From wallpaper to wall painting – a zillion options for a distinct home

We all wish that our home reflects our design aspirations, creativity, and choices. This would include the layout, utilities, appliances, furniture and last but not the least, the colours we use inside. Yes, colour and décor defines distinction more than anything else, resonating our lifestyle, tastes, moods and flavour of life. There are various types of wall finishes one can have for their home. These include wallpaper, stencils, painting and other options. So let’s look at what are available to us, one by one.

Wallpaper: Wallpaper is thick decorative paper installed on the walls with glue. Commonly used in homes across the US and some parts of Europe like the UK, wallpaper is gaining popularity in India considering the wide range of designs, patterns and textures available. The beauty with wallpaper is that you can choose from an almost unlimited array of accents to reflect every room. The best wallpaper designs for homes are florals for children’s rooms, pastels or picture backdrops for living rooms or bedrooms, vintage patterns to suit your furniture etc. One thing to bear in mind is that the walls need to be dry and there should be no seepage or humidity in the atmosphere, or the wallpaper will begin to peel over a period of time. Let’s look at the different kinds of wallpaper popularly used.

Vinyl based wallpaper is popular thanks to its versatility. This is easy to install, remove and clean. Traditional patterns available are damask, toile, and classic flowers, ideal for a formal living room. Solid vinyl wallpaper is long lasting, and to this day the most durable option.

Paper-based wallpaper is when the design pattern is printed over a paper base. This is cheaper when compared with other wallpapers. Paper-backed vinyl has a liquid vinyl coating over the design. This can be wiped with a wet cloth and is moisture resistant.

Non-Woven type of wallpaper is made of natural or synthetic fibres that contribute to a rich appearance. They are easy to install and change but are quite expensive compared with paper and vinyl based wallpapers.

Fabric wallpapers have designs printed over a fabric-reinforced layer and have a vinyl layer on the design. These are durable and expensive.

Stencils are another popular option. These are thin sheets of plastic or cardboard, machine-cut with intricate patterns. The designs on the stencil are transferred to the wall surface by applying paint or a suitable pigment/ product. You can achieve a wide range of colours, textures and finishes.

Painting is the most popular and a commonly used coating approach to achieve a durable colour and texture. Prior to painting, the surface has to be plastered using cement. The plaster hardens and becomes durable as well as breathable. Newly constructed walls are treated with putty and sandpapered to ensure smoothness before the paint coat is applied. There are broadly 5 types of wall paints and finishes.

– Flat/ matte: Flat paints (also called matte) have minimum shine and excellent coverage. They require less paint to cover holes, crevices, and other imperfections. These are however not very durable and can be easily stained. They are best used on ceilings and areas such as dining rooms where they are not frequently touched.

– Eggshell finish: These finishes are popular considering that they are a bit more lustrous than flat paints. These too cover imperfections and surface undulations and are a little more durable than flat paints. These are ideal for corridors, hallways, sideways and other areas that are low in traffic.

– Satin finishes: Satin finish paints are the most common interior finish paints and also relatively expensive. They have a velvety sheen, and can be cleaned with a damp cloth making them ideal for kitchens, dining rooms and other heavy traffic areas. – Semi-gloss: Semi-gloss paints are smooth and shiny. They are durable and ideal for use in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and children’s rooms.

– High-gloss: High-gloss paints deliver the shiniest finish. They are durable and washable. This category of paints is best suited for doors, windows, cabinets and furniture, shutters etc. The surface has to be prepared perfectly to ensure a smooth finish.

Concrete veneer: This specialized application creates a layer that offers a distinct, rough industrial look – raw and edgy. It can have a tint for a colour and offers various artistic options as a surface. The application however needs a good amount of skill considering it is multilayered and time consuming.

Other interior surface options include wooden, laminate or PVC panels available in a wide range of designs, patterns and hues with different textures.

So, decide on the décor, vibe, space and furniture you wish to use before you choose from these many options available. Take your time and make your den, a reflection of you!