Tired of the bland eggshell color that tends to come on most rented apartment walls? Many an apartment dweller has eyed with envy the bold patterns of wallpaper or bright colors of paint that their home-owning brethren can avail themselves of.
But with a picky landlord and a strict lease, what can a renter do to spruce up those drab walls? Try one of these renter-friendly DIY apartment decor ideas, and add a pop of color to those yucky off-white walls.
Fabric With Liquid Starch
With this method, you’ll use long lengths of fabric instead of wallpaper, and liquid starch instead of wallpaper glue. Roll the liquid starch onto the walls using a roller, then apply the fabric just like wallpaper. Smooth out the air bubbles with a squeegee, and try to make sure there are no gaps between each length of fabric.
This long-known trick is often considered a tried and true fallback for creative renters, but it does come with a caveat. Some DIY divas have had trouble with residue and color sticking to the wall. Even if you pre-wash the fabric, expect the possibility that some fabric fuzz and pills may stick to the walls, requiring a lot of scrubbing, and occasionally bolder colored fabric may leach color onto the wall paint, and may never come off. This may be more likely to happen if the paint is a flat paint, rather than a semi-gloss scrubbable washable paint.
Wallpaper With Liquid Starch
This is a far more wall-friendly treatment. You’ll use the same application as the above technique, but you’ll use traditional wallpaper instead of fabric. It goes up easier than fabric, comes down just as easy, and leaves absolutely no residue.
As a bonus, you can reuse the wallpaper after you take it down. After removing the wallpaper, just use a damp sponge to wipe off any residue, and you’re on your way to getting that rental deposit back!
Peel And Stick Wallpaper
This temporary wallpaper is similar to Contact paper (the peel and stick shelf liner), but it’s made specifically for walls. It’s often used for decorating dorm room walls. It peels off easily and leaves no residue, and doesn’t damage the wall.
However, it is a single-use product. It can’t be reused once you pull it down, because it stretches and comes off misshapen. Aside from that one small drawback, along with the higher price point, temporary wallpaper is the perfect solution to those ho-hum walls.
Wrapping paper or gift wrap offers an endless array of colorful wall options. It may be the most useful in small areas, such as lining the inside of closets. Because it must be stuck to the wall using several clear or matching color tacks or push pins, it will leave small holes in the wall and could be noticed up close.
But if you don’t mind the tiny holes, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck, and at a reasonable price. Just make sure to use it in an area that won’t get wet or touched often, as wrapping paper can’t be cleaned, and will warp or tear if it gets wet.
By trying one of these DIY apartment decor ideas for your walls, you’ll be able to express your personality, brighten up your living space, and impress your fellow apartment dwellers with your innovative sense of style.