Posted in Our First Home

Painting the Nursery: Nesting in Full Swing

As always, let’s preface that I am not an expert on home improvement, but I am a first-time home buyer on a budget that wants to fix up our home. Our future nursery was a strange brownish/grayish color with white trim and it really needed a new coat of paint (the people before us weren’t the best DYI people…). I started with the trim and the windows, you can reference my windows project blog for more on that.  Once the trim was done we moved onto the walls, goodbye brownish/grayish color!

Here are our “before” pictures. It is hard to tell the color on the walls, so you will just have to trust me when I say it needed to go. The corners and trim were a disaster. Here is my step by step on painting the nursery:

Step 1 – Pick a Color

Before you dive into taping and priming, select your color. Honestly, once I had my color

My Paint Sample

chosen it helped with my motivation to get everything done. I chose a neutral gray that I fell in love with. Go to your local home improvement store and pick up color swatches. Make sure you look at them in the day and in the evening, a paint color can look completely different in sunlight as it does in lamplight. Once you think you have your color picked out, purchase a small sample of the color and paint a small section of the wall you are planning to paint. Let it dry ALL THE WAY! Again, a color can look very different once it is up on a wall, especially if you are covering a previously painted wall.

Step 2 – Wipe Down the Walls

Yes, I know this seems like a waste but once you start cleaning the walls you realize how dirty they are. It helps the primer/paint coat nicely on the walls and you’re not sealing in old dirt and dust. This step doesn’t take too long and is worth it. You can use a rag or a Swiffer.

Nail Holes Everywhere

Step 3 – Fill in Nail Holes

(The people that lived in our house before us hung up a million things.) I bought a basic nail hole filler, it appears pink, so you can see what you are doing, and dries clear. I filled the holes and wiped the excess with a rag. It really helped hide those holes everywhere. I also sanded a few of the really awful nail holes.

Step 4 – Painter’s Tape

I despise this step… it is evil. I taped the trim and around the windows with blue painter’s tape. Taping in the room was difficult because the paint job before mine was terrible, there were no straight lines to follow and it was challenging to tape correctly. I took my time and use the flat edge of the paint scraper to push the tape into the crevasse between the trim and wall. I didn’t tape around the ceiling, we have the dreaded popcorn ceiling, so it was basically impossible. (Note: I also laid down a painter’s cloth to keep the carpet protected)

Step 6 – Painting

I am guilty of skipping the primer step. I know, I know, it shouldn’t be skipped but the walls were already painted and not in a dark color. Soooo I was lazy (I have no regrets!). Since our project was a nursery, I opted for a semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss isn’t my favorite, it is a bit shiny, but it is much easier to clean! I started by cutting in with a paint brush around the trim and windows.

For the ceiling, I used a giant scraping tool, I pushed the flat edge in the crease between


the wall and ceiling and used a paint brush to cut in along the edge of the scraper. This worked surprising well! I was so pleased with the turnout. After I was done cutting in along all edges, I grabbed my roller and filled in the rest of the walls. Then I just repeated the cutting in and filling in process with my second coat.

Step 7 – Remove Painter’s Tape

I should have done this before the paint dried… but I didn’t. I learned the hard way that if you wait until it dries completely it can peel off the paint with the tape. I just did touch ups to fix my little mistake but trust me and don’t wait too long! I think I will stress this in every blog I ever write about home improvement. 🙂

Final Product!


My final product was exactly what I wanted (can’t wait for baby to be here to enjoy it, 6 weeks!) The nursery looks like a brand-new space. Amazing what a coat of paint can do to make you feel more at home.

Funny that the actually painting isn’t bad, prepping to paint is the toughest and most time-consuming part.

Now on to my next project!



A project obsessed, coffee/tea/wine drinker with a book problem. Current wife, new mother and recent homeowner.

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