DIY How To

Wallpaper vs Paint

When it comes to decorating, the walls are amongst the things that will be most dramatic when they are changed. And it's not just a battle between paint and wallpaper any more, in fact, with the dawn of vinyl decals and removable wallpaper; there is no end of what you can do with your walls.

Here we will look at the pros and cons of each

Paint
Paint comes in every colour imaginable, and if it doesn't, then it can be mixed for you. There are also a wide variety of sheens and finishes available for use on wood, metal and more.

Painting takes hardly any preparation in comparison to wallpaper. If your wall is damaged, you need to allow 24 hours for drying of any repairs or patching up that you might have done to the wall. It is advisable to paint a primer coat first before painting over dark colours, but other than that you can start painting straight away! Paint is generally quite durable but when the paintwork is chipped it will need touching up.

On average, paint is less expensive, but it can vary hugely in price depending on the finish and whether there is a brand name.

Wallpaper
Wallpaper has something that paint doesn't, a pattern and varieties of texture.

It does however take much longer to prep walls and to hang. First, stripping the wall of any previous wallpaper can be an extremely tedious task. You must take care not to damage the wall underneath at the same time as removing as much of the wallpaper as possible. Applying the wallpaper can be a very difficult task as you need to make sure there is no air trapped beneath it, that it is straight and the pattern matches up. It is quite durable, and many varieties are scrubbable. The only problem comes when it gets torn, as this is extremely difficult to patch up well.

Wallpaper can be quite expensive, once you take into account rolls, supplies and tools. You can however purchase relatively inexpensive paper or ones on sale as well as ones that are pre-pasted.

Wall Decals
These are like stickers, and offer a fun design on your wall. They can vary from trees and flowers to animals and space aliens.

Ideally, they are applied to a painted wall, which means that you may have to paint it first. They are easy to apply, through depending on the intricacy of your chosen design, it may be fiddly or take a long time. They only stick to smooth surfaces, so are unsuitable for materials such as unfinished wood or brickwork. One of the major features of wall decals is that they aren't permanent. This is a good thing if you're a renter and not able to permanently alter your walls. However, if you prefer something more permanent then this may not be for you.

The price generally depends on how big they are, but often they are quite inexpensive.

Removable Wallpaper
Removable wallpaper is a trend that is building momentum slowly as more and more stores start stocking it and it becomes more widely available.

Removable wallpaper is so called because it is designed to come off easily even after being up for years. It is ideal for renters who want to decorate their space without breaking the lease. It works best when applied over semi-gloss or eggshell paint, and can be just as tricky as normal wallpaper to apply and match up the pattern and so forth. You may find that it comes off if pulled on, even if it's just someone leaning against it. It also has a tendency to leave glue marks and the wall underneath will need a fresh coat of paint when you take it off.

They are available in a variety of different patterns, and are reasonably priced.

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