What are alternatives to painting

Easy alternatives to painting that will transform your space

Easy alternatives to painting that will transform your space

Paint may be the quickest way to change a room, but it is not the only way. Renters, and anyone else not allowed to paint the walls, take heart. There are plenty of affordable, simple alternatives to painting and you don?t have to be master of all things DIY to pull them off.

One of the best things about limitations is how they force you to think creatively. So what if you can?t add massive amounts of permanent color to your walls?  On the bright side, that means you won?t spend money, time and a lot of energy on a wall color that doesn?t suit you. 

Also on the bright side, white or off-white walls accentuate unique furniture and subtle accents that are often lost in super colorful rooms. Best of all, you?re about to discover the wildly intricate and often inspiring world of vinyl wall quotes and decals. They?re easy to apply and later peel off when you?re ready for a change.

Think about what you can do

Just because paint is off the table doesn?t mean your walls are a lost cause. Urban apartment dwellers use wall stickers to bring the outside in with silhouettes of trees, tall grass and mountainous horizons. Those with wanderlust can bring Paris to their living room with a distant Eiffel tower. Why not?


Evocative and inspirational quotes scrolled across a wall are eye-catching and help create atmosphere in a room. Sometimes all a bedroom needs is a love note behind the bed or a mantra alongside the mirror.

For the love of art

Even the strictest landlords allow nails in the wall to hang things (just remember you may have to fill in the holes with a bit of spackle or toothpaste when you move out). Choose an accent wall to fill with a mini gallery of art. There several ways to gather the materials.

Hit up a flea market for cheap, interesting art because you never know what you?ll find. Make a few paintings or collages of your own and frame them. As the gallery expands, invite friends and family to give you handmade art for a housewarming gift or upcoming birthday.

Arrange the frames on the floor before you start hammering away. Figuring out an eclectic arrangement is kind of like playing wall Tetris so take your time. If the wall needs more color, paint some of the frames.

Frame it all

Alternatives to painting can make you look at everything in the room differently. In other words, anything you can hang on a hook on the wall ? a colorful scarf, a photograph or flat flower vase ? suddenly looks like 3-D art when you place a frame around it. If this sounds too busy, paint the frames the same color as the wall to add a crown molding-like architectural feel.

Adhesive wall tiles

Adhesive wall tiles are similar in look to wallpaper minus the permanence and mess. Like vinyl wall decals and quotes, they have a low-tack backing so you can easily remove them from walls without damage or residue. They come in so many gorgeous designs and colors that you may want to cover the entire home. Go easy on the budget and start small with these decorating ideas!

Paint the furniture

Give your place a fresh, creative feel by painting some of your old wood furniture. Bureaus, end tables and chair legs are all fair game. This is a crafty weekend project that?ll instantly change the overall look of the space.

These alternatives to painting are fun projects that will transform your home to reflect your personality. When you?re ready to move on, you can take all of these items with you.