Do you have plain walls at home that you just don’t know what to do with? You might have looked around for inspiration, and ultimately landed on either wallpaper or paint. While both options have their pros and cons, we find most homeowners like you struggling with the question of “wallpaper or paint, which is better in India?”. So, we’re here to break down all the commotion around wallpaper vs paint to make your decision easier.

Here are some handy things to know about both wallpaper and paint, and especially how they fare in Indian homes:

A Short Summary of Differences Between Wallpaper and Paint

CostComparatively less expensiveComparatively more expensive
Installation TimeAround 2 to 7 days depending on the scope and layers required Around 1 day, depending on the size of your home and the scope 
Labour for removal/applicationDoes not require highly skilled labour Requires professional labour
Durability Can last for 5 to 10 yearsLasts for up to 15 years with proper maintenance and care
Maintenance Repaint required every 3 to 5 yearsCan be wiped down occasionally to keep it looking new 
VarietyLimited availability of finishes Wider range of choices for finishes
On Imperfect WallsRequires filling in and sanding before painting Can hide minor imperfections
ReplacementCan be difficult to replace Comparatively easier to repaint

Here’s What to Expect Between Wallpaper vs Paint in Terms of Cost

Cost of Wallpaper

Wallpaper BrandsWallpaper Price per Roll
Artisan₹4,500 to ₹7,200
Talking Texture₹7,400
Excel₹3,400 to ₹5,800
Marshall₹4,850 to ₹10,000
Skipper₹2,100 to ₹5,250
Stena₹2,800 to ₹3,200

In terms of wallpaper materials:

Wallpaper MaterialStarting Price per Roll
Paper (printed)₹120 per sq. ft.
Vinyl (paper backed)₹2,800 per roll

The wallpapering process along with installation costs about ₹30 per sq. ft.

Painting Costs

Type of Work Estimated Range
Interior Painting₹20 to ₹42 per sq. ft.
Exterior PaintingFrom ₹20 per sq. ft. + labour
Fresh Paint₹28 to ₹42 per sq. ft.
Repaint₹14 to ₹35 per sq. ft.
DistemperFrom ₹18 per sq. ft.
EmulsionFrom ₹20 per sq. ft.
Texture PaintFrom ₹80 to ₹250 per sq. ft.
Single Colour PaintingFrom ₹10 per sq. ft.

Please note that these prices are estimates and are subject to change on the basis of availability and location.

Wallpaper vs Paint: What Should You Pick?

#1: Wallpaper vs Wall Paint in Terms of Variety

Sleek satin-finish paint can make your room look like it’s straight out of a dream

If you’re looking to create a unique look for your space, have an eye out for options that can offer a variety of colours and finishes. Thankfully, there’s no dearth of variety when it comes to either wallpaper or paint. Regardless of the side of the wallpaper vs paint you land on, both can deliver some amazing and varied results.

Available in a range of designs from elegant classical motifs to peppy contemporary patternsPaint is available in nearly every colour under the sun, allowing you to easily mix and match colours
Wallpapers also come in many different finishes like vinyl, fabric, foil printed, embossed textures, and suede You can choose from a variety of finishes such as matte, satin, semi-gloss, and glossy
Peel and stick wallpaper can be used as an overlay for cabinets and furniture if paint is too much of a commitment Can be paired with different layering or painting techniques to create a unique design 

#2: Application: Which Is Better Wallpaper or Paint?

Your wallpaper is best applied and removed by an expert

In the debate of wallpaper vs wall paint, paint is the easier and a less fussy option for Indian walls. In fact, as little as a day or two is enough to complete a paint job for a standard-sized room. Let’s take a look at why paint wins in the application category of wallpaper vs paint.

Wallpaper application is a job best tackled by an expert rather than something you can DIY Painted walls are fairly accommodating to newer coats of paint of the same hue
A new layer of wallpaper cannot be applied on top of the existing oneIf the old surface isn’t too worn out, a new coat of paint can be applied directly over it
The application and removal process is elaborate, demanding a fair bit of time and patienceRemoving paint can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, but this will entirely depend on the requirement 

#3: Who Wins the Test of Durability Between Wallpaper vs Paint?

