Benefits of Paint Over Wallpaper

If you’re considering doing some home renovations, one great way to drastically change a room is to freshen up the colour of your walls.  To do this, there are a few options, and if you’re debating between paint and wallpaper for your home, we’ve got some pros and cons that might help tip the scales. 


If you’re looking for versatility, you simply can’t go wrong with paint.  Wallpaper comes in two different surface materials; vinyl and paper.  Each offers a different look, and there’s no question that you can find wallpaper in a wide variety of different colours and patterns, but when it comes to having a wealth of colours and finishes, paint takes the cake.  Anything from ultra-matte to high gloss finish is at your fingertips and the colour range is mind boggling.  It’s a lot easier to change a colour from room to room, or even to highlight a feature wall, when you choose paint.

The Prep Work

Before your contractor arrives, walls should be cleared of decor and any drips or cobwebs wiped away.  Furniture will need to be pulled away at least a few feet from the walls; ideally it will be pushed towards the center of the room to allow as much working space as possible.   After that, the preparation work differs greatly between a wallpaper and a paint job. While paint can be applied directly over a previously painted wall and the job can start right away, it’s not recommended that wallpaper be applied over a previous layer, so the first task for your contractor will be to remove the existing layer of wallpaper.  Any accidental damage will have to be filled and sanded, and then the walls will need a coat of primer.  A room that could be painted in a day might take a few days to have wallpaper applied. 

Tools of the trade

Both painting and the wallpapering process do require specially designed tools.  To do a proper job, a painter will be equipped with trays and liners, brushes and rollers, sleeves and drop cloths.  Although this might seem like a lot, wallpapering requires far more. Paste is necessary for wallpaper-to-wall adherence, along with a paste brush or a roller to apply it.  A knife to cut the paper and a level to hang it properly are also necessary, along with a tape measure, a putty knife or straight edge, a pencil, drop cloth, smoothing brush, a sponge and bucket of clean water.  


When it comes to supplies, a very good quality paint can cost you about $50/gallon and will be enough to do a standard sized bedroom, while a top quality roll of wallpaper will cost you anywhere from $75 to $100.  Besides the cost of supplies, labour for wallpapering can be much more than it would be for painting.


When it comes to making a big change in the look of your home, both wallpaper and a fresh coat of paint will do the trick, but painting will go a lot faster and is ultimately more cost effective.  The versatility of paint and the colours you can choose from makes this a smart choice.