Paint and wallpaper are two of the easiest and least expensive ways that you can totally change the look of a room. Because they are easy to use and affordable, they are also a couple of the most popular choices when it comes to decorating. Sometimes, though, it is hard to determine if paint of wallpaper would be a better fit for a particular project, so here are a few things to think about that may help you make up your mind.
If you are remodeling a room that has walls that are in less than perfect shape, you may want to consider using wallpaper for your project. If you have imperfections like cracks or divots, you can fill them; then if you wallpaper the wall you cannot tell that the wall is anything less than perfect. You can do the same thing with paint, but it is much more labor intensive. You will have to fill the crack, sand smooth and possibly fill again. The whole process is easier with paint.
Cleaning and Maintenance
While there are many durable wallpaper products, none are as sturdy as high gloss paint. So when it comes to high traffic areas in your home, your best choice for wall coverings is high gloss paint. It is extremely durable and very easy to clean. You can scrub dirt and stains off of this surface pretty easily, and in the event a stain refuses to budge, you can always repaint that area of the wall. With wallpaper, you would very likely have to re-paper the entire wall to deal with the stained area. Another thing that you want to think about is fading: If your wall is in direct sunlight during the hot parts of the day, paint would be a better choice than wallpaper, because wallpaper will fade more easily than paint. If you live in a humid location, paint will probably stand up to the climate better than wallpaper as well. Overall, a painted wall will usually outlast a wallpapered wall.
The Cheaper Choice
If you want to change the appearance of a room for not a lot of money, paint is probably going to be a better choice than wallpaper, because if you compare even the cheapest wallpaper you can find with a gallon of paint, paint wins the price war every time.
What Skill is Required
In general, paint is easier to use than wallpaper, even if you have to repair your walls. So while expert wallpaper hangers can cover a wall quickly, if you have no experience, the project can be very tedious. When hanging wallpaper it is essential that you match patterns and seams flawlessly. You also have to trim the top and bottom of the wall perfectly as well as carve around fixtures. While anyone who exerts a little patience can hang wallpaper, paint is a much easier medium for home decorating.
Warmth, Texture and Design
Whenever you want to add texture or pattern to a room, wallpaper is definitely the way to go. You can use wallpaper to create amazing illusions much more easily than you can with paint. Wallpaper comes in such a variety of patterns and textures, you can create any look with wallpaper that you want. There is also a special warmth that wallpaper brings to a room. You can always add pattern to a wall with stencils, but wallpaper does a much better job of creating a pattern on a wall.