Eco-Friendly Wall Treatments on a Budget


One of the great things about eco-friendly wall treatments is that they tend to be budget-friendly as well. This is partly because eco-friendly wall coverings can be made from recycled material you have in your own home, making them extremely affordable.

Store-bought, eco-friendly wall treatments can get pricey – vegetable dyes for wallpaper and fabric, chemical-free adhesive, “green” paint, sustainable wood panels…but there are budget-friendly options at your retailer, too.

So here are some ideas for eco-friendly wall treatments on a budget.


Scrap Paper

If you need a wall treatment, particularly on one wall, scrap paper may be your answer. What a functional way to use some of those junk mail catalogues and old phone books. You may even be able to tear into some old books, like those 1973 encyclopedias. Raid your basement and attic and look for interesting paper items, and sift through those piles of paper and junk mail. You may be amazed at what you’ll find!

If you are doing this in the summer, look at yard sales and garage sales for scrap paper. You may find some actual wallpaper that someone didn’t need – usually left over from wallpapering a room – that may cover one wall in your home.

Used Covering

If you have a second-hand store or home supply store that sells used items in your area, this is a great place to look for wall treatments. Habitat for Humanity has “Re-Stores” around the country that are in this vein. These are great places to find used paneling and other potential wall treatments for little money.

Papier Mache

Yes, you can papier mache your walls! Soak strips of newspaper in flour and water paste, apply the strips to the wall, allow to dry, and then paint (with eco-friendly paint, of course). This is a great way to recycle those old newspapers, too.

Scrap Fabric

You don’t have to be an expert in needlework to have scrap fabric around. What about old scarves? Clothes that don’t fit? Using liquid starch or a cornstarch paste, you can apply all kinds of fabric to your walls in various designs. Other ideas might include old t-shirts (great for a game room), lacy scarves (imagine a light-colored scarf on a dark wall and vice versa), doilies, and old blankets.

Used Wine Barrel Slats

Used Wine Barrel Slats

Purchased Wall Treatments

Don’t have anything around the house you can use? There are still budget-friendly options that are good for the environment. Look at antique stores, second-hand stores, and other places where people sell used items for little money. Look for materials like old road maps, books (like old encyclopedias and dictionaries), and even used paneling and wallpaper. If you have something in mind, you can often find an eco-friendly “steal” at some of these places!