What is the best type of wallpaper?

Wallpaper might not be as popular as it once was, but it’s still a great option for covering walls. It has some advantages to paint alone in certain situations, especially when you want a cool pattern for a feature wall. There are several different types of wallpaper to choose from including paper-backed, bamboo, and vinyl. If you’re considering putting up new wallpaper, you might be wondering what’s the best type of wallpaper. 

Overall, we think that you’ll get the best value from vinyl wallpaper. However, each type has its own pros and cons and we’ll cover some of them in this article. 

Paper wallpapers

It may seem strange that “paper” wallpaper is only one category. But that’s due to changes in wallpaper material over the years. Paper is still a popular option as it’s inexpensive and easy to find. 

Paper-backed wallpaper

Paper-backed wallpaper means that the back of the surface that goes against the wall is made from paper. It has a paper substrate on the back that is glued to the wall. On the other side, it may have different material such as decorative vinyl or it could have paper as well. Paper-backed wallpaper is peelable, but it doesn’t always come off easy. Take a look at our article How to Remove Wallpaper for an easier way to remove paper-backed wallpaper. 

Paper-faced wallpaper

Opposite to paper-backed wallpaper, paper-faced wallpaper means that the front of the surface is made from paper. The design will be printed directly on this paper on the visible side. The side connecting to the wall could be made from a different material such as vinyl. Paper-faced wallpaper is typically washable–you can use a light cleaner and wipe it occasionally–but may not be scrubbable for heavy-duty scrub cleaning without tearing. 

Vinyl wallpapers

Vinyl is a versatile material for wall coverings and many people choose to use vinyl these days instead of paper. The entire wallpaper can be made from vinyl, or one side can have a viny coating. 

Advantages of vinyl wallpapers

Vinyl has replaced paper wall coverings in many situations because it offers a number of advantages compared to traditional paper. Some of these include: 

  • Easier to remove. Vinyl wallpaper is much easier to remove than paper or other options. A solid sheet of vinyl will peel off without much trouble if you start from the corner. 
  • More Durable. Vinyl is more durable than paper. It’s thicker and more robust, so you won’t damage it easily.
  • Washable and scrubbable. Because it’s more durable, vinyl can be scrubbed without tearing. Most stronger cleaners aren’t an issue either. It is naturally water-resistant as well. 
  • More texture options. Since vinyl is thicker than paper, it has more options for texture like embossments. There are also different finish options like matte and glossy. 

Disadvantages of vinyl wallpapers

If vinyl is the best type of wallpaper with so many advantages, why doesn’t everyone use it? The main reason comes down to price. It’s not uncommon for vinyl coverings to cost twice as much as paper. Many older homes had wallpaper from before vinyl was widespread. Sometimes it’s easier to repair small sections in existing wallpaper than replace the whole thing too. 

Other types of wallpaper

There are some other types of wallpaper you may come across such as: 

  • Fabric coated wallpaper – This kind has a fabric substrate that is coated with acrylic or liquid vinyl. 
  • Grasscloth wallpaper – A category of wallpaper that relates to natural fibres instead of synthetic fibres. Bamboo and hemp are some examples. 
  • Foil wallpaper – Wallpaper that’s similar to aluminium foil on an industrial level. 

Which wallpaper is best for me? 

If it’s within your budget, we recommend getting decent vinyl wallpaper. We think it’s the best type of wallpaper overall. Your next best option is vinyl-backed or vinyl-faced, depending on if it’s more important to install or to clean. If both are out of your price range, go with one of the paper options. 

No matter which kind of wallpaper you have or want, our team can help you out. We can do wallpaper removal, installation, and minor repairs when possible of any kind of wallpaper. We can also help you pick out the best option for your property. Get in touch with us to find out more or to get a free quote. 

How to Remove Wallpaper

If you’ve ever tried to remove the existing wallpaper in your home, you will know that it isn’t as straightforward as simply tearing it off in one fell swoop. When done properly, removing wallpaper is a simple job. However, old or obsolete techniques can make it pretty difficult. And make it much harder than it needs to be.

