5 Quick and Cheap Updates for Wall Decor

by Kathy Wilson


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Our walls make more impact in decorating our homes than any other element, but we often don't give them the attention they deserve because of time or expense. Here are five quick, easy and inexpensive ways to update your walls and add wow to your rooms.

  • Paint is an obvious choice for your walls, but too many people make choices that are boring and that's a waste of your time and money. If high drama color isn't your thing, then just paint the focal wall in each room a deeper or brighter shade. Having a richer color on just one wall will add depth and character to your room, without making you feel overwhelmed with color.

  • Removable contact paper comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors. Cut it into strips to use as border around windows, along chair rails or along your ceiling line to give a room dimension. This is great for renters as well because you can just peel it off when you move. This is best done over semi-gloss paint to prevent the paint from peeling when removed and so it adheres well.
  • Save that gift-wrap. It comes with beautiful pictures printed on it, and can be decoupaged right onto a wall. You can create a swag or a bouquet of flowers right on the wall, or add a modern element over your doorways. Simply cut the picture from the gift-wrap with sharp scissors. Using white glue or decoupage medium found at any store, paint the back of the picture using a foam brush. Now apply to the wall, smoothing out with your fingers. Apply another coat of glue over the top of the picture, and let dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe up any glue that might have gotten on the wall around the picture. You can layer elements to create a wall display, or use just one as a simple elegant touch here and there.

  • Add quotes or inspirational sayings to your wall décor. You can do this by hand with a paint pen, or you can use a stencil or stamp letters and a little craft paint. There are some great resources online for quotes that may be perfect for your family, try searching "inspirational quotes" in your search engine. Practice your technique on cardboard or paper first, and remember, if you don't like it, you can paint over it and start again.

  • Use fabric. An inexpensive curtain rod hung along the wall at ceiling level and draped with pretty sheets, quilts or fabric can be a beautiful backdrop for your rooms. You can even hang pictures over it by placing hooks in the ceiling at the wall line and hanging with picture wire down over the curtain.

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. For thousands of free home decorating ideas on a budget, visit her at TheBudgetDecorator.com and be sure to sign up for her free newsletter while you're there!

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