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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.
  • My roommate and I moved into a new apartment almost twelve months ago and we have still not repainted our walls. The walls were disgusting when we moved in. The faded, dirty, white paint was covered in small pieces of blue sticky tack, and parts of the paint were ripped from the walls from where a previous tenant had obviously tried to hang something with duct tape. All in all, our home is in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint and neither of us is motivated enough to get the supplies, move all our furniture, and suffer from the smell of fresh paint. It’s not to say painting an apartment is particularly expensive or even that time-consuming, it could easily be done at a weekend. It’s also a lot of work that you may not felt like overtaking for a place that you’re renting. Here are three alternatives to painting that still freshen up your apartment walls!
  1. Put up artwork! Every week my grandmother holds a family art class. I get all my art supplies from Dollarama and my roommate and I put up a new piece of art on our walls to slowly cover our walls. While this is still technically painting, creating a piece of art (no matter how ugly, gangly, or misshapen the paintings look), can be more enjoyable than painting a wall. It’s so fun to create something and tack them up on your walls for all your guests to see. You can even make an event out of it! More often than not when I have a friend crash at my place, we end up painting something together over a bottle of wine before we fall asleep for the night. Both adding to my ever-growing collection of art and creating a memory that lasts forever with my friend.
  2. Apply stick on wallpaper! Dollarama (my favourite store) sells pages of stick-on wallpaper, which is so unbelievably easy to apply to walls. It comes off easily if you peel up the corner, it won’t splinter as you peel it, and it shouldn’t take up any of the paint behind it. Dollarama sells some pretty patterns that would create a really nice accent wall! My roommate and I put some on our kitchen cabinets (something else in our apartment that desperately needed a repainting) and it looks incredible! We chose a marble pattern, and it made our kitchen look so much richer than it is. This is such a quick and inexpensive way to modernize a space I strongly suggest it.
  3. The last thing that we’ve done to avoid having to repaint is creating a map wall! This is my favourite wall in our entire apartment. Every time I visit a new place, or my roommate goes to a new museum we always make sure to grab a map of the place. They’re usually given out for free and when they are placed together, they look incredibly beautiful and intricate. We placed a map of middle earth as the focal point in the middle (me being an English major and my roommate being in anthropology LOTR was an easy decision for a focal point). Around the largest map, I put every new map that we acquire, over time we’ve created quite the collection.
  • I know that painting a wall might seem like a small, fun, task for a lot of people, but it can also feel like such a tedious and laborious task. I hope you’ve gained some inspiration from this creative ways to get around an ugly wall without painting! I love looking for alternative ways to decorate my living space and I hope you also enjoy these top three ways that you can get away with not repainting the walls of your apartment.
Eve Chamely

U Ottawa '23

I'm from a small town in southern Ontario, I love Romantic poetry and sustainability, a strange combination but trust me... it works. :)