9 Ways To Spruce Up A Boring Wall Without Painting It

by Kaitlyn Wylde
Chasing Paper

Adding a color or pattern to a wall is a simple way to change the entire vibe of a room. But, that said, not everyone wants to mess with painting their home, no matter how much they want to change up their space. Whether you're renting your home or are simply not ready to commit to a few coats of permanent paint, you'll want to know about some ways to decorate a wall without painting it that still have the power to transform a space. From fabrics to plants to a sprawling gallery wall, there are so many ways to redo your space without risking your security deposit or getting your hands dirty.

Here I've rounded up a list of paint alternatives that are easy to install, easy to remove, and completely transformational. When that interior design bug bites, it's hard to be in a space without obsessing over the possibilities for change. When you know a change is imminent, it's like you can't even see the space as it is anymore, it becomes kinetic and restless. So trust me, these alternatives are not subtle! If anything, they'll offer you more of a change than a few coats of paint. What's more, these comps come with a complete vibe overhaul. Pick a method and watch your space go through a stunning metamorphism that doesn't break the bank, or your back.

Peel-Off Wallpaper

Chasing Paper

Prices vary, Chasing Paper

Traditional wall paper is not only expensive, but it requires a complicated installation. Not to mention, it's not easy to take off. In fact, in terms of the affect the method has on the wall itself, wallpaper is much more cumbersome than paint. A new wallpaper company called Chasing Paper has created an expansive line of wall coverings that are super affordable and totally non-committal. The quick install and removal will put your landlord at ease, and the endless variety of vibrant colors, patterns, murals and images will instantly transform your room. Good luck picking a just one. Just kidding, you don't have to.

Gallery Wall

Artfully Walls

Prices vary, Artfully Walls

Holes are easy to fill with caulk, walls are not easy to repaint. If you want to change the look of your room drastically, and you want to be able to admire your walls rather than look past them, you should consider mapping out an epic gallery wall. If you're overwhelmed by the prospect of curating your own gallery wall and dealing with mounting and framing on your own, you're in luck there's a company that can do all of that for you. Artfully Walls is an online print and frame shop that not only curates an extensive selection of art from around the world, but also provides a wall design tool that helps you to map out your gallery wall accurately. All art is printed on museum quality paper and ink and comes framed and ready to transform your space.


Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you think of wall tapestries, you probably think of your college dorm. But think about it this way, without the the matchy-matchy wood furniture, mini fridge and stench of old beer, a stand alone tapestry can help make a space look elegant and textured. From medieval castles to contemporary royal estates, tapestries are hung over walls to create an artful and luxurious design, quite the opposite of your dorm room. So give the tapestry another chance, just make sure that you instal it so that it's flush with the wall and smooth.


Prices vary, Dormify

If you're not interested in covering a whole wall, but want to add a pop of color or pattern, you'll want to use a decal. Dormify offers tons of decals that range from shapes to make patterns with to images and landscapes. The best thing about decals is that they're totally non-committal. They'll stay on the wall if you want them to, but if you put them up and decide you don't like them you can take them down, rearrange them and repurpose them easily.

Tape Design

Prices vary, Cute Tape

If you're crafty, you might want to consider Washi tape. Washi tape is a Japanese paper tape that's slightly transparent and low tack. Aka, it's great for decorations and doesn't ruin the surfaces it's stuck to. With heaps of patterns and colors and prints available, you can create modern faux-moldings and your own wallpaper-esque designs with it.

Book Wall


TEEbooks - BOOKSHELVES - Set of 6, $499.00, Amazon

If your book collection is hefty, you can turn your storage system into a design method. By installing invisible shelves across your walls, you can put your books on display while adding color and texture to the room. If you don't have enough books to fill the amount of wall space that you'd like to cover, you can mix in trinkets, succulents, dried flowers and paper weights to balance it out. Amazon sells tons of shelving options, so you can easily find one to fit your budget and collection. The shelving unit picture above is TEEbooks.

Magnetic Tiles

Prices vary, Moonish

Magnetic tiles a real thing, and if you know how difficult (and invasive) it is to apply tiles to a surface, you know just how special this innovation is. The tiles attach to a magnetic mount that's placed on the surface you want to decorate. A company called Moonish has an eclectic selection of tiles that can masterfully transform your space without damaging it. Moonish's tiles are made with FSC certified wood, they're sustainable, lightweight and super easy to install.

Living Wall

Urban Stems

Prices vary, Urban Stems

If you're a plant person, consider this: a plant wall! I know, I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but it's not, I promise. All you have to do is add a few shelves to a wall so that you can stagger your plants on display. By giving some shorter plants some height and being creative with placement of taller plants, you can easily cover a wall with plants. Companies like Urban Stems offer a range of plants that come already potted in decorative planters, so half of the design aspect is already taken care of for you.


Here's an idea: instead of using curtains to frame a window, use them to cover a wall. This project is an easy DIY, all you need is an extra long curtain rod to fit the wall you're trying to cover and enough curtain fabric to comfortably cover the space. Installing the curtain rod is honestly the hardest part of this whole method, once you have that up you can change up your curtains a much or as little as you like.