Rental Friendly Kitchen Makeover: Wallpaper Your Cabinets!

Kitchen Ideas 09.14.15
We live in a rental with a really dark kitchen, and we're a bit limited about what we can do to brighten up the space since we aren't allowed to paint anything. But I was able to give the kitchen a total makeover and brighten it up with some removable wallpaper!

I took the doors off of one upper cabinet so that we can always see the wallpaper peeking through from the back of the cabinets, and it has really helped make the space more open and bright! And when you're tired of the wallpaper, or when you move out of your rental you can just peel it off and wipe up the stray glue with a damp sponge, and there’s no hint the wallpaper was ever even there!

Time: 1 Day Cost: $60 Difficulty: Easy
  • Add a splash of color to your kitchen by wallpapering the back of your cabinets!
  • Empty your cabinets and clean the surfaces the wallpaper will touch. If your shelves are removable, take them out.
  • Submerge the wallpaper in a sink of water for about fifteen seconds, then lay flat (glue side up!) for about 1-2 minutes. Then line up the top edge of the paper with the top of your cabinet and tape with painter's tape.
  • Use a slightly damp sponge to press the wallpaper onto the cabinet, removing any air bubbles. Use a rubber spatula to press the paper into the bottom corner.
  • Let dry overnight or at least 3-4 hours, then cut off the extra paper with an X-acto knife and peel it away.
  • It will leave a white glue reside, but just wipe that away with a damp sponge.
  • All gone!
  • Be careful to keep your cuts straight when cutting off the extra paper.
  • Put all your stuff back and enjoy the fun paper peeking through from the back of the cabinets!

To see more:

  • Jan 3 Boll
    Jan 3 Boll Muskegon, MI
    When I moved in to my apartment, the storage under the kitchen sick was so dark I hated the idea of putting ANYTHING under it. I had some white paint so I cleaned the wood then painted it white and used contact paper on the bottom. Now I can see what is
  • April Floyd
    April Floyd Basehor, KS
    I'm getting ready to put some contact paper on the back "wall" of my china cabinet. I have been procrastinating actually doing it because I have been concerned about how to get it to fit nicely in the corners and near the non-removable shelves. Now, I'm
  • Susie Burrows
    Susie Burrows Henderson, TX
    This can be done with fabric and plain laundry starch for glue. Make a thin paste of the glue. Paint it on. Spread the fabric and paint more glue over it. When you want to change or have to move, jst paint it with water to soften the starch and the
  • Deirdre Sullivan
    Deirdre Sullivan New York, NY
    I have the same cabinets in my rental! I LOVE this idea
  • Maria
    Maria South Lyon, MI
    I'm a landlord and would be furious if this was done!
    • Jessi @ Practically Functional
      Maria Even if the tenants removed it before they moved out with zero damage to the cabinets and zero evidence it was ever there at all? If you read the full post you'll see the
Jessi @ Practically Functional

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