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Upholstered Walls

neilpuck | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

I am a relative novice with the softer arts, I am mostly a woodworker craftsman.  I know enough about fabric to get started, but I have some questions about the finer points, that might not make themselves known until later.  I have attached luan plywood to the lower part of the wall. I intend to spray adhesive batting to it, and then run fabric along the wall, stapling at the top and bottom.  I’ll use upholstery tackstrips to finish the corners.  There will be buttons of sorts at intervals to create a pillowing effect as well as to prevent sagging.  I do not know the type of the fabric, but would like to know how I should prep it.  Should it be washed and ironed before installation?  Any other treatment I should consider?  Thanks in advance,

Neil

Replies

  1. RParrill | | #1

    Hello neilpuck,

    If you choose a fabric that has a protective coating on it like Scotchgaurd, then washing it will remove the coating. You can spray Scotchgaurd back on if you want to. What you want to do will work, but you need to consider the tufting (buttons holding the batting up). You will have to drill little holes in the luan to pull the button threads through, and then the board may not be flush against the wall. My solution would be to build a frame work behind the luan, which would bring it away from the wall, creating a ledge.

    1. neilpuck | | #2

      Thanks for the response.  My plan, actually was not to use buttons in the traditional sense of sewing them into the wall, but probably screwing or nailing through a small washer to create the indentation and then finding something in my character to glue on top of it.  I'm also researching decorative upholstery tacks.  So would you say that washing the fabric is or is not necessary?

      1. Elisabeth | | #3

        I don't think it is necessary to wash it. Unless you plan to take it down and launder it in the future for some reason in which case you would need to pre shrink the fabric by washing. If you like the look of the fabric you choose then the best way to have it look exactly that way is to not wash it since washing will remove sizing, stain resist coatings and sometimes removes color and luster, possibly shrink it dramatically etc. Also the fibers may get softer or more wiry... All kinds of fun things can happen in the washer and dryer and often we aim for those results for our projects.

      2. RParrill | | #4

        neilpuck,
        You don't need to wash the fabric. This step is usually reserved for preshrinking fabric that will become a garment. I wash all fabrics except the ones I upholster with. I like what washing does to them. As for the buttons, I was thinking you were going to use fabric covered buttons, like if you were tufting a chair. There are such things as fabric covered buttons that have a nail on the back. I get these from an upholstery supplier and they are used for the fronts of arms and such. It would be worth calling around some upholstery shops to see if they would make you some out of your fabric.Renee

  2. MER | | #5

    hi,
    I came over here from cooks talk.

    Instead of glue, have you considered liquid starch? It is used to put fabric on walls. As long as you aren't intending an upholstered look with puffy batting behind you could consider it. You dip the fabric in the starch, wring it all out , then put it up on the wall, and smooth it out with a squeege. Obviously this isn't for velvet or anything like that. When you tire of the fabric, it peels off with ease.

  3. mimi | | #6

    You should not need to pre-wash the fabric, since it will not be going in the washer again.  If it has visible fold lines in it from storage, you might want to iron it first.  I hope that you mean that you are going to attach the batting to the wall with spray adhesive and not spray on the batting!

    When you stapple the fabric at the header and footer, you might want to consider not pulling the fabric too taut.  This will allow you enough give to attach the "buttons" and create the pillowed effect.  To attach the bottons, you might consider attaching them to an appropriately sized peice of cork and then glue that to the upholstery.

    I applaud you for trying something new and different!

    mimi

    1. neilpuck | | #7

      Thanks all for the advice.   Not only have you given me the answers I need, but also the ones I was hoping for.  Definitely spraying the plywood and not the batting.  Otherwise I could see myself looking like the mummy all wrapped up glued in the batting.  The fabric is right off of a tube, so it's nice and smooth.   I'll post pics when its all done.  Thanks again,

      Neil

      1. Marionc032 | | #8

        Yes, please do post some pics when the wall is complete! I'm eager to see the results of your labour. Sounds like an interesting project.Marion

        1. NRhodes | | #9

          Neil

          A hand-held steamer might be good to have (borrow?) on installation day.  That device will steam out any wrinkles you acquire while fussing with the fabric getting it onto the walls.  Since you are looking for an upholstered look, some give is necessary and you won't be able to pull things taut to eliminate any wrinkles from handling.  Just a thought...  

           

          Also, for the tufts...  staple the center and then nail/glue 'button' trim over the indentation.    Sewn buttons require access to the reverse side.

           

          Nancy R.

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