I just moved into a 2 family apartment. The porch leads to two doors, one for the upstairs apartment, and one for the downstairs apartment.

The upstairs entryway has a relatively thin space to the side of the stair bannister, but wide enough for my commuting bicycle, (although I'll probably roll it in backwards, so the handlebars never get caught). I plan to place my bicycle there, but I want to ensure that I do not scuff up the walls, as I roll it in and out each day.

I want to cheaply line the walls without altering (scuffing, penetrating) the walls. I figure 3 planes of material could do it, (for the left, right, and back walls), but I'm not sure of which material could be:

  • Sturdy enough to stand on its own weight
  • Thin enough to not significantly reduce the already small space
  • Light enough to rest against the wall without cutting into it if it shifted slightly
  • Purchased in sizes 5 ft. tall
  • Cheap
  • Possibly still aesthetically pleasing

Ideas included:

  • Corregated cardboard (where could I get sizes large enough)
  • Sheetrock/drywall (I think these max at 4 feet)
  • Plastic (what type? clear would be aesthetically pleasing)

1 Answer 1


It's an entryway that you'd like to keep clean, and drywall would ding, scrape, and mar just like the existing drywall, so that's not a good option.

I would consider the following material:


It's a simple lightweight plastic, that can be installed with cheater strips and liquid nails, and has an inexpensive cap rail too. It'd be long lasting, easy to clean, and white goes with almost anything. It does mean you will have to take some time and care to make sure it looks good, considering it'll be there for decades. My cost estimate would be $130 US in total, for 3 panels, a straightedge and box knife, Liquid nails and the edging strips.

And, of course, that also means you need to get permission from the building owner to install it, but the fact you've asked will go a long way to getting a yes.

If you don't care what it looks like, and you're moving out in a year or so, then I'd seriously consider the cardboard option instead, and use blue painters tape to hold the cardboard together, and the panels to one another.

Or just say screw it all, save up the money to have the wall repaired when you move out, and offer the landlord $100 to cover the scrapes and repaint the area - they have to do it anyway....

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