Bedroom Painting Techniques and Tips

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The Basics

In contrast to other rooms in your home, you have many more options and much more versatility when painting a bedroom. Unlike humid and wet spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, in a bedroom, you have the ability to experiment with a variety of textures and finishing techniques to achieve a unique look and feel.

Use colors - pastels, brights, and soft shades-to create your desired look and feel, or create a silk, linen, or wood faux finish. Include stripes, patterns, and three dimensional finishing touches. No need to limit yourself to flat white and neutral shades. When you paint your room, let your creative imagination take over.

Painting Preparation

No matter your painting technique, there are several precautionary measures that you must take. Keep in mind that paint is permanent. When it gets on your skin and hair, it's tough to remove. When paint gets on your linens, clothes, furniture, and floor, it'll stay forever. No matter how hard you try to keep everything clean, expect some mess - it's inevitable. Paint splatters, drips, and smudges, and even when you're careful, accidents happen.

Begin by making sure that your room is as clean and clutter-free as possible. Store your belongings in boxes, and keep them elsewhere-in another room or in a storage facility.

Once you've stored your smaller items, move your heavier items into another room. This includes your bed, dresser, shelves, desk, chair, and everything else that you have. If you can't move heavier items out of the room, move them to the very middle of your floor so that they are no longer against the wall. When you move your stuff to the middle of the room, make sure that you still have plenty of space to walk around and move comfortably.

Get out your masking tape, tarp, and plastic cover to protect your floor. Make sure that every inch of your floor - even the corner next to the wall-is covered from potential spills. Wall paint is a tough substance that you will not be able to remove from carpet or hardwood flooring. If you have furniture moved to the center of the room, make sure that you also find a way to cover the floor beneath your stuff. You can also use the same plastic or vinyl covering to protect your furniture items.

Avoid using cloth as a protective covering when you paint. Unlike plastic, cloth is porous, so the paint may seep through and cause additional damage. Make sure that you use masking or utility tape when you cover your floor and furniture with nonporous synthetic materials. If you don't fasten your covering, it may slip, and paint may accidentally damage your floors.

What to Wear

Whenever you paint, wear old clothes that you don't mind trashing. Old tee shirts and athletic pants are great options because they will allow you to stay comfortable and get sweaty - painting is hard work, so expect to get some exercise and get messy.

Keep your hair out of your face and covered with a hat, scarf, or headband in case paint drips on you from above. Wear durable gloves, and keep as much of your skin covered as possible. Wear sturdy, closed toed shoes that you don't mind ruining.

If inhaled in large quantities, paint fumes can be dangerous. In addition to making sure that the room is well ventilated, consider wearing a mask to help filter the air around you. Especially if your room is dirty, a mask will help filter dust and debris. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you should consider wearing a pair of goggles to protect your eyes and eyewear.

Preparing the Wall

No matter your design objectives -wall texture, faux finish, or smooth surface-you will need to make sure that the walls are ready for painting. First, make sure the walls are clean. You may use a specialized cleaner, or you can work with a sponge and dish soap.

Sand down the wall if the surface is uneven, or if you would like it to be smoother. You may need to use paint remover to strip your existing paint coat before making any hardware changes. Make sure that you fill any holes or cracks before adding a new coat of paint. You can use specialized putty or spackling to create a smooth surface.

Painting Techniques

You should have a detailed design plan in mind before you start painting because the costs associated with paint and supplies can really add up, especially if you are hiring somebody to help you. If you have an idea in your mind, meet with someone at the hardware store to help you determine whether it is practical in addition to what approaches you should take. The following are basic approaches for painting your bedroom.

Faux finishes create an illusion that your wall is covered with a material other than paint. You can create the appearance of silk, linen, wood, marble, terra cotta, and more. Each faux finish requires different supplies such as steel wool or specialized paint brushes. Research the particular faux finish that you would like ahead of time so that you can find the right supplies.

Design a wall mural to add an artistic quality to your room. Replicate a famous work of art, or create a completely unique design. You might even be able to buy stencils or wallpaper with which you can plaster your wall.

Accent walls can help you add bright colors to your room without overwhelming your space. If you paint all of your walls a bold and bright color, you may cause your space to feel uncomfortable or chaotic. Instead, add bright color to one wall, and paint the other walls a neutral shade.

Accent Trims If you have color in your room, you may want to add white or neutral accent trims along your doors and ceilings. If including accent trims, select a color that is vibrant, light, and bright.

Last Updated: January 20, 2012
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About Ritika Puri Based in California, Ritika Puri has worn a number of professional hats ranging from blogger to quantitative researcher, martial arts instructor, and cartographer. No matter what she does, she loves to write and specializes in topics related to home improvement, personal finance, and business. She writes regularly for's Financial Edge section, and her work has appeared on SF Gate, Yahoo! Finance, and The Chicago Sun Times Online. She holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an M.A. in Demographic and Social Analysis from the University of California at Irvine.  

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