When decorating or renovating a house, it can be hard to decide between paint and wallpaper. Both options are great to beautify your walls and add character to your interior. However, there are several aspects to be considered before making the choice. It all comes down to your personal preferences, but it helps to contemplate the pros and cons of both in advance.
Colors, Patterns, and Textures
Modern wallpapers are quite versatile and customizable. You can choose lavish landscapes, intricate designs, or something more subtle. For example, you can feel close to nature by opting for a forest or jungle themed wallpaper; you can also order custom made wallpaper for the kids’ room that features all their favorite cartoon characters. If you like your walls plain, matted, and monotone, choosing paint makes more sense. Paint comes in an endless variety of colors; texture can be added and you can use multiple shades for the same room.
Light and neutral paint colors are the norm, as they make a room look more spacious and the walls are easy on the eyes. On the contrary, wallpaper tends to make the room look compact or cozy with its complex designs and color schemes. Then again, dark paints and pastel colored wallpaper might have the opposite effect.
Preparation and Installation
You might think that wallpaper doesn’t need preparation and it can be put up quickly, but that is not how it works. Whether you choose paint or wallpaper, everything depends upon the condition of the starting surface. If the walls already have a prior finish and are relatively smooth, the task to paint or install wallpaper becomes easier. If you have to strip down worn-out wallpaper first, that can be quite a tiresome and time consuming process. You may even have to call in a professional to prevent causing damage to your walls. However, minor irregularities or holes in the wall are easily covered by new wallpaper.
Paint requires a much cleaner and smoother surface, or the end result won’t turn out to be flattering. You may have to get rid of old peeling paint, as well as even out imperfections with spackle. Application of paint is competitively easy, yet let us not forget that you have to wait for it to dry and then apply a second (and sometimes third) coat to attain the desired finish. Installing wallpaper takes more effort because you have to add adhesive glue, as well as get cutting and placement right; nonetheless, it saves time as the task can be completed in a single session.
The cost of paint or wallpaper you use depends upon the quality. Cheap and expensive variants are available for both. However, paint can be assumed to be more cost effective because one bucket of paint covers a lot more surface area than one roll of wallpaper. If you are taking the DIY approach, paint is the obvious choice. You may need a professional for wallpaper installation, and there’s also the cost of adhesive glue to put it up. If you want to sale real estate, a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper replacement is one of the cheapest ways to increase its aesthetic and market value.
Good quality wallpaper is increasingly resistant to wear and tear, as compared to standard paint. If you have kids and/or pets in the house, wallpaper will last longer. Wallpaper surface is easier to clean, whereas it’s almost impossible to remove stains from a painted wall. Paint dulls or starts peeling over time, and makes the space appear unsightly. Wallpaper is quite tough, but not suitable for high moisture environments, such as in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Combination of Both
Who says you can only choose one? Many modern homes exhibit a combination of paint and wallpaper, which looks very elegant. Wallpaper is usually chosen for the accent wall, and the remaining walls are covered in a coat of paint that complements the colors in the wallpaper design. Paint alone may seem bland, and wallpaper everywhere can be too much, so the combination creates a perfect balance.