If you’re considering home renovation, what do you choose for your walls? Paint and wallpaper each have their advantages, so let’s look at the pros and cons.
Your choice will hinge on four factors:
2. Who does the work
3. Condition of the walls
These factors are interrelated. If you’re on a very limited budget, you’re likely doing the work yourself and water-based paint is probably your best bet. Numbers 3 and 4 may not even enter into consideration.
Paint is generally less expensive than wall coverings. There’s a certain amount of masking, mess and cleanup involved, but you don’t need to be an expert to do a reasonable job.
You may choose water-based or oil-based paints. The former are easier to work with, since they’re water-soluble, but are not as washable after the walls are painted. With oil-based paints, you need turpentine for brush-cleaning, but the surfaces stand more washing.
If your budget is a little more generous, professional painters do a superlative job, can execute more advanced painting techniques and clean up after themselves!
Wallpaper tends to be more expensive than paint but doesn’t require as much masking and finishing. Once you’ve mastered some basic techniques, like overlapping and matching patterns, it’s not that difficult. Plus “wallpaper” doesn’t begin to describe the wide range of wall coverings now available.
Here again, if you don’t have the time or can’t stand ladders, professionals are available to do the job for you.
The final two factors are often overlooked. If you have children or pets you’ll know about “scrubbability” – choose a heavy-duty oil-based paint or a tough vinyl wall covering.
If you are redecorating in an older home, where the walls are uneven, paint will show up every defect and wall coverings are a better choice.
In the end, whether you choose paint or wallpaper, the range of options now on the market contains something for everyone.
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