31 Cheap Wall Covering Ideas For Bad Walls (Try This!)


Damaged walls are often an eye sore, but remodeling is not always within the budget. You don’t have to put up with the ugly partition, though. 

From specialty paint to fancy art, here are some cheap wall covering ideas for bad walls: 

  • Textured paint
  • Peel-and-stick tiles
  • Oversized wall art
  • Photo collage
  • Fabric wall
  • Bold wallpaper 
  • Wood slats 
  • Reclaimed wood 
  • Laser-cut panels 
  • Tapestry 
  • Curtain wall 
  • Vinyl wall decals 
  • Peel-and-stick mirrors
  • Self-stick cork panels board
  • Blackboard paint
  • Plywood walls
  • Patchwork collage
  • DIY hat dreamcatcher 
  • Fake greenery wall 
  • Bookcase wall 
  • DIY crate wall 
  • Fake flower wall
  • Painted murals 
  • Wallpaper wall art
  • Mismatched mirrors
  • Dangling twinkle lights
  • Wood accent wall 
  • Eclectic objects 
  • Wooden trellis
  • Floating shelves 
  • Macramé wall art 

1. Textured Paint

A new coat of paint can give walls a new lease of life. However, some stubborn stains are difficult to cover with just a coat. They might need full paint stripping and repainting. 

If this is the case, your quick bad wall covering project could easily turn into a lengthy and expensive affair. Or you could replace smooth paint with a textured alternative. 

Textures such as sand swirl are preferred when trying to get rid of a stain, crack, or peeling paint. Use two or three tones of your favorite shade to mask all imperfections. Slap brush textures are a nice alternative. 


2. Peel-And-Stick Tiles

In wet rooms, such as a bathroom or kitchen, vapor and condensation can damage the walls. Moisture stains, as well as cracked or peeling paint, can hinder the beautiful finish of your interior.

Tiling the walls in these areas is your best bet, but this could be expensive. 

This is where peel-and-stick tiles step in. These tiles are very easy to apply on previously cleaned walls, and you can replace them with new peel-and-sticks or real tiles whenever you want (or have the budget).  


3. Oversized Wall Art

If your wall is not completely bad, but there is a stain or crack in the middle of it, you can cover it up with oversized wall art. 

The options are truly endless. 

A single oversized painting can become a focal point – for instance, contemporary art can add value to a modern interior. 

Art composed of various pieces that must be arranged in a sequence is both popular and cheap. Large posters – preferably framed – are another option.


4. Photo Collage

Turning a wall into your own home gallery comes with a double advantage: you get to cover a bad wall without spending an arm and a leg, and you can showcase your photographic talent – or the most important moments of your life. 

There are various ways to achieve this. Framed photos of various sizes, mixed and matched, look great in both modern and traditional interiors. 

Several pictures printed on canvas and hung on the wall could give your room an artsy feel.


5. Fabric Wall

Fabric wallpaper is a timeless interior decoration but also one of the most expensive. However, not all is lost if you can’t afford it. 

Creating a fabric wall is easy with regular textiles. You can use an old piece of fabric you happen to have in your home, create a patchwork pattern from fabric scraps, or buy a length of material.

Hang the fabric on your wall by gluing it with liquid starch. Don’t use other adhesive types unless you want to bring further damage to the substrate. 


6. Bold Wallpaper 

You don’t feel like measuring, cutting, and sticking fabric on a wall? Buy self-sticking wallpaper on sale. 

Choose a bold pattern to create a focal point. If you’re a fan of solid color, choose a bright hue that complements the color in the rest of your room. 


7. Wood Slats 

Installing wood slats might not be as straightforward as sticking wallpaper or adhesive tiles, but it isn’t complicated either. 

Borrow the power tools from a neighbor or rent from your local home improvement store if you don’t have them already. Other supplies include screws and either reclaimed or new wood slats. 

Vertical or horizontal patterns are great choices for minimalist designs. Alternatively, create geometric displays that can add value to your room.


8. Reclaimed Wood 

Reclaimed wood works in the same way as wood slats, but these boards are generally mismatched in terms of size. They are a perfect choice for a shabby chic or eclectic interior, though.

Salvaged barn boards can even add a touch of style to a wood cabin or a rustic country home. 


