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Wall Murals & Wallpaper: Which One is For You?

The evolution of wall décor throughout the centuries has been significant. Beginning with rudimentary cave drawings, progressing to the opulent tapestries of the Middle Ages, and culminating in the sophisticated wallpapers of the Victorian era, our walls have consistently served as a medium for artistic manifestation. Presently, wall murals and wallpaper have emerged as two prevalent contemporary alternatives that have revolutionised the realm of home decoration. However, it is imperative to discern the distinctions between wall murals and wallpaper.

Wall Murals

Wall murals are not confined to a single theme or design. They traverse a vast spectrum, from the serene beauty of natural landscapes to the complex intricacies of abstract art. The scale and depth these murals offer are unmatched, giving viewers the chance to immerse themselves completely in the art.

Long before the birth of the modern art gallery, our ancestors were painting their stories on cave walls and ancient edifices. Wall murals have evolved from these primal expressions, becoming a sophisticated and sought-after art form that can be found adorning both public and private spaces worldwide.


Wallpapers are essentially decorative papers applied to walls for aesthetic purposes. They come in various patterns, textures, and colours, allowing homeowners to pick styles that match their personal preferences.

What’s the difference between wall murals and wallpaper?

Material Differences

While wallpapers are predominantly made of paper or vinyl, wall murals may use canvas, fabric, or even tiles. The materials play a vital role in the texture, appearance, and longevity of the final product.

Application Techniques

Wallpapers usually come in rolls, applied using adhesives. Wall murals, however, might be painted directly onto the wall or applied as large-scale prints. The technique can influence the installation time and effort required.

Longevity and Durability

Wall murals, especially when painted, can last for decades if maintained well. In contrast, wallpapers, especially in damp environments, may peel over time.

Styles and Designs

While wallpapers offer repetitive patterns, wall murals provide a singular, cohesive image. This makes murals more immersive and wallpapers more pattern-centric.

Customisation Opportunities

Murals allow for more personalised designs, given that they can be custom-painted. Wallpapers, though diverse, may have limitations in bespoke designs.

Pricing: Which Costs More?

Custom wall murals, especially hand-painted ones, can be pricier than standard wallpapers. However, luxury wallpaper brands can also fetch high prices.

Maintenance and Care

Wall murals, depending on the material, may require gentle cleaning. Wallpapers, especially vinyl ones, can be wiped down easily and are often more resistant to stains.

Environmental Impact

Eco-friendly wallpapers and wall murals are now available, but traditionally, wallpapers, particularly vinyl ones, might not have been as eco-friendly as painted murals.

Practical Applications in Modern Homes

  • When to Choose Wall Murals

Murals work best in expansive spaces, where the design can be fully appreciated. Think living rooms or spacious hallways.

  • Best Places for Wallpaper

Bedrooms, dining areas, or even bathrooms – anywhere you’d love a continuous pattern.


If you need further assistance, consider reaching out to the experts at Martyn Clegg Painters and Decorators in Burnley, who can ensure the job is done correctly the first time thanks to their knowledge and expertise.