Painted walls or wallpaper?

The pic above shows a pattern painted wall, and not wallpaper as you probably thought at 1st look.  So yeah, this is not a ‘buy wallpaper’ type of post.

I never wanted wallpaper.  My parents home has wallpaper and I hated that the wall colour cannot be easily changed.  Plus I know it’ll drive me nuts if there is ‘seam shrinkage’/peeling wallpaper edges.  In Singapore’s high humidity environment (which can’t be good for wallpaper right?), I’ll be worried about mold and mildew growing behind the wallpaper. More critically, wallpaper have been reported to contain various toxic substances and produce unhealthy emissions:

HealthyStuff.org tested over 2,300 types of wallpaper, from 11 different brands and manufacturers.

  • The vast majority (96%) of the wallpapers sampled contained polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coatings.
  • Over one-half (53% or 1,234 of 2,312) of PVC wallpaper samples contained one or more hazardous chemicals of concern (at > 40 ppm levels) including lead, cadmium, chromium, tin and antimony.
  • Limited testing for phthalate plasticizers indicates that most PVC wallpaper also contains phthalates plasticizers which are now banned in children’s products.
  • Nearly one in five (18% or 419 of 2,312) wallpaper samples contained detectable levels of cadmium (>40 ppm). 13% (290 of 2,312) had levels over 100 ppm. All wallpaper with cadmium was vinyl coated.

Scary huh?  Who would want to surround themselves and their family with hazardous chemicals right?

Nevertheless for certain themes/look, wallpaper is almost a must, especially if you want the ornate baroque look, or even certain country themes.  There is an alternative though… I saw patterned rollers featured on Apartment Therapy and just had to share with you readers. It takes a bit of work, but I think the effect looks good, not to mention that it’s way more economical than using wallpaper.

If you are interested, Clare Bosanquet sells patterned rollers in her Etsy shop.  You can also consider the rollers by the aptly named Rollerwall (who has been in business since 1976!).  I’ve copied some pics from both stores over.  Looks nice right?

Both stores use 6 inch wide patterned rollers.  You attach the roller of your choice to the applicator, and then erm, roll away on wall, paper (for your own DIY wrapping paper!) or cloth/fabric.  Not sure how easy it would be to DIY though.

Don’t worry, I am not endorsing any paint companies (and obviously not any wallpaper companies).  Just thought you should consider the information before committing to surround yourself with potentially hazardous materials. Am I a responsible blogger or what? Ha!

Source of wallpaper seam shrinkage pic: http://www.gdparvin.com

Source of wallpaper mold pic: http://www.epa.gov and http://www.newjerseymoldbusters.com

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