paint or wallpaper

To paint or to paper? That is the question

With so many home renovation programs on the TV, it’s not surprising that an increased number of home owners are considering updating their own homes…and as we all know, one of the easiest ways to do this is to change the look of a few walls. But once you’ve decided to do this, the question many people then have to ask is…should I consider repainting, or look at wallpapering instead?

Whilst many of us would have heard different stories from friends on the challenges of wallpapering, one of the attractions is that there is an amazing choice of wallpapers available nowadays, including the option of designing your own. So, we thought we should take an objective look at the pros and cons of paint vs wallpaper to see which one might suit you best.


If your objective is to change a room simply and easily, then repainting is often the first choice. One visit to your local paint shop will confirm the wide range of colours and finishes available, providing home decorators with lots of options.

One advantage with paint is that fixing a flaw in the wall it is a lot easier when you’re painting rather than wallpapering. Painting is also a job that you can get the family involved in, whereas wallpapering is often a job that is best kept out of the reach of the kids.

On the other hand, paint is rarely as durable as wallpaper. Another factor to keep in mind is that if you have an accident when applying wallpaper, you may simply need to get more. If you have an accident when applying paint, however, you could be up for new carpets, new drapes, new furniture or re-sanding and sealing your floorboards!


It’s fair to say that applying wallpaper can require a bit more skill to achieve a professional result. On the other hand, with so many different patterns and styles available, getting the look that matches your tastes and personality exactly is actually easier than simple paint. From fun designs for children’s rooms to strikingly elegant finishes for your formal areas, wallpaper is nothing if not flexible.

Of course, the major drawback to wallpaper is often not so much about putting it up, but removing it. If you already have wallpaper on the walls, you will need to remove it before replacing it, which is not always an easy job. However, a bit of online research will provide tips on making this job easier…or you could simply get an expert to do it for you!

One other concern with wallpaper occurs if you have issues with dampness. In this situation, wallpaper may not be the best long-term choice. However, moisture issues aside, wallpaper does have the ability to completely transform a room, so don’t dismiss it out of hand.

Your preference…

In the end, the choice comes down to your own tastes in décor. If you’re keen to explore different patterns and colour combinations to suit your own style, then wallpaper may be the way to go. If you’re more inclined to keep it simple, then paint seems a logical choice.

However, if your reason for decorating is simply to prepare your home for sale, it’s hard to go past neutral coloured paint that enhances natural light.

Of course, if you are planning on making a move in the near future, our recommendation is always to talk to one of the team at Ian Reid’s Vendor Advocacy before you start making changes or spending too much in your local hardware store. Some of your changes could make no difference to your sale…or even be counter-productive! In fact, while you’re here, why not download a FREE copy of our booklet, “Fatal Real Estate Traps Exposed”, which is full of helpful tips when you sell.

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