The Pros of Cons of Painting vs. Wallpapering
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The Pros of Cons of Painting vs. Wallpapering

The walls of your home have the advantage of changing and transforming your space with the help of paint or wallpaper.  A dramatic room can instantly be made soft and airy with the application of light pale paint color. While a room that feels too big can instantly feel cozy with darker wallpaper with a striking pattern.  There are pros and cons of using paint or wallpaper. Factors to consider are ease of application, cost, and versatility to your space.  Whichever you choose your walls will benefit from the addition of paint or wallpaper.

  • Preparation: How long it takes to prepare a wall when deciding to paint or wallpaper needs to be taken into account.  If you’re starting from a bare wall then you can skip this tip, if you have an existing finish applied to the wall read on…

o   WALLPAPER: CONS: Removing existing wallpaper can be a tedious task that requires patience and the right tools to be effective.  Stripping wallpaper can be done with chemicals or stripping tools, but care must be taken or damage can result to the wall. Consult a home improvement store for specific instructions for your application.

o   PAINT: PROS: If you are painting over a damaged wall, prepare imperfections with spackle and let dry 24 hours in advance.  Applying primer paint in advance to painting over darker color paint will make your painting preparation easier. Painting requires considerably less preparation time than wallpaper.

  • Selection & Durability: Both paint and wallpaper comes in unlimited varieties and colors.  Paints come in various glosses and sheens, while wallpaper comes in paper and vinyl surfaces for durability and finish variation. The lifestyle of your family can make a considerable difference in which finish you select.

o   WALLPAPER: PROS: Very durable and will hold up to wear and tear of children, high traffic areas and many varieties are scrubbable. CONS: Since wallpaper is applied with an adhesive, high moisture bathrooms and kitchens may cause wallpaper to peel away from the wall.

o   PAINT: PROS: Depending on the sheen/finish paint is a good option for areas that need to have an inexpensive and easy application.  Semi-gloss to high gloss paints are durable and are usually reserved for trim, exterior doors, etc… Satin, Eggshell and occasionally Flat sheens are used on interior walls. CONS: When walls are damaged, scraped or hit, paint can chip and repairing and repainting will be necessary.

  • Expense: Wallpaper and paint can range in price from the low end to the high end of the cost spectrum. Wallpaper on average is more expensive to purchase the rolls, supplies and to have it installed.  Paint on average is cheaper and requires very few supplies, and an amateur can apply it.  It should be noted that inexpensive wallpaper can be purchased and if you do it yourself can cut down on installation costs. Similarly with paint, higher end faux paint finishes, and textured paint can be expensive especially if it needs to be professionally applied.
  • A combination of both: Many people want the versatility of adding a texture to their wall with customizable paint colors.  Paintable wallpaper is a product that comes in rolls or adhesive squares. After the textured wallpaper is applied it can be left bare or it can be painted.  Paintable wallpaper is the best of both worlds!

The wonderful world of wall finishes is vast and customizable.  Whether you choose wallpaper or paint, either one will give your home subtle or bold color and character.  For the appeal of both, try paintable wallpaper or stick with paint or wallpaper. The option is yours and that’s why home decorating is so exciting!

Freshome reader’s what finishes have you used on your walls? Does the idea of do it yourself projects using paint or wallpaper terrify or excite you? Let us know!

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The walls of your home have the advantage of changing and transforming your space with the help of paint or wallpaper.  A dramatic room can instantly be made soft and airy with the application of light pale paint color. While a room that feels too big can instantly feel cozy with darker wallpaper with a […]

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5 comments

  • ivan December 30, 2010 at 04:03 AM Login to Reply →

    is a greats room design… i like this post…

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  • Amber J. Storm April 8, 2013 at 05:20 AM Login to Reply →

    Paint or wallpaper it definitely terrifies me! I have tried painting our garage and i had so much fun. I want to try wallpapering this time. I hope i can do it right.