How To Hang Curtains In Rental Apartment

How to Hang Curtains in a Rental Apartment

Hanging curtains in a rental apartment often comes with the challenge of avoiding wall damage. Discover how to add a personal touch to your space without compromising your security deposit.

02/01/2024 – Update

In a Nutshell:

Hanging curtains in a rental can be a breeze without risking your security deposit. Opt for renter-friendly methods like twist and fit systems, command hooks, or tension rods. For a no-drill approach, consider Velcro strips or heavy-duty magnets. These solutions offer easy installation and removal, perfect for temporary living spaces. They not only add a personal touch but also ensure your deposit remains intact. So, you can enjoy privacy and style without the worry of wall damage.

Embracing these curtain-hanging techniques transforms your rental into a cozy haven. It’s not just about decor; it’s about creating a home that reflects your style, all while respecting the terms of your lease.

8 Ways Hanging Curtains In A Rental Apartment

Moving into a new apartment not only excites but also offers a canvas to create your personal haven, especially when seeking privacy from your neighbors. Curtains play a key role in achieving this, offering both seclusion and a touch of home.

The challenge, however, lies in hanging them without damaging the walls in a rental situation, where preserving the integrity of the space is crucial. Fret not – here are eight easy, damage-free methods to hang your curtains, ensuring privacy and comfort in your rental, without the headache of potential repair costs.

8 Ways Hanging Curtains In A Rental Apartment

1. Curtain Rod Brackets

One of the methods you can use to hang your curtains in a rental apartment is installing brackets. There are two types of curtain brackets you can choose from. Some are clip-on brackets, and others are brackets that need to be screwed into the wall. 

The brackets that need screws create minimal damage to the wall that you can fix yourself before you move using filler. The clip-on brackets can clip onto the top of blinds that may already be installed in the apartment.

Here is how to use the clip-on brackets:

Step 1: Preparing for Bracket Installation

Firstly, if you don’t have brackets installed, you’ll need two self-drilling drywall anchors and a couple of screws to hang the brackets. Go with the metal ones as they make less mess and are super sturdy.

Step 2: Leveling and Marking for Brackets

Mark and measure the brackets and make sure they are level using a string line before setting your self-drilling drywall anchors in place.

Step 3: Creating Anchor Points for Brackets

Use a small Phillips head to punch a hole where the drywall anchor will be placed, and strew it in by hand using a screwdriver. Self-drilling drywall anchors set easy and you won’t need an impact driver or drill.

Step 4: Setting Up and Hanging the Curtains

Now prep your blinds/curtains by making sure they are clean and can hang your rod on the brackets. You can now hang your blinds or curtains with confidence as these things aren’t going anywhere.

Best Curtain Rod Bracket Set
Hosko Curtain Rod With Brackets HOSKO Curtain Rod With Brackets
  • Black curtain rod set comes in different pieces, extendable rods let you get a custom fit length.

  • Window curtains rods project 2” from the wall and extend from 30" to 84" to adjust your window. Made with sturdy steel for long-lasting use.

  • The black metal curtain rod is a simple and stylish design. With a small black ball on either end for a minimalist look that makes it suitable for any room in your home, kitchen, and décor styles.

  • 1-inch curtain rods kit contains everything that you will require when installing window curtain rods: 2 rods with finials, 4 middle rods, 3 brackets, 6 screws, and 6 anchors.
  • The brackets are easy to use and leave no marks or holes
  • These clip-on brackets are relatively easy to find in store
  • They don’t require any power tools like drills or impact drivers
  • It’s a simple DIY option to hand curtains, but they look cheap
  • Heavy curtains may sag unless the brackets are heavy duty

2. Go With Velcro (Hook And Drill Free)

This might seem like an unusual way to hang up curtains, but it does work and is a great option for rental apartments. You can buy stick-on curtains from many home depo shops around the country. These stick-on curtains use Velcro to keep the curtains up. 

If you cannot find any stick-on curtains and you are good with a sewing machine, you can make your own by buying stick-on Velcro and sewing one side to your curtains.