We’ve been removing wallpaper for decades, and we have tried and true methods that works almost every time. Doing it right involves a little more prep work and patience upfront, but it will save you time and effort in the long run.

Identify your type of wallpaper

The process is slightly different depending on what type of wallpaper you have. The three common types of wallpaper we see are paper-faced, paper-backed, and solid vinyl wallpaper. If you have an older house, chances are that you have paper-backed or paper-faced.

Our article What is the best kind of wallpaper goes over the differences in more detail.


Beware of this common wallpaper removal advice

Many websites and guides recommend using a wallpaper steamer to make the wallpaper easier to remove. This is an older method that isn’t recommended these days. The heat from the steamer tends to be too high which can damage the wall and make painting and adding new wallpaper more difficult.

Removing vinyl wallpaper

Solid vinyl is easy to install, clean, and remove and is a good choice if you’re replacing existing wallpaper with new wallpaper.

If you have vinyl wallpaper, you may be able to strip it by using a flat blade at the corner and peeling the wallpaper off. It tends to come off easily in large sheets. If it rips along the way, loosen it on a new spot and repeat. Sometimes removing vinyl wallpaper is that easy!

Removing paper-backed or paper-faced wallpaper

Other wallpapers are more complicated to remove. They won’t strip off in sheets like vinyl so the process is more involved.

  1. Clear out the room as much as you can. Remove any furniture that you can and move it into another room.
  2. Cut the power to the room. Water is involved in the process so turning off the power is a safety precaution. Cover any electrical outlets with painters tape and ensure they are tightly and completely covered.
  3. Create a mixture of water and sugar soap. The sugar soap is very important. Many people who have problems removing water leave out this key ingredient and use water alone. That’s asking for trouble.
  4. Spray the mixture all over the wall thoroughly. The sugar soap helps to reduce the amount of water that drips, which also helps it soak in better.
  5. Wait at least 15 minutes. Half an hour is better. This is another very important step that people tend to skip over. If you don’t wait long enough, the paper will come off in small patches and you’ll also damage the substrate.
  6. Scrape off the wallpaper with a wide blade starting at the corner. If you’ve done everything right, it should come off easily.


Want help removing wallpaper?

If removing wallpaper yourself isn’t high on your list of priorities due to not having the time, or if it’s just not your thing, you could end up with more problems than you started with. If you want to make sure the job’s done right, we can help. We’ve removed wallpaper from hundreds of properties and can do it quickly, cleanly, and with minimal mess. Contact us today for a free quote for wallpaper removal.

How much does it cost to paint a house?

If you’re looking to get a house painted by a professional, ideally you probably want to have an idea of how much it’s going to cost. Pinpointing the exact price is nearly impossible without having a look at the house because there are a lot of factors that go into the price. The age of the house, the material that it’s made from, and of course, the size, all go into the cost.

However, the rough cost to paint an average house in New Zealand is around the $12,000 mark.


What is included in the price to paint a house?

This cost includes the cost of the materials such as paints and prep material as well as labour. If you get a quote to paint an average house and it’s notably different–50% higher or lower for instance–you probably aren’t getting the best value. If the price seems far off the mark, try getting a quote from another painter and see if they estimate it will be about the same.


Vastly different prices mean that at least one of the painters isn’t charging the right amount. And the less expensive option isn’t always the best. If a painter is able to charge far lower than the typical rates, they are likely cutting corners in one way or another. The most common place is the quality of the paint. Low-quality paints can be quite a bit cheaper than better brands. However, they won’t last nearly as long. The colours fade faster, they’re more prone to chipping and aren’t as vibrant. If you’re looking to paint a house because it looks like it’s in poor shape, you’ll have to repaint it much sooner if your painter uses cheap paint!


What makes the cost change?

The two biggest factors for how much it costs to paint a house are the condition of the house and the size of the house being painted.

A house with the exterior and cladding in good condition is easier to paint. The paint will go on smoothly with minimal extra effort. If there’s, old, chipped paint from a previous job, part of the extra cost will go into removing that paint. Simply painting over the old paint job isn’t enough–the new paint won’t look any better if the bad paint isn’t stripped away. Getting the surface ready for paint takes longer if it’s in worse shape, which adds to the total cost.

