Can't Paint Your Home? Try These 5 Paint-Free Alternatives Instead

Apartment dwellers, this one’s for you.

Renting an apartment or house is a cost-effective option for anyone who's making their first foray into the real estate world or moving somewhere new—No home remodeling costs! No cost of selling a house to worry about!—but living in a temporary space can cramp anyone's interior design game. Although you pay a monthly rent, someone else ultimately owns the property and your rental agreement dictates what you can and cannot do to the space. Chances are, you can't drill big holes into the walls, add a carpet to your bedroom, or replace your kitchen's awful backsplash.

Perhaps the most disappointing consequence of living in a rental is not being able to paint your space with the interior paint colors of your dreams. Whether you select a pristine white, a palette of trusty neutral paint colors, or a soothing blue, the color of your walls can significantly influence the overall feel of a room.

But just because you can't paint your rental doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your style. Here are five easy alternatives to painting walls, whether it's because of time restraints, cost worries, or landlord rules.

Alternatives to Painting Walls for Renters, Removable Wallpaper
Getty Images
01 of 05

Temporary Paint

If you like the look of a freshly painted wall, you're going to love TemPaint. This company sells adhesive wall-coverings in bright, beautiful hues. Simply stick them onto your walls and you'll have a seemingly painted room—minus the odors or extensive dry time. Plus, when you decide to move out of your place—or are ready for a new color—just peel off your "paint."

02 of 05

Removable Wallpaper

Want to spice up your space with some prints? Perhaps removable wallpaper is more your speed. Similar to temporary paint, most removable wallpaper brands have an easy-to-use, peel-and-stick application. Available in tons of fun patterns, it's a great way to give your home an eye-catching statement wall. Check out a few of our favorite sources for removable wallpaper: Chasing Paper, Tempaper, and Hygge & West.

03 of 05


Maybe you're not too concerned with adding a fun color or pattern to your walls, but want to give your room some more texture. If you're up for a DIY project, pick up a few rolls of fabric.

You can stretch fabric along your wall and secure it along the perimeter with tiny nails or pushpins that will barely leave a mark. Alternatively, you can cover foam boards that are just as tall as your room and attach those to your walls. Either way, you'll wind up with a cool wall covering for a steal.

04 of 05

A Gallery Wall

A custom gallery wall is a fun way to personalize your space and make it yours. Put your favorite Kodak moments on display by adorning your walls with photo frames of all shapes and sizes. Not only will this give your home a personal touch, but you can also attach each frame with removable adhesive strips.

If you don't want to dive headfirst into a DIY project, companies like Framebridge and Desenio will do the legwork for you, and plan a truly photogenic gallery wall; all you have to do is hang it up.

05 of 05

A Tapestry

Artwork is a great way to show off your personal style and give your walls some extra love. However, some pieces might be too heavy for adhesive strips and need to be professionally mounted. That's where tapestries come in. These wonderfully woven pieces are surprisingly lightweight, and many styles can be easily hung from a hook with a removable adhesive backing. Since tapestries aren't as ubiquitous as, say, a print of Monet's famous water lilies, they'll act as a perfect conversation starter, too.

Search for one-of-a-kind tapestries on Etsy and Anthropologie, and find affordable options at Urban Outfitters.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles