Is Paint or Wallpaper The Best Choice for Your Room

Wallpaper in bedroom

After declining in popularity for decades, some uses of wallpaper have become trendy again. Advances in material technology and digital printing provide homeowners, contractors and designers more options for decorating walls and adding beauty, warmth, and character to a space. Whether you choose paint or wallpaper to transform your home, select materials with the right textures and colors because they have a direct impact on your furniture and decor accessories.

Since you will have to live with the results for a while, make sure that you carefully weigh the key factors when comparing wallpaper to painting advantages and disadvantages including surface preparation, durability, and the cost of a wallpaper or paint project.

Wallpaper: Pros and Cons

paint vs wallpaper	
Today’s wall coverings have richer colors in a variety of materials, including fabric, vinyl, paper, and natural textile. You can choose from oversize prints and metallic wallpaper to paintable wallpaper and textured and three-dimensional fabrics. Similar to painted spaces, you can combine colors, textures and lighting to create a variety of effects. Some attractions and concerns of deciding whether to wallpaper a space include:

  • Surface preparation – You must fill in any holes, smooth out uneven surfaces and remove dirt and grime to help the new material cling to the surface. You will need to apply a coat of one-step primer/sealer to stabilize the old paint and ensure a successful wallpaper installation.
  • Installation –The methods of installation vary, from “peel-and-stick” to “paste the wall/paper.” Many local home improvement centers offer seminars on hanging wallpapers, and you can find plenty of resources online. Complex projects or materials might require an experienced wallpaper installer.
  • Durability and Maintenance – The Wallcovering Installers Association states that professionally installed wallpaper can last as long as 25 years. Many wallpapers are washable and easy to maintain.

Wallpaper projects do not require you to spend as much time and effort to protect the surrounding surfaces and cleans up easier.

Interior Painting: What to Consider

paint vs wallpaperPainting offers the versatility to make repairs and change colors as needed. With the limitless range of paint shades and tones, you will find it easier to choose a predesign color scheme or create a color palette that fits your personality. If the correct color choice seems elusive, take a piece of fabric, pillow, swatch or other item to your local paint store and have the experts mix a custom color. Other considerations for evaluating painting advantages and disadvantages include:

  • Surface preparation – Use a solution of soap and water to clean the surface. Scrape and sand any cracked, peeling or flaking paint. Prime the surface before applying the paint.
  • Installation – Interior painting ranks as the number one project for DIY’er because of the ability to produce professional-like results at a low cost, with the proper tools and skills. However, there are several techniques that may prove a challenge for a first-timer, such as cutting in to paint straight edges. If frustration (or sloppy edges) strike, you may want to consider calling in the professionals.
  • Durability and Maintenance – Generally, expect a paint job to last about ten years. In high-traffic areas, buy washable paint so that you can clean occasionally. Expect to do touch ups or repaint over time.

Even if you choose the wrong color, you simply paint over your mistake. With wallpaper, you would have to exert more work to rectify the problem. Before you start the project, you will need to take great care to protect the floors, woodwork, furniture and fixtures from spilled paint. One benefit to hiring professionals is they have all the gear to ensure the rest of your home is protected from any drips.

Cost Considerations

A survey of nationwide survey of Home Advisors members revealed a range of $150 to $1,200 for wallpaper installation, in an average sized bathroom depending on the difficulty of the project and wallpaper selection. Respondents to the survey revealed a nation average cost of $499. Check with your local store to learn an exact local estimate.

If you choose the painting route, you should seek an estimate in-advance of hiring a contractor. Click Here to schedule a free estimate online with ProTect Painters.


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