As for size, a smaller house will cost less than a larger house, all else being equal. This is simply because a smaller house needs less paint to cover it.


So a smaller house is always less expensive to paint?

Not necessarily. Besides the condition, the materials and the shape of the structure make a difference in cost to. A simpler, flat surface doesn’t require as much prep as one that juts out with bay windows. But in general, a smaller house will be cheaper than a larger one and a newer house will cost less than an older one.


Do I need my whole house painted?

Sometimes, you don’t need the entire house painted. You might only need retouching on a single section. A common job we do here at Kurt’s Quality Decorating is painting only the soffits and fascias. Since these are higher up and tricky to paint because of the gutters, even a lot of DIYers can use a little help for these sections. We can paint them starting at $1200.


How much do you charge for painting?

Our average house painting project costs about $12,000 when all is said and done. Usually, the cost to paint a house wouldn’t be cheaper than $8,000 or any more than $17,000. The factors above all influence the price and we need to look at the property in person to give a more accurate estimate. If you’re interested in having us paint your house, give us a call and we’ll set up a time to come by and do a free quote.

Can you paint my house any colour you want?

Look down the street, and you’ll probably notice that most houses are the same few colours. These tend to be muted, neutral tones that don’t stand out too much. In some neighbourhoods, you won’t see much variety in house colour. So maybe you’ve asked before, “Can I paint my house any colour that I want?”

This is actually a complicated topic, especially with rentals. In some places, there’s nothing legally stopping you from painting a home you own whatever colour you want. But it’s not always the best idea. In other places, colours of a certain colour are brightness is actually illegal.

How do I know if it’s illegal to paint my house a certain colour in my region?

The best way to make sure that you can paint your house the colour you want is to check in with your regional council if you aren’t sure. In some regions, you can’t paint in certain colours, and each council will have their own reasons why if they have such a rule in place. One reason that’s common is that the colour will take away from the beauty of the environment. Some councils don’t like if a house stands out too much and contrasts with the natural landscape. Depending on where you live, this can even include houses in a private area off the road. Make sure to double-check before committing to a paint job you might have to change later on.

House painting for rentals

With the legislation that took effect on 11 February 2021, tenants can make “minor changes” to a property. And they can do so without the landlord’s consent. For larger changes, they can submit a request to the landlord that must be responded to within 21 days.

So where does that leave painting? Interior painting is one of the projects that is right on the borderline between being minor and major; it’s one of those areas that hasn’t been clearly defined yet. Some landlords have outright come out saying they won’t allow painting and will build a clause forbidding it into their tenancy agreements.

If not explicitly stated anywhere, be cautious about painting the walls in a different colour even if it is legal. The law says that any changes made to the property have to be able to be restored to their original condition at the tenant’s cost; so if you paint a wall and a professional painter has to fix it, it could be a huge expense for you!


House painting for owned homes

If you own a home and no rules explicitly forbid you from painting any colour you want, that doesn’t mean you should.  Keep in mind that you typically see the same colours for good reason.

Certain colours last longer and hold their vibrancy better than others when it comes to paint. Over time, the paint on the house will start to fade. When it does, the colour could look quite different, meaning you’ll have to choose between repainting or dealing with the new colour. The reason that colours fade is because the product is starting to break down.

LRV Values and paint colours

Why do certain colours fade faster than others? A lot of this has to do with the LRV (Light Reflective value), something professional painters keep in mind when giving you options for colour. The LRV value indicates how much light, and consequently, heat is reflected. Pure black would have a 0% LVR because it aborbs the most while pure white has 100%. This is important for several reasons. One is that for UV protection. Another is because paints below a certain LRV level won’t adhere properly to certain substrates. Why this is important is because some darker colours can be an issue on certain surfaces because the heat causes it to warp over time. They can also fade faster; if they adhere properly at all.

