Tips for Choosing Wallpaper

Rolls Of Wallpaper
choosing wallpaper
The endless combinations of styles and varieties makes choosing wallpaper a daunting task.

Hanging wallpaper is a way to create added visual appeal and bold design to a room.  But if you’ve ever needed to install and choose a wallpaper color and design for a room, you know that it can be an intimidating task.  There are endless style, color, and design choices.  Making the right choice begins with understanding your options.

Types of Wallpaper

You’ll narrow down your search for the perfect wallpaper when you decide on the type that you want to hang.  An experienced professional can help you determine if there’s a particular wallpaper type that’s best suited for the space you’re decorating.

Standard wallpaper is typically colorfast, which means that it won’t fade when exposed to sunlight; the same is true of almost all wallpapers today.  Standard wallpaper is inexpensive, and care needs to be taken not to tear it when positioning it on the wall.

Vinyl-coated wallpaper can safely be sponged off with soapy water.  It has paper backing and a paper surface which is sealed with liquid vinyl.

The wallpaper that’s excellent for kitchens is the solid sheet vinyl variety.  It consists of vinyl which is bound to a paper or cloth backing.  This type of wall covering is the most stain resistant, scrubbable, and rugged.

textured wallpaper
Installing textured wallpaper is more difficult to install than standard wallpaper.

Vinyl wallpaper is the easiest to hang, making it the best for inexperienced wallpaper hangers.  Vinyl wall covering is soil resistant, durable, easy to clean, and simple to remove.

For a small room with no or minimal natural light, Mylars and foil wall coverings are an excellent choice.  It’s important that the surface of the wall be in virtually perfect condition, however, since this type of wall covering accentuates imperfections on the wall.

Richly textured wall coverings with laminated paper backings are available in hemp, grass cloth, and other woven coverings.  These wall coverings, however, are both expensive and rather difficult to hang; but they are excellent for covering imperfections on the wall.

Another pricey variety of wall covering is flocked paper with raised, velvety patterns.  This type of wallpaper can cover minor surface imperfections.  It’s expensive and should be installed by a professional.

Wall Covering Backsides

Unpasted wallpaper is a choice which requires adding paste during the hanging process.  Prepasted is by far more typical; in fact, the vast majority of wall coverings which are kept in stock are prepasted.  The paste is activated by dipping the paper in a water tray.

If you choose dry-strippable wallpaper, it will peel off entirely when you’re ready to remove it.

Peelable paper also peels off, but a backing remains on the wall; other wallpaper patterns can be hung on it.

Wallpaper Patterns

Without question, the key factor when choosing wallpaper is to find a design that you like, but it’s helpful to give consideration to the effects a certain wallpaper design has in a particular room.  It may turn out that a pattern you really like may not be right for the room you’re decorating.  Here are some tips that can help choose the right wallpaper design:

  • professional wallpapering
    The pattern you choose may have an unexpected effect on your room.

    Horizontal patterns create the effect of widening a room and lowering the ceiling.

  • Vertical stripes or designs make it seem that the ceiling is higher than it is.
  • Large patterns will overpower and make a small space seem smaller; a spacious pattern looks best in a larger room.
  • Wallpaper with small patterns, sometimes called a “mini-print,” looks best in smaller spaces.
  • A room will seem smaller if the walls are dark in color.
  • If the background in a wallpaper pattern is light, the room will appear larger.

How to properly hang wallpaper is an entirely different topic.  For best results, hire a professional painting contractor for wallpapering and wallcovering services. There are also many decorative painting techniques that can deliver unique room treatments.

Scroll to Top