Painting vs. Wallpaper: Key Factors to Consider

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, wallpaper has made a comeback over the last few years and it seems to be getting bigger. We’re embarking on the renovation
season and one of the biggest questions I’m hearing is “Is it better to paint or wallpaper?” The answer is not quite that simple, but below are a few key
factors you may want to consider before making your final decision.

Painted walls never go out of style. Paint has a multitude of color choices and quite a few different sheens/finishes to select from. There are also specialized
painting techniques such as faux, raised and textured that you may enjoy.

For centuries, wallpaper has come in and out of style, but it’s a great choice when you want to make a wall pop with both colors and patterns. Wallpaper can also help create an accent wall and add texture to your space.

Both paint and wallpaper come in an array of colors. Paint offers various finishes such as flat, satin, pearl, low-luster, semi-gloss and gloss, to name a few. Wallpaper also offers a variation of finishes such as vinyl, non-woven, grasscloth, printed, relief and others. How your home is used (owner occupied, kids, pets, short term rental, etc.) should help you determine the most appropriate application.

Preparation of your walls is also a factor when deciding to paint or wallpaper. If you’re changing paint finishes or going from a dark color to a lighter color you will likely need to prime your walls. When wallpapering, your walls need a clean smooth surface (mudding your walls may be necessary), nail holes filled and walls primed before you can begin hanging your wallpaper.

Paint and wallpaper vary on the price spectrum. Paint on average is cheaper and requires fewer supplies. Just about anyone can paint, but you need to ensure you can access all areas, leave no holidays (unpainted areas) and clean-up can be costly if the area isn’t prepped correctly or an accident occurs. A professional will cost approximately $4-$7 per square foot, plus supplies.

Wallpaper is typically more ex-pensive to purchase per roll, requires more supplies than paint and it can be very challenging to align correctly. Prices to install wallpaper vary based on your design and type of wallpaper you’ve selected. The average labor cost to hang wallpaper can range from $4.50-$10.50 per square foot. Some installers charge by the hour, but I strongly recommend you don’t pay by time.

Another key factor to consider is updating your walls in the future. If you’re tired of your paint color you can simply apply a new coat or two of paint, but if you’ve elected to use a textured paint it can be hard to remove. If you’ve used wallpaper, the newer brands are easy to remove, but the older versions of wallpaper are nearly impossible to take down and can damage your drywall.

Whether you choose paint or wallpaper, either will give your space character that suits you. If you’re like me, I love the idea of creating an accent wall using wallpaper and painting the remaining walls in a coordinating color. The options are endless and that’s why interior design is so exciting!

Does the idea of selecting paint or wallpaper terrify you? Coastal Design by Kim is just a phone call away. We can help you select the perfect wallpaper or paint color and finish that’s perfect for you! Call (850) 904-6622 to schedule an appointment.