9. Laser-Cut Panels 

While laser-cut panels aren’t the cheapest wall coverings for bad walls, they are definitely cheaper than full-room remodeling. 

The most budget-friendly option is that of buying ready-made panels that you can simply hang on the wall. 

Alternatively, you can create your own art or have the panels made to size by a local artist.

This could seem like an expensive solution, but students or untrained artists could offer affordable prices as long as you give them an endorsement. 


10. Tapestry 

One of the cheapest ways to cover up bad walls is by hanging a tapestry. From mass-produced mandala draperies to handmade arrases and embroideries, there are plenty of options for all tastes and budgets. 

Hanging options can also vary from simply nailing the corners of your tapestry to the wall to framing the fabric and displaying it wall art-style. 


11. Faux Window 

A variation of the tapestry idea is that of creating a faux window.

All you need is a square LED panel light designed for wall installation – the panel should be about the size of a window, or you could install several lights. 

Mount a curtain rod and hang curtains made of a translucent material. The fabric should be thin enough to let the light through but not see-thru so that it can mask the lights behind.


12. Vinyl Wall Decals 

There are plenty of ways to cover small to midsize wall damage, but vinyl decals are among the cheapest and easiest solutions. 

Decals also come in a variety of styles, from contemporary-chic to child-themed. 

Clean the wall thoroughly before installation to remove all traces of grease or oils. Then, follow the instructions on the decal to stick it to the wall.


13. Peel-And-Stick Mirrors

Peel-and-stick mirrors are similar to adhesive tiles but are a better choice for covering bad walls in living spaces, in a hallway, or in the bedroom. 

Some designs are window-shaped; others are made up of individual geometric shapes that you can arrange in the desired pattern. 


14. Self-Stick Cork Panels Board

Self-stick cork panels enable you to transform a bad wall in your home office into an attractive and functional feature. 

These panels stick to the wall in the same way adhesive tiles or mirrors do, and you can use them to cover a smaller or larger portion of the wall. 

Once installed, they transform your wall into a panel board on which you can pin schedules, notes, and other important stuff.


15. Blackboard Paint

Bad walls don’t necessarily mean cracked or peeling paint. Sometimes, it is just an ugly stain that is easy to cover with black paint. 

Black chalkboard paint is an excellent choice for covering a bad wall in the kid’s room or the kitchen. Alternatively, you can build and install a DIY whiteboard.


16. Plywood Walls

Professional wall panels are typically expensive, but DIY alternatives are a lot cheaper. For instance, you could cover a bad wall with plywood. 

You might not even need woodcutting tools for the project, as most home improvement stores are able to cut the sheets for you. Just check with your local store beforehand, or ask a carpenter to cut the panels to size. 

Install the sheets with screws for easy removal. For a more permanent solution, you can stick them on with adhesive – removal will be a nightmare, but you won’t have to fill in any screw holes.


17. Patchwork Collage

Eclectic interiors give you plenty of possibilities when it comes to DIY solutions. To cover up a bad wall, you can simply create a patchwork collage.

A patchwork collage is a collage design made up of random pictures or picture collections. 

For instance, a jungle patchwork collage can include pictures of jungle plants and animals mixed and matched in the desired pattern.

Botanical collages can include pictures of plants and plant information. Body parts and plant prints are also popular, but the limit is your imagination.


18. DIY Hat Dreamcatcher 

Associated with the Native American culture, dreamcatchers are iconic hoop-and-web forms meant to protect sleepers from bad dreams. 

However, if you’re more concerned about a bad wall than nightmares, you can make a DIY dreamcatcher from old hats. 

Find a twisty stick and hang the hats from it. This decorative element can cover up small damage in the hallway. 


19. Fake Greenery Wall 

Greenery adds visual appeal and can mask a damaged wall beautifully. 

For a porch or exterior wall, opt for fake greenery panels that mimic hedges. Inside your home, fake vines and leaves can be positioned in a way to cover the damage while leaving part of the wall visible.


20. Bookcase Wall 

Floor-to-ceiling bookcases can easily mask any wall imperfections, but these pieces of furniture are expensive. 

A much more affordable solution is building your own floor-to-ceiling bookcase with shelving. 

Wooden boards or reclaimed shelves are some of the cheapest options. Screw them on brackets to create a solid structure. 

