The Best Substitutes to Painting your Apartment Rental

Should you Paint your Apartment Rental?

Often with the help of a can of paint, a few hours to spare and the help of someone with patience, you can transform your rental apartment from blasé to wonderful. When it comes to your rental apartment however, you should err on the side of caution before cracking open a can of paint and turning into the next Jillian Harris.  While re-decorating can be fun and can help you feel more at home in your space, here are a few things to consider.

Before Painting your Rental Apartment

Is Painting your Apartment Rental Worth the Effort?

While color can undoubtedly add cheerful vibrancy or make your space feel like your own, ask yourself if painting your apartment rental is worth the effort.

  • How much disruption will there really be?
  • Is there lots of furniture and belongings to move out of the way and cover?
  • How much floor area needs to be protected from potential spills?
  • Is this a day or a weekend project?
  • How much will this cost to do now and paint over before moving out?
  • How hard is this: is there trim, odd angles or windows to paint?
  • How bad is the existing color?
  • How long will you live in this space and does the length of the lease justify the cost of paint, supplies and time?


Are you Allowed to Paint your Apartment Rental?

You’ve decided that painting is worth the effort and while covering one single wall may seem like no big deal, you should take the time to review your lease agreement and contact your landlord or property manager for confirmation. While some landlords explicitly refuse tenants to paint, others may be more flexible but with some parameters for you to keep in mind. Landlords who do allow you to paint your apartment rental will often request that you paint it back to the original color (or at least prime it) before you move out for you to receive your security deposit back. Regardless if your lease agreement permits painting, contact your landlord to let them know you will be painting. If your landlord states and absolute ‘no’ to painting, keep reading for alternative ways to spruce up your rental apartment.

Paint Free Ways to Spruce up your Apartment Rental

While your landlord prefers that you don’t paint your apartment, there are still some alternatives to paint that can add that dash of color, pattern or inject the ambiance you’re hoping for.

Use Fabric

While this will be costlier up front, you will be able to reuse fabric for other DIY projects in the future. If your landlord allows wall hanging, draping fabric on the walls and using a staple gun to adhere it will be the easiest and least intrusive way to hang fabric.

Use Wrapping Paper

Ever see a wrapping paper so lovely you wanted to buy rolls of it for your walls? The easiest, most cost-effective way to dress up your walls is to use gift wrap adhered with double sided tape. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how this can transform your apartment rental into the space you love. Things to note: Wrapping paper will be secure but not as durable as a wallpaper, be sure to use this technique in lower traffic areas.

Peel and Stick Wall Decals and Removable Wallpapers

Wallpaper and decals have come a long way over the years and have been manufactured to be rental friendly. Wallpapering a full wall may require more patience, a few friends and some skill, but the results are generally outstanding. With several brands offering fully removable or even peel and stick (with no residue) wallpapers, you can easily customize your space without the hassle of messy removals later on.


Wallpaper / Wall Decals



Get creative with gallery walls, or create your own large scale works of art that can be hung and changed out as infrequent or often as you need. White walls may seem sterile at times, however they do make for a terrific gallery wall to display your art.

Gallery Wall


The Takeaway

While some landlords are flexible with tenants painting and decorating their apartments as they please, others have more stringent guidelines. These rules often protect landlords from being left with paint spills on the floors or furnishings, unsightly colors left on walls and can save them time, money and frustrations. If you have the permission from your landlord to paint your apartment rental, adhere to their specifications to make the process smooth for both parties involved, and enjoy your personalized space! For more questions on lease agreements, to find the perfect rental property or to enlist the professional services of a Licensed Property Manager, visit us here.




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