Change the color of your cabinets without pissing off your landlord

Guestpost by Rebecca on Aug 16th

I kind of hate wood. I'm one of those terrible, sinful people that will paint old wood furniture aqua, yellow, or antique white rather than treat it properly. I don't whisper sweet nothings to my wood furniture and seductively offer to apply another coat of stain to it. I mostly just paint it and eventually forget that it ever had a lovely cherry finish.

This led to a small problem in my apartment. I wanted to make my kitchen feel like it was my own, not just a borrowed rental kitchen. I wasn't allowed to paint the ugly wood cabinets or the walls, but that combo of standard rental ivory and drab brown just didn't work for me. I experimented a bit with those dollar store peel-and-stick wall decals. I attempted to liven up the kitchen with artwork. In the end, though… I HATED those damn cabinets.

As it always does, inspiration struck while standing in my Hobby Lobby. I noticed awesome stripe-y scrapbook paper — it totally matched the drawings I recently put up in the kitchen. I found more teal blue cardstock paper to go with it, and I grabbed about five rolls of double-sided tape, an X-Acto knife, and a ruler. OH YES.

Within a few hours, I measured and cut the paper so it fit perfectly inside the frames of the cabinet doors. Another 20 minutes and I used up two rolls of double-sided tape and found a new love for my freshly-papered wooden cabinets. The wood looks pretty decent next to the bright gorgeousness of that craft paper, right? Now I can have some COLOR and visual interest in my kitchen without pissing off my landlord by painting. I can make the kitchen actually go with my design plans rather than having to mold my design plans to my kitchen.

The best part about this craft idea is: the tape is VERY easily removed, even after a decent amount of time has passed. I had this paper up for about a year, and had to replace the paper on three cabinets during that time due to staining/tearing (this could be remedied with lamination, but I don't want my cabinets to be that SHINY). Every time it's been incredibly easy to remove and replace.

After a year, I was inspired by my new Tardis cookie jar and re-did all the cabinets in various shades of blue. I liked the concept so much I went even farther and put up movie cards from Blockbuster and posters from Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the other side of the cabinets! Okay, yes, maybe I've gone a bit far with this project… but it's so much fun I can't help myself.

Renting does come with its benefits and frustrations, but there's always a way to make a rental more like a home. I've been in this apartment for three years now. I'm incredibly ready to find a house of my own where I can paint as much wood (and wall) as I want, but for now I'm grateful that a little craftiness can help make my favorite room in the house feel a little more like a room of my own.

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About Rebecca

Rebecca is an answering service operator by day and a crafter/baker/maker by night. Her deepest darkest dream is to open a late night gourmet milkshake delivery service and work out of one of those awesome giant food trucks. She is the wife to a handsome bearded man and mama to two strange but loveable cats.