If you want to paint these surfaces with a dark colour, you need a specific kind of paint that limits the effect, but that paint comes a higher price. Resene’s Cool Colour range is a high-quality option for to do this. It also won’t work for every type of substrate, so double-check that you can paint your surface the colour you want before trying to start the job. Some construction companies simply won’t allow certain colours on some surfaces such as linear weatherboard. With others you can actually void your guarantee by going under the recommended LVR value. Often the best choice is to stick to the recommendations to maximise the life of your new paint job.


How long will you live in the house?

Another thing to think about when deciding what colour to paint your house is how long you plan on living in it. A brightly-painted house with clashing colours might appeal to you, but will it to a buyer later on?

Some colours can directly affect the value of the house. This blog from the US explains this in more detail, but much of it holds true for NZ too. If you want to make a little more out of your house when it’s time to sell, then sticking to more neutral colours is your best bet. But if it’s your forever home, have at it!


Ready for your next paint job?

Are you ready to get your house painted? If you want some tips on what colours would be good for your next repaint, or already have exactly what you want in mind and want a professional team to make it happen, get in touch with us today.

Can I use Exterior Paints indoors?

Can I use Exterior Paints inside?

If you’ve been shopping for paint before, you may have noticed that paints tend to be split into Interior and Exterior options. You might be wondering why they’re separated this way. Or you may have asked if you can use exterior paints indoors or vice versa.

The short answer is yes, you can use exterior paints inside. But we wouldn’t recommend doing that because of interior and exterior paints have different properties that make them ideal for specific uses. So what are the differences, and how much of a difference do they make?


Characteristics of both kinds of paint

All paints are comprised of the same basic ingredients:

  • Pigments are the actual colouring of the paint. This is what a lot of people think of first about paint since this is where the colour comes from but the other parts are just as important.
  • Resins hold the particles together and make the paint stick to the surface. Resins are why paint stays where you put it (when applied properly) instead of dripping to the floor.
  • Solvent. A solvent is a liquid that other substances dissolve into. Water is the most common solvent and many paints have water as a main ingredient. Oil-based paints use oil as the solvent instead.
  • Additives. These are the different “special characteristics” that can be added in. Things like resistance to mould, UV sunlight, chipping, and things like fast-drying plasticisers for flexibility.

The difference between Interior and Exterior paints is due to a difference in the amount and proportion of each of these ingredients that they use.


Interior Paints

Interior paints are designed to hold up against anything that happens in the indoors. While it might not seem like that’s much compared to dealing with the weather, a lot can happen inside.

With interior paints, you get paint that won’t smear or scuff easily. Since the paint doesn’t need to hold up against intense rain or wind battering, interior paint can use a different resin. This resin is resistant to things like scuff marks and scrubbing and intense sunlight. The adhesion is also designed so that it will stick to indoor surfaces


Exterior Paints

Exterior paints are meant to be used in the outdoors. This means they need to withstand everything the weather can throw at them. They also need to be resistant to different elements outdoors. Some of these include mould and mildew, and some even contain a mildewcide to kill off said mildew.

The adhesion in exterior paints is made to stick on outdoor substrates. It binds better to these surfaces, meaning that is will last longer in this environment. If the adhesion were to weaken, the product begins to break down, causing the colour to fade faster.


Does that mean exterior paints last longer indoors?

Not necessarily. Since exterior paint is designed for outside, its properties are too. This also means that some aspects are meant for an open space instead of an enclosed area. There are reports of people having problems when using exterior paints indoors like minor health concerns from breathing in more chemicals or even persisting odours that don’t seem to disappear.

Because of the different additives that are used in exterior paints, we don’t recommend using them indoors. Some people have used exterior paints indoors without any issues. However, the extra “protection” like UV protection won’t be of much use, and there is the chance of dealing with unpleasant issues that aren’t worth the risk.


We can help you pick the right paint for any project

As professional painters, we know all about paint and what kind will work best in different situations. Whether you need your home interior painted, the outside of your house, or even a project like a fence our sleepout, we have the right team, skills and tools for the job. Get in touch with us today to get a quote for your next project.