Walls - Drywall, Wallcoverings & Paint

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Walls - Drywall, Wallcoverings & Paint Considerations

The walls of a home not only divide it into rooms and hold up the ceilings. They block out noise, insulate rooms and house electrical wires and plumbing.

They are decorative elements in their own right, and go a long way toward defining the look and feel of a home. They are a place to hang everything from diplomas to keys; they can hold art or actually be art. It's all up to you.

Drywall is a popular option in many homes. Though it's a fairly quick and easy installation process, hanging drywall should be something of a precision job. Gaps should be minimized and bumps and irregularities should be avoided. Once it's up, it will need to be painted or covered with wallpaper, as bare drywall is not an attractive look.

Plaster, on the other hand, has the ability to stand on its own, and even include appealing patterns or textures. Stencils or brush designs can create beautiful decorative designs, even over preexisting walls. Though it is more expensive and more difficult to repair than drywall, plaster is a superior insulator and sound-proofer.

Plaster or drywall can also be covered with paneling. Aside from the wood paneling most people are familiar with, there are also faux finishes designed to look like stone, brick, stucco and more. Paneling is simple to install, but installation should be done over an existing wall, as the panels will need a solid backing to hold their shape.

Wallpaper has been a popular choice for centuries. It can cover an entire room, or simply accent a wall with a decorative border. Hanging it, however, can be a challenging task for the uninitiated. Preparation is half the battle. Getting the walls ready for hanging and having the proper tools at your disposal will make things go much more smoothly. Look for wallpaper with adhesive already applied for easier hanging.

Paint is the most common wall covering in American homes. In addition to the staggering array of colors for interior wall paint, there are also multiple types of finishes to choose from. While many homeowners use rollers and brushes to give a wall a solid finish, there are other painting methods to lend texture and nuance to a room, such as sponge or rag painting. Murals have become increasingly popular in children's rooms, and stripes or patterns can give a room a hip, modern feel.