6 Cheap & Chic Ways to Decorate Walls Without Paint

White wall decorated with green and gray peel and stick confetti

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

While paint is by far the most common decorating treatment for residential walls, it is not always the hassle-free decorating technique people think it is. Painting a room is messy, smelly, and time-consuming, and the level of hassle jumps a notch if you happen to be painting ceilings and woodwork as well as the wall surfaces.

So why not consider other decorative treatments for your walls? With some creativity, you might even stumble across some decorating methods that are both easier and more attractive than paint.

Below, you'll find seven real-life examples of homeowners and apartment dwellers who have found clever, innovative ways to dress up walls without spilling a drop of paint or cleaning up a single paintbrush. They're not only great to look at, but perfect for stylishly hiding unsightly eyesores such as holes, dings, and dents.

  • 01 of 06

    Peel-and-Stick Confetti

    Woman decorating wall
    Agnes Hammar / IKEA

    In this example, blogger Agnes Hammar has found a way to hide nasty stains and nicks on a rental apartment's wall by using DIY peel and stick "confetti"—self-adhesive stickers that create a collage of different colors and shapes that make the occasional wall flaw look like part of the plan.

    Peelable stickers offer the advantage of being easy to remove when it comes time to move on to a new residence or when another innovative decor solution strikes your fancy.

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  • 02 of 06

    DIY Wall Tapestry

    diy wall tapestry
    The Merry Thought

    Wall tapestries aren't just for college kids. While they are great for dressing up a dorm room, they're also a chic bohemian decor staple that can help warm up cold roomsThis stylish one from The Merry Thought couldn't be simpler—made from an ordinary canvas drop cloth and permanent ink markers.

    How much does this idea cost to create? You can pick up a 9-by-12-foot drop cloth made of machine-washable cotton for about $20. Permanent markers usually cost less than a buck each.

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  • 03 of 06

    Washi Tape Decor

    washi tape wall decor
    Everything Emily Blog

    Here's an idea perfect for small spaces. it will spruce up boring white walls and your room decor, while also offering a way to cover up small holes created by picture frame hangers. Emily, from Everything Emily Blog, used black washi tape to create a repeated plus pattern.

    Washi tape, a decorative masking tape made from Japanese rice paper, is loved by crafters because it comes in hundreds of colors, patterns, and sizes. And, although it's surprisingly durable, washi tape is also a cinch to remove. For the best results, you'll want to work on a clean surface, so remove dirt and dust from your wall using a gentle cleaner or clean damp rag. When it's dry, you're ready to tape.

    How much does this magical tape cost? Prices vary based on style and width. A 30-yard starter pack, which usually includes three 10-yard rolls, starts at around $5.

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  • 04 of 06

    Post-It Note Masterpiece

    post it notes wall art
    Jamie Accashian / Emily Duda

    Yep, this colorful textured mural of Kanye West was made using Post-It Notes in colors from the Electric Glow Collection. It was created by two roommates, Emily Duda, and Jamie Accashian, using nothing but sticky little pieces of paper.

    How much did this project cost? While we're not sure how many Post-Its were used, but we do know a 14-pad pack costs around $20.

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  • 05 of 06

    Faux Brick Photo Wall

    Photo wall
    IKEA Family Live

    If you have a massive number of digital photos you want to display, print them all out and DIY this mesmerizing photo wall from IKEA Family Live. The trick to this brick-look is making sure all the photos are printed at the same size and arranged in precise rows.

    What are the out-of-pocket costs for a project like this? It all depends on what you pay for printer ink.

    Tip: If you have a postcard collection, you can adapt this technique to show them off.

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  • 06 of 06

    Fabric-Covered Walls

    Wall covering

    Dressing up walls with fabric can be done in several different ways. In this example, an unsightly wall has been covered with a curtain. Don't want to mess with a curtain rod? You can staple fabric directly onto the wall.

    You can also use fabric and starch to create removable DIY wallpaper. Want to save money when you buy fabric? Flatbed sheets are usually much cheaper than buying material by the yard.