Paint vs. Wallpaper: Which Is the Better Choice?

Ask any professional painting company the above question and chances are they will give you the same answer. After all, it’s not as if it’s possible to work in this business without being at least a little biased! We’d of course always argue that paint is superior, but unlike most we’re happy to put our money where our mouths are, in terms of explaining why.

Now, we would never for one minute suggest that there is anything inherently wrong with wallpaper, or that wallpaper cannot look simply fantastic. It can, in fact there are certain rooms where wallpaper suits the bill better than anything else out there. But in terms of the average family home, we genuinely believe that when weighing up the pros and cons of both, paint pretty much always comes out on top. Personal preference will always play an important role, but when it comes to several of the most important points to ponder, paint shines through as the way to go.

Paint vs. Wallpaper: Which Is the Better Choice?

Not convinced?

Here’s a quick rundown of just a few of the reasons why we believe paint represents a superior option to wallpaper:

1. Ease of Use

First of all, if you have ever tried your hand at putting up wallpaper and making a good job of it, you will probably know that it is nowhere near as easy as it looks. In fact, it has the potential to be nothing short of a nightmare. In the instance of patterned wallpaper in particular, it is almost inevitable that you are going to end up with a few bits and pieces that do not line up with each other perfectly. Suffice to say, these are the kinds of minor imperfections that may well drive you to distraction following completion of the project. By contrast, painting a wall is as simple as…well, painting a wall! In terms of ease of use, there really is no comparison.

2. No Messy Removal

The same also goes for removal, as while there are certain instances where it may be necessary to remove prior coats of paint, it is usually perfectly possible to simply paint over them. To be frank, perhaps the only thing messier and more time consuming than putting up wallpaper is taking the stuff off the walls further down the line. It has a habit of clinging to the surface like there’s no tomorrow, which means a relatively intensive process of soaking, steaming, scraping and generally making a huge mess of your home. It’s not that removing paint is particularly enjoyable – it’s simply that when it comes to most interior paint jobs, you don’t actually have to remove the paint at all.

3. Frequent Changes

And because you will usually get away with leaving the previous coat of paint in place, this means so much more opportunity for experimentation with new color. You wonder how the room will look with a totally different color scheme; you slap on the paint required. If you’re happy, you leave it as it is, but if you’re not satisfied, you get busy with another color scheme right away. By contrast, once you have made the effort to strip wallpaper and put up a fresh layer of the stuff, chances are it will be years before you’re going to go through the process again.

4. Creativity

There’s also much to be said for the creativity that comes with using paint. Not only are you free to be as bold as you like with the actual color scheme and patterns you choose to go with, but you can also mix any and all paints out there to come up with something completely unique. When you use wallpaper, it is inevitable that you will be using the same wallpaper as any number of other people, meaning uniqueness is largely out of the equation.

5. Value for Money

Generally speaking, although there are always exceptions, it works out considerably cheaper to paint the home than it does to use high-quality wallpaper. This of course depends on how much you spend on paint in accordance with what you would have spent on wallpaper, but in most instances paint represents far better value for money. Painted walls are also much easier to touch up here and there than walls covered in wallpaper.

6. Less Chance of Peeling

Also worth bearing in mind is the fact that paint is to a large extent immune to the kind of peeling and falling that can largely destroy a wallpapered wall. It’s not to say that paint is invincible, as there is always the possibility of chipping, splitting, cracking and so on, depending on the quality of the paint, where it is used, the conditions it is exposed to and so on. Nevertheless, and as mentioned above, these problems tend to be much easier to correct with paint than they do with wallpaper.

7. Easier to Clean

Last but not least, while it does not necessarily apply to the dullest matte-finish paint, high-quality painted surfaces with a gloss finish are so much easier to clean and look after than wallpaper. Generally speaking, it can be difficult to keep wallpaper clean as any kind of exposure to moisture may have a detrimental impact on the sticky backing holding it to the wall. So when it comes to holding on to that high-quality finish for longer, paint once again outshines wallpaper in most instances.