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Painting tips for a nursery

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There are few things more exciting than painting and redecorating a room purely for the arrival of a new family member. Expectant parents will spend hours browsing through colour palettes, pictures of nurseries and reading up on all the various nursery decorating ideas. Naturally, most parents will have a firm idea of what they would like their new baby’s nursery to look like.

Aside from the furniture, toys and built-in attributes, the colour of the nursery will have the hugest impact of all. Colour has a significant psychological and physiological reaction on humans and painting a room in the right colours can greatly enhance the mood and quality of life experienced in that space. If you are planning on painting a room to create a nursery for your impending bundle of joy, here are some painting tips to take into consideration:

What does the room look like?

How small is the space? If the room is quite small, then it would be best to steer away from dark colours. Not only are dark colours too intense for a baby’s room, but they will close the space in and make it appear much smaller than it actually is. How much light does the room receive, how low are the ceilings and how does the space flow? Rooms that do not receive a lot of natural light can benefit from bright, light colours, and colours that are of warmer hues such as yellows and oranges.

What does the rest of the house look like?

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Depending on how much time and effort you have put into the decoration of the rest of your house, you may wish to extend on these decorative ideas in the nursery. For example, if you have a predominantly modern house that is beset with whites, greys or earth colours, then you can always use these colours as a base for the nursery. White walls with furniture painted in light grey can beautifully accent toys and other furniture complements in various shades of blue and green for a little boy’s room. If your home has an earthy decorative flair, then you can pull some of those light beiges, browns and creams into your nursery whilst jazzing it up with stuffed animals and a safari-themed nursery. Earth tones go excellently with yellows, greens and blues.

Gender and mood

It is quite natural for an expectant mom to wish to douse the nursery in pink once she finds out she is expecting a girl. Nowadays, however, there is no need to stick with the gender stereotypes of blue for boys and pink for girls. Little girls’ rooms can be extraordinarily beautiful when painted in pastel blue and offset with pink décor pieces such as photo frames and throw cushions. Remember that light greens, blues and yellows can work as an excellent main colour for the room of any gender. Consider the mood you wish to emulate in the nursery. Do you want a calm, soothing space, or something vibrant and exciting? It is always best to err on the side of calm when you are painting a nursery. Naturally, you do not want to be sitting with an excitable baby every night! Too many bright colours in the nursery can lead to overstimulation.

Base then boost

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It is a good idea to choose a gentle main colour for the room, and then offset it with two stronger decorative colours. You can do this by painting the walls a light green and the skirting boards a stronger, deeper colour. Alternatively, if the room is larger in size, you can paint the walls a calm neutral colour and then choose one wall with which to paint a lovely mural. Depending on your painting skills, you can do it yourself or hire a professional artist. Alternatively, Jack’s Paint & Hardware stores sell themed wall stickers, which can immediately perk up clean, light walls whilst complementing the theme you have chosen for the nursery. You can also purchase stencils which are a fun and beautiful way of adding a personal flair to the nursery. One of the most beneficial ways of boosting and enhancing the look of the nursery is by painting the furniture in the room with colours that complement the walls.

Don’t neglect the ceiling

Often referred to as the ‘fifth wall’ the ceiling of the room can make a huge difference in the nursery’s overall appearance. A widely popular nursery decorating trend is to paint the ceiling a light sky blue and then to use stencils, sponges or other wall art to imitate the appearance of clouds. Alternatively, giving the ceiling a lick of fresh white paint can greatly open up the room and enhance the space.

Whilst you are still in the planning phase of your nursery decorating, it’s a good idea to pop down to your local hardware store to peruse through the paint swatches in person. If there is a particular colour that catches your eye, ask to see the colour painted onto a test patch of material that is similar to the walls you will be painting. This way you can ensure that you will not be disappointed by the end colour result.


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