Indoor Painting vs. Interior Wallpaper

It’s the age-old question that’s been stumping humankind since cave people roamed the Earth: paint or wallpaper? Don’t scoff. Have you ever wondered how those famed prehistoric cave paintings depicting humans, hands, and assorted bison came about? Clearly, it was a compromise agreed upon by Mr. and Mrs. Cave between painting their cavern walls and wallpapering them. The perpetual, unrelenting question of whether you should paint or wallpaper your New Jersey home’s walls dates back to the very invention of wallpaper itself—thought to be somewhere in the 1500s. That’s over a half a century of quibbles, debates, and tearing of one’s hair out trying to decide which one of these wall coverings to employ. If you find yourself in the same white-knuckled dilemma, here are the pros and cons of both of these home décor options, brought to you by top painters in New Jersey. If you have any additional questions about house painting or wallpaper contact a top house painter near you.

Paint Pros and Cons

Paint technology has evolved over the years. It used to be that you had to spend days painting because you had to put a coat or even two coats of primer first, then your chosen paint color, and sometimes even another coat on top of all that. But today there are paint-and-primer-in-one options that can help to eliminate a good deal of this work. Second, using paint over wallpaper is cost effective. Yes, the range of paint costs runs the gamut, but if you’re on a budget, you can find good paints at excellent prices, particularly if you shop around for bargains. And the costs of the tools you need to paint a room—brushes, rollers, tarps, etc.—can always be found at minimal prices. Another benefit of using paint over wallpaper is the fact that you can mix paint colors to nearly your exact preference. Finally, repairs of such maintenance issues as chipping paint typically are quick and simple fixes.

Paint colors fade, and that means painting generally needs to be redone or at least touched up every few years or so. And, though painting can be easier than wallpaper, it still takes a little skill to get it to look good. For instance, if you don’t tape those edges, you’ll have a mess on your hands. Also, if you remove the tape after it dries, you’ll be pulling off your good work, so always remember to remove tape just after you finish painting.

Wallpaper Pros and Cons

Wallpaper typically has a longer life than paint. It’s a lasting and cost-effective means of adding beauty, color, texture, and design to your walls. Plus, wallpaper styles come in literally thousands of different options that make it easy to find one you love that goes with your décor. Additionally, wallpaper comes in kid-friendly vinyl options that make cleanup and maintenance simple. Finally, wallpaper has the power to hide a myriad of wall defects such as dings and bumps.

Wallpaper installation can be tricky, so you should either grab a buddy who’s already effectively installed wallpaper in the past, or contact a house painter near you to get it done right the first time. Additionally, wallpaper can be tough and time-consuming to remove, and the tools needed to do so can be on the costly side as well. Finally, wallpaper that is installed in a high-humidity area such as a bathroom or a kitchen can peel and look unsightly, particularly if you don’t purchase the right type. It’s also not such a good idea to install some types of wallpaper around heat sources such as radiators due to this peeling problem.

Some people do go both ways

No way—both paint and wallpaper? Absolutely! First, something that’s taking the home décor and painting industries by storm is the idea of integrating both paint as well as wallpaper into one or even two walls of a room. Another newer industry fave is ‘paintable wallpaper.’ This type of wallpaper gives you the opportunity to paint designs however you want—in other words, it’s the best of both worlds, fusing the flexibility of paint with the staying power of wallpaper.

So there you have it—the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly of both paint and wallpaper. The fact is that both have their good points as well as their bad. The most important points to remember are expense, installation, maintenance, and wear. If you evaluate your needs based on these four factors, the question—paint or wallpaper—practically answers itself. For more information on how to decide between paint and wallpaper, consult with a house painter near you.

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