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Wallpaper or paint: pros and cons

Updated on Feb 3, 2019
Wallpaper or paint: pros and cons

Wall color is one of the most important factors in room decor, be it wallpaper or paint. The color of the walls can give any given room the effect you want, it can make the room brighter, or make it quieter and more cozy or it make it neutral, the choice is yours.

The age old question however when choosing wall color has always been whether to go for wallpaper or paint?

The wide variety of wall finishes available nowadays is mostly customizable, this means that you can have the color and pattern of your choice whether you choose wallpaper or paint, which makes the decision even harder.

Both option have their pros and cons, and we have made a list of those here to help you navigate both options before you decide.

Variety of options:

Variety of options:

Wallpaper:

Wallpaper comes in paper, fabric and vinyl surfaces, in a multitude of colors and a wide variety of patterns. So you are bound to find something you like if you brows the available options.

Paint:

Nowadays, paint can be mixed to order by computers that will guarantee the outcome. You can very easily get the exact color you want, with the exact sheen you want.

Best places to use:

Best places to use:

Wallpaper:

Because wallpaper is applied with an adhesive, you should not use it for high moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens as they may cause wallpaper to peel away from the wall. Same goes for open areas susceptible to weather elements such as balconies.

Other than that it works well for most other rooms in the house.

Paint:

Paint can work in almost any place, the keyword here is choosing the right kind of paint for the right place. High gloss paints are often more durable, that is why they are usually reserved for trim and doors, while flat sheens are largely used on interior walls. And of course you have to use special outdoor paint for open areas.

Application:

Application:

Wallpaper:

Only very handy people can apply wallpaper by themselves. It takes time, effort and precision that most people lack.

The good point though is that it can be applied to almost any wall with minimal preparation. If the wall isn’t ruined with humidity it is good enough. You just strip the old paint or old wallpaper, apply the adhesive and stick the rolls. Sticking the rolls correctly is the tricky part though.

Paint:

Paint on the other hand is fairly easy to apply, even for amateurs. The tricky part with paint though is preparation. A wall must be in very good shape and well prepared to hold the paint well.

Removal:

Removal:

Wallpaper:

While installing wallpaper can be done by anyone, if they have enough precision that is, removing it is another issue altogether. Even when it starts to peel and you find yourself thinking: “It’s coming right off” it’s not. Some places may come right off, but other places can be real stubborn fighters! You really need to call the professionals to take wallpaper off.

Paint:

Paint on the other hand may appear to be stubborn, but it is really mellow. You just need a special scraping knife and some determination and you can peel the entire wall by yourself.

Durability:

Durability:

Wallpaper:

Some types of vinyl wallpaper are more durable than the paper or fabric ones and can be washed, they still offer a shorter lifespan when compared to paint though.

Paint:

If applied to a wall in good condition, a good quality paint can live for years and years, it can be washed and can be repainted a different color and it wouldn’t chip.

Conclusion:

Conclusion:

When trying to choose between wallpaper or paint, it really comes down to the area you want to use it in, the condition of the wall and how long you want it to last.

Do not worry about color and pattern, you will probably find something you like whatever you choose.

For more design choices see also:

Marble tiles or Ceramic tiles, which to choose and why?

Before you decorate: Hardwood flooring pros and cons