By: Sabrina Essery – Freelance Writer
Visually, your walls take up the most space in any given room. Because of this, they have the potential to change the entire feel of a space with a simple change of colour or pattern. If you’re stuck deciding between repainting your walls or applying a layer of wallpaper, take a look at this brief, handy guide to figure out which option is right for you.
There is definitely a “high end” and a “low end” for both paint and wallpaper. However, wallpaper does tend to be (on average) more expensive than paint. This is for several reasons:
* A gallon of paint usually costs anywhere from $20 to $50, while it costs the same (or more) for a single roll of wallpaper.
* While you’re generally able to repaint a room by yourself, it’s extremely common to have to hire someone to hang your wallpaper. Because there’s more to it than rolling a big, squishy bar across the wall, you can expect to spend several dollars per square foot of wallpaper coverage.
* Wallpaper is costly to remove. Unless you’re comfortable getting creative and attempting it yourself, you can expect to spend several hundred per room.
Time & Effort
If your walls have cracks or are damaged in any way, you will need to take time to sand them, use some spackle, wall filler, or caulk, and apply a primer if you wish to paint them. However, if you choose to use wallpaper, all you need is a flat surface. Wallpaper makes it easy to cover chips, cracks, and other unattractive features on a wall.
However, if you are starting with an undamaged, bare wall, paint will likely be the easier product to use. With wallpaper, you can expect plenty of measuring, trimming, and careful aligning and application of the paper itself.
While both paint and wallpaper come in a plethora of colours, you will not find a wide variety of designs with paint. Unless you cleverly make use of masking tape to create a pattern, or have someone paint a mural for you, a painted wall will be nothing more than a background for your furniture.
The details and patterns on wallpaper add depth to a room. If you want to take it a step further, you can even find 3D wallpapers. A well-chosen wallpaper will add character and draw the eye into the room, but won’t be distracting or overpowering.
Paint is far more prone to damage than wallpaper. Semi and high-gloss paints are usually very durable; however, they are most often used for doors and windows (most people don’t want a shiny wall). Paint can be chipped, scratched, and drawn upon by artistically-inclined toddlers. Wallpaper, on the other hand, is often made to be washable. You can even find wallpapers that are engineered to withstand a good scrubbing from a brush!
Still unsure of which direction to go? Consider painting a room, but using wallpaper to make an accent wall. Or, if you like the idea of wallpaper, but not the effort involved, try looking at temporary or removable wallpaper – it’s self-adhesive, and will come off whenever you’re ready for something new !