Here is how to apply stick-on curtains with Velcro:

Step 1: Preparing Curtains with Velcro

If you have bought stick-on curtains, you can move to the next step. If you are making your own, ensure that the curtains are clean, then sick one side of the Velcro to the curtains and sew it on for extra support. 

Step 2: Cleaning the Wall for Velcro Attachment

Clean the area above the window where you will apply the other side of the Velcro. This area of the wall needs to be free of dust and dirt to ensure the Velcro sticks to it unimpeded, which will help it last longer. 

Step 3: Securing Velcro to the Wall

When the wall is dry, stick the other half of the Velcro to it. Press down on the Velcro quite hard to ensure it’s stuck to the wall well. Hold this in place for a good minute or so before moving on.

Step 4: Attaching Curtains to Wall with Velcro

You can now stick your curtains to the wall using the Velcro. You might need an extra person to correctly set your curtains and you’ll ideally want to place them on the Velcro from one side to the other.

Best Velcro Stick-On Shades
Pratique Velcro (Stick-On) Blackout Shades Pratique Velcro (Stick-On) Blackout Shades
  • Stickers on top of these door curtains are designed with velcro, which is easy to hang. It can be easily installed without any tools or curtain rods.

  • These functional panels act as a beautiful shade from the sun and offer privacy. Panels can be let down for full privacy, or tied up to allow in natural light.

  • These blackout door curtains can blend in easily with your bedroom, living room, dining room, laundry room, and kitchen, or any room in your home.

  • Made By 100% Polyester, natural effect, vinyl-free, and ECO-friendly, the open weave solid textured embellishment provides a light and airy feel.
  • The Velcro material will not damage your paint or walls
  • It is a very quick and easy method to hang your curtains
  • You can hang heavy curtains using wider Velcro strips
  • It can be difficult to find stick-on curtains that look nice
  • A sticky residue can be left behind after removing strips

3. Command Rod Hooks

Command hooks are another great way to hang up curtains without damaging the walls of your rental apartment in any way.

You will need to find the right hooks based on the weight of your curtains, as some will only handle very light sheer curtains, but there are ones that can hold up to 7.5lbs. 

Here is how to use command hooks:

Step 1: Measuring and Cleaning for Command Hooks

Once you have bought the command hooks, use a pencil to measure where you want the hooks and to make sure they are straight. Clean the wall where you want to hang the hooks. 

Step 2: Preparing Command Hooks for Application

Peel off the paper from the back of the hooks protecting the adhesive on the hooks, and place them in the container until you’re ready to stick them on the wall.

Step 3: Accurate Placement and Attachment of Hooks

Double check your measurements before doing anything else, and once you’ve confirmed everything is level, stick the hooks onto the marked areas, and push quite hard to ensure they stick well.

Step 4: Finalizing and Hanging Curtains on Command Hooks

Wait 24 hours for the adhesive to adhere to the wall fully (especially if you’re hanging heavier curtains) and then place your curtain rods on the hooks and hang your curtains. This should take you all of 10 minutes to complete from start to finish.

Best Command Rod Hooks
Command Curtain Rod Hooks (Brushed Nickel) Command Curtain Rod Hooks (Brushed Nickel)
  • Eliminates holes, marks, or sticky residue on your walls are easy to use and helps keep your walls looking beautiful.

  • Hangs heavier type curtains where you want without having to break out the drill making the ideal for apartments or temporary curtains.

  • Holds strongly on a variety of indoor surfaces including painted walls, finished wood, glass, tile, metal, and other smooth surfaces.

  • Redecorate when inspiration strikes; These wall hooks leave no sticky adhesive behind; Perfect to use in your college dorm, apartment, home, and office.

  • The command hooks are simple to install without tools
  • You can hang light or heavier designer curtains with ease
  • One of the more cost-effective methods to hang curtains  
  • Command hooks will not work very well on textured walls
  • They can also leave a sticky & messy residue when removed

4. Tension Curtain Rods 

Tension curtain rods are a great way to hang curtains up in a rental apartment without damaging the walls.

Tension rods can work most window widths and are widely available at most DIY stores across the country. 

