Apartment walls

MarionRAugust 4, 2003

I am so tired of living with light beige walls that are not allowed to be painted any other color. Do you have any solutions as to how to brighten up an apartment? Are there coverings that can be put on walls that can be pulled right off, not damaging the walls?

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Paint them anyway. The only thing you'll lose is your security deposit.

We painted every wall we had.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 9:35AM
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Ask the landlord for permission to paint ... usually they give it. Tell them them you will repaint with beige at the end of the lease. I have a "may paint, landlord may require repainting in landlord's choice of color" clause in leases and have never had a problem.

Or ... you can apply fabric to walls with starch concentrate as if it were wallpaper.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 10:27AM
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YOu can hand rugs ..

    Bookmark   August 18, 2003 at 1:27PM
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OK, this may not be a terrifically useful idea. But just in case, here goes....The dingy beige and white walls of countless rental apartments took their toll on me too. I just couldn't stand it any longer, but my landlords also said no painting, no colors.

Then I learned an interesting fact from a neighbor who renovated retail spaces for big clients like Macy's. According to him, the main ingredient in cheap paint is clay, not pigment. That's why it looks dingy, gray, and ugly no matter color it is.

Fast forward to next apartment: My landlord said I could paint, as long as I stuck to beige or white! Naturally, I wanted to use bright colors, but compromise seemed better than nothing. I picked out an olive green that matched a lampshade I had, then used the palest shade of it (a rich cream) on the walls. I used the second or third palest shade, a pale sage, on the trim. (My landlord approved the colors. Maybe the sage looked neutral to her?)

It looked gorgeous. It looked planned. It looked decorated. It didn't look like a rental. Everyone who came over gushed, unprompted, about how beautiful my apartment was. (They didn't mention the paint.)

The colors both complimented and contrasted beautifully with all my furniture and the wood floors -- orangey-brown, pale blues, yellow, chocolate brown, reds, oranges, greens -- everything. (Maybe because I used a full-spectrum paint? Which means the color of the paint contains many other colors.)

I used Benjamin Moore's second-highest quality, which I recommend. (I've later used the highest quality, which is also good, and don't recommend their cheapest one.) I think I used eggshell on the walls (it was velvety and flat, whatever it was) and semi-gloss on the trim. It made a pretty contrast.

The moral of the story is this: Even if you have to stick with beige or white, you might still be able to improve your apartment by using high-quality paint.

Depends on what's there now, and if the lack of color is really the whole problem or just part of the problem. By the way, despite my success with the above, it's usually more pleasing to have slightly darker walls and lighter trim. Painting the trim and walls the same color can work well too, as long as you use a flat paint on the walls and semi-gloss on the trim. I don't think I'd recommend combining a random white and a random beige, though I've never tried it. I'd stick with two pale shades on the same color strip if I were you. Though you might get away with the palest shade on a color strip and a soft but paler off-white. (Never tried that either.) Test anything before you proceed, even though it's kind of expensive.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2003 at 5:55PM
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You might try the largest stretcher bars you can find, up to the size of a wall and stretch a great fabric on it. You can also stretch canvas on the bars and paint the canvas.

For walls where there are windows and doors, work around them with great big rectangle or squares.

You can experiment with starch and fabric, but I don't how it works, so try a small area first. Look up the technique on HGTV.com under Decorating Cents. It looked easy, cheap, fast and simple to remove, something like fabric wallpaper.

If you can staplegun your walls, you can staple (upholster) batting and fabric on them--a very elegant look.

Talk to your landlord about paint, but don't go empty-handed. Take a sample, painted on a paintstick to show him. When he sees how nice it is, and that you're paying for it, that will be your best shot. Say thank you very nicely even if he says no, since he may change his mind. "After all, Mr. X, when you think of how few things are free in this world, I thought you would Jump at this chance."


    Bookmark   September 9, 2003 at 5:47AM
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have you actually TALKED to your landlord about this? mine not only let me paint- he paid for the paint, since I was doing the work-

of course, I had 'asked' him that he NOT replace the carpetting when we moved in- I'm death on rugs, being an art major, and he was totally happy not to have to replace them for me- and I was happy to have a carpet I could live on.

honestly- I have painted apartments that were strict about not painting- and repainted when I left. you can also hang large paintings, or even raw canvas painted, and hung 'wall hanging' style (dowel at the top)

or... and this is my fave- instead of starch or glue, I've found that you can paint on canvas, or make cutouts from fabric, and use the IRON ON FUSIBLE WEB from the craft store to attatch them to the walls. ironing the walls is a two-erson job, but it lets you do 'faux murals'

    Bookmark   October 3, 2003 at 2:52PM
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