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Expert Reveals Wallpaper vs Paint Guide To Help You Make Up Your Mind

When it comes to decorating the walls of your home, you’re left with a few options. Those in older properties may choose to show off their building’s natural brickwork. However, for the majority of the population, they’ll be looking at whether to go with wallpaper or paint.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at key factors relating to both to help you make up your mind. Joshua Houston, interiors expert at Household Quotes will talk about appearance, compare the costs and test durability.


Deciding what’s right for you can differ depending on the size of your home, the style of your home and when your property was built. There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer, but we hope there’s enough information here to help you make up your mind.


Paint has become popular with modern styles, this is down to its clean tidy appearance, which is easy on the eye. It is easy to apply, someone with little to no experience can do the job after just a few searches on Google. It’s big money saver, as employing someone to decorate your walls can become very costly. You can also sample how your wall is going to look, if you paint part of your wall and you’re not really feeling it you can simply paint over. 

If you’re like me and have fond memories of the flower-styled walls at your grandparent’s house, you’ll relate wallpaper with older properties. However, this isn’t actually the case. Wallpaper allows you to incorporate unique designs into your home. Half the homes on your street could have a grey-painted wall, but you will be the only one with birds flying in the wind. It can provide the inside of your home with some character but doesn’t need to be as chaotic as the wallpaper commonly seen in the 1970s and 1980s. You can opt for a simple pattern that makes a room stand out but won’t grate on your eyes after a period of time.

Alternatively, you can go with a hybrid style, an example of this would be a feature wall. A feature wall is when one side of the wall is decorated with patterned wallpaper, and the rest are painted with the same matching colour. The idea is to give a room added character, without being overbearing and domineering.

The graphic shows the cost to paint and wallpaper different rooms in your home. This was done by taking the average cost of a litre of paint, and the average cost of a roll of wallpaper. 

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Wallpaper is generally a more expensive option than paint, this can however differ depending if you go for cheap paper or expensive paint. So you might find it more cost-effective to go with paint, but you have to take into account alternative factors. Your walls require multiple coats which can fade over time, this means you will have to spend more money getting your wall up to scratch. 

Environmental Impact

It’s important to consider the environmental impact of your choice between paint and wallpaper. Both options can be eco-friendly, so it’s crucial you fully understand what factors make them that.

Traditional paint is high in VOC (volatile organic compound), these are toxic gases that can cause air pollution as well as serious problems if you’re left exposed for a sustained period. People with breathing conditions such as asthma are particularly vulnerable, so take into account the health of your household. Low and non-VOC paints are available, they are a more sustainable option, being better for the environment and your health. Some of these brands pride themselves on their sustainability, they use recyclable packaging to ensure their paint leaves no trace on nature.

There are many eco-efficient wallpaper options available, some are made from recycled materials and use environmentally friendly ink. Wallpaper can also last for a longer period of time, having to replace it less means minimal waste whilst also saving you money.

Durability and maintenance

Durability and maintenance are a key factor when deciding anything related to your home, you want to invest your money into something that requires low effort and lasts for a long time. 

Paint is quite low maintenance, you may occasionally need to add an extra layer to an area that’s fading. It is, however, susceptible to little scuffs and marks from items such as furniture. The good news with paint is that if one area of the wall is affected, you can repair it easily. All that will be required is a quick paintover, instead of spending your day redoing the entire wall.

Depending on the finish, wallpaper is more durable than paint. It is designed to withstand the wear and tear a home can bring, meaning it’s more resistant to scratches, scuffs and discolouration from sunlight. However, if your wallpaper does get damaged, then it is much harder to repair than paint. You will have to pull down a significant amount of wallpaper for it to be replaced, this will cost you a lot of extra money as well as produce waste. According to Paul Walden Interiors, good quality wallpaper can last over 15 years which could make it an excellent investment.



The decision on whether to choose wallpaper or paint is not the same for everyone. It’s important to think about the size, location and style of your home before making expensive decisions. Weigh up what I’ve told you in this article and decide what fits best for you.

Choose paint if you want something that looks cleaner, is more adaptable and is cheaper to buy. Painting a wall is easier to learn than installing wallpaper, so think about whether you’d be required to spend extra on labour costs. If you have children who sometimes find themselves armed with a crayon, paint can easily be painted over. 

Wallpaper is the best option if you want the inside of your home to look more characterful. Assess the likelihood of it getting damaged, as the last thing you want is to have to replace your wallpaper. If you live in a more laid-back environment then that will be beneficial, paper can last for years without needing to be replaced if looked after.

Joshua Houston, Interiors Expert
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