Here is how to correctly fit tension curtain rods:

Step 1: Preparing Curtains and Tension Rods

Once you have your tension rods, take them out of the packaging and put your curtains onto the rods. You’ll likely want another person ready to hold the rod/curtains to keep them off the floor.

Step 2: Positioning the Rod and Curtains in Frame

Have your other half relay the rod and curtains to you while you carefully place the tension rods into the window frame.

Step 3: Securing and Adjusting the Tension Rods

Adjust the rods until they fit snugly in the window frame. Wiggle them around a bit and make sure they don’t move.

Best Tension Curtain Rod
Briofox Tension Curtain Rod (Matte Nickel) Briofox Tension Curtain Rod (Matte Nickel)
  • Heavy duty material with high-strength steel tube, the thickness of the tube increased by 60%. max load 30 pounds.

  • Rust-resistance is the newest high-tech non-corrosion electroplating and corrosion resistance capacity doubled.

  • Super sturdy with non-fall down tech and tension mechanism inside maintains powerful tension. max load 30 pounds.

  • Can be easily applied to all surfaces, including wallpaper, painted walls, tile walls, and wooden window frames, for aluminum windows and door frames.
  • Tension curtain rods require minimal setup or install time
  • Don’t require any special tools or equipment or drilling
  • You can find tension rods off the shelf at your DIY store
  • Tension rods are not ideal for hanging larger drapes
  • Regular maintenance is required as they can loosen

5. Twist & Fit Curtain Rods

Twist and fit curtain rods are similar to tension curtain rods as they are secured across a window frame in the same way.

Twist and fit curtain rods are a bit more stylish, though, as they have the appearance of a hook with a separate rod when they are all one piece. 

Here is how to install twist & fit curtain rods:

Step 1: Assembling the Curtain Rod

Grab a second person and with their help, push the thin curtain rod through the curtain hooks or fabric track until the tink rod locks with the thick rod.

Step 2: Positioning the Rod in the Window Frame

With the help of your DIY sidekick, place the twist and fit mechanism inside the window frame, and extend the rod within the window frame to the desired length.

Step 3: Securing the Rod with the Twist & Fit Mechanism

Fully twist the poles until they lock and are securely in place. You’ll typically need around 5-10 turns to ensure that the rods are completely locked and secure. You’re done!

Best Twist & Fit Curtain Rod
Maytex Twist And Shout Tension Rod Maytex Twist and Shout Tension Rod
  • Easy-to-install Smart Rods require no tools, no drilling, and no damage to your walls; have your curtains or blinds up in minutes.

  • Can hold both lightweight and heavy curtains and are ideal for folks renting in apartments as look stylish and are very affordable.

  • Fits inside any window and provides solid supports at up to 20 lbs inside of your window frame outward on both the left and right sides.

  • Ideal for hanging your choice of decorative or blackout window curtains in any bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, home office, or other room.
  • The twist and fit system is the easiest method to hang curtains
  • The rods come in a range of different window frame sizes
  • They come in a range of different colors and look pretty nice
  • You’ll need another person to install your curtains correctly
  • You’re not hanging heavy curtains (kitchen & bathrooms only)

6. Magnetic Curtain Rods

If you have a curtain rod that you adore but don’t want to put up as it could damage the walls of your new rental, fear not, as you can use some heavy-duty magnets to put your curtain rod up.

You will need to buy three things for this method, some heavy-duty magnets, super glue, and the strongest command hooks you can find. 

Here is how to use magnetic curtain rods:

Step 1: Aligning and Attaching Command Hooks

As previously recommended, place the command hooks above your window, and ensure they are in line with each other. Take the time to make sure the hooks are precisely level.

Step 2: Ensuring Secure Adhesion of Hooks

Press the command hooks on your wall (firmly) so they have adhered securely. Depending on the adhesive, you’ll want to leave the hooks for 24 hours for the glue to dry and set.

Step 3: Attaching Magnets and Hanging the Curtain Rod

Glue the magnets on the command hooks with super glue and leave this to dry. Place the curtain rod on the magnets and hang your curtains. These rods are good for hanging curtains up to 9-10 lbs in most cases with this method.

