Sometimes choosing between wallpaper and paint can be almost impossible, but there are pro’s and con’s for both. It used to be that wallpaper was unfashionable, so it made the decision a little easier, but nowadays wallpaper is back in fashion and feature walls can include paint OR wallpaper.

Advantages of Paint

Cheap and easy – most people can do a good enough paint job and both material and labour for painting isn’t expensive. Low preparation time and extra layers can hide imperfections well. Irregular walls are best hidden with a solid colour so that the corners or borders don’t highlight a skew line. Paint is easily painted over, and you can choose between a matte or gloss finish.

Disadvantages of Paint

Heavier oil based paint will dry slowly and usually need a professional to apply it as oil based paints often run. Paint with a high oil content is also less resistant to heat. Paint can also give off harmful compounds called VOC’s. Paint lasts from 5 to 10 years but depending on your paint choice you can also end up repainting more frequently.

Advantages of Wallpaper

Many modern wallpapers will last for ten to fifteen years, whereas, repainting often has to be done as often as every couple of years. This lowers your costs. Wallpaper can add complexity and interesting features to a room and wallpaper has so many different types of ‘looks’ like patterns, textures and even made to look like wood or cloth.

Disadvantages of Wallpaper

First off, wallpaper is more expensive by square meterage and labour. ‘Installing’ wallpaper is harder to do than painting is, and if you get bored of your wallpaper it’s not as easy to paint over because you have to remove the wallpaper before painting. If you choose to put up new wallpaper you’ll usually be better off removing the wallpaper too rather than just papering over it. Newer types of wallpaper can be easier to remove than old types, but you can also run into maintenance issues if part of the wallpaper gets damaged and needs replacing. Even if you can match the paper, the existing paper may have changed colour in the sun so it makes it harder to match than paint (where new paint can be mixed to match the faded colour).

Why choose?

Some people think – why choose? Use a combination of paint and wallpaper in each room – above and below the curtain rails (solid colour on top preferably) or even some walls papered and some walls painted.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *