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Upholstering Your Walls

Upholstering Your Walls Houston Fabrics Store

Instead of traditional wallpaper, consider using beautiful fabric to add texture and pattern to the space. Using fabric as a wall covering gives a warmth that’s hard to achieve with paint or wallpaper. It’s easy to do and much easier to update when needed. Here’s a look at how you can achieve a unique space by upholstering your walls.

Choose Your Method

There are three main ways in which you can hang fabric: stapling it, starching it, or draping it. All are great options, but it’s up to you to decide what will work best for you, as well as your space. Before you rush out to the fabric store, determine how temporary or how permanent you want this new look to be.

Choose Your Fabric

With so many fabric choices available your possibilities are endless. If you want the fabric to adhere to the wall however, it must have fabric or acrylic backing. Should you fall in love with fabric without backing, this problem can be solved by taking it to a local fireproofing or backing shop.

Fabric can work on any wall, but they do work best in rooms with low traffic and room where water or cooking odors won’t be a problem. Generally, you’ll get better results with wider, lighter weight fabrics that don’t stretch. Also keep in mind that large repetitive patterns will require more yards, which will result in a higher cost. On the other hand, while smaller prints and textured fabrics will require fewer yards, the impact might not be as big. Be sure to bring swatches home to test and take proper measurements of your walls (add 5% just to be safe) before making a final purchase.


Stapling is an easy method especially if you have drywall. If you have plastered walls however, you must attach lath strips to the wall first in order for the staples to be effective. To give the room a plush, padded look, add batting to the wall before hanging the fabric.

What you’ll need: staple gun, long staples, glue gun and sticks, utility knife, fabric, and a helper (two, if possible).


  • Iron wrinkles and seams from the fabric
  • Start at one of the top corners, pulling fabric taut while moving horizontally, and stapling every 2”. Do your best to keep the staples in a straight line. Doing so makes them easier to conceal later on.
  • Once the top is complete, move to the center of the wall, working out and stapling just above the baseboard. Repeat for each panel of fabric, trying to only place staples at stress points. If possible, use fabric glue for pieces around windows, doors, corners or seams.
  • Trim excess fabric with the utility knife after the wall is finished and then cover staples by using a glue gun to adhere trim.

Starching the fabric is very similar to wallpapering. Using liquid starch to adhere the fabric is great for apartment tenants that are limited to changes and also for homeowners who are apt to frequent change. The starched fabric is easily removed when dampened.

What you’ll need: liquid fabric starch, sponges, large container, fabric, utility knife, drop cloths (plastic and fabric) and masking tape.


  • Iron wrinkles and seams from the fabric
  • Wash walls thoroughly with soap and water
  • Cover the floor with your drop cloths, layering the fabric over the plastic
  • Apply liquid starch with a sponge or paint roller
  • Starting with a top corner, press the fabric to the wall and smooth with sponge as you go
  • Use tacks [if necessary] to secure the fabric while it dries
  • Trim excess fabric with the utility knife

Draping fabric for an upholstered look is by far the easiest to accomplish. Simply purchase your fabric and decorative rods so you can drape your fabric like a curtain.

If you feel overwhelmed with covering an entire wall, try the lower half of a wall like wainscoting. No matter what method you choose or how much wall you plan to cover, upholstered walls will bring a fresh new look to your space.

Looking for a fabric store near you in Houston? Come by our Interior Fabrics showroom in Houston, TX, for the best deals on discount designer fabrics for drapery, upholstery and more! Don’t know where to start?  Our team has oodles of experience and can help guide you every step of the way.