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9 Best Renter Friendly Temporary Wall Coverings

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Want the skinny on temporary fixes for your apartment, rental home, or dorm? Well, today you’ll learn about the best renter friendly temporary wall coverings.

If you’ve spent much time here at My Wee Abode, you know that my home is a small loft rental in SoCal.

And, you might just be visiting here today to get some inspiration for adding some style to your apartment, rental home, or even a dorm.

Well, you came to the right place!


temporary wall coverings for your apartment collage

For the last year, My Wee Abode’s tiny bathroom has been getting a rental makeover. Yep… it’s been almost a year!

All the upgrades are either temporary and/or removable, or they can be affordably replaced when/if I move.

The upgrades so far have included: DIY painted vanity and cabinet (I can replace these IF my landlord wants me to), DIY painted shower tile surround (again, paint can be removed… not sure why my LL would want that!), and a refresh on the wall paint (I matched the current color almost exactly).

The project that I JUST finished is a temporary wall treatment.

Well, it’s actually only one-half of the removable wall treatment project!

But, it’s not quite ready to reveal… I want to get the whole thing done before sharing it with y’all.

I know… how mean of me!

DIY Temporary Wall Treatments for Your Rental Home

Fear not… today’s post will NOT disappoint because we’re going to take a look at ALL the removable wall coverings I researched.

And the temp wall treatment that ended up on the bathroom wall might just be tucked into this post, too! (Be sure to take a guess at which one(s) I chose in the comments!)

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.

Peel and Stick Wallpaper

It can be argued that peel and stick wallpaper is the most popular removable wall covering for an apartment or rental home (or any home for that matter).

Affordable and fairly simple to use, repositionable wallpaper can be purchased from hardware stores, design stores, and a plethora of online stores. And there are so many patterns/textures to choose from!

Take a look at this wall from Katie’s Bliss!

temporary wall coverings for your apartment wallpapered wall with console and fiddle leaf fig tree

Pros of using removable wallpaper:

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Many patterns and styles to choose from (think wood-look, floral, faux brick, etc.)
  • Fairly easy to install
  • Easily removed
  • Easy to find (hardware stores, department stores, design stores and a plethora of online store)
  • Use temporary wallpaper in a variety of ways (drawer liners, furniture accents, etc.)

Cons of using removable wallpaper:

  • Most manufacturers recommend using only on flat surfaces with no texture
  • Removable wallpaper can have adhesive issues in humid spaces (bathroom) or even areas with humid weather conditions
  • Can be tricky to cut around windows, door jambs, etc.

Shopping for Removable Wallpaper

Here are some excellent places to purchase peel and stick wallpaper:

  1. Amazon
  2. Wayfair : Cherry Blossom, Grass Cloth, Faux Brick, Shiplap, and more
  3. Home Depot
  4. Tempaper
  5. Chasing Paper

Peel and Stick Wood Wall Plank

To be honest, peel and stick wood wall plank was not an option I considered for the bathroom. After all, I’m shooting for a modern (coastal) bathroom makeover.

However, temporary wood wall planks for an accent wall are an option for apartments and rental spaces, not to mention just about any home. The one caviat to using peel and stick wood in a rental home… using inexpensive hardboard as a mounting base might be a good idea.

Here’s a post from The Design Twins on how Julie used DIY peel and stick wall plank wall in her laundry room:

farmhouse style laundry room with wood covered walls

Pros of Peel and Stick Wood Plank:

  • Easy to install
  • Removable using hardboard mounting base
  • Many stores (online and brick-and-mortar) offer variety of finishes/colors
  • Slim profile: wood lays on dry wall and flat surfaces with very little over hang on outlets, etc.
  • Use in a variety of ways (walls, islands, furniture accents, etc.)

Cons of Peel and Stick Wood Plank:

  • Can be considered ‘pricey’
  • If you don’t use a hardboard mounting base, removal may cause surface damage to wall that will need to be repaired
  • Warranty… be sure to check the manufacturers warranty of adhesive and wood
  • The adhesive can have issues in humid spaces (bathroom) or even areas with humid weather conditions

Shopping for Peel and Stick Wood Wall Plank

Suggestions for where to purchase peel and stick wood wall plank:

  1. Amazon.com
  2. Timberwall from Home Depot
  3. WallPlankDepot from Walmart.com
  4. Plank and Mill
  5. Wall Dimensions

Washi Tape Accent Wall

Do you know what Washi tape is? I only learned about it a few years back!

Washi tape is a removable/repositionable tape that is used for plethora of projects including cards, accents on accessories that you want to personalize (think about adding some to a phone charger wall adapter), personalizing gifts, and… even accenting a wall!

