With seven kids ranging from toddlers to pre-teens, Candis and I have more than a little bit of experience with painting kids’ rooms. Whether you’re painting a room in your own home for your kids or you’re painting bedrooms in a home renovation, there are a few things you can do to make the paint job last and to make it more attractive to just about anybody.
Think Past This Year
If you’re expecting a child or if you’re painting a room in a home renovation that would be perfect as a nursery, you might be tempted to go with pink, blue, or yellow pastels. There are a couple of problems with this line of thinking. First, if you’re renovating for someone else, you have to consider that they might not have kids or that their kids might be older. Second, even if you’re painting your own child’s room, do you really want to have to repaint it every couple of years?
As you choose colors, think about whose room it’s going to be and how long they’ll be happy with the colors you’ve chosen. In other words, stay away from baby pastels if you’re painting a room in a house that someone’s going to buy. And think of more versatile colors, even if you know which of your kids will be living in this particular room for the next few years.
Don’t Go Crazy with a Big Theme
I’ve seen a lot of really cool kids’ rooms that had really intense themes, but every time I see them, I think, “How long is that going to be cool? When is the kid going to go through a different phase and want something completely unrelated?” Kids go through all kinds of different interests over the years, so while a jungle theme might be great right now, your little boy or girl could be obsessed with space travel next year.
So, instead of going with a dedicated theme—which is especially problematic if you’re painting and/or decorating for someone else’s home—go with a cool color palette that will work for any kid, or even an adult.
Don’t Go With Matte Paint
If there’s even a chance that this is going to be a kid’s room, I definitely recommend going with a semi-gloss or satin paint. It’ll be easier to remove stains and clean up walls without repainting, and it’ll stand up to wear and tear a lot more than matte. Save matte paint for areas where you won’t be getting a lot of traffic and the kids won’t have their hands on the walls all the time.
Muted Colors Can Work for Younger or Older Kids
As you think beyond the next year or two, you might want to go with a more muted color scheme. Colors like pale blue or green can work well for a child of any age. So can off-white, if you go with more colorful trim and décor. Consider the wall color a base color that you can build on when you add bright furniture, bedding, and other details.
When in doubt, neutral colors are always the way to go. That doesn’t mean that the room has to be boring, though. A pale gray or mocha could be just the right color to set the tone for any number of themes or décor options. And it’ll work well if you decide to convert the room to a guest room later on after your kids move out. Of course, you’ll probably be ready to paint by then, but wouldn’t it be great if you could make the transition more seamless?