White walls: the bane of many renters’ existence. And while paint is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to instantly change the look and feel of any space, it is often off limits for many renters. Whether you’re not allowed to paint your walls or don’t want the hassle of re-painting before moving out, don’t consider yourself stuck with a bland space. Instead, try one of these totally temporary ways to add color and pattern to your walls without lifting a paintbrush!
1. Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Once impossible to find, temporary adhesive wallpaper is now available at specialty online shops (Spoonflower is a favorite) as well as places like Target and HomeGoods. Like wallpaper, these peel-and-stick versions can give you a lot of bang for your buck, and with the plethora of options now available, you can surely find something that matches your style. Keep in mind that these papers can be costly when installed in an entire room. Consider using just one or two rolls for a feature wall or room accent (as shown above).
2. Traditional Wallpaper
Don’t discount using regular wallpaper on your walls just because you’re a renter; just be sure to hang it in a renter-friendly way! Traditional wallpapers can oftentimes be less expensive than the peel-and-stick variety and easier to find. To hang it in a removable way, be sure you buy the non-pasted type of wallpaper and hang it using liquid starch. (Use this step-by-step tutorial to help you out!). Always test a patch on your walls to make sure it removes cleanly before doing your entire space!
3. Wrapping Paper
If you crave the look of wallpaper but can’t take on the cost or the work, use wrapping paper instead! Wrapping paper is the cheapest option out there for covering your walls, and because rolls often come 30” wide, you can typically get an entire wall done for less than $10! It’s also easy to hang: thumbtacks, double-stick tape and staples all do the trick! It’s important to note, however, that wrapping paper is the thinnest and most delicate paper option for your walls. Also, when using temporary hanging methods like tacks or tape, it won’t cling tightly to your walls the way peel-and-stick or traditional wallpapers will. As such, wrapping paper on the walls is best in low-traffic spaces or backs of closets.
4. Scrapbook Paper
When it comes to your walls, think beyond just rolls of paper! With some creativity, brightly colored paper from the craft store is all you need to give your space a jolt of color. Use masking tape and 12”x12” sheets of cardstock to make fun and interesting patterns. Folded or flat, stripes to random patterns, the possibilities are endless. Want to try this eye-popping paper feature? Check out the tutorial here!
Last but not least, fabric is another great way to get color and pattern on your walls without paint or the cost and labor of wallpaper. Fabric can be expensive, so keep your eye out for clearance bolts and sales. Also, it comes in widths of 44” to 60”, so pick a width that makes the most sense for your space.
There are a variety of ways to hang fabric on your walls. If holes in the wall aren’t an issue, a staple gun is the quickest and easiest method (used on the polka dot wall above).
Liquid starch is another great method for hanging fabric on the walls. This method allows for a true wallpaper-like finish but without any holes or damage to the walls. Need a step-by-step? Use this tutorial!
Lastly, fabric doesn’t have to be secured directly to the wall to make an impact in a space. If your bland room needs a major pop of color, consider wrapping fabric around a wooden frame or insulation sheets. Both are lightweight enough to hang on the wall and can quickly and easily come down when it’s time to move out!
If you are tired of the bland and boring walls in your rental but can’t paint, don’t despair! There are now lots of great products you can use to put some color and pattern on your wall. From peel-and-stick wallpaper to regular craft paper, the possibilities are endless! If you’re looking for even more ideas for your space, don’t overlook the power of art and try these creative ways to add color in other places than just the walls!