Best Magnetic Curtain Rods
Turquoize Magnetic Curtain Rods (Nickel) Turquoize Magnetic Curtain Rods (Nickel)
  • Suitable for installation on doors, window frames, and are perfect for blackout blinds in smaller converted man caves or movie rooms.

  • Super lightweight aluminum construction curtain rod with plastic finish-color range: black, nickel, pewter, brown, and more.

  • Easy Install, attaches in seconds to any steel surface .no screws or adhesives needed, no tools, will not leave holes or marks on steel doors.

  • Wipe with a dry cloth only can be used to hang lightweight curtains or linens such as window valences and very hand towels for bathrooms.
  • No fuss install/setup and can hold both light and heavy curtains
  • Can be used for blackout blinds with more powerful magnets
  • A great cost-effective option for hanging blinds and curtains
  • You will need to wait 24 hours before hanging up your curtains
  • The metal magnetic rods are more suitable for modern designs

7. Adhesive Curtain Brackets

Adhesive curtain brackets are similar to command hooks as they have an adhesive strip that connects them to the wall, and they are a great way to hang up curtains.

This is the ideal hanging option for lightweight curtains or blinds for either bathrooms or kitchens. I wouldn’t these types of brackets for hanging curtains in lounge rooms or your cool man cave.

Here is how you can install adhesive curtain hooks:

Step 1: Preparing Adhesive Brackets for Installation

Once you have the adhesive brackets, remove the paper on the back that is covering the adhesive strip placing them face up. Try to keep your fingers off of the adhesive as moisture is not their friend.

Step 2: Applying and Aligning Adhesive Hooks

Using the same measure and mark method for command hooks, stick the adhesive hooks to the wall above your window, and ensure that they are in line with each other. 

Step 3: Setting and Hanging Curtains on Brackets

Leave the hooks to dry for roughly 2 to 3 hours. Then place the curtain rod on the hooks and hang your curtains. Most of these brackets have a lockable mechanism that holds the rod to the rail. Click that in place and you’re done.

Best Adhesive Curtain Brackets
S&Amp;P Adhesive Curtain Rod Holders (White) S&P Adhesive Curtain Rod Holders (White)
  • These curtain rod brackets fit most home styles and are compact, have strong adhesion, great load-bearing, are waterproof, and are easy to stick on.

  • Utilizes a 2-in-1 design that makes the curtain rod bracket more stable and especially so if your wall is uneven or rough as the 3M adhesive base sticks!

  • These no-drill brackets suit a fixed rod bracket to fit most home styles and will look beautiful in your bathroom, bedroom, or living room.

  • Suitable for furniture, glass, mirrors, tiles, marble, stainless steel, and other smooth surfaces, rough surfaces require screws.
  • Like command hooks, there are no tools or expertise required
  • They look great in bathrooms/kitchens with a minimalist design
  • You can install these solo and they are a super cheap option
  • Don’t even think about installing these for heavier curtains
  • The adhesive on the back of the hoofs can fail over time

8. Temporary Shades

Temporary shades are a great way to get instant privacy in your rental apartment without hanging up proper curtains. 

If you’re not in the market for a set of expensive blackout blinds or don’t need the added privacy, they are a fantastic option.

Here is how to install temporary shades:

Step 1: Measuring the Window for Temporary Shades

Once you have the temporary shades, remove them from the packaging and measure your window frame.

Step 2: Trimming the Shades to Fit

Next, you’ll need to trim your shades to the appropriate size of your window frame. You can use either a utility knife or sharp pair of scissors to cut the fabric.

Step 3: Applying the Temporary Shades to the Window

Remove the paper from the glue on the back of the temporary shades, place the shades over your windows and stick the adhesive parts to the wall. 

Best Temporary Shades
Redi Easy Lift Temporary Shades (Natural) Redi Easy Lift Temporary Shades (Natural)
  • Perfect trim and fit shades that stick on window frames without tools, screws, or brackets with various different window frame size options.

