Paint or Wallpaper? How to decide which one to use in your home

For many people, the “wallpaper or paint” decision is based on a variety of factors such as cost, fashion and a series of pros and cons. After the 1970s, paint took a clear lead in the ongoing wallpaper versus paint competition.

However, in recent times wallpaper has made quite the comeback, ditching those out-dated retro prints and adopting more modern and fashionable styles.

Both of these options can be just as expensive or affordable as the other and we at Painters Dublin offer both services. How to make a decision? Read on for a comprehensive list of the pros and cons, as well as some handy suggestions and advice.


Paint is definitely still the mainstream favourite when it comes to refreshing walls. A sleek and clean option, paint is usually quite affordable and is easily applied DIY-style. Some more pros include:

– Paint is easy to maintain, allowing smudges and dirt to be simply wiped clean. If a stubborn stain appears it can be easily painted over.

– Due to the lower maintenance required, a painted wall will last for much longer than one with wallpaper. If your wall is beginning to fade or flake, a simple refresher coat will have it looking brand new.

– It is a suitable material for anyone living with children. Fingerprints and any other mess can be easily eradicated.

– Paint offers a clean, sleek and timeless appearance.

Paint does have its down points though. Some disadvantages include:

– Painting can be a tedious process. It is not uncommon to require up to three or four coats of paint.

– If your walls are uneven you may have to pay out some extra cash to get them smoothed out. Paint reveals every detail of a wall and it won’t look good if there is any unevenness.

– There is a lack of creative options when it comes to painting. There are great colours available in paint, but if you’re looking for patterns and multi-coloured designs, wallpaper is a better choice.


Wallpaper is frequently associated with the ghastly floral prints Nan’s kitchen used to sport in the ’60s; however, wallpaper has recently come back with a very modern flavour. This includes brand new adaptations of the retro floral prints from the past and much more. Some more reasons that wallpaper has become popular once again include:

– Fashion in the home is becoming more and more important in modern times and wallpaper offers just that. Practically every print and pattern imaginable is on the market and able to provide your home with a unique and ultra stylish look.

– There is no need to worry about your look becoming stale. Whilst hard to change years ago, wallpaper can now be easily stripped from your walls when you’ve had enough.

– The right wallpaper pattern can pull off special effects in your home. For example, horizontal stripes can make a room look wider, whilst vertical stripes can make a room look taller.

– If your walls are uneven, wallpaper will cover it right up, whereas painting requires you to sort out the unevenness before proceeding.

– Wallpaper is easy to apply and requires only one layer, as opposed to paint, which can require up to four coats.

These points may suit you perfectly, but keep in mind that there are also some disadvantages that come with the wallpaper applying process. These include:

– Unlike paint, wallpaper can stain and damage easily, which can often mean replacing whole panels if an accident occurs.

– The vibrant prints and colours will fade much faster in sunlight, so it’s probably not suitable for sunny homes unless you can afford to change it more frequently.

– Constant changing of wallpaper due to damage or fading can be a potentially costly exercise.

– Wallpaper is not ideal if young children are living in the house. Due to the stain factor it’s not generally recommended.


If you’re finding it hard to decide, or simply want the best of both worlds, try using both. You may find that paint suits your bathroom, whilst wallpaper looks good in the bedroom.

Another technique is using paint on three walls of a room and applying vibrant wallpaper on the fourth to create a stylish feature wall effect.