying the fabric. Put the fabric to the top of the ceiling, and begin rolling starch starting at the top of the wall and working your way down, adding more starch to the roller as neccessary. Try and evenly saturate the fabric with starch. Be sure to smooth out any bubbles or creases, otherwise the fabric will dry with those bubbles and creases there. When you reach the bottom, match up the edges with a new piece of fabric and repeat process.

When it has thoroghly dried, you can use scissors to trim the top and bottom edges of excess fabric, as well as do a better trim job around any windows you had to work around.

To remove, simply peel back from the corner slowly and carefully. Use a damp sponge on any parts that are not removing easily to release the starch. Then wash walls as normal and your landlord will never know there was anything on the walls!



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