9 Cheap Wall Covering Ideas for Bad or Damaged Walls!

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

The walls in your home have such a huge impact on the mood and style of your space. If you have outdated, damaged, or just flat-out ugly walls, you know firsthand how distracting they can be from your other decor.

However, fixing or refinishing a wall from scratch can be quite expensive. After factoring in materials, contractors, and all of the time the project can take, you could be out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars when all is said and done!

If you’re in need of inexpensive and fast ways to cover your walls, look no further! Using these tips, you’re sure to find a solution that matches your budget and style.

To inexpensively cover up bad or damaged walls, consider resurfacing the wall using peel-and-stick wallpaper, tiles, mirrors, or wooden wall coverings. For covering smaller spots, or simply to enhance a wall’s appearance, try tapestries, framed photos, or art. Acoustic panels, plants, and greenery can cover while also improving the health of  your home’s environment.


One of the easiest and often most inexpensive ways to cover up a wall is by using a tapestry. While they’ve become a college dorm room cliche, there are also ways to make these wall hangings look more “grownup” and stylish without spending too much!

These days, you can find tapestries to suit pretty much any interior decor style – from bold, colorful designs to more subtle, calming patterns. After searching through the many many styles on sites such as Amazon and Etsy, you’re sure to find something that would look fantastic in your space!

To give your tapestry a more polished look, try stapling thin wood slats along the top and bottom back edge of the tapestry. This will flatten out the fabric while it’s hanging, giving it a smooth, neat appearance. To get an even flatter appearance, attach some weights to the bottom wood slat as well.

Removable Wallpaper

A go-to decor game changer for renters, removable wallpaper is a quick and cheap way to cover walls. They are super easy to peel and stick, instantly upgrading your walls. As a bonus, you can remove them whenever necessary, for moving out, or just when your style changes.

These do work best on non-textured walls because they are usually a pretty thin material and will show any texture underneath. However, if you go for a wallpaper with a textured pattern already, such as this faux brick wallpaper, some texture underneath shouldn’t be too noticeable and might even be a plus.

These are so easy to use that you can cover all of the walls in your room to get a completely new look. Or, try covering one wall in a bold geometric print to create a stylish accent wall.

Art & Photos

If the damage to your walls is small or only in certain areas, hanging up some artwork or framed photos can hide the damage while also adding a personal touch!

Using a set of individual frames you can make a collage with art prints or your own photos. You can also opt for larger muli-framed pieces to cover up bigger areas on the wall.

If you are a bit artsy yourself and want to get more creative with your space, buy a canvas and try out making your own decor! With some paint and a free afternoon, you can create something truly unique to freshen up your walls. Try an oversized canvas for maximum coverage.

Even if you don’t have much experience with art there are tons of online tutorials for easy and beautiful projects, such as acrylic paint pouring. Get your creative wheels turning and have some fun while also creating a solution to your subpar walls!

Wood Wall Coverings

Wood is a classic interior design material for a reason! Its versatility is unmatched and it gives any space a natural warmth instantly.

While wood-covered walls got a bad rap after they went out of style in the 80s, it is back and the modern iterations are fresh and fun! Light-colored wood wall coverings are an inexpensive and fast way to give your space a light, breezy, and natural feel.

If you want a more unique, mid-century modern feel, you can try out multi-tonal wood panels to cover a section of your wall or even the whole thing. For a DIY option, get creative and make your own wooden wall art mosaic using small pieces or blocks of wood and a couple of different wood stains of your choosing.

To cover an entire wall, you can also DIY wood pallet walls using any wood you have access to. Try searching scrap yards for reclaimed wood to save some cash. You can always sand them down and add a fresh layer of paint or stain to bring them back to life.

After attaching horizontal supporting wood planks directly to your wall, nail your selected wood planks horizontally across the support panels to create a beautiful wood pallet wall.

Peel-and-Stick Tiles

Peel-and-stick tiles are another excellent idea for covering damaged or unattractive walls. Use them to cover backsplash areas that have been stained from years of kitchen messes, peeling bathroom paint that has suffered water damage, or simply draw attention away from ugly walls.

A section of peel-and-stick white subway tiles is a classic, timeless style. For a more unique look that can function as a decorative focal point in your room, consider Moroccan-style tiling. You can find these in many different fun colors and patterns.


Mirrors are a staple in modern interior design as well as a cheap way to cover your walls. Adding mirrors to your space opens it up while also brightening it naturally by bouncing more light around the room.

You can place large standing mirrors in front of your walls or hang mirror panels to create a sleek, airy, and ultra-modern mirror wall.

Vintage framed mirrors can cover up a spot of wall damage while looking luxurious and refined! If you need to cover more space, mirror tiles could be right for you. These come in a variety of different shapes and can be arranged in many unique ways on your walls.


A versatile and easy way to cover any wall is to simply use a curtain! Hang a rod or multiple curtain rods wherever needed and then choose whatever fabric suits your space.

Hanging curtains has many perks as a wall covering. It can give the illusion of more windows than you actually have. This is also why curtains are great for basement rooms.

Curtains are also good to use as a temporary wall covering. For example, if you need a quick and cheap way to cover wall damage until you are ready to fix it or have it refinished properly.

Additionally, curtains can easily be swapped out for different colors and styles as frequently as you choose. This makes it super simple to redecorate your room if you’re someone who always loves to change it up!

Acoustic Panels

Whether you have noisy neighbors, lots of talkative kids, or even just too much ambient noise, acoustic panels can help cover your walls while also improving your sonic environment.

Now, the first thing that probably came to mind is those black foam panels that are used in music studios, but actually acoustic panels have become increasingly popular in residential and commercial spaces as functional wall decor!

Acoustic panels nowadays are available in a huge variety of materials, colors, and styles. They can blend in naturally to a space or act as a decorative centerpiece. You can try these plain white acoustic panels for a neutral look or more decorative versions like these panels that double as wall art.


Everyone knows that more plants and greenery in a home makes it feel more alive, boosts your mood, and can even purify the air! This is why using some green to cover up your walls could be a perfect choice.

A vine garland is a great, green way to cover up a large section or even an entire wall inexpensively. You can even mix in some fairy lights to add a magical, fairytale-like glow in the evenings.

If you want some real plants, succulents or air plants are a great option. They require very little care, making them the perfect wall plant! You only need to mist them occasionally and they can live without very much sunlight. You can buy a plant frame or get creative making your own with some wood or even rope netting to hold the air plants.

Final Thoughts

Damaged or unattractive walls are not fun to live with! Using these tips, you can easily cover up your walls without breaking the bank. Now is the time to leave your unsightly walls in the past and reinvigorate your space!

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About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

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