By Gene and Katie Hamilton
To create the traditional look and feel of Old World walls, consider using embossed wall covering panels. They add textural interest to the walls and lasting character to the room. To create a rich and distinct look, you don't need to cover the entire walls. In fact, the panels are most commonly used as a dado covering the lower third of the walls, with a chair rail separating the wall covering from the upper part of the wall. Lincrusta-type wall covering is a linoleum-like material bonded to a paper backing, sold in individual 24-inch-by-40-inch panels. After the wall covering is installed, it requires painting to complete the project.
A paperhanger will charge $774 to install embossed wall covering on the lower third of a 15-foot long wall, which includes the labor and material. You can do the job for $670, the cost of the material. To prepare the walls, apply a wallpaper primer-sealer. For the installation you'll need a tape measure, sponge, heavy scissors, utility knife, broad trim knife, wallpaper trough and brush, and a 3/8-inch nap roller to apply the paint.
The material for this project is expensive, so unless you have experience hanging heavy wallcoverings, hire a pro.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to hang embossed wallpaper with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020