• Tinsel House

Paint or Wallpaper? A Guide for Room Wall Design

Picture this Tinsel readers, you recently bought a new home in the Lake Tahoe or Truckee area, or you've decided to remodel and bring a big change to a favorite room. One of the first questions is… should you paint or use wallpaper? A fresh coat of paint can transform a room. On the other hand, wallpaper has come a long way from the faded, yellowed memories of your childhood.



If your room is dark, tired, or showing its age, a fresh neutral coat of paint can do wonders to brighten up the area. Any feel or mood that you are going for can be achieved with the right color paint swatch. Another benefit is you’ll be sure to recoup any costs and add value when selling with a simple, quality paint job.

West Elm


Today, you have more fun wallpaper options and simple application methods than ever before. There are prints in every style, pattern, theme, color- your options are unlimited. New application methods include self-adhesive which can peel right off, so you don’t have to worry about a sticky mess. The pre-pasted method requires you to just add water to the paper, and it's ready to stick on the wall.

If you've yet to narrow down your choice, consider expense and durability- two of the biggest factors when deciding whether to use paint or wallpaper.


Burke Decor



Specialty wallpaper can be on the expensive side. Wallpaper can cost $5 - $2,000 per roll. You also must remember the tools and adhesive you may have to use. If you are doing large rooms or wall areas wallpaper can add up. If the wallpaper requires a specialized glue, you may need to hire professional installers, which can cost anywhere from $300 and up depending on the room size. That being said, you can create a more customized, unique look with wallpaper, it offers options simply unavailable with paint.


If you've ever painted, you know it requires plenty of extra materials to get the job done: tape, rollers, floor protectors, brushes, and time for prep work should also be considered. A gallon of paint will cost you anywhere from $15-$75, depending on quality and coverage. We recommend at least a mid-tier paint to reduce the number of coats, which factors into the overall job time. Hiring out to have a room painted will cost anywhere from $200 and up depending on the room size.



When it comes to durability, high moisture areas such as kitchens or backsplashes will need to have wallpaper professionally installed to ensure that it won’t peel off in a humid environment. Paint can be added anywhere without having to worry about it coming off due to moisture. Paint and wallpaper are both durable in their own ways. You can touch up paint as needed, just by keeping a small fresh can on hand. Modern wallpapers allow you to wipe off many basic scuffs and marks before having to worry about patching. For more extensive damage, keep in mind you will have more to repair with wallpaper than paint.

If you still can’t decide whether to paint or to do wallpaper, why not try both?! If you have an accent wall that is on the smaller side, you can apply wallpaper and then paint either side of the surrounding area. This allows you to try out two new decorating ideas at once and totally transform your space. If you would like more professional help to settle the debate, or need help choosing patterns or paint colors, contact Tinsel House Studio today!

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