Not Allowed To Paint? Don’t Sweat It, You Don’t Have To!

March 16, 2010
By Sara

Adding color or design to your walls is easier than you think. I know that as a renter, you are always wanting to paint but often times decide not to because you know you are not going to want to paint the wall back to white when you have to move out. And painting is not the cheapest home decor out there. It takes time and money, and if you want to look good, a little bit of skill can help, too.

The thing is, you do not have to paint your walls to spruce them up. You do not have to leave them a blank white slate either. There are a few cost-friendly, no-paint ways you can spruce up your walls and still keep it simple when it comes to moving time.

  • Wall Decals (my personal favorite): These pieces of vinyl wall art come in a multitude of forms – shapes, abstract designs, objects, stripes, etc. – and are as easy to take down as they are to hang up. The best part? They look like you have created a painted masterpiece on your wall!
  • Framed Art: Check out discount home goods stores, arts and crafts stores or art websites. You can usually find good deals or at the very least, a promotion going on every now and then. If the art comes in a frame, great. If not, check out the dollar store for frames – I have found some good looking frames on more than one occasion, and for only $1, you can’t go wrong!
  • Paintings: You might be thinking paintings are expensive. The truth of the matter is, professional paintings are quite pricey. But that is why we have arts and crafts stores. Pick up a canvas or two of your own, some small tubes of paints in colors you like, and a few paintbrushes. Have a night of fun either on your own or with friends, and make your own paintings! Take inspiration from your favorite design websites or blogs, from the things you already have in the room, or just from the ideas floating in your head. The cool thing about painting for decor is you don’t have to be great at it–think of all the abstract pieces you could paint. When friends or family visit and comment on the great decor, you’ll be able to give yourself a pat on the back and say, “Thanks, I painted those myself!” You will feel good about yourself and your visitors will surely be impressed.
  • Large decorative plants: Tall bamboo in a vase, large indoor plants, ficus trees–there is a world of options when it comes to indoor decorative plants. Not only will these things add decor, but they’ll also add a fresh and natural feel to the room.
  • Photographs: I know, who takes the time to print their photos anymore? Not many people do now since we keep everything in our beloved digital world. But what about some of those old photos you have from when you used to get doubles of every roll of film you developed? Or what about some of those photos on your computer that really would be nice to have a print of? Make a photo collage or make a large print of a nature setting–go through all of your photos and get your creative wheels spinning. Color, black and white, sepia tones, play with Photoshop and adjust some colors–turn the photos into decor and create pieces that will go perfectly with the space you are decorating.
  • Fabric: Want your whole wall to have a design? Measure your wall and head to the fabric store. Get a beautiful piece of fabric and you can hang it on the wall. The whole wall will be beautiful and covered in color/design, all without paint! Definitely a cool, creative (and easy!) alternative to paint.
  • Tall furniture: If you want functional design, get large pieces of furniture that will take up some wall space. Maybe a book case is a good option, and when you fill it up, take time to arrange things in an artful way that is appealing to the eye. You don’t necessarily have to work with the wall; instead, you can work furniture that sits against the wall. Don’t forget about the simple ways to navigate through the world of design and decor.

This is just the beginning of what can be done to spruce up your walls without paint. What have you done to make your space your own, while keeping it simple and stress-free?

When you are renting and trying to keep it simple, especially if you are moving around a lot, remember there are lots of options that are easy to design, easy to put up in each new location, and most importantly, easy to take down.

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