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Compare Wallpapering vs Painting Costs

Paint Overview

A fresh coat of paint can transform the look of a room. Paint adds a decorative touch and sets the tone for the overall design. You can make a small space look larger by choosing a light color or you can make a large space feel cozier by opting for a dark color. The design possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

How Much Does Painting Cost?

Each gallon of paint will cost you about $15 to $50, depending on quality. Budget about another $50 for supplies such as rollers, brushes, tape, primer and tarps.

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Professional painters charge for their services based on the size of the rooms, the amount of prep work needed, the time the job takes, the amount of trim to be painted and several other factors.

  • An averaged-size bedroom might cost $200 to $400.
  • A larger space such as a living room would cost about $300 to $700.
  • Having a 1,500-square-foot house painted would cost up to $2,000.

Paint Pros

  • Easier to apply - Painting a room is easier than applying wallpaper. With paint, there’s no messy adhesive and there are no seams to worry about. The only tricky part is painting around the trim.
  • Less expensive - A professional paint job will cost significantly less than having a professional install wallpaper.

Paint Cons

  • More prep work - Even though paint is easier to apply, it can’t be applied to a damaged or dirty wall. You’ll need to do a considerable amount of prep work, including spackling, sanding, washing the walls and, in some cases, applying a coat of primer.
  • Easier to damage - Paint is easier to nick or scrape. It is more likely to be damaged by furniture, kids or pets. In the long run, it is simply not as durable.

Wallpaper Overview

Wallpaper goes in and out of fashion, but right now it is making a big comeback. Forget about the tacky wallpaper of the 1970s and 80s - modern wallpaper is sleek and stylish. Opt for the subtle look with muted tones and delicate patterns or go daring with dark colors and bold designs.

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How Much Does Wallpapering Cost?

You can buy bargain wallpaper at a big box store for $5 to $10 per roll, or you can buy designer wallpaper for as much as $75 to $100 per roll. However, the vast majority of wallpaper falls in the $15 to $30 range.

Professional installation will greatly increase your total costs, but it also greatly increases the chances that the wallpaper will actually look good. The total cost will vary based on the number of rooms to be wallpapered and the size of the rooms.

  • Bathrooms typically cost $250 to $500.
  • A kitchen could cost $500 to $800.
  • Budget about $700 to $1,000 for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.

Wallpaper Pros

  • Durable - Wallpaper holds up very well to wear and tear, making it ideal for high traffic areas or homes with young children. It often lasts up to 15 years. Most modern varieties are washable, too.
  • Less prep work - With wallpaper, the condition of the wall underneath is less important. It’s still a good idea to wash the wall and fill in holes prior to applying the wallpaper, in order to get the best finish possible. But you don’t have to obsess over little nicks or cracks because they won’t be as obvious.
  • Wallpaper

Wallpaper Cons

  • Difficult to install - Installing wallpaper is tricky. You need to measure the walls and cut the wallpaper to match. You need to make sure the paper is on straight. You need to match the seams. Doing a quality job is a difficult task.
  • Tough to remove - We’ve all heard horror stories about removing wallpaper. It can be a difficult, tedious and time-consuming task. There’s also potential to damage the wall.
  • Might peel - Wallpaper does have the tendency to peel over time, particularly in damp areas. To avoid this, use wallpaper sparingly in moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements.

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