How to Decorate Walls Without Paint


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In an apartment, your decorating options are often limited. You want a welcoming, well-decorated space, but you don’t always want to have to repaint when you move out – assuming you’re allowed to paint at all. Knowing how to cover walls without paint comes in handy, so you can still add a lot of pop to your living space without having to turn to the tedious (and sometimes uncompromising) task of painting.

How to decorate walls without painting

There are many ways to cover walls without painting. When exploring alternatives to painting the walls, it is helpful to keep a few points in mind. Consider the following as you begin to research your options for this project:

  • How many walls do you want to cover? A bold accent wall can provide a more satisfying effect than covering all the walls in the room.
  • Where will you place the furniture? If you’ve just moved in, think about which walls are best suited for wall coverings and which areas might be blocked off by a sofa, bookshelf, or other large object.
  • What colors complement your decor? Choosing a bright accent that contrasts with your other decor is often the best bet, as opposed to a matching look.

Alternatives to painting walls

If you are looking to decorate walls without painting, there are many approaches to consider. Explore the following options to find the best alternative to wall painting for your living space.

1. Removable stickers

Removable stickers are a great way to decorate walls without painting. You can find peel-and-stick designs that suit almost any theme, like a whimsical array of confetti dots (strategically placed to cover imperfections on the walls), a floor-to-ceiling forest scene, or a modern silhouette of a cityscape. . Spend some time online browsing through different removable wall stickers for a more complete idea of ​​how you can use these wall painting alternatives.

2. Washi tape

Washi tape is similar to the idea of ​​removable stickers, but this alternative to painting the walls gives you a little more artistic leeway. You can arrange the Washi tape in stylish stripes, use it to create small Xs on walls, create a checkered print, and more. Using Washi tape is one of the more time-consuming options on the list, but it can allow for a lot of creativity if you want to make sure your living space is unlike any other. The tape will stay in place when not disturbed, but pulls off easily when it’s time to move.

3. Fabric

If you are looking for warm and cozy ways to decorate walls without painting, fabric is a great option. The quick and easy way to install fabric wall coverings is to simply staple them to your walls. Using staples only creates small holes that you can easily fill in before you move. Pull the fabric taut on the wall and start with a staple in each corner. Add additional staples along the edges as needed to prevent the fabric from sagging. This provides a look similar to wallpaper, with a richer, more textured appeal.

4. Floor-to-ceiling curtains

Floor-to-ceiling curtains provide another warm way to decorate a wall without paint. Simply hang a curtain rod along the top of the wall and use long curtains to completely cover the available wall space. Hanging curtains add more depth to the room than if you simply staple the fabric to the wall. It also gives you the flexibility to arrange the swaths elegantly with the appropriate drape.

You can even hang these curtains in areas where you want to temporarily cover a feature like television. You can close the curtains for decorative appeal when you’re not watching TV and open them indoors on movie night.

5. Large textiles

If you’re looking for alternatives to painting apartment walls that only take up part of the wall space, consider hanging textiles. A tapestry, quilt, or weave is a great option that allows you to add an artistic touch to your living space. Use a single tapestry as the centerpiece of your living space, or hang several to cover walls without paint.

6. Peel and stick wallpaper

Wallpaper gets a bad rap because the traditional form of this wallcovering involved a sticky mess that was nearly impossible to remove cleanly. Today you can use simple self-adhesive wallpaper to decorate a wall without painting. By using wallpaper, you can add a single color to a wall, just like you can with paint. This wall painting alternative gives you one of the closest approximations to actual painting.

7. Large canvas paintings

When you want to make a big statement with your wall coverings, it is important to use oversized features. While a great original piece of art can cut your budget, you can get around this problem by creating the artwork yourself. Consider painting a simple pattern or a color block pattern on one or more large pieces of canvas. Hanging them on the walls of your apartment will add a truly original touch to your living space.

8. Mirrors

Mirrors are a classic tool for making a small living space like a studio feel bigger. If you want to give a small apartment a more spacious feel, hanging large mirrors can be the perfect way to cover a wall without painting. Consider positioning them in front of a window so that you can reflect a beautiful view and lots of natural light while expanding the look and feel of your living space.

You can select a striking alternative to painting the walls or use a bold combination of these strategies for an eye-catching effect. Don’t be afraid of big statements in small spaces. Sometimes you will get the best impact from a full effect in the bathroom or other compact space. Whether you’re working on an accent wall or turning all your walls into a masterpiece, there are plenty of ways to personalize your apartment without putting paint on the walls. Our 30 favorite home decor bloggers usually have some great tips!

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