Apartment Living | Sprucing Up Our Rental Kitchen

If you are also an apartment dweller, or maybe living in a condo with strict decorating rules, it can sometimes be hard to make your rented space feel like a home. Since our last move to a bigger apartment in our neighborhood, this will be our third rented space we live in. Over the years we've picked up a few things on how to make our apartment feel more homey.

One of the hardest spaces to customize has always been the kitchen. When it comes to apartments, most managers don't really want to spend a whole lot on fixtures. We are lucky to live in a complex where the kitchens are actually pretty nice for being an apartment. However, there still was much left to be desired. 

I love kitchen back-splashes. I very rarely make such a mess while cooking to warrant one (we're talking mac 'n cheese, folks) but I just love how they look. Obviously in an apartment, I can't exactly glue some tiles to the wall. There are other options to get the tiles look, like Home Depot's decorative wall tiles. Beautiful? Yes. But at $22.00 for a 18"x22" sheet, that was not in our budget. I wanted to paint the whole back kitchen wall. So we went another route (which is way more fun if you ask me)... Chalkboard paint.

Ah, yes. Beloved chalkboards. Nightmares from our youth have now come back into fashion and I wanted it in my kitchen. This project actually only cost me a buck because my mom already had the Rust-Oleum chalkboard so all I needed to buy was the high density roller.

When painting with chalkboard paint, make sure you tape off your area really well. This stuff will seep under like crazy. Then just cover the area with one coat (it will look really streaky, don't worry). Then wait four hours and paint a second coat on. I only needed to do two coats but some might not be so lucky. If you think you need to do a third coat, just wait another four hours to put it on.

Then came the worst part... the waiting period. You are technically supposed to wait 48 hours before the next step. But, if you know me, I have zero patience, especially with "craft" projects. I think I managed to wait 24 hours. Though I can't speak for everyone, that was enough time for me.

So that was the worst step... this one is the most important. The first thing you write on this chalkboard paint is permanent.  So you'll want to take a piece of white chalk and turn it on it's side like you would do with shading something. Cover the whole wall of paint in the chalk shading. 

I know what you're thinking. "But, but, but! I don't want that to be permanent!" Don't worry my friends. Grab a paper/cloth towel and erase it all. Once you've gotten rid of all the chalk you'll notice that the wall is just a little closer to dark grey rather than solid black straight out of the can. It looks like a real chalkboard now!

So you've got the worst step, the most important step, now comes the most entertaining step... DOODLING! Once you've done the initial priming of the wall with chalk, you're ready to start drawing. We had a lot of fun with this and actually found out Mike is a pretty good artist!

We've gotten a lot of compliments on our chalkboard back-splash and we think it really livens up our kitchen. We've got a few more ideas up our sleeve on how to make this place fool people into thinking it's a house but more on that later! Until then, have any of you done any cool things to your rented space?


  1. I like your thoughts. For me the rule is, the more zen the apartment is furnished and filled with stuff the better life feeling I have. Thank you for your post, there are so many great ideas out there.

  2. I love the batman...


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