  • Trim your shades with a utility knife using a trimming scale guide; and install in the shades within seconds with a simple peel-and-place application.

  • A great temporary blind option with decent privacy for living room windows or doors, and is also suitable for bathroom and kitchen windows.

  • Soft spun lace fabric gently filters light for privacy and UV protection with a rounded bottom rail and finished end caps for a clean, crisp appearance.
  • Offers instant privacy for your home as a temporary blind method
  • Doesn’t damage the wall or leave any sticky residue once removed
  • Great for the interim until you decide on the blinds you really want
  • They are temporary and are only ideal for a limited timeframe
  • You cannot open these shades once installed (fixed blinds)

How To Hang Curtains In Rental Apartment FAQ.

Now that we have covered the methods you can use to hang your curtains up in your new rental apartment; we will go through a few of the most frequently asked questions on this topic. 

Can You Install Curtains In Rental Apartments?

You can usually install curtains in a rental apartment, but always consult with your real estate agent before drilling any holes. Oh, and always get something in writing before breaking the drill out.

I simple short email to your agent confirming this request regarding where the curtains or blinds will be placed is highly recommended. I’d also attach an image of the end result, but that’s just me.

That said, rental apartments usually come with pre-installed curtain railing, but if yours doesn’t, you can use one of the above methods to install your curtains. 

Can You Install Curtains In Rental Apartments
Image: Graham’s Blinds

How Do You Hang Heavy Curtains In An Apartment? 

You can use systems like twist and fit curtain rods, command hooks, or Velcro to hang heavy curtains in your rental apartment. 

Although, I’d suggest going with something a bit more robust like a wooden curtain pole and some drywall anchors… that is if you plan on staying in the apartment long-term.

Curtain Rod Brackets
Image: Winart Home

Do You Hang Curtains On Window Frame Or on A Wall?

This will depend on the method you are using to hang your curtains, but generally, you would hang your curtains on the wall a few inches above the window frame. 

Plus it will also depend on the type of curtains you’re hanging. Lightweight blinds or even blackout blinds are ideal candidates for Velcro. But heavyweight curtains like velvet drapes will need decent wall anchors.

Magnetic Curtain Rods
Image: Budget Blinds

How Can I Hang My Curtains In My Apartment Without Drilling?

There are many methods to hang curtains in your apartment without drilling or leaving substantial damage to walls or window frames.

Typically you’ll want to avoid drilling as (like with my last landlord) your security deposit can be a risk if they’re unhappy with the installation work.

You can use the twist-and-fit system, Velcro, command hooks, magnetic curtain rods, or any other method mentioned above, as none require drilling. 

How Can I Hang My Curtains In My Apartment Without Drilling
Image: Mardom Home

How To Hang Curtains Professionally? 

A great place to start would be Airtasker or a general contracting service that subcontracts out such professionals. Home Advisor is a great place to start if you’re new to hiring trades and services.

Or, you could always try your nearest DIY stores in your area, as they will generally have professional contractors who can help you hang your curtains professionally.

The Bottom Line

If you are in a rental apartment and what to hang your curtains up without damaging the walls, there are many methods you can utilize. All of the ways we have mentioned are easy to install and don’t require a tool chest full of tools. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Versatile Hanging Methods: The post outlines a variety of curtain hanging solutions suitable for rental apartments, including command hooks, tension and twist & fit rods, magnetic rods, adhesive brackets, Velcro, and temporary shades, catering to different curtain types without wall damage.
  • No-Drill, No-Damage Approach: Each method presented offers a way to hang curtains without the need for drilling, ensuring that renters can decorate their windows without risking their security deposit or violating lease agreements.
  • Easy Installation and Adaptability: The solutions provided are not only easy to install but also versatile, allowing for quick changes or removals. This is ideal for temporary living situations, offering renters the flexibility to personalize their space with minimal effort and no long-term commitment.

If you follow one of the methods in this article to hang your curtains up, you won’t need to worry about paying for any damages when you move out of your rental apartment, and you will have your favorite curtains up in no time. Good luck hanging your curtains!