Dress up a side table with wallpaper for a splash of colour.
Spruce up spaces big and small by covering a plain boxy table with wallpaper. From feminine florals to bold graphic prints, experiment with designs that might be too intense on walls but perfect for a small vignette. You don't need to buy a fancy table (you're re-covering it anyway!) and you can use wallpaper remnants, so the project fits within a tight budget. Watch a video of this project now!
Materials and Tools
- Boxy table
- 1⁄2 roll of wallpaper
- Wallpaper paste
- Metal ruler
- Utility knife
Step 1: Find your table
Choose a square Parsons-style table without carvings or round legs, which would be too tricky to cover. I bought this cute self-assembly table for $70 (below). It’s much easier to paper each component separately, so don’t put the table together right away. If using a table you already own, unscrew the legs and drawers if possible. Give each piece a thorough sanding so the wallpaper will adhere.
Step 2: Select and prep wallpaper
A small-scale print, like this Greek-key geometric, or an abstract floral works best because the eye won’t notice a few mismatched seams. Cut individual sheets of wallpaper large enough to cover each piece of the table, adding 2" on all sides to account for shrinkage when it dries. If using paper that requires paste, you will need to “book” it first: apply paste to the sheet of wallpaper, then gently fold it in half without forming a crease and let it sit for the length of time directed by the manufacturer (usually, five to 15 minutes). The paper will absorb the paste and become more pliable.
Step 3: Cover your table
Wrap the wallpaper around the tabletop and legs much like you would a present. But instead of folding under corners, trim away the excess using a metal ruler and a sharp utility knife. Smooth out any air bubbles using a wallpaper scraper and let dry for at least two hours — it must be fully dried before you assemble the parts. The table I bought came with a glass top that protects the wallpaper from water marks. You can have a piece of glass cut to fit any table or cover the wallpaper with clear polyurethane for extra protection.
Expedit side table, Ikea; wallpaper, circle fabric (on pillow), Bilbrough & Co.; settee, artwork, rug, blue vase, dish, Elte; lamp, West Elm; wall and floor colour, Glass of Milk (MSL029), Martha Stewart Living; pillow sewing, MacFab.