Paint or wallpaper…what’s better for your home?

Raksha Saravanan

Paint and wallpaper are the two most popular wall retreatments for Indian homes. A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform a gloomy space into a bright and vibrant one. A whimsical wall paper has the potential to add unique character to your room. Knowing which of the two works for you requires a careful consideration of factors such as aesthetics, wear and tear expected, customization, and cost. Here is a primer to help you decide what’s better for your home.


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From water and oil-based varieties to the much newer waterborne enamels, paint comes in different types. While water-based paint can be used on any surface and allows easy cleaning, the oil-based paint has an attractive gloss and is suitable for high moisture rooms. You can experiment and create textured walls with the broad range of finishes available. Matte, egg shell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss are commonly used finishes.

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There is no dearth of variety of wallpapers either. From vinyl, fiberglass, embossed, and non-woven types, to bamboo, textile, and liquid wallpapers made of cellulose and cotton fibre, you have options aplenty to choose from, depending on your needs.


Although a good quality paint job can last up to 5 years, paint is prone to chipping and flaking, which calls for a retouch or repaint every 5 years. Generally, waterproof paint is recommended for high moisture rooms such as kitchen and washroom.

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Wallpaper is a sturdier option. Although modern wallpapers have a much longer life, and can withstand wear-and-tear wreaked by pets and children, they are not the easiest to repair.


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Painting a room is much cheaper than papering. But, given the longer life span of wallpaper, it can be a cost effective option in the long run. On the other hand, if you are someone who likes to give your home a makeover every few years, you may prefer paint over wallpaper.

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Get in touch with the Best Interior Designers in Chennai for cost effective wall solutions for your home.


Wallpapers are not suitable for humid areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, as they are likely to peel off when exposed to humid conditions. But, if you insist on going in this direction, there are a few hacks to make wallpapers work in any space. Install tiles for backsplashes, and wallpapers in the area above, where it is less likely to get wet.

Paint, on the other hand, is well suited for almost all areas of the home. The only drawback is that heat affects the life of wall paint.


There is a whole new category of paintable wallpapers which bridge both worlds. These paintable wallpapers add texture to the wall, and leave it to the buyer to make creative improvisations. You can leave it bare or paint as you wish.

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If you are mulling over the paint vs. wallpaper question, and need an expert tip or two, reach out to Interior Designers in Chennai to help you make the right decision.

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