How to Cover Paneling With Fabric

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    • 1). Remove any outlet covers on the walls with a screwdriver. Measure the width of your fabric (less the selvage), and subtract 1/4 inch. The selvage is the extra material along each side of the fabric that does not continue the pattern. Measure the height of the wall from the ceiling to the top of the baseboard and add two inches. Cut the first length of fabric based on these measurements.

    • 2). Determine the least visible corner and measure out from the corner the width of your fabric less 1/4-inch. Position a plumb bob at this mark and snap a chalk line down the wall. This will give you an accurate straight line since the paneling is likely to be uneven.

    • 3). Fold the top of the fabric over by one inch. Line up the printed fabric edge (not the selvage) with the chalk line on the side so that the folded edge of the top of the fabric is touching the ceiling. Staple the fabric to the paneling so the staples are horizontal to the ceiling. Smooth the fabric back toward the corner of the room and staple horizontally at the corner next to the ceiling. Before you staple all the way across the top, check the fabric pattern at the chalk line to make sure it stays straight. Staple every inch across the top of the fabric, keeping your staples in an even line.

    • 4). Fold the bottom of the fabric under and position the fabric pattern (not the selvage) over your bottom chalk mark. Pull the fabric tight and staple horizontally as close to the top of the baseboard as you can. Smooth the fabric across the wall toward the corner. You should have selvage material crossing the corner, but ignore it for now. Staple every inch across the bottom of the fabric, keeping the fabric smooth and your staples in an even line.

    • 5). Purchase 1-inch chipboard strips that are as long as possible from a printing company. You will need enough chipboard for every vertical seam around your room.

    • 6). Bring your fabric to your wall and match the pattern. Pin at the top (ceiling) and bottom fold (top of the baseboard). Take the fabric to a table and cut a panel. Measure the width of the printed fabric, then measure from the edge of the first printed panel. Use a plumb bob and snap a second chalk line.

    • 7). Fold the top edge of the fabric down by one inch. Place your second fabric panel face sides together over your first panel so that your selvage edge lines up. Take a chipboard strip and place it vertically starting at the ceiling along the line where the selvage becomes pattern. Fold the second fabric panel over the chipboard edge and check to see if the pattern matches between the two fabrics. Adjust the fabrics until they match. Staple the chipboard near the ceiling. Staple the chipboard vertically in a straight line. Fold the second panel back frequently to make sure the fabric patterns continue to match. The chipboard will give you a straight seam down the wall and join the two panels together.

    • 8). Staple the second panel along the top and bottom of the wall. Fit your next panel by matching the pattern to the other panels, cutting the fabric, drawing the chalk line, folding the top of the fabric down, inserting the chipboard, and matching the pattern again. Fold the bottom edge under by one inch and staple the top and bottom. Continue around the room, fitting around windows and doors.

    • 9). Finish in the same corner you started. You cannot staple the corner, so trim the last panel to a one-inch excess, fold the fabric under, and hot glue the fabric to the wall and corner. Cut rope trim and hot glue it around the ceiling and baseboard to cover the staples.

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