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Angie's List: Wallpaper Coming Back Into Style

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- After fading from popularity decades ago, wallpaper is making a comeback.

But it's nothing like what you remember seeing in your grandma's kitchen.

In today's Angie's List report, how wallpaper can change the look and feel of a room.

It can be a nightmare to remove and even more difficult to apply. That's why many homeowners turn to an expert when dealing with wallpaper.

Contractor Jim Stevens is hanging new wallpaper in a client's home. But first he had to remove the old paper and prep the walls.

"Well, she stripped some of the outer coating on the bare drywall, which is a problem," said Stevens. "The wallpaper was hung over a bare drywall, and that's something you never want to do. Even sizing won't keep that wallpaper from tearing that paper off the drywall when you go to strip it."

Susan Colvin, an interior designer, says if you are looking for an alternative to paint, wallpaper can bring color and texture to any room. And some of today's wallpaper is also easier to remove.

"You can get pattern, multiple colors, and so there's a lot of style in wallpaper and you can express some individuality that you're not necessarily doing just with paint," said Colvin.

"Wallpaper is making a comeback, but it's not the same wallpaper we have thought of over the years," added Angie Hicks, of Angie's List. "There is some really neat trends, but one thing hasn't changed and that's wallpaper is a commitment. Putting it up and taking it down can be tricky."

"If you don't like tedious stuff, you want to stay out of the stripping business," Stevens says. "Hanging wallpaper is a tedious process, too. A lot of times you get what you pay for. A professional will put it up right and take it off right, too."

The most common wallpaper types are vinyl and fabric.

"A lot of wallpaper is made with vinyl coatings, to make it easier to clean," Colvin said. "Not all wallpapers are that way, but a lot of wallpaper you can actually wash down fairly well. So, they are a little easier to maintain than perhaps some paint."

"Take it from me, taking down wallpaper is not the easiest task in the world," Hicks added. "After an entire weekend of removing wallpaper in a kitchen, I have to admit I really wish I would have hired to have it done."

Wallpaper installation can cost $10 to $100 or more per roll. Labor rates - like paper prices - vary widely by the job.

For wallpaper removal, pricing is typically based on labor and materials, but an average room can be done for around a couple of hundred dollars.

More Angie's List Reports
More Reports by Susan Koeppen

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