25 Alternatives to Painting Walls

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Your walls are the canvas that allows you to express yourself. In case you can paint your wall because you are renting a home or you’re looking for alternatives to painting your walls, check out these other fun things you can do instead:

1. Wallpaper

Wallpapers are a popular choice for decorating your walls. Recently, manufacturers have made it easier in case you want to do it yourself, by using peel-of-and-stick-on wallpapers.

Pros: Easy to install and remove, doesn’t damage the wall and paints, comes in various colors and designs.

Cons: Can be costly especially if you customise the design, might peel off too easily when something is rubbed against it.

2. Masking tape

Masking tape might seem simple and plain, but they are often used to create fun designs and patterns on nurseries and kids’ rooms. You can also use washi tape, a popular Japanese masking tape that comes with hundreds of colorful designs.

Pros: Cheap and comes with various designs and colors to choose from.

Cons: Can easily come off and can take time to assemble them all on your wall.

3. Wall art (with removable wall hooks)

Unleash your inner artsy self by installing art on an otherwise plain wall. It will add an accent or pop of color and can even make for a great conversation starter. If you install them with removable wall hooks, you can also change them when you get tired of them.

Pros: Will make your place look really classy and you can find various kinds anywhere.

Cons: Can be expensive and need to be maintained from time to time.

4. Wall decals

Wall decals or wall stickers or wall vinyl are often used in nurseries and playrooms. Nevertheless, they can be placed on the walls of other rooms around your home as they are able to match almost any theme you might have, depending on the sticker.

Pros: They don’t damage your walls and are easy to stick up and take down.

Cons: Color color fades over time, sticker is easy to remove and can quickly come off even when you don’t want it to.

5. Tile transfers (stickers for your tiles)

Tile transfers or wall tiles are like decals that you can add to otherwise boring tiles (e.g. in the kitchen or bathroom). They add a pop of color or an accent to your tiled walls without having to refurbish the entire wall.

Pro: Various styles, designs, and colors. Perfect if you want to add a pop of color/accent.

Cons: Easy to add on but the longer they are left on the wall, the harder it is to remove.

6. Stretched fabrics and tapestries

Tapestries are often associated with castles and churches, but these days, they don’t necessarily come with royal or religious designs. More modern tapestries feature landscapes, maps, and mandalas among many others.

Pros: Cheap come with unique designs. You can also opt to have them customized.

Cons: Challenging to mount them as they will need pins, nails, and other mounting tools. Hard to clean.

7. Bookcases and/or shelves

If you’ve got a lot of books, you can opt to line your walls with shelves. They look great and you don’t need to buy that many items other than bookshelves. They also make a nice-looking backdrop if you have video calls. You can also opt to put hanging shelves.

Pros: Come in various sizes and styles so you’ll definitely find something that suits your home.

Cons: If you have a long wall, you might have to purchase a lot of shelves. Can also be a bit challenging to clean if you have a lot of books.

8. Storage cabinets

You might want to consider putting built-in storage cabinets on your walls. If you have decorative pieces, you can display them on the open shelves. The closed cabinets can be used to store things that you want easy access to.

Pros: Look great (if you are able to get the right design), can offer you the extra storage you need.

Cons: Can be very expensive. If they are built-in, they are permanent, so you have to decide if this is something you want on your walls for the rest of your life.

9. Wall-length curtains

If you’ve got dreadful-looking paint that you can’t paint over, you can cover them up with wall-length curtains. They come in various styles, colors, and patterns so it will be easy to find something that matches with your room’s theme. It can also make your room look bigger.

Pros: Various styles, colors, designs to choose from. It can add decoration and complement your room’s theme.

Cons: If you have a big wall, there’s a chance that the curtain won’t cover all of it. You also need to be prepared to buy curtain rods and other mountain pieces and mount the curtain yourself.

10. Plywood sheets

If you want to give your wall a woodsy feel, you can line it with plywood sheets. You can also place plywood sheets on your wall and then place wallpaper on top of them, in case you don’t have the liberty to paint your wall or place anything directly on it.

Pros: Cheap and easy to get.

Cons: Needs tools to secure it.

11. Lights

Mounting your wall with lights is becoming a popular trend. Adding lights complements the room and sets the mood of a room. You can also choose between various types of fixtures and colors.

Pros: Gives you extra light and sets the mood of your room.

Cons: You will need to change bulbs regularly and if you use it regularly, it will definitely increase your electricity bill.

12. Climbing plants

If you have a green thumb or want to bring a little bit of nature indoors, you can cover your wall with climbing plants or garlands. There are so many different kinds to choose from and they are easy to find. You can get them online or even in craft shops or department stores.

Pros: Many different styles and they are easy to install and remove. They can also make your room look cool and fresh because of their nature aspect

Cons: Can be expensive and the cheaper ones might get easily damaged. Depending on how your room looks, it might also not complement the decor.

13. Pallets

A pallet wall is a bunch of wood slabs stacked up one on top of the other. They give your room a rustic, country feel and it is easy to put up. It will look great if you have a boho- or rustic-themed room.

