Written by Jonah Poh

Having finally settled the last of your documents and paying off the additional fees, you take a step inside your new home.  Smelling the air of blandness coming from the stark walls, you can’t help but wonder; paint or wallpapers to brighten up the inside?

If you’re looking to be creative, then by all means use both!  Feeling brave? Plaster that wall in the living room and give it some funk, or go with refined patterns to give the room a classy impression.  However, the decision isn’t as simple as that, just as is buying a new home.

Even if you’re afraid of making the wrong investment in a big space such as the living room, the bathroom or its statement wall is a perfect way to experiment.  The conditions of the room however, such as humidity, is another thing to consider when choosing between paint and wallpapers.  Modern wallpapers are able to handle the wear-and-tear of children and pets, but expect them to peel away from the wall in humid areas as fast as you would burn a sheet of paper.  Wallpapers have this tendency to do so as they use adhesive to stick firmly to the walls, and even though it is possible to replace damaged sections, it is near impossible to replace damaged sections to look like it initially did, in which case you might as well repaper the whole wall.  Varieties of paint can include being moisture and mould resistant, which suit the duty of decorating your statement wall.

Example of wallpaper used in bathroom

Adding durability into the equation, paint can chip easily and will need to be touched up occasionally to maintain the aesthetic.  Wallpapers, on the other hand, are much tougher, and therefore more suited to rooms such as the living room, dining rooms and bedrooms where moisture is less significant, as well as being a convenient solution to the fact that there might be too many things to move out of the way to make repairs, whereas paint is better suited to the hot springs back in the bathroom.

Though, if you still want a wallpaper in your bathroom, a sink splash-back would do the job, or if you’re rather worried about your hot tub, then tiling the lower half of the wall and papering the upper half is the safer option as it is less likely to get splashed.  Keep in mind, however, that if you do paper too close to the bath, redecorating every couple of years is necessary to maintain a flawless look. In fact, a nice bathroom will actually help increase your house’s value.

You just remembered that you’ve almost burned a hole in your pocket from paying for the house, so you resort to the lower end of these products. In that case, it is advisable to go the conventional way and opt for paint.  Generally, it is more economical to paint rather than use wallpaper.  It is worth remembering that you get exactly what you pay for, so choose quality paints and wallpapers; it will save you time (short term) and money (long term).

DIY painting can help save money when budget is tight.

With the final decision made, just remember that choosing between one of these, or both, will be influenced by your budget, the room being decorated and your commitment to decorate and redecorate.  Using a combination of both may provide an artistic touch.  Whichever option you choose, the best result comes down to application and preparation.  Remember to factor in the extra costs required to hire people to do the job for you, unless you want to try your hand at DIY painting or wallpaper application.