Tips to Decorate Walls Without Paint

by Steffi Cook | Updated: Nov 22, 2019

If you can’t paint the walls in your rental, it may feel like your home decorating is limited. The look of the walls is a large part of putting your own stamp on the place. But you’re not necessarily in a bind — you can decorate walls without paint and still make your home look like it’s your own unique space.

Temporary wallpaper

A bedroom with temporary patterned wallpaper on an accent wall is one way to decorate walls without paint.
Bedroom with patterned temporary wallpaper on an accent wall.

Sure, all wallpaper can be removed, but some are specifically designed to be up only temporarily. Temporary wallpaper allows you to put any design you want on the walls and then remove it when you move without leaving a trace.

Stickers and decals

Kids room with black lamb wall decals.
Kids room with black lamb wall decals.

You can also decorate walls temporarily without paint by using wall stickers and decals to change the feeling of the space. You’ll want to buy versions specifically meant for walls that don’t stick too tightly or leave any residue behind. Otherwise, you’ll have a big cleaning project waiting for you when you move out.

Washi tape designs

Living room with black washi tape geometric shape designs.
Living room with black washi tape geometric shape designs.

Washi tape is available in a variety of colors and comes off walls easily. Using this tape allows you to design whatever patterns you'd like. If you find geometric patterns appealing, this might just be your best option.


Wall shelf topped with books, lantern, and flowers.

Putting shelves on walls counts as decoration, but placing visually appealing items on them is key. Whatever you have, be it books, collectibles or random knick-knacks will change up your space. Check with your landlord or property management company to make sure you're allowed to put screws or nails in the wall before you start.


Living room with artwork hanging on wall.
Living room with artwork on wall.

Have any art pieces that you like? If not, buy some from a store, get them from a friend or try making something of your own. Then hang them on the walls — your space will feel more like your own.

Related: Wall Decor Ideas


Various curtain patterns.

Curtains don't only go across windows! Hang one on the wall to change the color or pattern in a room completely. It's an eye-catching change that’s sure to be a conversation starter.

Wrapping paper

Various types of wrapping paper.

When you're trying to decorate your walls without paint and looking for a more whimsical version of temporary wallpaper, wrapping or scrapbook paper can do the trick. Tape it to the wall for a unique look.

Do you have any ideas on how to decorate your walls without paint that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Read more: How to Furnish and Decorate a Small Home and How to Get Great Home Lighting

Categories: Renters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author