Adding a splash of colour to your rented apartment or house walls is a great way to make it feel a little more like home and less  like a house you happen to be ‘borrowing’. However, painting whilst renting can sometimes  be a controversial choice for some tenants. This is why it is important to discuss with your Landlords before hand to ensure him or her  are on board with the idea.



Now there are three types of landlords:


A. Those who are totally against you painting at all.

B. Those who don’t mind you painting as long as everything is painted back to the original condition upon leaving.

C. Those who are fine with you painting colours you both agree on. They may even see your painting as a way to upgrade the look of the rented property. In this case, you usually do not have to paint everything back when you leave.



I’ll put my hands up here and say I’ve never come across landlord  A or C before. I’m a serial renter, and all my landlords have always been type B, hence I’ll just assume for the purpose of this post that that type is the more common of the two. I would have loved a type C, though. Just saying.

So if you do decide to paint your rental (and I don’t blame you really; magnolia paint and its derivatives can wear thin on the eyes after a while), here are  8 useful painting tips to remember before you whip out that paintbrush!

1. Always get permission first.

Even if you have correctly identified the type of landlord you have, it’s still a very good idea to run everything past them before you start to paint. Have a look through your tenancy agreement—some contracts say painting is NOT allowed. In this case, drop your landlord an email (written evidence is always good) to clarify and inform him or her of your plans (and that you will paint back, of course). You don’t want to be seen to be breaking the contract when the landlord comes to do a tenancy check and gets the shock of his or her life!

2. You don’t have to paint the whole house!

No kidding. Some rooms just don’t need to be painted, so have a good think about this with your significant other before you paint. For me, it’s usually my son’s room, playroom, kitchen or living room (high traffic areas)—the places where I tend to spend the most amount of time. Below is a picture of my sons playroom I painted in my previous home


8 useful tips to remember when painting your rental


3. Protect what’s not yours!

The fact it isn’t your house means you really have to be extra careful when rolling that paint on, especially if you want your deposit back!  Ensure that anything (carpets, furniture) which is not yours is covered or protected with a cloth of some kind. I remember leaving a huge paint gloss stain on the carpet in my previous rental, I couldn’t get rid of it, and the landlord took a fee from my deposit. I wasn’t pleased, but it was only fair and I’ll never make that mistake again!

4. Never forget the colour of the original paint.

Whatever colour your walls were when you moved into the property, you will need to paint it back to that very same colour, or a similar one, once you leave. Again, check your contract if you are not sure about the exact colour, as it usually mentions the specific colour used. Colour is not always set in stone, though; some landlords are okay with you just painting back to any shade, provided it is neutral. If this is the case, go for a cream colour rather than a white. I always found that colour much easier to paint back with, especially over the darker colours of paint.

5. Get creative with that paint!

Sometimes painting just one wall (see below) or ceiling with a bold colour or pattern and leaving the rest of the walls neutral can make such a dramatic difference in a room. It is also not too tedious to paint back once you move, especially if its quite a  large room (however if you are one of those people who enjoy painting, then this point may not even be relevant.)


Picture from How Sweet It Is


6. Try and stay cheap!

Yes, you might love your new home, but remember that you do not own it. Try not to get too carried away by investing too much money in paint and paint supplies. If you can get a cheaper brand of paint, do it! Get that paint stripper  out and wash your brushes so they can be used again (a tedious job I might add, but worth it in the long run)

7. See it, buy it, store it

This had been a life saver for me, and although it might sound crazy, it works! If you see a huge tub of magnolia paint at a good bargain at any time during your tenancy, buy it and put it away for when you do move! Do not wait until the very last possible moment before you have to leave to start buying paint. (You may not even have the money at this point, as moving is expensive.)

8. Be organised!

If you do decide to move again, make sure you start the painting process way ahead of your moving date.We usually start at least four to six weeks before and work through each room individually. This minimizes the stress of the moving process in general and gives you more time to get your house in order for its final spot check before you leave. Some landlords also like to take pictures of the house whilst you are still there to put it  back on the market for rent. They usually like to show the house with neutral colours  so don’t forget to factor that in to your ”painting back’ timescale.



8 useful tips to remember when painting your rental




And thats it! I hope this has helped and if you have any questions about anything, please leave me a comment below.


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