It can seem downright impossible to know how to decorate your apartment walls without damaging them! Nothing is more frustrating than removing your wall decor to find irreparable scuffs and scratches on the walls. Some apartment complexes consider these damages to be somewhat ancillary and repair them with no additional charge upon your moving out. However, the majority of apartment complexes have it written in the fine print somewhere that you are responsible for any irreparable damages to the walls, however small they may be. It’s important to go through your lease with a fine-tooth comb before signing, and fully understand your rights and responsibilities before moving in. Nevertheless, there are a number of products and techniques that can be used to safely hang even the heaviest of decor. There are also a number of high-quality peel and stick wallpapers and decals on the market that won’t damage walls. So never fear – personalizing your home to your exact preferences is possible.
How to Hanging Things on Walls without Damaging
Scotch Wall-Safe Tape
This can be bought at any big-box store and usually costs no more than $10. But be aware that Scotch Wall-Safe Tape usually won’t hold anything too heavy. It can be used to hold bare photos, polaroids, papers, etc without a problem.
3M 414 Scotch Extreme
The Scotch Extremely Strong can be used to hang heavier objects (up to 20lbs) like heavier picture frames or wall decor. So this is a good option for your heavier wall decor without putting holes in your wall. But beware when it comes time to remove it and remove it slowly because if removed too quickly it can peel off paint.
Again this is a good option for small things but can sometimes stain or discolor light walls, so this may not be a good option for white walls. Putty is also specifically recommended for holding fragile vases and decorative china pieces in place on top of your counters, bookshelves or other surfaces. This can be especially useful if you live in a place prone to earthquakes or if you have rambunctious children.
These might be the best option for hanging something that needs to be hung from a rope, wire or string. Specifically, these are recommended for hanging picture frames that are already wired. There are command strips that can hold frames up to 20 pounds!
Depending on the aesthetic of your apartment, this can look quite lovely in order to hang pictures or drawings. Of course clothespins can’t hold anything too heavy but your average 4×6 photographs will do just fine. Secure a strand of twine using one of the aforementioned methods and clothespin photos to the twine.
Wallpapers & Decals to Decorate without Damaging
Peel & Stick Wallpaper
This trend has seen a huge uptick as of late, and thus the product offerings have exploded in design, durability and effectiveness. Wayfair, Home Depot and Spoonflower all have hundreds of durable patterns to choose from.
These have also grown in popularity in recent years, so if you don’t have the time or incliniation to paper a whole wall, these can be a good option. There are decals in almost every format from floral designs to quotes to Mickey Mouse caricatures. Again Wayfair has lots of these, as well as RoomMates, and Etsy.
If your apartment complex does not already have curtain rods installed, you can install them without damaging your walls or doorways. This can be done using a tension rod within the window-sill or by using command hooks to hold the curtain rod. You would need to use a heavy duty command hook but some come with a discreet copper or bronze finish. Check out these products for more.