Home Improvement

Wallpaper or Paint – Which Is Better?

Is there a poorly decorated space in your house that you’ve had your eye on for a while? One that seems old fashioned, or desperately needs refurbishment? Perhaps you’re just tired of its look and want to change up the interior decor. If you’ve decided to redecorate, you’re probably going to start with the walls.

That brings us to the big question – should you paint or wallpaper the room? Which one will cost less? Which will last longer? Which one looks better?

Deciding between wallpaper and paint can be difficult. It usually depends on your specific needs and preferences, but there are some things to consider when it comes to that. In this article, we will compare the pros and cons of wallpaper and paint, so read on!

So, if you are:

  • Thinking of redecorating a room in your home;
  • Wondering whether to choose wallpaper or paint;
  • Looking for the pros and cons of these wall coverings,

Then this article is for you!

Paint – pros and cons

There are many undeniable advantages to choosing painted walls. Lots of people prefer the simplistic style that a coat of neutral paint can create. Others find it fun to get their hands and overalls dirty and take it on as a DIY project.

Here is what to keep in mind when wondering whether to paint or wallpaper your interior walls:

Colour and finish

Paint comes in many different finishes and colours. From textured to flat or gloss, you have so many options that you will undoubtedly be able to choose the perfect one.

One great benefit of paint over wallpaper is the possibility to achieve an exact match to the colour of your choice. Yes, your painted walls and your favourite living room centrepiece can complement each other perfectly!

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Paint works wonderfully if you want smooth walls and solid colours in your home. For fans of textured walls, however, it might not do the trick. While it is possible to create designs or textures using additives, achieving a pattern with paint can prove to be difficult.

If you choose paint for decorating a high-traffic area, washable paint can be your best friend. Having a washable coat of paint on your walls can make cleaning a breeze! A glossier paint finish can be a great choice for high-moisture areas – kitchens and bathrooms, for example – as it will not peel off the wall as wallpaper would.

If you’ve decided to paint a bathroom wall, consider how damp it gets before picking up the paint tins. Matte paints can absorb moisture, so it’s not the best option. Semi-gloss or high-gloss paints, on the other hand, will work just fine. However, your bathroom still needs to be well-ventilated. It’s not mandatory, but you can always opt for mould-inhibiting paint, just to be on the safe side.


While paint is a pretty durable option, it can chip if the wall gets damaged, so you may need to take extra care not to do so, especially in high-traffic areas. It also has a shorter lifespan than wallpaper, showing its wear after a few years. You may need to touch up a painted wall every now and then to keep it looking fresh.


Another appealing aspect of paint vs wallpaper is how easy it is to apply. You don’t need that much preparation beforehand and you don’t have to be a skilled decorator to paint a room like a pro.

The downside is that most colours and finishes need more than one coat, which means you have to wait for the wall to dry before applying a fresh coat. This can sometimes take several days, depending on the size of the space and the number of people working.

Fresh paint will look different on your walls than when it dries, too. This means you might end up having to apply a new coat more than once if you’re looking for a more vivid or solid colour. Overall, painting a room is fairly time-consuming.

If you decide to paint the room yourself, make sure to cover your furniture and floors to avoid making a mess.

So, is paint or wallpaper cheaper?

Well, it depends on how you look at it. While paint is known for its inexpensive and easy application, the fact that it needs touch-ups every few years can make it less cost-effective in the long run. Naturally, this will depend on the type and quality of paint you choose in the first place.

If you’ve chosen to paint a room yourself, you’ll need to know how to dispose of the unused paint afterwards; you can’t just chuck it in the bin.

Now then, let’s summarise the pros and cons of paint:


  • Easy to change colours
  • Lower initial cost
  • Easy to apply
  • Various colours and finishes, textured options
  • Less preparation required
  • Can be good for humid areas and doesn’t peel
  • Professional painting is cheaper


  • Can look worn after a few years
  • Can chip if the wall is damaged
  • Needs touch-ups every few years
  • Textured paint can be hard to remove
  • Some types of paint have a strong odour
  • Creating patterns and designs is difficult
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Wallpaper – pros and cons

Wallpaper is still a favourite around some households, despite it slowly losing its popularity. Its numerous designs and patterns can make for an impressive feature wall in any area of your house. The various options mean you’re sure to find the right wallpaper, too.

