The Renter’s Artwork Backdrop

I’ve been a bit offline, I know–Gillian’s experiencing longer periods of wakefulness and stronger vocal power, which means less sleep for everyone. So today’s a shortie-but-a-goodie!

I’m an admirer of many of my husband’s rental improvisations, but this one’s my favorite. He found this plank of wood in our trash room–eight feet tall, painted a vivid orange–and brought it upstairs to see what could be done with it. That was fiveish years ago, and it’s been a backdrop for artwork ever since. You know that we don’t have much compunction about drilling into our walls against management’s advice, but this is a rental solution that works for anyone. I call it the Renter’s Backdrop.

The green piggy banks from my husband's grandfather, and the Wellington boots also belonged to him.

Fortunately, we have molding that allows for painting hangers: little S-shaped metal brackets that hang off the ledge and allow us to suspend artwork without a studfinder. But if you don’t have that, you can probably drill into the wall, or better yet, if your home is toddler-free, just lean it against the wall. It’ll add some nice layers to the room and take up only a bit of floor space.

This backdrop is half-inch plywood, so it’s not going to hold a bookshelf, but it will hang frames and some small shelves. Another backdrop we had–in royal blue–held a lamp and assorted other items. This one’s hanging in Eliza’s room, and the best part is that it also covers up wires (we have one outlet in her room, and quite a few extension cords).

If you’re wanting to hang some artwork, but reluctant to damage the walls, pick up a sheet of plywood, paint it a snappy color, and treat it as your own personal dartboard. Or paint a dartboard on it, if you like.

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