When I first started chatting with One Kings Lane president Debbie Propst about her powder room, she mentioned that she loved the look of upholstered walls. I was thrilled: It’s a DIY idea I’ve been dying to try, and as it turned out it was also a pretty simple one.
With the help of my trusty electric staple gun, this project came together pretty quickly and (if I do say so myself) looks like a million bucks! Ready to see how you can totally transform a small space—bathroom, powder room, or otherwise—with this bespoke fabric treatment? Keep reading for all the details.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Electric staple gun and staples
Several yards of fabric (enough to cover your walls)
Trim (bias tape or cording) to finish the edges
Sewing machine if your walls are wider than the width of the fabric
Magna-Tac fabric glue
T-pins or straight pins
Step 1: Begin with Batting
To start, cut a length of batting to span your wall from floor to ceiling. If your walls are wider than the width of your batting you can simply abut the edges up to one another.
Tip: Starting in a corner will ensure straight lines.
Step 2: Staple
Using an electric staple gun, I secured the batting along all four corners of the wall. It’s important to staple evenly and as close to the edge of the batting as possible. This will ensure an even look.
If you have two pieces of batting that meet in the center of the wall make sure they are tightly against one another but don’t staple along the seam; when you cover it with fabric it will be invisible.
Step 3: Trim
In areas with doors and windows I found it simpler to cut the batting larger than I needed. I then stapled the edges in place and trimmed away the excess batting.
Step 4: Cover with Fabric
With the batting in place you are ready to apply your fabric. First cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the wall. To ensure an even placement of the fabric I first tacked it in place along the center top of the wall. Don’t worry about stapling the fabric along the whole length of the edge yet.
Next I pulled the fabric tight and stapled it in the center of the bottom edge. I then repeated the process, stapling the center of each of the fabric edges. With the center of all four edges secured I slowly worked my way around the fabric securing the entire length of each edge with staples—stapling the center of each edge first will ensure even placement of the fabric.
Tip: If your wall is wider than your fabric, I recommend sewing the seams of two (or more) lengths of fabric together.
Step 5: Adjust
Just as I did with the batting, I made sure to cut the piece of fabric a little larger around windows and doors so that I would have plenty of room to pull the fabric tight and still staple close to the edge. Once my staples were in place it was easy to trim away any excess fabric.
Step 6: Add Your Trim
As with traditional upholstery, here the trim finishes the look by hiding the staples. I made a self-cording using bias fabric of the same material, but you could also use premade trim, rope, or cord depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. To attach the trim I used superstrong fabric glue. In spots where the trim turned a tight corner I used T-pins to help hold it in place while the glue was drying.
Tip: To protect your fabric walls I suggest Scotchgarding them. Cans of Scotchgard are readily available at the hardware store. I suggest doing it on a day when you can easily open up the windows because spraying Scotchgard requires proper ventilation.
Step 7: Bring in All Your Accents
Once the fabric walls were done, I brought in a wood mirror and towel bar to keep with the earthy tones of the fabric, a black metal sconce for bold lighting, and roman shades from The Shade Store that let in natural daylight. On an opposite wall, I added a corbel and topped it with a golden pineapple, which inspired the embroidered linens that complete the whole space with a polished look.