This project took SO much longer than I expected it to, with delay after delay. I didn’t want to risk getting all that plaster or mortar dust on the fabric though, so the wait was totally worth it. Here’s an in-process photo of our front hallway makeover:
Let’s step back for a moment and review the progress that was made leading up to that photo. Remember where we started with the front hall many months ago? All that gold practically begging to be taken off the wall?
When we took down all the paper, we found that the plaster was in decent shape but wasn’t smooth enough to just be painted. Plaster repair would take forever (HA!), which is why I decided to go with fabric. I’d seen some awesome posts of other people putting fabric on their walls, and I’ve put fabric on my walls at school for years. Despite everyone I talked to’s strange looks, I decided to go for it!
When we finally set to work on installing the fabric, it went pretty quickly. We measured out the strips of material, and Mom ironed a seam at the top. I trimmed the excess threads from the sides so they wouldn’t show through where there was overlap.
Then we started stapling. Most of the tutorials I’d read online involved copius amounts of corn starch and water, but I wanted to try just using staples, which is what I’ve always done at school. Much less messy and much less risk of damage to the wood floors from dripping cornstarch water. Initially we used a regular stapler, which was fine, but I didn’t consider that the lip at the edge of the stapler meant each staple was about 1/4 inch from the ceiling. I actually ended up replacing all those staples with staple gun staples because they could get right up to the edge.
Mom and I alternated holding the fabric and stapling it, making sure to fold over the visible edges to staple underneath and pull the fabric really tight. We also found that using push pins really helped with the placement. We’d pin the material up initially, check that it looked straight, then staple every inch or two.
We generally went from top to bottom, trying to pull tightly and keep the fabric as straight as possible – that was a bit of a challenge!
Once all the fabric was up, Tony installed the molding around the chimney, since the plaster we removed left a sizable gap between the brick and the rest of the wall. At some point after Christmas all that trim will be caulked and finished with a final coat of paint. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially with relatives coming to visit! While Tony worked on the wood trim, I installed trim on the fabric to hide all the staples.
The trim material was actually the stuff you’d cover with fabric to create cording on a pillow or couch cushion, but the natural color matched the wall fabric exactly! And bonus, it was only 56 cents per yard! Being that I had about 50 yards to cover, and I could use my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby, it was a pretty good deal! Using a cool melt glue gun, I just added a drop of glue every few inches and pressed the cording against it.
My cousin gave me the best compliment the other day when she commented that the hall was now so light and open. That’s exactly what I was going for! I love the deep red that travels up the stairs, but when paired with the gold, the whole room was so dark. I was so glad to hear her say that my goal had been accomplished!
Most of the decor pieces went right back where they were before, some with a few alterations. This silver frame used to be open, so I added the backing and painted it to set off the initial with our marriage certificate covering it.
I love a good before and after photo, and this project makes for a good one!