Wallpaper vs. Paint: What You Need to Know

The perfect home decor reflects your personality and taste, and you can give your walls a makeover with new paint or a fresh wallpaper design. But which side will you choose in the battle of wallpaper vs. paint? There are several pros and cons to using either paint or wallpaper. Below, you can discover everything you need to consider before deciding how to style your walls.

Key Factors to Keep in Mind When Deciding Between Paint and Wallpaper

Do you find yourself stuck in a dilemma while trying to decide whether to choose wallpaper or paint? Do you want a quick, budget-friendly, environmentally-conscious home decor solution? Let’s go over the key factors you should consider when deciding between paint and wallpaper.

dining room wallpaper design

Which Method Takes the Most Time?

If you would prefer the faster home decor solution, then you should wallpaper your home. Giving the interior of your home a new paint job is a long process for several reasons, including:

  • Applying both primer and topcoat
  • Drying time between coats of primer and paint
  • Masking of walls before painting
  • Need for any touch-ups

dining room fireplace before

Which Requires the Most Preparation?

Applying modern, peel-and-stick, removable wallpaper is fast and will not damage your walls. However, stripping existing old wallpaper becomes tiresome, and if done improperly, it can also damage the walls. If you choose to wallpaper your home with peel-and-stick wallpaper, you may wish to paint your walls before applying the wallpaper to enable easy removal. For these reasons, wallpaper requires more preparation than paint.

Should you decide to paint instead of installing wallpaper, you will still need to spackle the wall and smooth out any holes or rough areas before applying the first layer of primer. Even though painting does hide some holes and other marks made in your walls, the finish may not turn out as smooth as a wallpaper cover in most cases.

Whether you decide on wallpaper or paint, you should always consider prepping your walls first.

Which Lasts Longer?

A well-executed wallpaper home decor solution can last you up to 15 years or more, while a high-quality paint job will require your attention within five years. Paint will eventually flake or fade in areas that see high traffic or sunlight – wallpaper can withstand a lot more wear and tear than paint. However, you should avoid using wallpaper in your bathroom or kitchen because it will start to peel due to humidity or contact with water.

At The Great Cover-Up in Ladue, Missouri, we often suggest that our clients choose a combination of paint and wallpaper to add extra depth and texture to their homes.


Which Is More Environmentally Friendly?

Today, you can find many hypoallergenic, eco-friendly paints on the market. On the other hand, you can also customize a wallpaper design for your home with products made by an environmentally friendly wallpaper manufacturer.

What makes wallpaper environmentally friendly?

  • The manufacturer will print the design of choice on demand
  • No huge quantities of wallpaper stored in a warehouse
  • Fewer materials go unused or wasted
  • Free from harmful chemicals and substances
  • Print on non-woven paper
  • FSC certificate


Which Is More Budget-friendly?

You can find both budget and luxury wallpaper and paint. Wall paint proves more budget-friendly than wallpaper because it requires fewer supplies, is cheaper than wallpaper, and you may not have to hire a professional to get the job done.

Wallpaper serves as an expensive yet durable home decor solution. A one-time application will almost always last longer than a paint job, making it a good investment. In the clash of wallpaper vs. paint, your budget constraints may make all the difference in your decision.

You can either choose to go with wall paint to minimize upfront expenditures or wallpaper to create a long-term home decor solution.

The Pros and Cons

Consider the following pros and cons before deciding on wallpapering or painting your interior walls.

  • Peel-and-stick, removable wallpapers are easy to apply and remove
  • Some varieties of wallpapers are scrubbable
  • Very durable option
  • Can handle lots of wear and tear
  • Painting requires less preparation time
  • Easy to wipe stains from the walls
  • Lots of paint colors and varieties to choose from
  • Inexpensive to purchase and easy to apply
  • Removing existing wallpaper is tedious and could damage the wall
  • Not recommended in high moisture areas, such as bathrooms or kitchens
  • Limited washability
  • Wall paint can chip, which will require regular repainting
  • A longer process, depending on the number of coats and drying time
  • Must have a perfect base before applying paint

Are you looking for a full-service interior design & home furnishings store? Shop at The Great Cover-Up to check out our wall coverings, or call us at (314) 995-5701 for a complimentary consultation.

The Bottom Line

If you find yourself weighing the pros and cons of wallpaper vs. paint, ask yourself what suits your style best. Brighten up your home by choosing a wallpaper design or wall paint that appears a few shades lighter than your furniture and appliances. Or, mix and match both paint and wallpaper for a dramatic, texturized effect.

The Great Cover-Up in Ladue, Missouri, offers custom wall coverings. Visit our store or schedule a complimentary consultation with our designers. We work hard to create an interior design that reflects your personality, passions, and lifestyle so you can make a statement without ever saying a word.