DIY – The Nursery Paint Job

February 10, 2010 04:36 by ehouston

As I had mentioned in my novel long post regarding the nursery makeover I planned to share how I created the wall treatment.  I bet most of you other DIYer’s out there figured it all out by now, but I still wanted to post a sort of tutorial on the topic.  Like I said in the last nursery post I had very little time and almost no budget to make a big impact in this space.  You may call it “Pregnancy Brain”, but the Little Guy’s arrival date was fast approaching and I simply could not think of anything very exciting to do.  I finally got a flash of an idea while in an office supply store and decided I could make a couple of gallons of paint go a long way.  Hopefully, through infancy and into early childhood with a not-to-cutesy paint treatment for the walls.  I knew I was going to stick with the brown and blue color scheme since it was still popular enough that I could easily find other accessories to fill out the room.  With my tight deadline that was key.  Since the room is fairly small I chose to make horizontal bands around the space to make it feel larger.  Also, in order to help hide the wrath of a toddler I also used the darkest color along the bottom (ha!  I am a genius!)  ;o]  So, here is how the plan played out….

First I measured the height of the bands and while using a level I lightly marked them with a pencil.  The walls were already white, but I had a few marks and holes to fill from the previous resident, so I ended up painting the upper portion a nice bright white to freshen everything up. 


In order to make my color transitions work from band to band I had to tape off and paint the center portion next.  I used good old blue painter’s tape for this task.  Then I collected my bounty from the office supply store for the next step.


Yep, that’s right, stickers!  I used reinforcement rings, small and medium multiuse (pricing) dots and CD labels.  For the top of the center blue band I wanted a smaller, more delicate pattern, so I used small pricing dots and reinforcement rings as seen below:


I placed them just below the painter’s tape line that separated the center band from the upper white band.  In an attempt to try to keep the final coat of paint from seeping under the stickers and the painter’s tape I brushed on a basic gel medium, which is clear and helps to seal the edges.  Then I rolled on two coats of BEHR Premium Plus in High Noon (color matched from a Valspar card) with an Eggshell finish.


Since I was working on this in the dead of summer and the heat was almost unbearable the paint dried VERY quickly.  That was great for the timeline and I was able to pull the painter’s tape and stickers off pretty quickly in order to get to the next step of the process….the bottom band.


As you can see from the photo above I used the bottom of the blue band as a guide in placing the CD label rings along with the larger pricing dots.  After that I added painter’s tape to make a clean line above this row of larger circle stickers and on the baseboard trim.  Nothing like easy clean-up, right?  Then I rolled on three coats of BEHR Premium Plus in Butternut Wood with an Eggshell finish.  Even though I was buying BEHR paint, from a BEHR color card the lady in the paint department was unable to get the color matched.  So, she ended up having to use the new BEHR paint with primer, which she sold to me for the regular price.  Sah-weet!  (The funny thing is I found the paint with primer to be thinner than the regular BEHR paint and it still took three coats to get good coverage.  So, I am not sure about the added benefit here.  I may have to try that paint out again in the future before I make a final decision on that one.)

Just a note about these larger stickers:  I stuck them to the leg of my pants prior to sticking them on the wall because the smaller stickers I used above left a bit of sticky residue when I removed them.  I just wanted to avoid having large gray (dirty looking) circles and dots in the future because of dust, etc.  Also, the gel medium made them pucker, so I had to just paint over the stickers very delicately to prevent seepage as much as possible.



Again, it was hot, the windows and doors were wide open, and the paint dried very quickly.  So, I was able to move on to peeling all those stickers off pretty soon after painting.  Even with all my efforts to keep the final coats of paint from seeping under the stickers and tape I still had some touch-ups to do.  Next time, instead of relying on a gel medium, I plan to just paint over the barrier with whatever color is underneath.  That way the seepage won’t show later.  Lesson learned.


After adding a nice dark, chocolate brown (BEHR Premium Plus in Dried Leaf with a high gloss finish) to the baseboard trim and a fresh coat of white (BEHR Premium Plus in high gloss bright white) to the door and window moldings this is how it looked:


Of course I was pretty excited at how it turned out and hope that this simple paint treatment keeps the Little Guy happy for a long time. 

Or, at least until I decide I want to do something new to his space.  Who knows!?!

Kitsch Krafts

PS- One last note to those concerned about our health and safety during this process.  Yes, I used regular paints rather than the super-eco-friendly no VOC variety, but I did so after speaking with my doctor about my plans.  I also read up on doing DIY work while pregnant since I had a million projects to finish at our last home before moving to our new one.  I wanted to be absolutely sure I was taking the correct precautions to avoid having a kid with an arm growing out of his forehead.  As I mentioned above, the windows and door were wide open, plus I used a heavy duty respirator (which I refused to model in my touch-up shot purely out of vanity).

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February 10. 2010 07:34

C. Dianne Zweig

This goes way BEYOND the so called NESTING INSTINCT........great post....come visit, Dianne

C. Dianne Zweig

February 11. 2010 09:34

Princess of Power

I love this nursery! I am glad I found your blog! Adding you to my blogroll!

Princess of Power

February 15. 2010 15:29


Great job! Absolutely love the colors used. Thanks for stopping by the other day.


July 13. 2011 06:38


Hello! I love what you did! It looks awesome! I reread your comment a couple of times about the not using gel medium next time. Then you said, "...I plan to just paint over the barrier with whatever color is underneath. That way the seepage won’t show later. Lesson learned." I am not sure I am following what you mean. So, are you saying you would paint over the dots with the white paint while they are on the sheet they come on and then stick them to the wall and then paint over them with the blue -- so you in the end -end up with white dot on blue paint? I am wondering because i want to do dots on my daughter's walls (white dots with a pale aqua)

Any more words to help me do this without seepage and glue left over from dots would be most helpful.


July 13. 2011 13:18


Hi Jamie!
Yes, the glue- I admit it's still there, but not too noticable. I even tried a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get some of the glue off, but the paint started to come with it, so I stopped. (Those things are amazing!)

I will try to be more clear about the seepage issue and make it relevant to your project (which sounds SUPER CUTE!! BTW). What you would do is paint the walls white, after they are dry you would add your stickers, or whatever you are using to mask out the dots, and then lightly paint over them again with white. That way if paint does seep under, it's the same as what is already there. Plus, adding that light coat will serve the purpose of (hopefully)sealing the edges of the dots. Then when you go back over with the aqua paint it should not be able to seep under the dots. Does that make sense? Just be sure to go light with the coats because you will end up pulling up the paint and having jagged edges on your dots. I think that is the reason people use the gel medium- so the edges stay clean and crisp, but for me I would rather just use light coats of paint and then carefully remove the dots later. Hope this helps!

Good luck and send me some shots of the before and after. Such an great idea!


October 1. 2012 07:07


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DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

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