5 Interior Wall Finishing Options That Put Paint To Shame

Painting is by far the most common way to finish an interior wall. And for good reason, it's quick, easy to do yourself, and inexpensive - everything a new homeowner wants. But after you've lived in the house a while and the paint starts to show its age, you'll be thinking about re-doing the walls. There's no reason to default back to painting them again when there are so many other choices available. Best of all, prices can be comparable to painting and you can do them yourself.

5 Alternatives To Painting Walls

Wallpaper

Wallpaper is probably the #2 choice after painting, but only because we all grew up with it and are comfortable with wallpaper. Today's wallpaper makes it easier than ever to hang yourself. Adhesive backed products eliminate the need for messy glue and water, and ensure a smooth finish. Wallpaper designs have come a long way from your parents' generation. If you think floral patterns when you think of wallpaper, you need to take a new look at this versatile material. Today you can find designs that are textured or flat, one colour or multi-coloured in every colour or design imaginable, including animal prints and metallics. If you have a wall that has settlement cracks or always has a lot of dirty handprints all over it that you want to hide, wallpaper can cover those areas and disguise dirty marks. Washable wallpapers allow you to sponge off the wall just as easy as you'd wipe off your dining table.

Panelling

Panels are a quick and easy way to change the entire look and feel of a room, and they are available in a wide variety of colours, styles, and materials, though most are made of pressed fibreboard or thin pieces of wood. Heavier than wallpaper, you'll need to use adhesive and panelling nails to hold these in place. They are commonly used in half-heights in dining areas, where they are topped with a chair rail that protects the walls from chairs banging in to them. You can find panels that look like stone, wood, brick, or tile.

Texturing

Texturing compound can be used to add dimension and interest. Much like plaster, a thin layer is applied to the wall in any texture or design you choose. Most paint stores sell special tools that you can use to create the designs. Once the texture dries, it can be painted. Some compounds can even be tinted when they are mixed so you don't have to paint afterwards.

Exposed Brick

If you're lucky enough to have brick walls on the inside of your home, you may just want to leave them exposed. Exposed brick brings a warm and homey feel to buildings and requires zero effort on your part. Of course if you want to fake it, you can always hang panelling that mimics brick to achieve the same look.

Stone, Glass and Tile

Typically used in smaller applications, like a kitchen backsplash, around a fireplace, or in the bathroom, stone, glass and tile are all beautiful options that range from rustic and natural to sleek and modern. Very easy to care for once installed, these materials are waterproof and easy to clean which is why they are so popular in kitchens and baths.

Do-It-Yourself Vs. Hiring a Pro

The nice thing about all of these interior options is that homeowners themselves can install them. Depending on your comfort level and the amount of time you have available, updating your walls with these materials can be a very satisfying home improvement experience. Of course, there are many professionals who can do this work for you as well. If you are a stickler for perfection or you want it done quickly, you are probably better off hiring a professional to do the job for you. If you plan to cover a large area in tile, stone, or glass you should consult a pro to make sure your wall is strong enough to handle the extra weight.

Any one of these finishing options will enhance the look of your home and bring you a sigh of satisfaction every time you look at the new wall. Don't be afraid to choose something other than paint next time you want to redecorate!