Take a look at this easy project from @ourcozyabode!

temporary wall coverings for your apartment bathroom with wall accented in washi tape and hanging plant

Pros of using Washi tape on an accent wall:

  • Affordable on a per-roll basis
  • Easy to use and ‘install’
  • Removable and repositionable
  • LOTS of colors, designs and sizes (widths) to choose from

Cons of using Washi tape on an accent wall:

  • Though affordable on a per-roll basis, depending on your design, you may end up having to purchase a number of rolls
  • May have issues in humid spaces (bathroom) or even areas with humid weather conditions (test it out first)

Shopping for Washi Tape for an Accent Wall

It’s pretty easy to find washi tape. They are at just about any craft store, though it may be hard to find enough on the shelf (again, depending on your design).

  1. Amazon.com
  2. Michael’s
  3. Etsy
  4. Washi Tape Store

Using Stencils to Create an Accent Wall

Stencils seem to be all the craze these days! Whether you stencil a piece of furniture, a welcome mat, or even an accent wall, stencils leave their “mark”. (See what I did there?)

If you choose to use a wall stencil to add some style to a wall, you can always go back and paint over it! Voila! Temporary and ‘removable’.

And, again, stencils come in SO MANY designs, and you can put your own spin on them by using part of a stencil, the whole stencil, choosing to use one color (of your liking), or using a technique with two or more colors! The possibilities are endless (well, almost).

Here’s an AMAZING example of a stenciled accent wall from my sweet friend Abby at Just A Girl and Her Blog:

stenciled wall with cozy chair and lamp

Pros of stenciling an accent wall:

  • Very affordable to moderately affordable (cost of stencil/tools/paint)
  • Easy to customize for the look you want
  • Some would say it is easy to use
  • Easy to remove/touch up by painting over

Cons of stenciling an accent wall:

  • Stencils can be pricey… a good one can cost $40 or more, but can be reused
  • Best results are seen on a smooth wall
  • Some would say they are difficult to use and difficult to get a uniform look
  • Cleaning of stencils is tedious

Where to Purchase Wall Stencils

Again, wall stencils are not hard to find:

  1. Amazon.com
  2. Target.com
  3. Home Depot
  4. Etsy

Vinyl Decals As Wallpaper

More and more it seems like vinyl decals are being use to accent walls.

Whether its a ‘wall sign’ created from vinyl, a mural, or even lots of small decals to create a wallpaper look, you can create your own design in lots of different ways!

Etsy has LOTS of vinyl decals to use for a wallpapered look… Take a look at these ‘dots’ from KennaSatoDesigns:

temporary wall coverings for your apartment office space with vinyl decal wallpaper

Pros of using vinyl decals for wallpaper on a wall:

  • More affordable than most wallpaper
  • Many designs to choose from
  • Available at stores or you can DIY (if you have a Cricut or Cameo)
  • Easy to install
  • Removable

Cons of using vinyl decals for wallpaper on a wall:

  • It can be a little overwhelming figuring out where/how to apply decals to a wall
  • Smooth walls are preferable, but they CAN be used on textured wall using a few tricks
  • To DIY the decals themselves, you will need a Cricut or a Cameo (that can be a pro OR a con!)

Where to Shop for Vinyl Wall Decals

If you don’t want to DIY vinyl wall decals, you can purchase them from the following:

  1. Etsy
  2. Amazon.com
  3. Wayfair

DIY Wallpaper with Fabric

Yes… you read that right! You can use fabric for wallpaper! And it’s pretty easy, too!

Check out how Megan from The Homes I Have Made (she’s one of my rental home blogger heroes) used fabric as a feature wall accent:

fabric on wall with trim around it as a frame

You can also see a full (well, a full-half wall) that Meg from Roost & Ramble covered with fabric… Gorgeous!

temporary wall coverings for your apartment bedroom with farmhouse bed and decor elements

Pros of using fabric as wallpaper:

  • Super affordable, especially if you get fabric with a coupon or at a discount
  • Easy to customize to your style (lots of prints and colors of fabric
  • Easy to install
  • Can be used on textured walls
  • Removable

Cons of using fabric as wallpaper:

  • Can be a bit messy… okay, maybe a lot messy
  • Matching seams and prints can be difficult
  • Can be removed, but takes a little effort

Where to Purchase Fabric as Wallpaper

Of course, you can purchase fabric for your walls at just about any fabric store, craft store, or even a local interior design store (if you want something really ‘special’).

Use Painter’s Tape to Create a Feature Wall

If you want to create something with definite lines or geometric shapes, painter’s tape (ALWAYS use Frog Tape, trust me) and a bit of paint may be the way to go to DIY your feature wall.

Take a look at this classic wall that my friend Christina from The Frugal Homemaker DIY’d with painter’s tape:

accent wall with sunburst mirror and decor items in forefront

Pros of using painter’s tape to create a feature wall:

  • Super affordable
  • Easy to ‘remove’ by just painting over the design
  • You can use tools that your probably already have on hand
  • Fairly easy to ‘install’
  • Can be used on smooth and textured surfaces

Cons of using painter’s tape to create a feature wall:

  • May be a little difficult to ‘set-up’ as you need to be precise with measurements for a ‘perfect’ finish
  • Limited to a straight line design

Where to Purchase Supplies to Create a Painter’s Tape Feature Wall

You can purchase your supplies for this type of accent wall at your local Home Depot!

