Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trash Talk Tuesdays Tutorial: A Temporary Wall of Burlap

Last Tuesday, I shared a way to temporarily hide wall-to-wall mirrors in an apartment or rental home. Today, I'll show you how I temporarily covered some ugly wallpaper with rustic burlap!
 
Right as you walk in our front door, there's an eyesore of a wall which the previous homeowners had covered with pink & blue wallpaper ~~  reinforced with some sort of industrial-strength yellow adhesive. The same wallpaper which took us several tedious hours to remove from the bathroom, resulting in ruined sheet rock.
We've been sick of looking at that wall of shame, yet haven't quite gotten in the mood to tackle covering it with wood paneling (which we'll eventually get around to) so in the mean time, I decided to cover that yellowed 1980's southwestern paper ~ with rustic burlap!

Years of Pre-K theme planning on a tight budget resulted in discovering cheap & easy methods of temporary wall decor, one of the most popular being the use of fabrics & laundry starch. By simply rolling a coat of Sta-Flo liquid starch ~ you can temporarily adhere lightweight fabric or paper to just about any wall, door, window, or mirror! When ready to remove, simply lift a corner and the fabric peels right off; any remaining starch residue is easily wiped away with a damp rag.
(If renting, you might want to test a small area first, to be 100% certain)
To temporarily cover a wall or mirror, you'll need the following supplies:
Burlap* or other lightweight fabric
Sta-Flo Liquid Starch
Shallow pan & paint roller (or paint brush)
Drop cloth or plastic (to catch drips below)
Fabric scissors
Thumb tacks
Yard stick
Rolling pin or brayer (optional)
 
*I found a great source of burlap on a roll @ our local Ace Hardware Store ~ in the gardening section of all places ~ a huge 3 ft x 24 ft roll of burlap ground cover (Made in USA to boot!) was just $12.00 (see link above, costs slightly more to order & have delivered to your local Ace if not in stock) Burlap is also available in many fabric stores.
Decide ahead of time if you'd prefer to submerge your fabric in the liquid starch & wring it out before smoothing the fabric on the surface, or roll the starch onto the wall & smooth the fabric onto the starched wall. Either works fine, and both can be a little messy! For burlap, I found it easier to roll the starch onto the wall.
Using thumb tacks, I marked where to cut each piece ~ allowing extra room at the top & bottom for shrinkage. I covered the electrical outlets with painter's tape. Then I used a yardstick & fabric scissors to cut the burlap, applying starch on just one section at a time & smoothing the burlap until straight (I used a rolling pin) slightly overlapping the panels. For reinforcement while drying, I put some thumbtacks along the top & bottom of the burlap panels until the starch dried (overnight) and used scissors to trim around the outlet & to remove any crooked/frayed edges once the panels were dry. You'll want to rinse the starch out of the rolling pin or paint brush & supplies, and wipe any spills with a damp rag.
Note: the burlap had a strong but not completely unpleasant smell for a few days, which eventually went away.  

 
 
For a rustic border along the top, I used the same method to attach jute upholstery webbing. I'm very happy with that wall for now ~ it also makes a great photo background!
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