No Paint Allowed? 5 Options for Temporary Wall Coverings

Temporary wallpaper adds a splash of color to any room without permanently altering the wall.

Temporary wallpaper adds a splash of color to any room without permanently altering the wall.

Adding some color to your apartment can be tough when you can’t paint, hang wallpaper, or retile. How do you make a place feel like yours when you’re limited to temporary décor?

Fortunately, there are some ultra-cool products out there that can make your rental feel like home sweet home – without doing any permanent damage. Here are a few that we love:

1. Temporary wallpaper

Also called strippable or peelable wallpaper, this decorative accent works just like regular wallpaper, only it peels away from walls easily without leaving a residue behind. The adhesive is about as strong as a Post-It.

You can buy temporary wallpaper at big-box home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot, paint stores like Sherwin-Williams, or online. The only downside: It’s expensive. You can expect to pay around $100 for each 8-foot-tall, 25-inch-wide panel. But you can cut down on the cost by papering accent walls instead of an entire room.

2. Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles

Peel-and-stick tiles are one option to add some temporary color to your kitchen.

Peel-and-stick tiles are one option to add some temporary color to your kitchen.

Don’t like your apartment’s kitchen backsplash? Cover it up with peel-and-stick tiles or panels, available in a wide variety of styles at home improvement stores. Cut them to fit your space with scissors or a utility knife, and clean them with a soft cloth. They’ll peel off the wall easily, leaving no residue, when you move out or redecorate.

An 18-by-24-inch panel will cost you around $20.

3. Fabric

You have two options here: You can stretch your fabric tightly over the wall, then secure it using thumbtacks or small nails; or you can buy inexpensive foam boards that are as tall as your walls, cover them with fabric, then attach the boards to the wall. Either way, you can add a splash of color and texture to any wall without changing anything permanently.

Costs will vary depending on the size of your apartment, how many walls you cover, and what kind of fabric you use.

4. Curtains

No one has to know there’s not a window behind it! Attach an ordinary curtain rod to your wall, near the ceiling, and hang some cool fabric that reaches all the way down to the floor. Again, how much you’ll spend depends on how big the wall is and what kind of fabric you choose.

5. Make your own art

Time to get creative! Buy some big canvasses and create your own paintings, or shop thrift stores for some inexpensive pictures and make a collage on your wall. It’s a surefire way to make your apartment décor one-of-a-kind. Just be sure to hang heavy objects on a stud, not the drywall, and spackle the holes when it’s time to move out.

Want more decorating ideas? Check out all our Inspiration and Style posts here.

How have you decorated your walls in your apartment? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Photo credits: Shutterstock / Kasia Bialasiewicz; Flickr / naz66

2 thoughts on “No Paint Allowed? 5 Options for Temporary Wall Coverings

  1. You can use liquid starch on a piece of fabric, while wet, you position the fabric to the wall. When time to remove it or change color, just pull it off wall! No damage to fabric or wall, just rinse off wall with sponge.

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