Looking for a way to breathe new life into your lacklustre walls? Deciding on the right type of wall treatment is no easy task, given the huge number of products available today. And homeowners are mostly confused between two popular options – paint vs wallpaper for Indian walls.

While both of these have their own advantages, the right option will depend on your unique needs. To make your choice easier, take a look at how wallpaper vs paint compare on these essential factors.

#1: Variety

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Sleek satin finish paint makes your room look straight out of a dream

Variety in colors and finishes is a major plus point if you are looking to create a unique look for your home. Thankfully, there is no dearth of variety in both wallpaper and paint.

Paint is available in literally every color under the sun – you can mix and match to your heart’s content. When applied in combination with the hundreds of texturing techniques in use today, paint can create stunning effects that completely transform the look of any Indian home.  You can also choose from a variety of finishes such as matte, satin, semi-gloss and glossy.

Wallpaper is also available in a huge variety of colors and patterns ranging from elegant classical motifs to peppy contemporary patterns. Wallpapers also come in many different finishes like vinyl, fabric, foil printed, embossed textures, suede, and more!

#2: Ease of application

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Your wallpaper is best applied and removed by an expert

Between the two, paint is the easier and less fussy option for Indian walls. A day or two will suffice for a paint job for a standard size room. Painted walls are also very accommodating to incoming, newer coats of paint of the same hue. In most cases, if the surface isn’t too worn out, a new coat of paint can be applied on to the older one.

Wallpaper application is a job best tackled by an expert. The process is elaborate and demands a lot of time and patience. The same holds true for stripping the wallpaper too. A new layer of wallpaper cannot be applied on top of the existing one.

#3: Durability

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Quality paint on the walls transforms the appearance of your home

Good quality paint on walls, when finished well, can last you up to five years. That said, paint tends to fade and flake in areas that have high usage and exposure to sunlight. Hence, retouching will be necessary 3 years or so – maybe even sooner for paints in lighter colours.

Wallpaper, on the other hand, will be your long term partner. Experts maintain that a one-time application on Indian walls will last for around fifteen years. However, wallpaper is not immune to tearing. Any mishap will mean that you will have to redo the whole process of stripping and pasting, which is more time consuming than re-painting.

#4: Expense

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Wallpaper is a slightly more expensive investment than paint, but it lasts longer

Paint is an easily available resource. The time, effort and skill required for application is relatively less. This means that the overall cost incurred for each paint job will be relatively lower than the cost of wallpapering.

Wallpaper is a more expensive, one-time investment. Since it lasts much longer, it works out to be more cost-effective in the longer run.

#5: Type of usage

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Add trims to your wall for a fancier design

While deciding from wallpaper vs paint, take into account the area of your home in question. While paint is generally suitable for all areas of the house, excess heat can adversely affect the life of painted walls.

Similarly, wallpaper doesn’t fare too well in areas with moisture and heat like kitchens and bathrooms. Since wallpaper can be easily torn or damaged, it’s probably best to avoid using it in high traffic areas or children’s rooms.

#6: Aesthetics

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The right wallpaper can add to the aesthetic appeal of your room

Both paint and wallpaper on Indian walls can be used in effective ways to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your rooms. Use textured paints or flashy patterned wallpapers to create stunning backdrops for your furniture. Unleash your creativity and bring your individual style to every room.

#7: Customisation

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Textured paint can bring out the best in your home

Paint offers ample opportunity for customisation. Paints can be generated in any colour you can conceive. You can choose from thousands of paint swatches or mix hues and tints to get a precisely customised color.

Wallpaper is relatively a new entrant in India. Though there is a wide variety of standard designs available in stores across the country, it’s tricky to find a vendor to print out custom patterns.

Do keep in mind that both paint and wallpaper on Indian walls can be applied only on smoothened walls. You can choose to have a mix of wallpaper and paint in your home too – wallpaper for your elegant, exclusive drawing room and paint to brighten up other areas that see more traffic. This will give each space in your house its own unique character. So choose according to your needs and add stunning embellishments to your walls.

#8: Maintenance

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Wipe off your wallpaper with a damp cloth to keep it in top shape

Your paint job might need a yearly touch-up to stay in top shape. Each type of paint comes with its own care instructions. Other than that, try and keep it away from the ravages of nature.

Wallpapers are comparatively simpler to maintain. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth, and it’s all good!

#9: Room-wise suitability 

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Paint is suited to all parts of your home

While you can choose between paint and wallpaper for most parts of your home, some sections might need a little additional care. For example, wallpaper is not suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. This is because the high humidity might cause it to start peeling. On the other hand, in children’s rooms, it’s safer to opt for washable wallpaper so that they can unleash their creativity on the walls. Even if you encourage your children to keep away from the walls, it’s easier to handle accidents—think a splash of paint or a muddy handprint on washable wallpaper than on paint.

#10: Reaction to humidity

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Set a relaxed mood to your bedroom with the right wallpaper

When applied in a humid environment, the wall underneath might be mouldy. You could also have difficulty in having it adhere to the wall. Moreover, in a constantly humid environment, your wallpaper does have greater chances of peeling off. Paint is mostly unaffected by humidity. 

#11: Removal

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Scraping paint off the wall might be a tedious process, but it looks gorgeous while it lasts

Removing paint is an extensive process that might lead you to think, is it really necessary to take the paint off? The process starts with scraping the old paint off the walls, stripping it down and then sanding it for smooth walls that you can paint over again. You’ll also have a lot to clean up once the process is over, and usually requires labour. On the other hand, if you choose peel-and-paste wallpaper, you can remove it with ease. In case you’ve used regular wallpaper, scrape it off bit by bit and your wall is as good as new!

Still thinking what’s better in wallpaper vs paint? Here’s a quick roundup for you.

If you need more design inspiration, head to 5 Cupboard Designs for Compact Rooms.

Send in your comments and suggestions to editor@livspace.com