Painting vs. Wallpaper: Pros and Cons for Your Home Decor

Jan 04, 2024

Wallpaper versus paint, when redoing your walls these are the main two choices you'll have with each having its advantages and disadvantages. There are variables that would make you choose one or the other, your budget, usecase and durability are only a few that I could mention. For example, paint typically lasts shorter but will cost less as well with it being more DIY friendly. 

Read below to see how we choose with each client when they are thinking about painting versus wallpaper.

Worker is painting the ceiling by paint roller in corridor an apartment is inder construction, remodeling, renovation, overhaul, extension, restoration and reconstruction. Concept of home improvement

Painting: Pros and Cons

Paint, in its simplicity, is a liquid medium that comes in a diverse range of colors and types. Upon application, it transforms into a solid film on your walls. Distinct from wallpaper, paint is a popular choice for adorning the exterior of a house.

Dating back as far as 40,000 years, paint stands as one of the oldest tools in human history for decoration. The composition of modern paint predominantly comprises oils, water, and various binders, whereas ancient paint primarily consisted of charcoal. Numerous wall-painting techniques exist today to cater to the preferences of contemporary consumers.

Man Painting The Wall With Paint Roller

Pros of Painting

  • Colors: Paint offers a wide variety of colours, finishes and techniques. You can easily change the colour of your walls to match your mood or the season.
  • Cost: Painting is generally less expensive than wallpaper. It's also easier to repair and touch up with the cost of painting a wall to be as low as $150.
  • ROI: After painting your home's interior it will increase the value of your home on average 5.6%, this is thought to be one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase your home's value.
  • Installation: Paint is very DIY friendly, allowing for you to paint your own home and not have to pay an outside contractor.

Cons of Painting

  • Time-consuming: Painting can be a lengthy process, especially if multiple coats are required.
  • Messy: Paint can splatter and it takes time to dry, which can lead to a messy process.
  • Longevity: High-quality paint can last up to 5 years, provided it is maintained properly with recoats and touchups throughout its lifespan. 
Contemporary master bedroom interior in natural tones and materials with luxury architecture and furnishings for health, efficiency, and ecological sustainability. eco interior concept -  image

Wallpaper: Pros and Cons

Pros of Wallpaper

  • Apperance: Wallpaper comes in a vast array of designs, textures and colours. It can also add depth and character to a room.
  • Longevity: Wallpaper can last up to 15 years and a quality job will stay looking fresh and vibrant for a long time. A paintjob of that same timeline would have gone through 2 to 3 recoats. 

Cons of Wallpaper

  • Cost: Wallpaper is generally more expensive than paint, both in terms of material and installation costs. Upfront it is a killer and most don't want to even think of the removal process. Upfront wallpaper typically costs $750 to $1000 per room where as the same paint job would cost $400 to $750. You do have to remember though, wallpaper lasts longer.
  • Installation: Wallpaper can be difficult to remove and the process can damage the wall surface beneath. Installing wallpaper isn’t a simple project and typically requires a pro to get it done right.
  • Colors: When using wallpaper their are fewer options for the specific color you may want to use. While wallpaper comes in different patterns and has solid colors to choose from, too, it can’t compare to paint.
  • ROI: When usuing wallpaper you decrease the value of your living space if previously paint. This happens due to the expensive cost of removal and the finish it leaves below.

Is Paint or Wallpaper Better For You?

Both wallpaper and paint have their place in most homes so when deciding you will need to evaluate a couple of your core priorities. If you would prefer easy installaition and a large array of color options then it's easy, go with painting. If you want more patterns & longevity, choose wallpaper. As it seems easy to say in practice, everyones diffrent. Some even go with a mix of both!

Wallpaper vs. Paint

AppearanceMore designs to choose fromExcels with solid colors
CostIncreased upfront costsLower upfront costs
Installation Require professional helpDIY-friendly
ColorsFewer colorsUnlimited options
LongevityLasts up to 15 yearsLasts up to 5 years


Can decrease resale valueUsually does not impact resale value

Wallpaper and Paint vs. Other Choices

Your choices extend beyond the realms of wallpaper and paint. Exposed brick walls and wooden finishes present stunning alternatives, though they demand extensive demolition work on the existing walls. Essentially, these options are more suitable during the construction phase rather than for an already inhabited home. Additional alternatives encompass molding treatments, vinyl decals, stencils, and the simplicity of hanging art. It's worth noting that most of these alternatives offer temporary solutions in comparison to the enduring nature of both wallpaper and paint.