Wall Covering Ideas

Ok, so you have purchased an investment house, and you want to fix this up to rent to a nice family. You go through all the back and forth offers, and now you are standing in the empty place with keys in hand, looking at everything that needs doing, thinking "what have I done?" 


Faux Wallpaper to Cover a Bad Wall

Tuscan Brick Wall (Very Realistic)

Once you get your wits about you again, you start making notes, and take lots of before pictures, and start thinking of cheap wall covering ideas amongst other things!

This is what happened to us. Everything in this house was getting some kind of upgrade, from electrical to plumbing to new kitchen and fixtures, but the last thing we wanted to do was rip down drywall in the 4 bedroom. It was going to add too much time to the schedule, and cost, not to mention HUGE mess, but the fact that there was at least 2 layers of wallpaper in each room made us wonder.

After investing in a good wallpaper steamer from Home Depot, we discovered that in most of the rooms, we could get the wallpaper off without too much damage, and then do some spot filling in the drywall with skim coats of drywall spackle, a quick sand and then a couple coats of paint, after one coat of a good primer first.

We had each room named, so we knew what was needed, and each room had someone's idea of a nightmare cheap wall decor in it. One room was only known as the "splatter room" simply because someone had painted the walls (over wallpaper) and then spattered a brush full of paint in many colors all over the walls. That one needed to be lightly sanded, some repairs and then painting. The other rooms were similar, but this one room we called the "cork room". This room was the mother of all cheap wall decor. Luckily it was not huge, but still a pain.

Cheap Wall Decor - Someone had taken cork sheeting and squares and had GLUED them directly onto the wall board (drywall). We had contemplated going over this room with a thin layer of new drywall (you can get 1/4 inch thick "renew drywall) but this had been done once before already.

We didn't have room in the budget to take this room back to the studs. So, we took scrapers and a heat gun and scraped off the cork, and then the layers of hanging wallpaper, and we were left with the worse looking pitted drywall you can imagine. A lot of the drywall paper layer was missing too!

We have talent in the family, with my daughter being an electrician, who works for my sister who is a Master Electrician, a Heating/AC friend, and a son and girlfriend who can do amazing things with tiles, and I can paint, but none of us were any good at this drywall.

Textured Wall Coverings - So, after consultation with our friendly Home Depot (we were fast becoming friends, on first name basis!) we decided, to try our best with a skim coat ( a lot of the drywall paper was missing). Let it dry, sand it a bit, and then try one of these new textured paints you can get.

I also wish I had looked closer at some of these faux wallpaper to cover a not so perfect wall, I think they look absolutely awesome!  If you don't want to be fussing with drywall repair, this would make a quick fix of any room and look very realistic!

How to Texture a Wall - This was the absolute answer to our wall problem. After our skim coat and light sanding, the wall looked a bit "wavy" no matter how hard we tried. But we purchased a pail of this textured paint in a "low texture", which is more like a "rubble feel". I really had my doubts, but we were painting the whole house the same color, so they tinted the texture paint in our color, and with the special roller, we put on 2 coats.

Paint Additive to Turn it into Texture Paint

Perfect for "Not So Perfect Walls"

Rust-Oleum 22233 1-Pound Medium Box Roll-A-Tex
Amazon Price: $4.19 $2.99 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 7, 2018)

It covered all the little pits, and evened out the hills!, yes it took some work but the cost was a day of scraping by me, and some spackle, which we already had for other repairs, and a bucket (this texture paint came in a bucket size) for 50 dollars.

Textured Wall Coverings - Now the room looked good. We got rid of the wall paper in the closet and painted it too with the texture paint. Added some new closet doors and the same carpet was run through the entire upstairs as the old hardwood flooring was not able to be saved for varnishing. So, we added carpet. We got a really good deal at a local "End of the Roll" and were able to finish this house on budget to rent to our new family.

You can also try the textured wallpaper route, that you can then paint. But we didn't think it would stick very well to the walls, and it can get expensive for a roll, but it is another route you can try. We just wanted painted walls for tenants.  But as I am researching for yet another bad wall, I realized there are some really cool faux 3D looking finishes online at Amazon.

White Wash Look of Faux Paper

Rustic Brick Faux Wall Paper

Great Way to Cover a Bad Wall With Some Texture Look

I have since allowed them to paint some rooms, as they have decided to become long term tenants, and she painted the texture room, and was able to use regular paint over it, and said that it cleaned very well, and takes a beating from her kids.

She never saw what that room once looked like. But whether you are investing in a rental home or purchasing a fixer upper on a limited budget, there are ways around "total destruction" until you can afford to do so. So, you could find out how to texture walls with plaster, or you can just try these lines of texture paints. They hide well, can be tinted and you can get them in different "textures" we went with a slight rubble feel, but you can get thicker and try your hand at patterns, but this was enough for us to consider this type of product again for textured wall coverings.

Take a walk down your local home improvement store, talk to the staff, especially for paint and wall covering ideas. They will help with your problems.

Do, what I did, and go during the week if you can. Nothing personal to the weekend staff at these stores, but usually tend to be school students who have not done much home improvement before! I went during the week, to get good advice about everything from the kitchen to wall covering ideas.

Take pictures, even if it is just on your phone, so you can SHOW them what is wrong. This can save a lot of trips back and forth to the store.  Also see: