With the festive season coming up, we’ve answered all your questions, and then some, about transforming your home with wallpaper
We get it. While we are all comfortable with the idea of a paint project, the idea of trying wallpaper tends to intimidate most people. However, wallpapers open a whole new world for your surfaces. And especially designer wallpaper, which can work wonders to elevate the look of a room if you let it, even allowing you some creative expression.
With so many options and questions we are here to demystify wallpapers. We took your apprehensions to the wallpaper experts from Nilaya by Asian Paints and here’s what we gathered:
1. The choices are abundant
The sheer number of patterns, colours and styles available are staggering. Nilaya By Asian Paints curates a vast palette from simple solids to textures and patterns that mimic wood, bark, terrazzo, grasscloth, raw silk, brick, stone, foil, malachite, three-dimensional designs, elegant weaves, and many more. The intricate designs include everything from Indian motifs, and florals to geometric and abstracts, in finishes that range from matte to metallic. Their designer collaborations with the likes of fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Good Earth can turn your walls into a canvas for fashion and design. Mukherjee’s traditional Indian motifs paired with rich colours and textures fit for royalty can now be a part of your home with the wallpapers. The collection with Good Earth infuses your personal spaces with a calming softness from muted shades complimented by patterns inspired by India and nature. Get transported to fragrant gardens backed by latticed marble facades with Bagh E Fiza Stone, bask in the serene beauty of peonies, lotuses and exotic birds of paradise with Peony Garden, or go on majestic travels with Indechine Promenade.
2. It goes a long way and is cost-effective in the long run
When installed and maintained properly, your wallpaper will still be going strong at least five to six years later. Nilaya’s wallpapers and coverings are sold by the roll, each covering about 57 square feet. The range varies from Rs 2,000 to Rs 35,000 per roll. There is also an installation cost which includes materials and labour (approximately Rs 500 per roll). The initial cost would be higher than painting; how much higher depends on how much you need, what surface preparation is required and what you choose. However, it doesn’t require regular touch-ups.
3. It provides flexibility
Now we know it will last a long time. But what if you need to remove it? Say you live in a rented apartment and want to decorate with something that will last but is also easily reversible. Wallpaper is perfect in such a situation because it can be removed without damage to the wall or residue and dirt left behind. However, if after removal you want to reapply wallpaper or repaint the wall, you will have to prep the surface again.
4. Surface prep needs to be factored in
When it comes to different surfaces, wallpaper is quite forgiving. It can be used on most materials like gypsum board, concrete, wood panelling, masonry, new and old plaster, tile and laminate. What you need to keep in mind is adequate prep work on the walls with POP, putty, sealers, glue and sometimes lining paper.
5. Keep in mind the room traffic and humidity
Wallpapers can be used in almost any area of the house, but you do have to take into consideration certain factors. For instance, vinyl-coated wallpaper is extremely durable and easy to clean. It is treated to repel moisture and dirt so consider this for areas of your home that see high traffic. It can also be used in kitchens and bathrooms but avoid walls which have direct exposure to moisture like the shower area or a badly ventilated bathroom. Grasscloth is beautiful and adds a layer of texture, but it is made from natural and synthetic fibres. This means steam and moisture can damage it so use it in low traffic and dry rooms. Humidity doesn’t do much damage if you have used a proper sealer and glue. For example, steam from the shower on a daily basis can make the paper peel but you shouldn’t have any problems if you live in a humid city. However, unrepaired leakages will cause havoc. Proper waterproofing has to be undertaken for both wallpaper and paint to work.
6. Proper installation takes time
If you are up to it, you can definitely install wallpaper on your own and Nilaya’s website explains the steps here. What we recommend, however, is to call in the pros. The surface needs to be smooth, clean and devoid of any leakages or moisture. It might also need sanding, priming and installing a lining paper. Then the wallpaper needs to be cut properly and applied without bubbles, creases or overlaps. Drying time usually takes 24-48 hours but depending on the conditions, it can take up to two weeks to completely set.
7. Maintenance is simple
The easiest way to maintain your beautiful designer wallpaper is to dry vacuum it with the soft brush attachment. Wiping the walls with a soft, dry cloth will also work. If you do want to use water, make sure the wallpaper is the washable kind and use a slightly damp sponge and an extremely diluted mild soap solution. Remove all traces of the soap with a slightly damp cloth before drying completely with a terry-cloth towel.
8. Small repairs are possible
No matter how good the wallpaper is, sometimes small rips happen. Damage from pets (we all know how cats love to scratch everything) or nicks from moving furniture can break our hearts. Don’t worry, because in most cases like these, a touch up is possible and you can fix only the small portion that is damaged. The area can be replaced with the identical pattern but this requires a lot of care so it’s best to leave it up to the pros.