Open weave jute for the ceiling of my Mahalo Lounge — I find it at a great price (I think)

Yes, I have only one (decorating and blogging) thing on my mind these days: Driving toward completion of my Mahalo Lounge or at least toward the point when I can start serving cocktails with sufficient affect. What will I do with the ceilings? I already painted them, a kind of caramel color — Benajamin Moore Shelburne Buff — which reads nondescript in the photo above, but I assure you, does have some pigment to it. But the paint is just a place holder: I also want/need texture on the ceilings. There is so much of them — 45′ x 15′ of ceilings, in five beamed sections. With the ceilings commanding such attention, I must treat them as a “sixth wall”. Thinking and thinking and thinking, and looking and looking and looking, I finally found this open weave natural weave burlap on ebay (affiliate link). I think it might do the trick, adhered right on top of the paint.

The price was decent especially since the stuff is 84″ wide (the listing says 90″ but mine is 84″, which still works for me, although barely).

I believe that burlap is made from jute — which is great for a tiki bar. And, I love the wide weave of this pattern — it also reminds me of fishing nets.

I plan to run 15′ of the jute down each of of the three center sections of ceiling — no seaming of the jute fabric will be required as it’s 84″ wide and my widest panel is just under that.

The sections (4) above the bar and (5) in the dining room will get different treatments; stay tuned.

Getting the open weave jute up onto the ceilings it up is going to be some serious *therapy*.  Again, each will be adhered as one long piece — 15′ long and up to 84″ wide — and I’ll need to keep the lines straight, or it’ll look like a train wreck up there. This whole idea may turn out to be an impossible installation disaster. Or: If it works, genius — so much cheaper than grasscloth and maybe kinda cool what with the peek-a-boo jute weave over paint. If I get it to work, I’ll also add sea shells and stuff — surprising little assemblages — in the corners here and there and I’ll see what else I can come up with. If/when, that is.

I am going to try the liquid-starch-as-a-removable adhesive method. I am going to test first, though, in case there’s shrinkage. If you were hoping the big reveal of the Mahalo Lounge was close, gulp, me no think so.

Link love, again in case you missed it.:

Categoriestiki and bars
  1. Bette Jean says:

    After reading all of the comments, I think a textured paint treatment of some sort is best…easier to keep clean and no smell. There were 2 roller ideas and I’ve seen treatments where you cross hatch with a dry brush. The technique gives a denim look in blue, but in creams and tans it would look like burlap.

  2. Gwen says:

    I would look into spray adhesive like what would be used to adhere headliners in cars. This should reduce or eliminate the shrinkage problem that would be incurred by using liquid starch. It *might* also mitigate the smell factor. I would talk to car upholstery shops to see how difficult the process is in case its a ‘one shot’ deal with no room for error on installation. You would probably get some good technical ideas for large area installation also.

    That said, I wouldn’t want the dust factor on the ceiling. Liquid starching a solid fabric sounds like a better long-term idea. Or maybe doing a simple large leaf stencil?

  3. linoleummy says:

    The 3-dimensional effect is cool but I would worry about how it would be to clean. Could you get it to adhere enough to withstand dusting or light vacuuming or maybe even wiping off mai-tai?

    1. Diane in CO says:

      Whaaat? I have never heard of vacuuming or dusting a ceiling, short of a major drywall construction project! If Pam’s parties are wild enough to spill drinks on the ceiling she might want to rethink this whole project, LOL!

    2. linoleummy says:

      With white semi-gloss ceilings I’m no longer blissfully ignorant of what’s on the ceiling. “Stuff” happens. Luckily, after having a few of them landing on us, a batch of newly hatched spiders was spotted dispersing on the ceiling before they’d gotten much beyond one room. I think. With a fibrous 3D surface up there they could have all set up housekeeping.

  4. Jay says:

    I have been scrolling through the living room pictures you posted today. Several at the end feature a Tiki themed one with woven bamboo wainscoting. That might be something to consider for the ceiling, could be easier to work with but might appear too overpowering. The burlap is more subtle.

  5. lynda says:

    A friend that worked for Disney told me at the parks they went with the idea that if you could not touch it, it could be a fake Product. What about a faux grasscloth so it could easily be kept clean? (vinyl, I assume) I would second the smell of burlap would not be a good thing. I bet you could even find a vinyl burlap wall paper. It might be more money, but last a lot longer and easier to keep up.

  6. Allison says:

    My only experience with fabric on ceilings was many years ago when I used masses of inexpensive cheese cloth to create a draped-effect ceiling, swagging the cheesecloth from the edges and corners into an metal circle in the center of the room.

    It took forever to adjust, the fabric sagged and tightened with the relative humidity levels and my husband thought it looked like a giant mosquito net… which might be an appropriate look for a tiki lounge!

    Good luck, whatever you choose.

  7. Dan says:

    Maybe this is a job for the Appli-Kay paint roller in a burlap pattern!

    Barring that, at the least I think you will need to use strips of lath to hold the fabric in place as you go along. The problem is how to attach the lath to the ceiling so it holds, yet does no real damage and can be taken down easily.

    The frame idea is fine, but I can’t help thinking that no matter how tightly you stretch the fabric, it will still sag over time. A simple solution that may work is to lightly spritz the fabric with water; as the water evaporates, the burlap should tighten up, like hemp rope does.

  8. Robert says:

    I would have grasscloth wallcovering installed, Jute has an odor that really be a problem for you. As a designer I had to replace a clients drapery that was silk with a jute roping that smelled! Bad experience!

      1. Jay says:

        Well Pam, as you always say “Do your own research” but I just looked up burlap, a natural product, and it will have an odor that may or may not be noticeable. A steel support column in my basement is partially wrapped in thick rope and if I stick my nose to it I can detect a faint odor. Yesterday I learned that the idea of covering a ceiling in burlap is not uncommon; I thought you had a novel idea. I think you can come up with a method that works and won’t have you pulling your hair out.

  9. bptakoma says:

    So, we know you don’t want to deal with seams. But, rather than fighting to line up all those threads, why don’t you put it intentionally on the diagonal. Or diamond shaped panels within each block of ceiling. You could use rope or jute twine or such for trim over the section lines. Perhaps create a series of medallions in a diamond shape using tag board or dowels or something similar for the outer frames. A few well placed staples to hold it up and then maybe you could just roll on the starch to adhere the burlap.

Comments are closed.