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Alternatives to Painting Your Apartment

Updated on August 31, 2013
My bedroom has one pink wall.  I used a pair of old Georgette curtain panels and put them on the wall using nothing more than tacs.   Tip:  Do NOT use candles near the wall when using fabric.
My bedroom has one pink wall. I used a pair of old Georgette curtain panels and put them on the wall using nothing more than tacs. Tip: Do NOT use candles near the wall when using fabric.

Apartments are great but have limitations to what you can do to them. One thing is you can't paint them how you want unless you are willing to repaint them back to their original state before you move out. Who has the time?

There are so many alternatives to painting walls if you have the imagination. Here are some great ideas:

Wall Decals/Removable Wallpaper

They stick on like tape and peel away when you're ready to move out without the mess of paste and stick back on when you move into your new place. There are tons of beautiful selections to choose from, everything from modern design to flower and functional trees that you can even hang family photos from.

Removable wallpapers come in large sizes for walls, solid colors or landscapes, modern designs, and even indoor rooms to make your wall look like an extension into another room or balcony.

Cons: They can get expensive.

Tip: If you get a full wall of wallpaper, you can always trim it and leave a frame around it so the wall shows through. It doesn't have to be exactly measured corner to corner, since they are priced by size, maybe you can get a smaller one for that larger wall and it will still look great.


I love all fabrics but for walls, my favorite is Georgette. Some are beautifully embroidered in gold threads, others just plain solid colors. Georgette is thick, crinkly and drapes well, adding a sensual flow and texture to any room.

Cons: Georgette is not cheap.

Tip: There are fabrics that resemble Georgette that are not as pricey. Go to your local fabric store and literally feel them out. You might even get away with a nice Poly blend.

Curtain Panels

They can be found anywhere. Don't forget to check your local Thrift Store or Salvation Army and outlet stores. That's where I found mine shown in the picture.

Cons: If you do get them from thrift stores, wash first. If there is no tag, hand wash. You don't want them shrinking if you're not sure what the fabric is and you want to keep it hygienic.

Tip: You don't have to have a draping effect. You can pull the fabric taut and cover the wall.


They make the room look bigger, add texture and lighting, especially if you have lots of yummy candles around. Look around for cheap ones at your local thrift stores or yard sales.

Cons: They get expensive if you buy them new and will be heavy. Remember to check your apartment's walls, since most tend to use drywall. Drywall will not hold up heavy items and will need special nails called Molly anchors, which are not easy to remove.

Tip: They don't have to be the same size unless that's what you like. I would put up different shapes and sizes while maintaining a cohesion in symmetry.

Another great tip is when you are ready to move out and you find yourself with holes all over your walls, a great trick is toothpaste to fill those in, but only if your walls are white. I tend to use flour and water mixture because it's not really white when it dries, it's an off white that matches better and it gets harder once it dries, which makes a better blend to the wall's texture.

Make your apartment your own and never let the lease limit your creativity.


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