What’s the difference between wallpaper and paint?

Both wallpaper and paint are types of wall coverings. Wallpaper is an adhesive-backed paper that is applied to walls as a decorative element, while paint is a pigmented liquid that is applied to walls as a wet substance and dries into a solid coating. Paint is a solid color, while wallpaper is generally patterned or textured, making it a more ornate wall covering choice. As a result, paint is generally a more cost-effective wall covering. It is also simpler to execute as it can be applied with a roller or brush, while wallpaper requires being unrolled, soaked in water to activate the adhesive, and applied in level sections that match the pattern and hide the seams. Because of the complex nature of hanging wallpaper, and the fact that it can make a room appear very busy, it is generally reserved for more elevated installations, or smaller projects, such as powder rooms and statement walls. 

Shop Wallpaper >>

Lead photo by Brie Williams / Design by Barrie Benson


File Under

January 22, 2020

Chairish is the design lover's indispensable online source for chic and unique decor, art, furniture and home decorating inspiration. Shop our expert curation of exclusive and diverse inventory with 1,000+ new arrivals daily. Happy hunting!