Georgian Wallpaper and Paint

In the Georgian or Regency period wallpaper was still expensive. More affluent homes would have used silk or paper, including flocks, as a wall-covering, but in other homes paint was used. Cheaper roller-printed wallpapers were only available from the late 1830s.


In the 1730s and 40s paints were in eggshell-like sheens whereas in the 1750s and 60s paints were in a matt finish. In the 1770s and 80s, lighter, more elegant ceilings were a key feature in 'Wedgwood' patterns. Walls were painted with a border, or covered in a fabric or paper. Cornices were painted the same colour as the walls, rather than that of the ceiling.

Marbling was popular. Woodwork was usually grained or painted brown. Fixtures and fittings were used to introduce colour.


Wallpaper designs had Rococco elements, Chinoiserie, pictorial motifs or sprig patterns. Others were in floral designs or in small geometric patterns. Some even imitated woven fabrics such as damask. Pictorial papers included plants and animals, historical scenes or had designs incorporating figures or portraits. These might be in a set creating a scene. Other papers had architectural designs with cornices, friezes, mouldings and columns.

Flock papers were used by the better off in the drawing and dining rooms. Floral, chintz, and moiré papers were used in the bedrooms. In the hall and up the stairs, marble papers were sometimes used.