Pros: Inexpensive and easy to install.

Cons: It’s not something that would look great on every wall. Best to use it as an accent for a part of your room.

14. Chalkboard wall

Chalkboard walls are fun because, not only does it give off a cool vibe, but it is pretty useful too. You can write or sketch various things on it, from reminders to grocery lists and more. Plus, every time you get tired of the design, you can change it.

Pros: Fun, versatile, and very useful. It is also inexpensive.

Cons: You’ll have to mount it on the wall yourself. If you have kids, make sure they don’t lick the chalk off the wall.

15. Bricks

If you are a fan of the industrial look, you might want to get bricks to line the walls of your house. You can use either real bricks or faux brick products or even a brick-design tile.

Pros: It looks great for industrial-style homes. It is also easy to attach and is inexpensive (for brick-design tiles).

Cons: If you opt for real bricks, they can cost a lot more, especially if you have a big wall. You also have to consider the labor that goes to putting them up yourself or the cost of hiring someone to do it for you.

16. Japanese shoji screens

Japanese shoji screens are translucent folding screens that usually act as a room divider. They provide privacy and diffuse light. If you want your room to look unique and artistic, you can cover your wall with Japanese shoji screens. If you want it to look even more impressive, you can set it up so that it is backlit and add a little design for added effect.

Pros: Japanese shoji screens are really beautiful. They are also somewhat easy to come by and are rather affordable because they have been able to manufacture more of these.

Cons: They don’t look good with just any room decor.

17. Folding screens

Folding screens are portable so you can rearrange them from time to time to make your room look fresh and new. You can also opt to hang up photos to create a gallery effect or even use a transparent design with a lamp at the back to create an accent.

Pros: Easy to get and you can even get some second-hand styles online or in vintage shops.

Cons: Not that stable and can topple if a kid or pet runs into them.

18. Graffiti

Graffiti can be fun and give off that edgy urban style. It’s a perfect alternative to painting a wall completely, especially for a teenager’s room. Plus, you can go with any design you want to fit with the decor you have.

Pros: Fun to do and cheap—all you need are spray paints.

Cons: Challenging if you don’t know what to do. You can either practice until on cardboard first, or commission an experienced graffiti artist (which might cost you a bit).

19. Repurposed wood

Do you have old wood lying about? Instead of tossing it into the fireplace or leaving it outside to rot, you can gather it and create an accent on your wall. It will give off a cozy rustic style that will look great for your bedroom or living room.

Pros: Gives off a great rustic, homey fee and is also inexpensive.

Cons: If you’re going to do this yourself, it can take some time. You will also need the right kinds of tools to make it and mount it.

20. Metal sheets / tin tiles

Metal sheets or tin tiles are often associated with bathrooms and kitchens. Nevertheless, they work just as well with bedrooms and living rooms. You can get some that are self-adhesive and that will add a beautiful accent to your wall. You can also opt to use one pattern for the whole wall or mix and match designs for a more unique feel.

Pros: Pretty cheap and come with various designs for you to choose from.

Cons: You have to be careful when you install them as they can be pretty sharp and cut you.

21. Post-It notes

If you live in a dorm room or are renting out an apartment and want to look for a way to dress up your walls because you aren’t allowed to paint over them, you can use Post-It notes. You can create a specific design or a patterned wall or just stick them randomly. You can also cover them with inspirational quotes and notes to motivate yourself.

Pros: Cheap and easy to get and aren’t permanent so you don’t have to start all over again if you make a mistake. You can also remove them anytime you want to.

Cons: Some of them aren’t really sticky, so you might want to add a bit of poster putty when you put them up.

22. Mirrors

Mirrors make great decorative pieces. They bring in the light and give a room a larger feel. You can opt to use a big statement mirror or smaller mirrors with a pattern. There are even mirrors that come with decorative borders and fun shapes.

Pros: Add light to your room and make it look bigger. They can also make your room look really classy.

Cons: Can be pretty expensive especially if you’ll go for the big statement mirrors or the ones with unique designs.

23. Photographs

Placing up family photos or other favorite pictures is a great way to decorate your wall. You’ll be able to see memories of them everyday and they’re easy to attach and put up.

Pros: Simple and easy to put up, several options to choose from, varied in sizes, colors, designs.

Cons: Need to buy hanging supplies; individual frames can cost a lot.

24. Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper is great if you have a small wall and you want to put accents or highlight it. You can get sheets of wrapping paper or scrapbook paper and stick it up with double-sided tape.

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to do, lots of options in terms of colors and designs.

Cons: Fragile and can rip easily especially if placed in high-traffic areas.

25. Murals

Murals are a great way to make a statement in your room. You can put up a backdrop of a landmark or the bird’s eye view of a city. You can also enlarge a black and white photo and put it in your living room, bedroom, or office.

Pros: Affordable, easy to install and remove.Cons:  Because they are the focal point, if your room is full of objects, it can give off a cluttered/claustrophobic feel.

Categories DIY