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Wall Refinishing


A reader sent in a request for information (yippee!) Here is their question:
I have walls that are rough. I am interested in upholstering them with fabric. How do I do that?

Answer:
I consulted with my favorite General Contractor on this one, my husband. He said you can
(a) sand the wall smooth. This may only work on a wall that is lightly textured. A heavier texture may too difficult and/or require a great deal of preparation.
(b) Spackle (fill with plaster/drywall mud) until smooth. (We did this in our own home, in order to refinish a wall in our office/loft.) This can be time consuming. You need to a good finisher, or an experienced "do-it-yourselfer."
(c) Cover the entire wall with a thin layer of gypsum board (drywall). This is a more expensive solution. Again, you’ll need a good finisher.
I would like to offer a fourth possibility,
(d) wrapping panels with fabric, and applying them to the wall. This is a method I have used in my commercial work. Fabric wrapped panels are typically used in conference/boardrooms. This type of installation can leave an obvious vertical seam. Fabric panels make an excellent service to hang presentation materials, and conceal the tack marks (assuming a suitable fabric is selected.) This is probably the most expensive solution. For home use, one might want to do one wall of a room. This would be great for a child’s room or recreation room. On the fabric wrapped surface you can hang "your budding artist’s" work, or your own artistic creations.

I also conducted a search on this topic, and found a great site with wall preparation guidelines. They give advice for rough surfaces, as well as other materials. Here is the link or URL: The Internet Wallpaper Store – Preparing Walls. (This is not a site I am affiliated with.)

I know some of my tips are long. This often can not be helped because different e-mail programs have different linking requirements. Therefore, I often end up providing long, multiple, URL’s. (Heaven forbid, software developers should get together and standardize e-mail. That will never happen.) I hope you understand.

Thanks,
Catherine Foust McGivern, NCIDQ Certified
Design Firm Principal



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