Whether you’re renovating a house you’ve owned for many years or just bought a new one, choosing between wallpaper and paint is a big decision. They both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what you need to know before making a decision.

The Differences Between Wallpaper and Paint

Wallpaper is pasted onto your walls in vertical strips while paint is applied in a series of coats.

Much of what was installed in the 1970s and 1980s is now undeniably outdated. If the outdated wallpaper in your home has you itching for something more modern, you’ll have a choice to make. Although the styles of yesteryear are outdated, there are plenty of fashionable new designs out there that are perfectly modern.

Wallpaper Is More Permanent

One thing you should know about wallpaper before you commit to it is that it’s much more permanent than paint. Have you ever tried removing it? Put succinctly, it’s not an enjoyable experience. In any case, you shouldn’t remove it on your own. Contact a licensed contractor and have it done professionally.

Paint is much more flexible by comparison as it’s significantly cheaper. You will end up spending more money on having a contractor removing wallpaper than painting over a wall because it takes a lot longer.

Wallpaper still has its merits, just make sure that you’re certain about the style you choose. There is a lot more commitment involved with wallpaper than paint.

Which One Costs More?

Painting a room can cost between $2 to $6 a square foot. Taking $3.50 as the average cost of paint per square foot, meaning it would cost $350 for every 100 square feet of painted space. The average cost for wallpaper installation per square foot is $6.35, so it costs $635 for every 100 square feet.

Over at Happy DIY Home, they’ve put together a useful guide that outlines all of the costs associated with painting a room, including a price comparison of the different paint types and finishes and smart tips to help you calculate the whole project cost.



While paint comes in a dizzying array of colors, you will still be limited in terms of customization, especially if you want complex patterns. Wallpaper offers much more in terms of customization as you can choose from thousands of patterns. When you’re looking to make a house a home, customization is key.


Compared to paint, wallpaper is more durable. While comparatively more durable, certain varieties are tougher than others. If you really want your wallpaper to stick around, you’ll want fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper, that stuff is really tough!.

For the most part, wallpaper is quite forgiving when it comes to getting stains out which makes it popular with large families. If a wall gets a stain on it, you can slap some primer on it and paint over it so they’re about equal when it comes to cleaning stains.

If you’re more concerned about durability, wallpaper is going to be your best option because paint chips easily.

Making the Right Decision

Now that you’ve read this post you have a starting point that you can build off of when you speak with a contractor. Write down a list of questions to bring to them so they can help you narrow it down from here.

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