Foam Wall Tiles to Create An Accent Wall

I would LOVE to use foam wall tiles to create an accent wall… or maybe even a headboard for my bed?

There are quite a few options to choose from when using foam tiles to DIY a feature wall, including brick-look, “metal ceiling” tiles, and even stone.

Take a look at this beautiful feature wall from The Bold Bald Baker (she has quite the About story, too!)

temporary wall coverings for your apartment foam tiles painted copper on wall

Pros of Foam Wall Tiles:

  • Fairly easy to install
  • Easy to remove (if you use removable adhesive and/or finished nails)
  • Moderately affordable
  • Fun to create different looks
  • Quite a few varieties to choose from

Cons of Foam Wall Tiles:

  • Can be pricey, if you have a large wall
  • Limited to designs offered
  • Painting can be a little labor intensive

Where to Buy Foam Tiles

You can pick up foam tiles at several online stores:

  1. Wayfair, and these at Wayfair, too
  2. Amazon
  3. Home Depot
  4. Walmart

Easy “Faux” Board and Batten Accent Wall

And last but not least, one of my fave wall accent techniques is a simple board and batten-look wall.

Easy to install, affordable, and packs a big punch, using simple trim or boards with nails makes this feature wall easy to remove, as well.

You can see how I used this faux board and batten look in my tiny living area at My Wee Abode:

big ideas for living in a small apartment media console in small living room with decor

Pros of Using Trim for a Faux Board and Batten Wall:

  • Super easy to install
  • Easy to remove
  • Packs a big punch for style
  • Super affordable

Cons of Using Trim for a Faux Board and Batten Wall:

  • Measure twice, cut once (in other words, be precise in measurements)

Supplies for a Faux Board and Batten Wall

You can purchase supplies for a board and batten wall at your local hardware store, like Home Depot.

Now It’s Your Turn

So, can you guess which of these I’m using in my modern coastal bathroom makeover?

Have you used any of the techniques for a feature wall in your home?

Did you see something you were inspired by? Be sure to share in the comments below! And be on the lookout for the bathroom wall reveal soon!

signature updated 2022

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  1. So many great ideas, Julie! A new one to me was using washi tape. When it’s time to move, that would be so easy to take down. Looking forward to the reveal of which option you chose for your bathroom makeover!

  2. You have me so curious and excited for your bathroom reveal. I can’t wait to see which one you chose!

    1. Oh, thanks for the kinds words, Carol. So many options… I actually am second-guessing my choice, but I can always change it! 😉

  3. There are some awesome ideas in here, Julie! I just bought a stencil to try in my bathroom, but I’m a bit nervous about getting started. Never would’ve thought about using washy tape! I’m totally in love with those fabric walls, too, and I’m really curious to know how they applied it. Thanks for some great ideas! Already pinned.

  4. I like the idea of removable/repositionable wallpaper. It has been many, many years since I last attempted to hang any. I may have to go look at the new, modern type and see how it has improved. Pinned.

  5. So may terrific ideas here, Julie – I love your board and batten wall at MWA! That stenciled wall is so pretty too, and the fabric is great too. I’ve only every upholstered a closet with fabric and that was to cover up a rough texture on the walls (and of course prettify it too!). I’ve never attempted to do the liquid starch fabric thing, but it’s pretty cool, albeit messy!

    1. Thanks, Janet… Yes, I really want to try the fabric ‘wallpaper’ at some point. 😉

  6. So many options to choose from Julie!! I have been wanting to put fabric on some of my walls but have only managed to ‘think’ about doing it! I can’t wait to see what you choose!!

  7. Wow you did your homework! So many rental friendly options…also perfect for people with commitment issues! HA! Thanks for the inspiration and now I can’t wait to see what you have been up to!

  8. I love all these ideas! Peel and stick wallpaper is such a game changer. And your faux board and batten wall is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks, Shawna… I love peel and stick, as well! Might be using it on a different project!

  9. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do an accent wall for my office and WOW, I love that black spotted decal print on that wall. Ohh, now you have me thinking! I love that it is easily removable, too!


  10. Lots of great ideas! I’ve been thinking of trying the peel and stick wallpaper in my home, but I didn’t know about it not being good over textured walls. The walls in my home have some texture to them. Hmm… Will have to research it a bit more.

    1. Yes…There are ways to make it work, like adding additional adhesive in the form of starch, but it can be messy. And, sometimes it works with it!

  11. Great ideas for feature walls. I love the new temporary wallpaper and tiles. Olivia made her own wall decals for her closet. So many choices for fun decor.
    Have a great week,

  12. I wanted a friendly wall covering for my room as my last room had a very dull vibe. So I took help from reentering wall coverings for a pleasant-looking wallpaper for my new space.

  13. So cute. I love these ideas. I would love it if you would share this on The Fabulous Friday Link Party. You can find the link on my website. Hugs to you.

    1. Thanks, Renae! I think I have a couple different post scheduled for your party. But, I’ll keep it in mind!

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