Wallpapering vs. painting your bathroom


Wallpapering is a novel idea at best for a bathroom. On the surface it seems like a foolish plan – putting a large amount of paper in a room that is perpetually damp, with a lot of running water, looks like a recipe for disaster. But recent advances in bathroom specific wallpaper combined with a more savvy approach to design, mean it is now a much more viable option.

So now the question of what colour to paint your bathroom has to be regressed slightly. It is now “Should I paint my bathroom, or should I wallpaper it?”. There are pros and cons on both sides of the argument, and we’ll be exploring both today.

Wallpapering – Pros

The thing wallpapering your bathroom has above painting or tiling is that it is certainly unique. The recent surge in the trend means that, should you go down the wallpapering path, you are likely to be the only one in your family or friend group to have done so. It is a great attention grabber.

Furthermore, it is easier to achieve variety with wallpapering. With paint, most bathrooms will go with one block colour, with perhaps some different colours on the ceiling or floor. If they want patterns, they have to be painted in by a professional. Wallpaper, however, opens up the door to a lot of different colours and patterns, both of which can be installed by even the most novice decorator.

wallpapers rolls

Painting – Pros

If you aren’t going for patterns or a whole lot of variety, painting is still the easiest option. Get a bucket of paint and a roller, and with a little common sense in your approach, it can be a very simple and enjoyable process.

Painting is also the safe option. As we’ll get into below, wallpapering requires a lot more planning than painting does. While it will require upkeep, painting your walls requires little to no thought after the initial job is finished. As long as they don’t become damaged, they can stand for years and years.

painting brush

Wallpapering – Cons

While advances have been made, wallpaper is still a tricky thing to have in a bathroom. For one, it isn’t advisable to have it above the bath or the sink, even if you do suss out bathroom specific wallpaper. Going further if you have poor ventilation in your bathroom, causing condensation to hang around long after showers or baths, that can be detrimental to the wallpaper long term. It may not peal, but mould and mildew can easily build up.

Either way, wallpapering will require a lot of thought over positioning. You’ll have to monitor where water goes when you use the bathroom prior to redecorating, so you know where not to put wallpaper. Then you may find that the simple job of wallpapering becomes a lot harder, as you try to maneuver around several “off limit” areas.

Painting – Cons

Mirroring one of its plus points, painting is the “safe” option – which could be interpreted as “boring”. Wallpapering is fresh and new, whereas painting is the norm. This is especially true if you do go for one or two neutral colours.

Plus, as we mentioned above, making paint exciting may require hiring a decorator. That means the process will cost more and take longer, and if that outweighs the effort and time wallpapering would take, you are at a loss.


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