Decorating: Paint or Wallpaper?


As summer turns to winter there is no better time to redecorate or design your home interiors and brighten up a tired room.

As a couple you may have already decided on the colour scheme, created a layout, chosen the finishing touches- you’re ready to start your weekend make over project!

The only problem; he wants to paint and you want to paste.

There are many pros and cons to both techniques, with each material offering a different look, finish or texture and both needing different application methods and care.

To Paint or Not to Paint

There is no denying that the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to colour your walls is with a fresh coat of paint.

With the introduction of ‘all-in-one’ paints, that combine paint with primers and undercoats, painting has never been simpler – just fill your paint tray, dip in your roller brush and away you go.

Paint now comes in many different finishes, such as; eggshell, matte, satin, flat and semi or high gloss. The different types of paint not only have an impact on the final project, they also work with the elements in the different environments within your home. For example, high gloss paint is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms as it is rarely affected by condensation and can be easily wiped clean of stains and slashes – unlike matte paint.

You can also use different tools to change the texture of the paint and how it looks on your walls. For example, experiment with plastic bags, old rags, sponges and stencils to create different looks which will brighten up boring walls and add depth to your room without a costly price tag.

Prepping is minimal:

  • Remember to cover your carpet or flooring in a dustsheet or newspaper to prevent paint droplets or splashes from ruining your belongings.
  • Remove all nails, staples and blutac from the walls.
  • Fill any holes or dents with spackling paste or polyfiller and sand down once dry.
  • Stick masking or painters tape around your light fixtures, skirting boards, door frames and electrical outlets – this will prevent any messy lines or smudges.

The only, but major, disadvantage of painting is the mess – paint has a habit for getting everywhere. You will find splashes in your hair, it will get all over your hands and if you don’t cover everything it will somehow find its way onto the only thing you didn’t cover or remove from the room.

To remove water based paint from your skin use soap and warm water, however to remove oil based paints you will need turpentine or paint remover to help shift the stain.

To Paste or Not to Paste

Wallpaper offers a more sophisticated and appealing ambiance to your room. It incorporates personality and can add a homey touch and warmth to an otherwise ‘flat pallet’. 

Wallpaper is an investment, as opposed to a cheap and quick make over fix. They are made, especially the higher quality papers, to last over ten years and protect walls and plaster.

They come in many different colours, patterns and textures, and can be found to suit everyone’s needs and desires. Patterned papers with a vinyl finish are perfect for children’s bedrooms and playrooms as they are easily cleaned and the patterns help to disguise stains and marks on the walls.

Wallpaper makes the perfect statement in any room in your house, however, they don’t tend to do well in kitchens and bathrooms as the moisture and humidity in the air can cause the paper to become detached from the wall. 

Wallpaper comes in many different styles, textures and colours. It can be found with fabric patches, embossed patterns, and different thicknesses as well as being available in a variety of patterns to suit every room from the nursery to the office. The different colours, patterns and textures add depth and instant glamour to a lifeless room.

The cons of choosing wallpaper are the installation and removal tasks. It is extremely time consuming to mount wallpaper, often requiring two or more pairs of hands and a good eye if you’re fitting patterned wallpaper. It can be frustrating and tedious to ensure all air bubbles are brushed or pushed out before pasting the next column.

Removing wallpaper is equally as difficult – although it only needs to be done every ten or so years – the paper will need dampening or steaming to encourage the bond between the wall and paper to separate. The glue then needs to be removed or scraped from the walls and the surface needs to be sanded down and cleaned thoroughly before paint or paper can be applied again. 

So… To Paint or to Paste?

Painting is quick and easy, albeit a little messy, whilst pasting wallpaper is a more tedious job but with a much longer life span.

If you know you will not being staying in your home for another five years, paint it rather than wallpapering – it will be easier to sell without your individual tastes and preferences.  Invest in wallpaper when you know you will be staying in your home indefinitely. 

Paint will provide an instant change for a very small cost and a room can easily be prepped, painted and left to dry in one day. Wallpaper will create a more personalised and luxurious affect, but will take a weekend or two to create the look.

Whichever option you choose, let us know how it goes! We can also help you select and install the right blinds to complement your choice.