There might be a room in your house that you’ve had your eye on for a while. One that seems old fashioned, or needs refurbishment. Perhaps you’re just tired of its look and want to redecorate. If that’s the case and you’ve decided to change things up, you’re probably going to start with the walls.

That brings us to the big question – should you paint or wallpaper the room? Which is cheaper? Which will last longer? Deciding between paint and wallpaper 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 paint and wallpaper, so read on!

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So, if you are:

  • Thinking of redecorating a room;
  • Wondering whether to choose paint or wallpaper;
  • Looking for the pros and cons of each,

Then this article is for you!


There are undeniable advantages to choosing paint over wallpaper. Many 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 choose paint or wallpaper.

Colour and finish

Paint comes in a vast array of colours and finishes. From textured to flat or gloss, you have so many options to choose from that you are sure to find the perfect one. One great benefit of paint is the possibility to achieve an exact match to the colour of your choice. Yes, your walls can be a perfect complement to that centrepiece or vase in your living room.

Sadly, while it is possible to create a textured finish using additives, achieving a pattern or design with paint can prove to be difficult.

Some types of paint are washable, making them ideal for rooms with lots of traffic. Having a washable coat of paint on your walls can make cleaning a breeze! Paint can be a great choice for high moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, too, as it will not peel off the wall like wallpaper would.


Paint can chip if the wall gets damaged, so you may need to take extra care not to do so. It also has a shorter lifespan than wallpaper, showing its wear after a few years. You may need to touch it up every now and then to keep it looking fresh.


Another appealing aspect of paint is how easy it is to apply. You don’t need to do much preparation beforehand and you don’t have to be a skilled decorator to do it yourself.

The downside is that some colours and finishes may need more than one coat, which means you have to wait for the walls to dry before applying them. This can take several days, depending on the size of the room and the number of people working. If you decide to paint the room yourself, make sure to cover your furniture and floors to avoid making a mess.

While paint is generally cheaper to buy and to be applied professionally, 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.


  • Cheaper initial investment
  • Easy to change
  • Easy to do it yourself
  • Various colours and finishes, textured options
  • Less preparation required
  • Good for humid areas
  • Cheaper to get done professionally


  • It can look worn after a few years
  • It 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
  • It can be difficult to create patterns and designs
Related: How to Remove Paint From Walls – Expert Tips and Tricks


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 room.

However, it’s not all fun and games, as there are both pros and cons of wallpaper.

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. It has lost some of that popularity, sure, but it is still used in many homes and design projects. The impressive finishes and patterns can create stunning accents 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.


Apart from the look, one major advantage of wallpaper is that it lasts longer than paint. If applied properly, it can easily last 10-15 years. This makes it perfect for those who don’t want to redecorate 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 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.

Speaking of…


While it is possible for you to DIY it, pasting wallpaper requires more preparation and can be harder than it looks. Matching and aligning the patterns is one aspect some struggle with, while another drawback can be the air bubbles and peeling corners that may appear from improper application.

Overall, wallpaper is best left to the specialists. This can be more costly than getting your room professionally painted, but it will save you money in the long run.

Wallpaper is not the best choice for kitchens or bathrooms. 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.


  • Various colours, finishes and designs
  • Textured and embossed options
  • Good for low moisture areas, such as dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms
  • Self-adhesive options
  • Lasts longer
  • Some wallpaper types are paintable


  • The initial investment can be more expensive
  • 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, it is recommended that you 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!

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. The professional painters are equipped with everything they need to complete the job and will prepare the room prior to painting 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.

Give your room a makeover! Find out about our painting and decorating service here.

Learn more


  • 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


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

  • Last update: November 2, 2020

Posted in Home Improvement, Painting and Decorating Tips

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