Quality wallpaper or paint on the walls can transform the appearance of your home

Both wallpaper and paint seem like strong contenders when it comes to durability. However, much like any contest, there can only be one winner! Here’s how wallpaper vs paint compare in terms of durability:

Wallpaper can be a more long-term wall design solution as it can last up to 15 years depending on its quality Good-quality paint, when finished well, can last you up to five years
Though comparatively long-lasting, wallpaper is not immune to tearing and can get damaged Paint tends to fade and flake in areas that have high usage and exposure to sunlight. Due to this, your walls will require retouching after three years or so
In the event of damage, your wallpaper will need to be stripped and reapplied, which can be more time-consuming than repainting Lighter coloured paint may need retouching a bit more frequently as cracks and flakes may show more 

TLDR: It’s wallpaper!

#4: Wallpaper or Paint: Which Is Cheaper?

Wallpaper is a slightly more expensive investment than paint, but can last longer

Cost is something all of us consider before we invest in something. This decision-making process is no different when it comes to choosing between wallpaper vs paint.

However, please note that the costs for both materials can vary as per your scope and requirements. Here are some factors that come into play when it comes to the cost of these materials:

Wallpaper may be more expensive, but can be a more cost-effective option in the long runPaint requires frequent reapplication to keep it in top shape, which can increase lifetime costs
Requires professional application and can be more labour-intensive The time, effort and skill required for application is comparatively less
Depending on the brand of wallpaper and the availability of skilled professionals to apply it, the costs can varyDue to the ready availability of labour and materials, the overall cost for a paint job can be relatively lower than wallpapering

TLDR: In the short term, it’s paint, but in the long term, it’s wallpaper!

#5: Wallpaper vs Paint Based on Usage

Wall trims can help chalk out a contemporary look

While trying to solve the wallpaper vs paint dilemma, consider 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.

This accounts for the major difference in between the wallpaper vs paint cost in India, as you end up bearing the cost of repainting often.

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.

Also Read: 10 Features to Look Out for When You’re Choosing Wall Paint

#6: Is Wallpaper Better Than Paint in Terms of Aesthetics?

Amplify the aesthetic appeal of your room with the right mix of colours and patterns

Both wallpaper and paint can be used in effective ways to enhance the aesthetic appeal of Indian homes. Use textured paints or flashy patterned wallpapers to create stunning backdrops for your furniture.

Similarly, you can also create highlights on your walls by using these materials in shapely patterns. Think about creating an arch shape, for example.

#7: Wallpaper vs Paint: How Do They Differ With Customisation

Textured paint can be the perfect wall accent for common areas

Paint offers ample opportunity for customisation. This is because paints can be generated in any colour you set your heart on. You can choose from thousands of paint swatches or mix hues and tints to get a precisely customised colour.  

Wallpaper, on the other hand, is still an emerging concept 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.

When it is about wallpaper vs paint, do keep in mind that both can be applied only on smoothened walls. To kick things up a notch, you can choose to have a mix of wallpaper and paint in your home as well.

#8: Wallpaper vs Paint: Which Is Better for Maintenance?

Regularly wipe down your wallpaper with a damp cloth to keep it clean

Your paint job might need a touch-up every three to five years to stay in top shape. Moreover, each type of house paint comes with its own care instructions that further dictate durability. Depending on the type of paint you use, the maintenance instructions can vary. 

Wallpapers are comparatively simpler to maintain if they’re not used in heavy-traffic areas. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth, and it’s as good as new!

#9: The Universality of Both Wallpaper and Paint

Paint or wallpaper, what would you choose for your bedroom?

While the choice between wallpaper vs paint is offered for most parts of your home, some rooms can be restricted spaces. 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. This makes it easier to handle scribbles if keeping your kids off the walls is not a possibility.

The same way, both paint and wallpaper have their unique use cases in different spaces of your home. The only way to understand them is to give both a try!

Also Read: Amazing Wallpaper Designs and Ideas for Stunning Rooms at Home

#10: Wallpaper vs Paint: Which Is Easier to Remove?

Harlequin patterned wallpaper, anyone?

Removing paint is an extensive process that might lead you to even wonder if it’s really necessary to bother taking 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 of cleaning up to do once the process is over, and that usually requires labour.

However, if you choose peel-and-paste wallpaper designs, you can remove it with ease. In case you’ve used regular wallpaper, you’ll have to scrape it off bit by bit.

No matter how you look at it, both paint and wallpaper can have an extensive removal process. However, the extent of removal can be less intensive with paint, depending on the state of your walls.

How Can Livspace Help You? 

We hope you found this guide on wallpaper vs paint useful! If you want beautiful interiors for your home, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today.

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Disclaimer: All contents of the story are specific to the time of publication. Mentions of costs, budget, materials, finishes, and products from the Livspace catalogue can vary with reference to current rates. Talk to our designer for more details on pricing and availability.