Color Inspiration Black Bedroom Feature Wall Without Painting the Wall

3 Materials
1 Day

After giving my bedroom a makeover, I got this crazy idea to make a black feature wall - problem is that I'm a renter and I'm not supposed to paint my walls, or if I do paint, then I need to put it back to white before I move out. I didn't want to have to repaint so I got creative and came up with a way to cover the entire wall to make it black, all without a drop of paint touching the actual wall!

Here's the bedroom before - I liked it but I couldn't get the idea of making the back wall black out of my head! I didn't want to paint the wall, and I couldn't use temporary wall paper because my walls are painted with a matte paint.

So after wondering around the hardware store, I found inspiration when I saw this cardboard to protect floors during construction : ram board. I got the idea to paint the cardboard to make panels and then to stick the panels onto strips of contact paper. I know, crazy!

I wasn't sure if this was going to work but after doing a test, I was so happy to see that my hunch was right and the cardboard took the paint really well.

For the contact paper, I found this matte black adhesive film on Amazon that is removable and safe for walls - I did a test to make sure this was true and it worked perfectly - it removed without leaving any damage to the wall. I cut strips of 5" attached them to the wall spaced out to accommodate 24" panels.

The first tape I tried wasn't strong enough to hold the cardboard but this one that I got on Amazon worked like a charm.

The trickiest part of installing the panels was to make sure that they were straight and evenly spaced out but using tape and a level helped with that.

I love this new look but what I love even more is that I won't have to paint the wall again when I move out and if I get tired of this black wall, I can always paint the entire thing again another color, all without touching the original wall!

You can see the entire project in this video - enjoy!

Looking for more renter-friendly ideas?

Suggested materials:
  • Ram board   (Hardware store)
  • Double sided tape   (Amazon)
  • Contact paper   (Amazon)
Engineer Your Space
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 11 questions
  • Joy Pell Cruse Joy Pell Cruse on Aug 28, 2019

    What kind of paint did you use on Ram board? And did it hold up?

  • Destiny Wagner Destiny Wagner on Sep 01, 2019

    Will the contact paper part work if the wall is textured ("orange peel") or does it need to be a smooth wall?

  • Pamela Pamela on Nov 20, 2021

    Is the contact paper going to damage the walls? I clicked on the contact paper and it sent me to Amazon however, I do not see anything that says it can be removed. I am confused.

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2 of 62 comments
  • Kaz Kaz on Apr 30, 2022

    Wow thanku thanku thanku.

    I'm a renter too and I'm so sick to death of staring at white walls. This is a brilliant idea and very versatile..u could also paint on your own designs with stencils etc. Your idea worked and it looks bloody unreal. Well done U and thsnku so much. I just hope they sell the cardboard here in Oz..😉

  • April April on Aug 02, 2022