Are you thinking of redecorating your walls? It is true that both wallpaper and painted walls can create magnificent attributes and characteristics to a home, but you have to be careful how you choose to use them. You may be a person who is considering a change from wallpaper to paint or vice-versa.

To help you decide here are a few factors to help you determine which is the best option for your living area.

Advantages of painted walls

#1 – Hides imperfections on a wall

Every wall has its imperfections whether it’s dents or holes. Applying wall filler to the deprived areas and then painting over them hides these flaws. It is important however you sand down the filler before applying the paint.

#2 – Cheaper to buy

It is no secret that paint these days is exceptionally cheap. In some stores, you can pick up a 2.5 litre tin for £12 that could paint a full room. You must, however, be very careful when buying cheap paints as some cause drip marks and crack the wall.

#3 – Can be mixed with different combinations

What makes paint much more versatile than wallpaper, is that you can cover multiple walls with different combinations without having to worry about flower or stripe patterns. Painted walls can give the feel of a light, airy room and generate outstanding moods and atmospheres. Also in a lot of cases it can invent what seems like a larger living space.


#4 – Easier to maintain

It is much easier to clean marks or dirt off of walls that are painted. In most cases you able to just simply wipe the wall down. Also, having painted walls is much more pet-friendly. As we know, cats and dogs have a tendency to shake off mud and dirt as soon as they walk into the house. This is also much easier to clean if some of it manages to worm its way onto your walls.

#5 – Quicker than wallpapering

Painting is so much quicker than wallpapering. If you have a brush and a tin paint you’re ready to go, just simply apply the paint to the walls. Also, if your room is already painted, you can naturally paint over your current walls making redecorating much quicker and time efficient.

Disadvantages of painted walls

#1 – Repaint every three years to avoid cracking/peeling

Walls need painting on average every three years to avoid peeling or cracking. If you purchase cheaper paints, the repainting of a wall can become much more regular.  This, in the long run, can become more costly than having your room wallpapered.


#2 – Time taken to dry

The most annoying thing about paint is waiting for it dry, and depending on the type of paint you buy you could be waiting up to 8 hours. Also, not only is there the inconvenience of waiting for the paint to dry, but some paints can take up 30 days to cure.

#3– Risk of drip marks

If you apply too much paint to a wall, it can cause drip marks. These can be tough to spot while the paint is wet but once dry, drip marks become extremely visible and very frustrating on the eye. You can pick them off but, this means repainting the affected area. This could cause a dysfunctional colour to you wall.

#4 – Some paints contain hazardous substances

Some paints contain hazardous substances, which is why when painting, it is important to have your windows open and wear a mask. You should make sure you dispose of paint as hazardous waste for your safety and others.

Advantages of wallpaper

#1 – Last up to 5x longer and keeps its attributes for 15 years

In the long run wallpaper is the cheaper option. Paint is cheaper to buy, but it doesn’t last as long. Wallpaper on the other hand, lasts up to 5x longer and can keep its attributes for up to 15 years which makes wallpaper much more cost-efficient.

#2 – Customisation – Variety of possibilities

The aesthetic value of wallpaper is unmatched. It can add warmth, character and beauty that can generate astounding effects, creating a change in the atmosphere and mood of a living area. This is simply down to the variety of options available such as patterns and textures.

#3 – You can paint over wallpaper

You are now able to purchase “paint it yourself” wallpaper. This is custom wallpaper with a chosen pattern and texture chose by you that can give your walls a natural feel. This gives paints the attributes and characteristics it has never seen before.


#4 – Also hides surface imperfections

It’s quite obvious that hanging wallpaper also hides imperfections on the wall surface. In some cases, it hides them better than paint as you’re covering the dent rather painting over it for example.

#5 – Environmentally friendly

Some wallpaper is made with low volatile organic compounds making them more environmentally friendly. This means that the chemicals can evaporate at low boiling points, making the air much fresher for those with allergies or sensitivities.

Disadvantages of wallpaper

#1 – Humidity can cause the wallpaper to peel

When a room becomes humid, the glue holding the wallpaper to the wall may loosen, and in some cases can cause the paper to peel. This is especially frequent in the summertime. When I had my bedroom wallpapered in the middle of summer, within two months, it started to peel. This is very common but can be prolonged by purchasing a more expensive or thicker wallpaper

#2 – Hanging wallpaper can be tricky

Wallpaper can be very difficult to hang if you have no experience. It is also much more time consuming than painting walls. When hanging wallpaper, there are many things you have to take into consideration such as the flow of the pattern, the height of the walls and also the tools you will need. Here is a great guide on how to master wallpaper.


#3 – Easily damaged

Wallpaper can become easily damaged or soiled. Everyday life can damage your paper. For example accidently scraping your foot along the wall can cause a tear. Wallpaper is also a nightmare to clean if dirt and marks begin to appear. You can’t scrub a wallpapered wall like you can on a painted one, as the paper will become moist and be at risk of ripping. However, it is now possible to buy waxed wallpaper making it easier to clean.

#4 – Some wallpaper can be difficult to remove

Removing wallpaper can become seriously frustrating, especially when you’re trying to peel it off and only small strands are coming away. The removal process can become very time-consuming and leave your house in a horrible mess. Some wallpapers now have easy removal systems that allow you take off paper sheet by sheet causing less hassle and making it easier to dispose of.



Both wallpaper and paint can allow you to create great atmospheres, maybe wallpaper more than paint due to the patterns and textures it offers. However, you have to take into consideration how time-consuming wallpapering is just for a tad more atmosphere. Also, you have the option of combining both wallpaper and paint by having a feature wall that can fashion some incredible characteristics to your living area.


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Luke is a marketing and social media analyst as well as being part of the content team at Kontenta. Most of his time is spent in office researching new design trends. During his free time, Luke enjoys playing the bass guitar and watching live music.