Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
Painting versus wallpaper, which is a better home improvement? Either one can be perfect in different situations. Paint is an ideal choice for some situations, but wallpaper can enhance the appearance of one wall or an entire room. Here are some things to think about if you can't decide between painting and wallpaper.
When choosing wallpaper, you have two costs to consider: the cost of wallpaper and the cost of having the wallpaper installed. DIY wallpaper installation is possible, but it should only be done with self sticking wallpaper. Some wallpapers have to be glued and others must be immersed in water to activate the glue. Those can be tricky procedures for an amateur DIYer and should be left to a professional wallpaperer.
Some costs for wallpaper and installation may be:
How much does painting cost? If you hire a professional painter, they may cost $20 to $30 per square metre. Their rates can vary for more complex jobs and a more complex job will take longer to complete. Painters usually like to inspect a room or rooms before they give a quote to find out how long the job is going to take. To find out more, read How Much Do Painters Cost? The article explains everything in detail.
A four litre can of better paint may cost around $95, but you have to calculate how much paint you need. If you're painting a room that is 5 metres wide, 6 metres long and has one window and one door, you will need 6 litres of paint to finish the job, so you may need two four litre tins of paint. If it's a new wall, you will also need an undercoat, which may cost $20 to $40 for a four litre tin.
Painting can be less expensive than wallpapering, but think about the long term before you decide between painting and wallpapering. Wallpaper can add an exciting dimension to a room and may be a better choice. And don't forget, you don't have to wallpaper every wall. You can choose one wall or a feature wall and the cost will be lower.
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Painting and wallpaper doesn't have to be a "versus" decision. Both can work well together, but you need to think about how you're going to combine paint with wallpaper. One good way to do it is to use one wall as a feature wall. It could be a wall behind a sofa or bed and wallpaper might be ideal for it. Choose a complementary colour of paint for the other walls and you'll have a perfect combination of paint and wallpaper.
Loud colours can work in certain situations. Loud wallpaper may have contrasting colours and ornate designs and can bring a room to life. Whether you want to wallpaper the entire room or just one wall is a matter of personal preference. Bright colours can make a room more cheerful, but you should also consider the furnishings. They should be a close match to the wallpaper and give the room a more harmonious appearance.
It's not painting versus wallpaper. It's whatever works best for your room, whether it's a bedroom, living room, dining room or even a kitchen or bathroom. Make sure you buy wallpaper that's designed for bathrooms because normal wallpaper can peel or bubble in a steamy environment.
Wallpaper can be tasteful enough to install in an entire room or you can choose a wallpaper for a children's room, a feature wall or even a wall at the end of a hall. Wallpaper can have a depth that paint does not or you can even buy paintable wallpaper that will give walls texture and something different from flat walls.
Some things to think about when choosing wallpaper include:
These aren't necessarily rules to live by. If you like a bold, contrasting colour, it may be perfect for wallpapering an entire room in. Subtler patterns will soften the appearance of a room, but bold wallpaper can add an element of excitement to a room.
And don't forget wallpaper that resembles natural materials. Some wallpapers are photorealistic and others are textured to look like natural materials. Some are even made of natural materials and can be a beautiful addition to a room.You can also choose wallpaper that looks like timber, stone or brick. These photorealistic wallpapers will leave anyone guessing whether they are real or not. It's only when you get close and touch the wallpaper that you realise it's photorealistic wallpaper and not the real thing.
In a child's room, you'll find many wallpapers for boys and girls. They can be cartoon characters, unicorns or even child's toys. Wallpaper one wall of a child's room and paint the other walls a complementary colour and bring the room to life. Murals are also available and can be ideal in a child's room.Wallpaper can be a perfect way to make a room more attractive, but don't forget paint, either.
Some popular paint colours are white, off-white, beige and grey, but you don't need to stick to those colours. Thousands of other colours are available and may be perfect for a room in your house. Choose light colours for a small room, but if the room has large windows, you may be able to choose a darker colour because the windows will make the room appear larger and will let light into the room. You can also paint a feature wall in the colour of your choice and not overwhelm the room with a loud or dark colour. The golden rule is to choose a colour you like, but if you're selling your house, consider painting the walls a more neutral colour.
Is painting a room a DIY project? It can be, but remember you will want to paint window trim and door trim with an oil paint. You will need a dropcloth, a ladder, paint, rollers and brushes, but if you take your time, you can successfully paint a room with water based paint. If you don't have time, painters are fairly inexpensive and a good painter will paint a room to perfection and you won't see any paint where it's not supposed to be. A painter may be able to work more quickly than you, too, and can finish two coats in two days.
*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.