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Wallpaper vs. Paint - A Cost-Effective Analysis for Stylish Interior Design

Blox Social
Posted on
Oct 23, 2023

The age-old debate between using wallpaper or paint to decorate one’s walls continues to rage on even to this day. That’s because they are both timeless solutions for dressing up your walls and making them stand out as part of your living area’s aesthetics. While for some, wallpapers continue to be the best bet as they offer a hint of vintage charm, those with more modern design sensibilities continue to prefer lavish wall paints. But there is an additional thing to consider here: the cost of wallpaper vs paint

Honestly, such a debatable point always crops up when you are either planning to renovate your home or office, or have recently bought a new one. Honestly, both options have their pros and cons, but which one is more cost-effective and stylish in the long run? That is what we will try to answer in this guide so that you can settle the debate and go with the option that best suits your lifestyle, design sense, and, of course, your budget. 

Decoding the Cost Analysis of Wallpaper vs Paint

Let’s make one thing clear: when you are considering the cost of wallpaper vs paint for your walls, you don’t have to only look at how much your initial investment will be. Like everything else in your space, they also require installation, maintenance, occasional repairs and even renovation. Plus, both options come with their own set of issues that will make you spend money to fix them. Therefore, you need to take into account all these factors before making your decision. So, where should you begin? Let’s start with installation.

Analysing Installation: Wallpaper vs Paint

So, you’ve bought one of wallpaper and wall paint? Congrats! Now, get ready to spend time and money on its installation! So, how do both of them compare?

Well, installing wallpaper requires more time and skill compared to painting. It is a relatively more meticulous process because the installer will not only have to paste the wallpaper on the wall but also prepare it to the exact size. That involves measuring, cutting and aligning the wallpaper panels, applying adhesive to smooth out air bubbles, and trimming the edges. What happens beforehand is also the smoothening of the walls so that there are no bothersome holes or cracks. 

Compare this to the method of applying wall paint, and the difference is stark. Clean the wall, apply the primer, and paint it seamlessly. Such a process can be finished in just a couple of sittings as well! Given the contrast in the effort and skill, one can assume installation costs for a wallpaper to be more than that of applying wall paint!

The Game of Maintenance: Wallpaper vs Paint

On the surface level, maintaining a wallpaper is much more challenging compared to paint. Why? Because, at the end of the day, it’s just a layer of paper sheet over your wall that is prone to easy wear and tear. Have you ever encountered old wallpapers that are peeling off the edge, sticking out like a sore thumb? Or wallpapers that have stained and become unclean with time? Well, that’s a known issue with wallpapers. Also, maintaining wallpapers requires a lot of care and technique in order to avoid damaging the delicate paper.

In contrast, paints are continuously being innovated for wear and tear resistance. Many of them are resistant to water, dust, moisture, etc. Oftentimes, cleaning and maintaining them is as simple as wiping them with a sponge or a fibre cloth. An easy fresh coat of paint every few years is also effortless! So, we can assume that the cost of wallpaper vs paint in maintenance is higher for the former. 

But remember how we mentioned ‘surface level’ in the beginning? That’s because there is a caveat: wallpapers are often more durable and long-lasting than wall paints. When properly installed and maintained, wallpaper can last for up to 15 years or longer. On the other hand, paint tends to fade, crack or peel over time in areas with heavy traffic or constant exposure to sunlight. To maintain a new appearance, you may need to repaint your walls every 3 to 5 years. So, that way, wallpapers will serve you longer than paint.


When you factor in installation, durability and maintenance, the cost of wallpaper vs paint begins to form a clearer picture. 

Wallpaper is more expensive and time-consuming to install than paint, but it is more durable and varied in appearance than paint. Paint is cheaper and easier to apply than wallpaper, but it is less resistant and diverse in appearance than wallpaper. The ball is now in your court which one you want to go for.

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