Living room featyrung a feminine mural of vegetation floral and birds

We have 5 great reasons why wallpaper is better than paint

So lets explore the great wallpaper v paint debate. Of course there are pro’s and con’s to both . And one result is not the right fit for everyone (that would be boring!) 

There are many painting and decorating blogs for you to read on this subject. However this article is written by an expert in wallpaper with a history of running a painting business too. So you can be sure the information you find here is not AI generated or written without having having the specialist, factual wallpapering knowledge.

So read on to find out the 5 great reasons why wallpaper is better than paint.

Longevity and Costs

Although painting is a lower cost option per metre square than wallpapering, you need to look at the bigger picture. The upfront costs for painting will be less, generally, than buying and having wallpaper installed. However your paint will need touch ups anywhere between 3 to 5 years depending on your lifestyle, whether you have pets or kids. Whereas picking a timeless wallpaper that you are happy to have up for the long term can be up for anything from 10 to 50 years!

A quality wallpaper is durable and hardy. Many are wipable and vinyls are even washable. Which makes vinyls comparable to painting in the cleanable aspect.

The key for wallpaper longevity is to choose a quality wallpaper and have it professionally installed using professional wallpaper paste. And pro tip: to keep some spare from the original batch in case of any future damages.

Also think about where you are hanging it. A bedroom wallpaper will typically last better than a wet room as the humidity can make the wallpaper prone to peeling off.

So in conclusion; wallpaper lasts longer and can cost less over the long term. 

Wallpaper v Paint – Wallpaper 1 – Paint – 0

Textured wallpaper in grey in a bedroom

Wallpapering is quicker

If your walls are already painted it is quicker to hang wallpaper up than paint them. When preparing to wallpaper a pre painted wall, all that is usually necessary is a light sand and off you go. 

Any holes that need plastering mean the same preparation is needed for both methods. But if you are painting the wall, the most amount of time spend is on preparation. This is because when painted is the finished effect, you will want to make the walls perfectly smooth.

Another big time factor when painting adds up in the taping up flooring, window frames etc. As well as often having to wait during drying times to apply multiple coats making painting a time consuming process. However once your wall is prepped wallpaper goes up quickly needing no other finishing steps.

Note: If your walls are new plasterboard they will still need to have a sealer coat applied before wallpapering. And it is a myth that wallpaper covers up all imperfections. Always best to have a smooth finish to the wall for the best wallpaper end result.

Wallpaper v Paint for ease and quick – Wallpaper 2 – Paint – 0

Graphic cream wallpaper of random shapes and lines in a soft airy room setting

Better visual impact with wallpaper

This one is easy. Putting aside all the practicalities, wallpaper will always have the better wow factor. That’s not to say the pattern has to be bold or bright. For those that are not a fan of wallpaper for that reason, I can say with impartiality, even a subtle or plain textured wallpaper holds more impact and interest than a painted wall. It adds that layer of texture or luxury that you just cant obtain with a paint.

And of course if its a feature you want then wallpaper will give you that in whatever form you like. There are so many wallpaper styles and the choices are endless. The hardest part will be you deciding what wallpaper will i choose!

Wallpaper v Paint – 3-0

Living room featuring Coloured Blocks pastel coloured multi wallpaper
Coloured Blocks

Wallpaper v Paint for the DIYer

A big reason why you might choose painting over wallpaper is the fact that many homeowners are happy to give painting a go themselves but are overwhelmed when it comes to wallpapering. Or perhaps the thought of stuffing up hanging an expensive wallpaper puts you off.

While installing wallpaper requires precision and patience, modern techniques like paste the wall and peel-and-stick options have made the process more accessible for DIYers. Although professional installation ensures a seamless finish for longevity.

However there are also many ways to stuff up painting too. And in our past years of running a successful painting business found repairing paint mistakes can in some cases be more costly than fixing wallpaper mistakes.

So while I can’t say there is a clear winner in this category. I encourage DIYers to consider wallpaper more.

Wallpaper 0 – Paint 0

Dining room featuring metallic silver floral wallpaper

Decorating changes

Whether you paint or wallpaper the time will come when you feel like a change. What is easier at this stage then?

As wallpaper experts we are often asked questions such as; can i paint over wallpaper. The short answer is usually yes however once you have painted over wallpaper it will be a nightmare to get it off. So be sure you want to do this before you commit.

If the wallpaper is a strippable wallpaper and a strippable paste is used to hang it, it will not be difficult to remove. Modern non woven wallpapers are designed to come away easily when the time comes. Gone are the days of steaming and fighting to get the wall paper off the wall. So it would be easier in this case to remove the wallpaper rather than paint over it.

And then once the wall is washed you can leave it with original paint (as strippable wallpaper shouldn’t damage the wall during removal) then repaint or re-wallpaper.

On the other hand wallpaper can go over already painted walls as long as they are aren’t painted with a gloss or oil based paint (which would be unusual.) As long as you aren’t putting up a light wallpaper over a dark wall or the wallpaper is very thin (causing you to see through the wallpaper) there is not much you need to consider past what wallpaper shall i buy. 

When you are removing a feature wall of wallpaper you only have 1 wall to change. If you are changing a paint colour you are often looking at an entire room.

So with wallpaper removal being easier than you thought and the low prep of adding wallpaper rather than changing a paint colour, it’s wallpaper for the win again!

Do you have a question about this product before buying?

Enter your details before you go, we will save your cart and who knows maybe even send you a discount code...