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How to Use Wall Coverings as Accents

Explore some of the other types of wall coverings on the market -- and some of their many uses besides just papering walls.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

add decorative look to switchplate covers

Step 1: Use Wallpaper to Dress up Cabinet Faces

After newly wallpapering a kitchen, cut any leftover wallpaper to fit inside the cabinet face (Image 1). Apply the paper the same way as for the walls, by booking it, then applying it to the front of the cabinet.

Use trim that has been stained to match the cabinets to frame the four edges of the new wallpaper, adhering the trim with a glue gun (Image 2).

Step 2: Paint Textured Wallpaper

Paintable textured wallpaper is especially good for borders or chair rails. Some options:

  • Lightly roll over the paper with a paint roller to apply paint only to the raised texture on the paper, keeping the background white (Image 1).

  • Apply paint with heavy pressure, to coat all of the paper with color. Then dab the paper with a damp rag to remove some of the paint and reveal raised highlights (Image 2).

  • Use two paint colors to create a unique look (Image 3).

Tip: Paint the textured paper with a metallic paint (copper or silver) to achieve a "metal tile roof" effect on ceilings.

Step 3: Give a Classier Look to Switchplate Covers

For a decorative look to switchplate covers (Image 1), use the covers as a guide, add 2"-3" on each side and cut out a piece of wallpaper. Make sure that the selected piece of paper matches the design surrounding the outlet.

Center the switchplate cover on the paper and fold the paper over it as if you're wrapping a gift (Image 2), tucking in the edges.

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