Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Burlap Walls Follow Up

Remember my Burlap Walls post? Remember how I said I had to find a way to get the wrinkles out? I think I have. I also think I found a better way to hang I considered and for some reason decided not to do (stupid me).

Have you ever hung fabric on a wall with liquid starch? I read about this years ago when I was a newly wed living in an apartment desperately wanting to paint but couldn't. You can apply any fabric to the walls with liquid starch and it will peel right off when you're ready to take it down! And you thought starch was only for ironing white oxfords!

Let's revisit my powder room:

See the wrinkles? Ugh!

Like that mirror? I think I'll be doing a tutorial on that soon.

For the most part, I was happy with my walls. But those wrinkles have been driving me batty. I've racked my brain for a way to get rid of them. I tried:
  1. ironing
  2. steaming - NOT a good idea...makes it stretch and loosen up
  3. spraying with water...which worked but caused discoloration
  4. LIQUID STARCH?! Let's give it a go.
I realized I'd made a big mistake when I didn't TRY this. I assumed (and you know what they say!) that if misted water caused discoloration, so would liquid starch. Wrong (sort-of)! Even if it does, if you apply it all over like you should, the discoloration is even and I can assure you very slight if at all. When I was applying my fabric to the inside of my drawers on the French Sideboard Redo, I did a test with liquid starch on some burlap (because it was laying there) to see if it would stick and actually stay up. Guess what? It's freaky how well it works! Heavy Spray starch is good for fickle people...comes off easier, but doesn't have the same holding power as the liquid.

There is just one little drawback to using starch...your fabric could shrink SIGNIFICANTLY! The beautiful French script fabric I used was a linen/cotton blend and I cut it to size then put it in the drawers. When I came back later after the starch had dried, it'd shrunk by literally half an inch each direction! Lesson learned.

Yikes! Serious Shrinkage! This won't do.

Re-cut with extra half inch each way!

Liquid starch just poured in and spread liberally if working on a flat horizontal surface.

But this could be a good thing. My fabric is slighly loose on the walls, so some shrinkage could be a blessing. Am I scared to try it?! OF COURSE! If I screw it up, the hubby is going to freak because once again I'll be in there redoing that powder room. (This is why I did such a small room.)

We interrupt this post to allow the hostess to go and try this little experiment. She will be back shortly with the results..........(*cue elevator music).....

I'm back! And guess what....IT WORKED (I think)! What I mean is, I used spray starch first because I was lazy in a hurry for it to dry, and it took the wrinkles out perfect! But, it kind of rippled some in areas where I hadn't gotten it as wet as others. So, I went back with the liquid and brushed it on those areas. I'm waiting on it to dry, but I know if one worked, the other will.

Funny story: Hubby walked in and had a near heart attack as he started yelling for me to come in there! He thought a pipe had broken in the wall! I felt bad but... it was all I could do not to bust out laughing! He looked at me and said, "PLEASE give me a heads up when you're going to do something like that!" Here's what he saw:)

It does look like a pipe burst, doesn't it?! (LOL!)

Ready to see the results? I'm so excited I can barely contain myself! I was so afraid I'd mess it all up, but that rarely stops me from trying something (unless A LOT of money is involved). There was shrinkage, so do a test strip first or leave yourself an extra inch each direction to play it safe. To make a test strip, lay it on a board, draw an outline all the way around, then soak in starch and let dry. Then remeasure to see how much extra fabric to add to your measurements. When hanging it on a vertical surface, soak it in a bowl, wring it out, and then hang.

All right, check it out:

Provided it's dry tomorrow, I'll take another pic and add it to the post probably before most of you read this. In the meantime, I did take a pic of one of the areas that's been driving me mad that is dry. Notice...the wrinkles are gone! This was done with just the spray starch. The upper part is where I had to pull out
the big guns.

"By George, I think I've got it!"

Miss Bee


  1. Looks like you figured it out. I love the burlap. Adds such nice texture.

  2. OMGosh, your walls are gorgeous. I ♥ burlap Ü Soooo much work, but the end result is stunning.

    Thanks for visiting me over at Pittypat Paperie and leaving the nice comment. I hope you will drop by again sometimes Ÿ

  3. Okay ... I truly admire your drive and, your burlap walls are fantastic !! I'd be so scared to attempt the liquid starch ... worked like a charm, though. And, LOL ... I shouldn't laugh about your hubs, but it truly did look like a pipe had burst in the pic you shared !!

  4. did you actually hang the burlap on the wall with the liquid starch or did you have to use some other adhesive?

    1. It's been a little while, but if I remember correctly, I used a staple gun to fasten it to the wall. Start at the top, then bottom, then sides pulling smooth... working from the center out and smoothing as I went. I then went back and used spray starch liberally all over and smoothed it. When dry, it fits pretty tight and smooth against the wall.

  5. I love, love, love it! We're about to cover the front of our big, curved island with burlap. I saw a comment on about painting burlap--any thoughts? I can't find any other information on it.

  6. This is a very good tip especially to those
    new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one.

    A must read post!

    my blog post - go there

  7. The spraying down the walls is most definitely something I would have done with NO pre warning. LOL
    I am putting burlap on my walls today ,so I pulled up tutorials. I was thinking about putting spray adhesive. Who knows if this will work or not. I will let readers know. I will try and post pics.

  8. Have you or anyone else used wall paper glue? If so please let me know the results. How about Mod Podge Fabric or regular? I worry about using starch and hot gluing wood pics on to it. Thanks

  9. Earn FREE bitcoins at Easy Bitcoin Faucet. Up to 33 satoshis every 10 minutes.


One of the highlights of each day is hearing from my readers!

Follow Me on Pinterest