Rental Friendly Kitchen Makeover: Wallpaper Your Cabinets!

kitchen makeover 04.24.15
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

To see more:

  • Belle
    Belle Garland, TX
    I love the idea...and having owned a rental home myself, I can say I wish some of my renters had been as clever...and thoughtful as this woman.
  • Diana Addison Szurek
    did the wallpaper on back wall of cupboards on a 4 shelf bookcase but did it with contact paper with tiny pink roses turned out so great so pretty
  • Karyn Lisk
    Karyn Lisk Gainesville, GA
    It's a great forum here to get ideas for renters, but most importantly it's great that if they do get the idea here (Karen Powell) they will have the information about the right kind of contact paper to use and there will be no mistakes to harm cabinets!
  • Susan Fisher
    Susan Fisher Springfield, MO
    What a great idea. I too also live in a rental. That would be great for my kitchen. I don't know if you have more idea's for a rental but I would love to see what you have. My problem is my patio. We are not allowed to put up any thing that attaches to
  • Jessi @ Practically Functional
    That sounds so pretty Diana Addison Szurek! Contact paper works great for this too, but I had to make sure it was removable, so I chose that wallpaper instead. :-)
  • Jessi @ Practically Functional
    Yep, absolutely Karyn Lisk! It's a great way to add some color to your cabinets, but if you are renting you definitely need to be careful to make sure that it's removable and won't
  • Jessi @ Practically Functional
    Thanks Susan Fisher! I have tons of apartment/rental living ideas on my blog (, but we live on the second floor of our building and don't have a
  • Susan Fisher
    Susan Fisher Springfield, MO
    Thank you Jessi. I was also thinking about 4 buckets with cement and a 4x4x8 post. Then lay post across the top and 2x2 across the top. The only bad thing is I have to take down and remove every thing I do to the house. Nothing can be attached to the
    • Teresa bragg
      teresa bragg Hampton, VA
      Hi Susan! We live in a rental house and have a hot patio. We purchased a gazebo (that's what it was called on the box) and put it up. It has 4 metal poles and a canvas like top. We also purchased mosquito netting to put on the rails. We love it.
  • Trisha Martin
    Trisha Martin Franklin, TN
    Looks great, I rented one of "those" dark apt. kitchens in the past. I wish I had done that. Yours looks fabulous.
  • 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
    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