How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?

Written by julie eger
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How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
Temporarily change the look of the kitchen backsplash in the apartment you rent. (kitchen image by Daria Miroshnikova from

The backsplash in a kitchen takes a lot of abuse. It is there to protect the wall from water spraying from the sink, food splattering from the stove, and everyday food preparation. One complaint from renters is that they would like to change the look of their rented apartment without compromising their security deposit. Consider some of these temporary decorating solutions to create an inexpensive, but functional, backsplash that complements your personal style while you are renting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Full length mirrors
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Heavy-duty aluminium foil, 75 square foot roll
  • Silver drawing pins
  • Removable double-sided tape
  • Sponge
  • Latex paint, 2 colours
  • Small black boards
  • Small cork boards
  • Roll of washable wallpaper
  • Decorative drawing pins
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Rulers
  • Paint sticks
  • Section of old snow fence

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  1. 1

    Purchase full length mirrors and turn them on their sides to fit between the top edge of the counter top and the bottom of the cupboards. Tack them in place by using a hammer to drive finishing nails through the edge of the frames.

    How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
    Turn a full length mirror sideways and tack it to the wall under the counter behind the sink. (mirror image by Lars Christensen from
  2. 2

    Crinkle a roll of heavy-duty aluminium foil and then smooth it out. Tack the foil to the wall with silver-topped drawing pins or use removable double-sided tape for easy removal when you move out. Turn the edges of the foil under half an inch on each end. Place one edge over the top of the other to make a clean-looking seam where the ends meet. Tack it in place.

    How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
    Crinkle up some heavy-duty aluminium foil and tack it up as a backsplash. (tin foil image by Karin Lau from
  3. 3

    Paint the wall under the cupboards a faux finish by alternately dipping a sponge in two different colours of paint and then pressing the sponge onto the wall. Request a sample of the original wall colour from your landlord so you can quickly paint the small area under the cupboard back to its original colour before you move out.

    How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
    Paint the area under your cupboards with a faux design. (orange faux marble image by Allyson Ricketts from
  4. 4

    Purchase small blackboards or cork boards and line them up in a row under the cupboards. Tack them up by driving finishing nails through the frames with a hammer. Draw pictures or write notes on the blackboards. Change the drawings whenever you feel artistic. Tack up notes on the cork boards.

    How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
    Purchase small blackboards and tack them up as a backsplash. Draw pictures on them. (feliz dia image by juanjo tugores from
  5. 5

    Tack washable wallpaper in place under the cupboards. Fold the ends under 1 inch and tack in place with decorative drawing pins.

    How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
    Tack up sections of wallpaper as a backsplash. (wallpaper image by Mikhail Malyshev from
  6. 6

    Recycle a leftover sheet of vinyl flooring by cutting it to fit the area beneath the cupboard and above the counter top. Tack the vinyl in place with drawing pins that match the colour of the linoleum. Use your imagination to think of things you can use to tack over the seams where the ends meet, such as old rulers, paint sticks painted a matching colour, or clean wooden sections from an old snow fence.

    How do I Decorate Rental Kitchen Backsplashes?
    Recycle leftover vinyl flooring and use it as a backsplash. (Tiled floor image by Simon Amberly from

Tips and warnings

  • Choose colours of paint and wallpaper that reflect your personal decorating style.
  • Fill holes in the walls from nails and tacks with a dab of white toothpaste when you're ready to move.
  • Paint the walls back to their original colour before you move out of the apartment.
  • All rental contracts are not the same. Do not paint or tack anything to the walls in your apartment if your rental contract prohibits it.

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