The notion of painting wallpaper makes many people’s hair stand on end (including mine — my husband and I are still undoing the handiwork of a prior homeowner who had been especially enthusiastic using the paintbrush). But there is one lovely exception: paintable wallpaper, which includes a textured surface in white or cream that’s just waiting for you to cloak it in colour after it is wrapped.
Lincrusta, the granddaddy of those papers, was devised in the late 19th century and is still around now. Made of linseed oil paste and pressed using an embossed roller to create a pattern, it became a favorite way to provide walls a coating of textural interest which was more affordable and durable than materials such as plaster or stamped metal. Its cousin, Anaglypta, which is made primarily from wood pulp, arose through the exact same era.
Nowadays, paintable wallpapers arrive in a greater-than-ever assortment of themes, from Victorian to modern. For many homeowners they represent the perfect union of pattern and colour — rather than hunting for a paper which assesses your style and colour boxes, simply paint your own.
What do you believe about paintable wallpaper? Have you used it in your house? Share details in the Comments!
Jones & Eberhardt
This elaborate Lincrusta wall covering adds time panache into a classic home. Embossed newspapers lend themselves especially well to decorative painting methods, which accent the detailing in the relief.
LLC, Betty’s Room
Textured paper painted deep purple adds a double sided pop for this living room. Paintable newspapers can be a great tactic for masking a less-than-perfect wall surface, which paint independently might toss into glaring relief.
Longing for the look of an old-fashioned pressed-tin ceiling? Try wallpaper instead. You can give it a metallic paint finish or perhaps cover it in silver foliage, but pale, matte colors let the pattern shine through at its best.
There is no reason you need to paint textured wallpaper if you like how it seems in plain white. Circles include a bubbly midcentury modern feeling for this area and play the round chair forms and flower balls.
Alex Amend Photography
Paintable paper makes a refreshing change to classic wainscoting, as well as the feminine air of this pattern contrasts beautifully with the rustic notes of this room.
Adeeni Design Group
This Anaglypta wainscoting wears a rich bronze which stays quietly in the background yet provides the space depth and dimension. Bands of contrasting trim assistance to place it off.
Torn between painting your wallpaper and leaving it in its easier condition? Divide the difference. Adding colour to an accent wall creates two looks in one.
Guides: More inventive ideas for wall coverings