Wallpaper

Painting walls verses wallpapering

We are often asked what the pro’s and con’s of wallpapering are.

Wallpapering

  • Wallpaper can be hard to remove unless a coat of paint has been applied to the walls prior to hanging paper. It’s a real bonus when you find the original trades-person was considerate enough to do this. You will be blessing him all day as you easy-peel those walls.
  • After any existing paper is removed and if walls were not pre-painted, the surfaces will most likely require some level of plastering to provide a flat surface for hanging new sheets of paper.
  • While many paper wall coverings can take a few knocks and bumps over the years, it will start to show battle scars. It’s best that you have a few spare rolls of the same batch handy. A practical way of repairing tears is to replace an entire strip of wallpaper from floor to ceiling. Cutting out pieces to replace will just look patchy.

Painted Walls

  • Going from wallpaper to painted walls can be a mission as surfaces will need 2-3 coats of plaster before painting. But once you are there it’s easier to maintain long term because dents and scratches can be filled, sanded and the wall repainted fairly easily.
  • For a professional looking paint finish you can’t go past a master painter who can cut-in in straight lines. Masking tape and other straight edge devices will still show bleeds. If you come across a tradesman who is using masking tape to cut-in between two surfaces, start those alarm bells ringing and cast an eye over the materials he is using and procedures he is following.
  • Painting on top of wallpaper is your cheapest way to switch. You will still see the wallpaper lines beneath the paint. But this is a good option if you want to rent out your property because the surfaces will be hard wearing and can be repainted a number of times. After several repaints and gluing back edges that lift over the years, you will eventually need to remove the wallpaper and plaster the surfaces. Stripping the painted wallpaper will probably be a hard task.

Are feature or statement walls still okay?

Are feature or statement walls still okay?

  • Feature or statement walls that stick out like a sore thumb are definitely not still okay. But it is perfectly fine to have a well balanced paper covering on a wall or in an area. You need to ensure the colours and textures either compliment or contrast other surfaces and furnishings.
  • When decorating a room that you plan on living in (ie, not selling or renting) don’t be afraid to make it about you and the people that will be using it. Use colours and textures that you are attracted to and consider how your senses will respond when you walk in. What will you see, feel, smell and hear? Create a home that touches your senses, leaving lasting impressions and memories.

How to get started decorating with wallpaper

  • Google is of course a great source of information and inspiration. Check out sites like pinterest and houzz.com. Keeping a digital scrap book of all the decorating schemes that you love for each of your rooms is a great idea.
  • Other ways to put your scrap book together is to visit decorating shops, taking photos of the wall coverings and soft furnishing that you like. Make sure you save each photo with the name of the store, the brand and reference number.
  • Home style magazines are a great source if you are thinking about getting your house ready to sell.  On the other hand, if you’re decorating your home, be careful to only adopt other people’s ideas if they say something about you too. Your style should be reflected in your home.
  • When you are ready, print out 2-3 schemes for each room and pin everything on one wall. Start to pull together your vision for your entire home (even if you are decorating one room at a time).
  • If you decide that you want different wall coverings in each room, you will still need something to carry the scheme. For example, the same flooring and/or the same ceiling+trim+door colours throughout the house.
  • When you are ready, print out 2-3 schemes for each room and pin everything on one wall. Start to pull together your vision for your entire home (even if you are decorating one room at a time).
  • I’ve said it before, don’t under estimate the value of an interior designer. The right designer can help you to discover your style and will seamlessly pull together a well thought out decorating scheme for you. We’re happy to refer you to a designer that can meet your needs.

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