However, it’s not all fun and games, as there are both advantages and disadvantages when comparing wallpaper vs paint. Let’s take a look at them:

Colour and finish

Wallpaper comes in endless designs, colours, patterns, and textures. It’s safe to say there is one out there for every taste. With the advances in printing technology, wallpaper became increasingly common in people’s homes. It has lost some of that popularity, sure, but it is still used in many interior design projects.

The impressive finishes and patterns can create a stunning accent wall in otherwise dull rooms, changing their look completely.

If you want a simple colour with some texture or an embossed pattern, wallpaper can provide that for you, too! There are many solid colour types available, both flat and textured wallpaper, for that subtle look.

For a high-traffic area wall, you might want to look into washable wallpapers – it will make cleaning it much more manageable.


Apart from the look, one major advantage of modern wallpaper vs paint is that it lasts longer. If applied properly, it can easily last 10-15 years. This makes it perfect for those who don’t want to change their interior decor every few years.

However, it can be an issue if you decide you want to change things up, as wallpaper can be difficult to remove. Some modern varieties of this wall covering – removable wallpaper in particular – have solved this problem and are specifically designed for easy application and removal. This makes it easier to redecorate the room when the time comes.

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And, speaking of…


While it absolutely is possible for you to DIY it, applying wallpaper takes more preparation and can be harder than it looks. Matching and aligning the patterns is one aspect some struggle with; another drawback can be the air bubbles and corners that may peel or tear due to improper application.

Overall, if you don’t trust yourself and don’t want to end up with a mess, then you’d best leave wallpaper installation to the specialists. This can be more costly than getting a professional painting service, but it will save you money in the long run.

Wallpapering your bedroom or living room wall is just fine. When it comes to kitchens or bathrooms, in the debate of wallpaper vs paint, wallpaper is, unfortunately, the loser. The moisture can weaken the glue and cause the paper to start peeling off the walls. If you will be redecorating a high-moisture room, it is best to stick to paint or tiles.

So, let’s go over the pros and cons of wallpaper once more:


  • Various colours, finishes, and designs available
  • Textured and embossed options for any style
  • Good for low-moisture areas, such as a bedroom or dining rooms
  • Self-adhesive options for easier application
  • Lasts longer than paint
  • Some wallpaper types are paintable


  • The initial cost can be higher
  • Requires more preparation
  • Getting it done professionally can be costly
  • Not suitable for bathrooms and kitchens
  • Removal can be difficult
  • Proper application is time-consuming

Paintable wallpaper – the best of both worlds

While it is possible to paint over regular wallpaper, experts recommend that you avoid doing so and take it down beforehand. However, there are types of wallpaper that are specifically designed with painting in mind.

Paintable varieties can give you the sturdiness of wallpaper, combined with the simplicity and colour variation of paint. They come in a white or cream colour, ready to be painted in a shade of your choice. You can select a pattern you love and the perfect colour to match your decor. Or just leave the wallpaper blank for a simpler, sleek look!

So, if you’re wondering whether to go for wallpaper or paint, why not have both?

Are your walls in need of redecorating?

If you want to change a room’s look, but don’t want to go through the trouble of doing it yourself – fear not! Fantastic Services offers a painting and decorating service that can transform your space in no time. The professional painters are equipped with everything they need to complete the job and will prepare the room prior to decorating it. Your home will be left looking fresh and spotless afterwards!

If you decide to go with wallpaper, we can help, too! The specialists can take old wallpaper off the walls and apply your fresh, new design. Whether you want to wallpaper the whole room or create a feature wall, Fantastic Services can handle the hard work for you.

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  • Both paint and wallpaper come in a variety of colours and finishes.
  • Wallpaper is more expensive initially but can save you money in the long run.
  • You can colour match paint exactly.
  • Paint will show its wear after a few years and will need touch-ups.
  • Wallpaper is suitable for high-traffic areas, but not high-moisture rooms such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • There are paintable types of wallpaper.
  • Paint is easier to apply by yourself.

Sometimes, neither paint nor wallpaper will do the trick. If you’d like to make your room look even more interesting, take a look at this blog post about types of wall coverings that are sure to catch the eye!


Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any experience with painting or wallpapering a room? Share it with us in the comments!

Image source: shutterstock / topseller, JasminkaM

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