The best thing about such a bookcase is that you can make it as large or small as you want.

You can also adapt it to your interior; for instance, install it around a doorway. Fill all shelves with books and trinkets to cover the peeling paint or stains.


21. DIY Crate Wall 

An alternative to the bookcase idea is that of making a wall of crates that you can then use as shelves or as a bookcase. 

Used crates are typically easy to find at local grocery shops. You could also buy new ones at relatively affordable prices. 

Mount them on the wall with screws, alternating between vertical and horizontal placements. Fill them with books and objects for a beautiful effect.


22. Fake Flower Wall

Covering a wall in fake flowers takes time, but the project isn’t expensive. 

For the best results, buy large fake flowers such as sunflowers, hydrangea, gardenias, or a mix of them. Chop off the stems and stick the flowers on the wall with an appropriate adhesive. 

If covering the whole wall sounds too meticulous, create a pattern to cover the damaged portion only. Alternatively, cover half a wall diagonally.


23. Painted Murals 

A cheap and fun project for the artistry type is painting an interior mural on their stained wall. 

Based on your skill level, you can invest in paints and paintbrushes for a detailed composition or opt for a simpler solution.

If your artistic skills aren’t stellar, create a geometric play on the wall with painter’s tape. Spray paint each empty shape in a different color, then let the paint dry. Peel off the tape carefully, and you’re done.


24. Wallpaper Wall Art

Sticking wallpaper on a wall is fun and games until the project becomes too expensive or too daunting to carry on. 

However, you don’t have to give up wallpaper. Simply use it to make original “paintings.”

Find a few vintage frames at your local thrift shop. Cut pieces of wallpaper to size and frame them – you can use the same wallpaper for all frames or mix and match various styles.

Hang the framed wallpaper in a gallery style over the damaged area.


25. Mismatched Mirrors

Similar to wallpaper art, find framed mirrors at your local thrift shop. Hang them over the bad wall, gallery-style. 

This solution works in all interior spaces, from hallways and stairways to the living room, bedroom, bathroom, and even the kitchen.


26. Dangling Twinkle Lights

A curtain of twinkle lights can become the focal point of a room while masking most damages on a wall – especially when hung over a translucent curtain. 

This solution works best in a bedroom, kids’ room, or studio apartment. It is also a perfect choice for damaged patio or balcony walls.


27. Wood Accent Wall 

A cheap way to create a wood accent wall is with a repurposed door. Using reclaimed wood pieces could also work. 

For a statement wall, paint the wood in a bold hue. For a contemporary finish, let the wood grain shine through by enhancing the natural color with lacquer. 


28. Eclectic Objects 

Another eclectic idea is that of creating a “busy” wall that displays all kinds of artwork. Think animal skulls mixed with paintings, photographs, embroidery, and even plates or tin cans.

Mix and match small and big elements to create an attractive display.


29. Wooden Trellis

Wooden trellises aren’t only objects that can help you block neighbors’ views in your backyard. A wooden trellis installed on a damaged wall can move the focal point from the stain or crack, with a geometric pattern. 

For fuller coverage of the damage, grab a paint can and paint roller and give your wall a new lease of life.


30. Floating Shelves 

Floating shelves are an alternative to the floor-to-ceiling bookcase idea mentioned above. 

You can buy ready-made shelves or make them yourself. If opting for the latter, don’t settle for the standard wooden boards cut to dimension. 

Use your imagination and repurpose old items in your home. For instance, a nightstand drawer could become a shelf. A cabinet door cut in two and an old shelf from some ancient piece of furniture can join the drawer. 

Wooden boards found in your yard or repurposed can also become shelves in your eclectic wall pattern.


31. Macramé Wall Art

Wall art comes in many sizes, shapes, and types, and the same is true for macramé wall art. 

Bohemian-chic choices focus on hanging wall art items or dreamcatcher-style accessories. However, framed macramé on a neutral background can complement a classic interior. 

Similar to pictures or mirrors, framed macramé gives you the possibility to create a unique gallery and cover all types of bad walls.

Roxana Bikfalvi

Roxana is a copywriter passionate about home improvement and interior design. When she’s not writing, you can find her upcycling old furniture or remodeling interiors. She has written for numerous home improvement blogs before joining PlumbJoe.

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