Paint vs wallpaper: Which is better for Indian homes?

[] Wallpaper or paint, which one is better? Well, it all depends on what exactly your requirements and aspirations are

In urban India, paint is being replaced by wallpapers to dress up and protect walls. However, this has also set the debate running on which one is a better choice for your walls – paint or wallpapers.

You are reading: Paint vs wallpaper: Which is better for Indian homes?

However, in the wallpaper versus paint debate, it is difficult to find a clear winner. It all depends on what suits your requirements and personal taste. To make an informed decision before you get swayed in favour of either, it is important to consider paint and wallpaper on several factors. This guide will help you find an answer to the wallpaper vs paint question by discussing all those factors.


Paint vs wallpaper: Factors to consider

  • Cost
  • Application
  • Preparatory timeframe and application time
  • Maintenance
  • Durability
  • Variety
  • Appearance and finish
  • Removal

 Check out these 3d wallpaper designs for your home

Wallpaper vs paint: Cost difference

Size of the standard wallpaper roll 32.97 ft x 1.73 ft
Area a standard wallpaper would cover 57 sq ft
Wallpaper installation cost Rs 8 – Rs 15 per sq ft


There are two aspects of cost when it comes to the wallpaper vs paint debate. First is the initial investment. Second, the return on that investment.

On the first parameter, paint wins hands down, since it is more affordable than wallpaper.

The cost of standard wallpaper rolls in India could range anywhere between Rs 3,000 – Rs 10,000. The installation charge for wallpaper could be Rs 8 – Rs 15 per sq ft. For paint, you will have to shell out Rs 12 – Rs 35 to get a sq ft of space painted. This does not include the labour charges.

However, the return on investment could be higher for wallpapers when compared to paint, because of the durability the former offers.

Paint vs wallpaper: Durability

A paint job can last you up to five years, if you opt for the best-in-class paint and the property is not exposed to extreme exploits of nature. Wallpapers, on the other hand, can last up to 15 years in similar conditions. This makes the return on investment on wallpapers much higher than paint.

Wallpaper vs paint: Application

Wallpaper application is not a do-it-yourself kind of job. You are better off hiring experts. This is not true if you want to paint your home. That task is pretty easy and if you are so inclined, you could proceed with painting your own home. However, for that, you would require time, energy and loads of enthusiasm. Since labour is easily available at affordable rates in India, most of the country’s working population hires skilled workers to get the job done.

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Paint vs wallpaper: Preparatory timeframe and application time

Before your wall is painted or wallpapered, it must be prepared for that dressing up. In the case of paint, the old paint must be scraped off the walls and the walls must be smoothened before you can paint all over again. The bigger the house, the more time this will take.

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The preparation time is much higher in the case of wallpapers, because, apart from smoothening and cleaning the walls, you could also need to remove the existing paint, especially if it is latex paint. Only eggshell, satin or semi-gloss paints are receptive to wallpaper installation on top of them. You will also have to apply a primer to seal the wall before applying the paste for wallpaper installation. This process can take up to a week.

Since more professional and careful work is required in wallpaper application, it also takes a lot more time than wall paint. The painting for a 2BHK home might be over in three to four days. It would take double the time for wallpaper installation.

Paint vs wallpaper: Maintenance

Even if you invest in the finest quality, paint has the natural inclination to chip off while wallpapers start to peel off. As far as cleaning is concerned, you can wipe off the dirt from your wallpaper as well as your paint, if you have invested in the right type. However, maintenance might be more cost-effective in the case of wallpapers, because of their durability. Your painted wall would require a fresh touch of paint every couple of years.

Wallpaper vs paint: Area-wise usage

Wallpapers are ideal for specific areas of the house, because they are vulnerable to humidity, moisture and high traffic. This is why it should not be used in areas like bathrooms, kitchens, kid’s rooms and lobbies. They are more suitable for bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms.

In India, paint has been the go-to option for so many years, because it can cope with humidity as well as moisture and heat. However, the paint would start chipping off if exposed to the elements. That is why tiles are being opted for wall décor in India’s kitchens and bathrooms.

Paint vs wallpaper: Variety and customisation

The sky is the limit when you think of colour schemes or textures for both, paint and wallpapers. While in paint, you would find water and oil-based paints, available in a matte finish, semi-gloss and gloss finish, eggshell finish and satin finish, you can get vinyl, vinyl-coated fabric, solid-sheet vinyl, non-woven, pre-pasted, and grasscloth types of wallpapers. In fact, 3D printed wallpapers have made it possible for you to get any conceivable design pattern installed in your home.

Also read all about plastic paint

Paint vs wallpaper: Appearance and finish

Since beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, it is entirely your personal taste that helps you favour paint or wallpaper. Paint and wallpapers both look marvellous when applied diligently, especially because of the wide variety one can choose from. The same is true of finish. Diligent execution of the project is key to a great finish of wallpaper installation or paint job.

Wallpaper vs paint: Removal

Removing paint is an extensive process as is removing wallpapers. The house would, however, get a lot messier in case of wall paint removal (because of all the dirt flying) as compared to wallpaper removal.

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Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Thanks to ground-breaking technologies, wallpapers are now available in a wide variety of textures.

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Wallpaper is more suitable for bedroom and living rooms.

Read also : 6 cottage house designs to take inspiration from

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Check out the 3D rendering for wallpapers.

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Nothing beats the vibrancy of paint!

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Paint also works well in combinations.

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Removal is less messy in the case of wallpapers.

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Wallpapers are great to hide imperfections on your wall.

Here is how to get the best of both worlds:

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

Paint vs wallpaper Which is better for Indian homes

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Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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