When it comes to interior design, the walls of your home make up a large portion of your decor. Deciding whether to cover them with paint or wallpaper can be a big decision, as they help set the stage for the rest of the space. So which is best? And which lasts longer? We’ve researched the answer to these questions, and in this post, we will cover them for you.
Home wallpaper can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years after it’s been applied. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s immune to fading and tearing. On the other hand, paint typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years on average, especially if it’s high-quality paint–however it can peel and crack.
Whether your wallpaper lasts longer than paint will usually depend on the type and brand of wallpaper or paint used and how well it’s applied. However, you’ll find that wallpaper is known to last longer on average. So for a long-term investment, wallpaper may be your best bet.
Wallpaper and paint are the most commonly chosen during treatments for interior design. Both have their advantages and disadvantages which should be considered beforehand. Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons that accompany each.
Comparing Wallpaper and Paint for Interior Design
There are quite a few points to consider before deciding whether or not wallpaper is best for your home. Ultimately, it comes down to budget and your personal style preference.
Wallpaper – The Good
Durability and Longevity
Overall, wallpaper is a very durable and reliable wall treatment. However, you’ll want to make sure that you purchase a reliable brand and install it properly. If you do, you will find that it will generally last anywhere from ten to fifteen years or more. Things that can decrease its lifespan include extreme temperature changes or extra humidity in the room in which it’s applied.
Another advantage of wallpaper over paint is its ability to easily and quickly cover damaged areas on walls. Whereas with paint, you’ll first need to apply spackle and primer and one to three coats of paint to cover up cracks, holes, and other flaws on the wall. Applying wallpaper is easier and quicker. This can be particularly beneficial if you are looking to do a quick remodel and prefer not to hire a contractor.
One of the most significant benefits of wallpaper is the number of shades, textures, and patterns that it comes in. And thanks to new-age digital printing capabilities, you can even have wallpaper designs customized for your home specifically.
Another advantage of wallpaper treatment is its quick application process. Keep in mind that it’s best to practice on a small section first to get used to the texture of the paper and how to best lay it on the wall. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that you can finish an entire room in less than half the time that it will take you to paint the same room.
Wallpaper – The Not So Good
Potential moisture issues
The biggest disadvantage of wallpaper as a wall treatment is its potential to become damaged due to excessive humidity. Though paint can also bubble and peel if exposed to excessive humidity for extended periods of time, it will typically last longer and under the same conditions as wallpaper.
Challenging to remove
If the wallpaper has been on the walls for over five to seven years, the chances are that it will be a bit of a hassle to remove. While you can use a scraper tool to do so, it does require an extensive amount of physical labor to get it off of the walls. In some cases, you can use chemicals to strip the wallpaper from the wall, but this may cause damage to the wall and may not be worth the risk.
Interior Paint- The Good
Fewer upfront costs
While wallpaper has an advantage as a long-term investment, the paint will reign supreme as the cheaper option in the short term. A typical can of paint will cost anywhere from $40 to $80 depending on the brand and generally cover a 400 square foot of space.
For the same amount of space, you may find yourself paying two to three times as much for wallpaper coverage.
Painting is fairly easy while treatment, though it’s better if you have some experience, as it can make the job go faster. Keep in mind that painting walls can be labor-intensive, but it’s something that you can do yourself instead of hiring a contractor.
Many color and options
Paint can also come in many color options and can even be customized for specific shades. Though you can’t buy paint with set designs, you can create them yourself using stencils. This will require more work, but it’s definitely worth the wait if you want to add a bit of character to your rooms. You can also choose from different paint chains such as eggshell, high-gloss, and satin paint.
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Holds up well to moisture
Unlike wallpaper, paint works well in high moisture areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, which is why you’ll typically find that these areas have paint instead of wallpaper. If you live in a region prone to high humidity levels throughout the year, this is something that you want to consider.
Another advantage of paint is its ease of correction. If you accidentally spill paint on a surface that you didn’t tend to paint or forget to apply painter’s tape, you can quickly wipe it up using paint remover or a soapy dish towel. Unlike wallpaper, which can be a hassle to remove once it’s bonded to the wall, it will tear in many cases.
Interior Paint – The Not So Good
Prone to scrapes and damage
Being that paint only provides a thin layer of material over your walls, it is prone to everyday wear and tear damage. In some cases, you can apply a bit of spackle to the damaged area and then paint over it; in other cases, you may need to repaint the whole wrong, mainly if the previously applied paint is old.
Design and color limitations
Though you can find paint in almost every shade and even have it customized, you don’t have the same level of versatility as you do with wallpaper. It’s simply not possible to create the intricate designs and patterns with pain that you can with wallpaper without spending a lot of money or time to do it–and even then, there are limitations.
It may require touch-ups
Though paint can last up to 10 years or more, it may require touch-ups at some point. Over time, paint can begin to peel and chip, making your room look unsightly and old. The good thing is that you can do these touch-ups yourself without having to pay for a contractor.
The application process can be messy and laborious
Painting a room can be a messy process, especially if you have no painting experience. It can also be a visit very physically demanding process that’s hard on your back and shoulders. If you don’t feel that you’re up to the physical task of painting, it’s best to shell out the money to an experienced contractor.
Is wallpaper more durable than paint?
Not necessarily. While wallpaper may last a few years more than paint, it can still peel and tear from everyday wear and tear. It’s also is less moisture resistant than paint. Ultimately the durability of the wall treatment depends on the application process and the quality of the paint or wallpaper that you choose.
Is it better to paint or wallpaper a bedroom?
It is typically a better idea to paint a bedroom, as you may want to change up the color more often. It’s also better if you have a master bedroom with a connecting bath, as the paint will hold up better to the moisture from the bathroom.
Is it cheaper to use wallpaper or paint?
No. Generally, you’re going to pay about two to three times as much for wallpaper as you would paint the same amount of space. However, the wallpaper will require less maintenance throughout the years, and it typically lasts longer.
How long does Wallpaper last on the wall?
Wallpaper can last up to 15 years, given environmental conditions in your home, such as temperature and humidity.
Wrapping Things Up
As you can see, there are quite a few pros and cons to come with both wallpaper and paint during treatments. Neither one is necessarily better or worse than the other; it really comes down to your personal preference and your long and short-term goals.