Wallpaper vs. Paint: What’s the Real Benefit of Both?

If you’re ready to give your home a new look, your thoughts probably turn first to painting it a fresh color. But don’t forget wallpaper. This once-maligned covering is popular again, with gorgeous prints plus peel-and-stick convenience. In the wallpaper vs paint battle, we’ll examine the pros and cons of both. Our goal is to help you weed through the branches of your decision tree and come up with the answer that suits you best.

Paint – the Pros and Cons

Paint is a classic option and probably the easiest to use, overall. Almost anyone can do it and it’s one of the most affordable decorative changes you can make. It’s a durable, easy-clean finish for families with kids. There’s an almost endless selection of colors. Depending on the sheen, it’s easy to touch up if it gets dinged.

The downside is that painting takes planning and time. There’s a ton of prep (cleaning and spackling walls, applying primer – not to mention taping and draping). Switching between lighter and darker colors can mean extra coats of paint. And trying to match an older shade can be tough. (That’s where our color consultants can help.)

Wallpaper vs Paint: Wallpaper’s Turn

Wallpaper has been the decorator’s friend throughout the years, but it declined in popularity around the turn of the 20th century. People got tired of stuffy, old-fashioned prints and the nightmare of getting wallpaper off the wall.

Enter the next gen of wallpaper, with beautiful prints and interesting textures. And while some paper is still best applied by pros, much of the newer wallpaper is peel-and-stick – made to go on and come off just as easily. (Which means even a renter can use it.)

Wallpaper is usually more expensive than paint. It’s less durable and if it gets damaged can be tough to repair. If you’re not hanging peel-and-stick, you probably would be better to hire the job out. And since it goes on with adhesive, it might not be the best long-term choice for high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

The Bottom Line

Both paint and wallpaper are good décor choices. So, why choose one over the other? Paint your living room a beautiful color and enhance it with a wallpaper accent wall. Or hang textured wallpaper like grasscloth in your dining room and paint over it.

The bottom line? When considering wallpaper vs paint, remember that wall coverings encompass a vast, customizable world. Whichever one you choose will give your home the style you’re looking for.

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