How to paint your bedroom

Posted on September 13, 2017 By: Author Kristen

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How to paint your bedroom

Lots of you have asked for a post about how to paint a room. So when I painted my bathroom this summer, I took some photos for you.

Painting walls is not rocket science. And as with most types of painting, prep work is key.

If you’re willing to do the prep work, you can turn out a pretty professional result even if you’re not really experienced. It’s a great DIY project!

1. Clean + remove wall stuff

Get any extra stuff out of the room so that it’s easier to work!

Then vacuum, dust the moldings, and wipe any messes off the walls and trim.

And you’ll need to remove anything that’s hanging on the wall…switch plates, art, towel racks, etc.

How to paint your bedroom

where my medicine cabinet hangs. I took it down, obv!

It’s tempting to avoid removing things like towel racks, but you guys, listen:

It’s SO much easier to paint when almost everything is removed.

Take it all down!

2. Spackle holes and caulk gaps

If you’ve got drywall damage or old nail holes in the wall that you won’t be using, fill them with spackle. Let the spackle dry, re-spackle if necessary, and sand until smooth.

How to paint your bedroom

If you’ve got gaps between your moulding and wall, run a bead of caulk over those.

And if the area where your ceiling meets the wall is a little wavy or bumpy run a bead of caulk there too. That’s done wonders for me in some rooms of my house.

(This brand is my favorite caulk. Definitely better than the cheap no-name type.)

3. Paint the ceiling and moulding without taping the edges.

(Do put down a drop cloth before you start painting. No matter how careful you are, a paint roller is a splattery tool, and you ARE going to make a mess.)

How to paint your bedroom

Before you paint your walls, paint the ceiling and the molding and go ahead and overlap the paint onto the wall.

How to paint your bedroom

This is easier than taping twice (!) AND it’ll help you get a neat, clean line when you paint your walls.

How to paint your bedroom

Let the ceiling and wall get completely dry before the next step.

4. Tape edges.

I know some people can manage to do a great job of painting without taping, but I am not one of those people.

How to paint your bedroom

I hate taping, but boy, the results really are better when I use tape.

How to paint your bedroom

I do not ever use cheap painting tape. It’s so, so worth it to spend a little more and get tape that’ll seal better.

This is my favorite kind. So much better than cheap masking tape!

Once you’ve taped all of your edges, you can finally….

5. Paint!

To minimize brush marks, I usually like to cut in and paint sort of at the same time.

So, I use a variety of small brushes to coat the edges of an area, and then I use my roller to fill in the middle.

How to paint your bedroom

A small roller is so super handy for getting into small places and also for evening out brush marks you may have left while cutting in the edges.

How to paint your bedroom

As with furniture painting, it’s best not to do super thick coats. It’s ok if your first coat doesn’t cover completely…you’ll likely be coming back with a second coat anyway.

(I don’t think I’ve ever finished a room with just one coat of paint!)

In between coats, I put my paintbrush and roller into these plastic covers. They are such a tidy way to keep your brush/roller wet between coats, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

6. Remove tape.

I don’t usually let the paint completely dry before I remove the tape, as that generally causes more problems for me than it helps. Instead, I take it off right after the second coat goes on.

7. Do touch-ups with a tiny brush.

No matter how carefully I tape, there are always some small spots that need touching up. A teeny paintbrush is perfect for this task.

8. WAIT before you hang things back up.

It is craaazy tempting to put your switch plates and all back on the walls because you want to see what your fabulous new room looks like all put together.

How to paint your bedroom

But it’s really better to wait overnight before you do that because paint remains a little tacky at first, and your switch plates will tend to get a little embedded into the paint.

Same with things like picture frames and towel racks.

So, hold your horses and hang all that back up the next day.

9. Enjoy your newly painted room.

Look at you and your fabulous, I-painted-a-whole-room self! Woohoo!

How to paint your bedroom

Let me know if I missed anything you were wondering about, and I’ll answer in the comments.

How to paint your bedroom

The Spruce / Aubrey Hays & Niv Rozenberg

A bedroom is your personal sanctuary for rest, relaxation, and intimacy. Whether it’s a primary bedroom, guest room, teen’s room, or nursery, the wall color serves as a reminder of what you want to feel in the room.

For most people, calm and soothing colors are best in a bedroom. However, you may prefer deep, bright, or saturated colors to help you feel more awake, alert, or romantic. Set the right mood by considering how to pick colors for bedroom walls from these three groups of popular hues.

About This Term: Primary Bedroom

Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term “Master Bedroom” as discriminatory. “Primary Bedroom” is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

Soothing Neutrals

Neutral colors are always safe and classic choices for a bedroom. Popular neutral colors include:

  • Ivory
  • Taupe
  • Black
  • Gray
  • White

Neutral colors are clean backdrops for bedrooms because they work with other bright colors in bedding, curtains, carpeting, and artwork. Neutral bedroom walls allow you to let loose by using accenting vivid colors and patterns to transform the space. If you prefer to keep your bedroom all neutral, add interest with layered bedding and textured accessories for a soft tone-on-tone style.

Learning how to choose neutral bedroom colors means taking into consideration the paint’s underlying tones. For instance, white paint is rarely just pure white. Paints are often mixed with other hues to create subtle undertones of pink, blue, yellow, or brown, for example. The undertone should match your furnishings, carpet, and bedding or the room could feel unpleasant. Paint experts at your paint store can help you determine the best neutral shade and undertone for your bedroom.

Peaceful Pastels

Pastel colors are soft, relaxing, and result in serene surroundings. The best pastel colors for bedrooms include:

  • Soft blues
  • Lavenders
  • Greens
  • Yellows
  • Pinks

A bedroom with a pastel wall color can look elegant. Find the sophisticated side of pastels by mixing and matching a few washed-out colors that you’d find in a favorite quilt, add light gray bedding and accessories into the mix, become inspired by watery coastal hues, or anchor a bedroom with light and pretty walls with darker furnishings.

Expressive Colors

If bold and bright colors make you happy, why not paint your bedroom walls to bring a smile to your face? If you’re an energetic person who loves to be surrounded by saturated colors, embrace the look. For example, if you love bright, fresh interiors, try deep spring green walls. Experiment with lively combinations, such as coral and dark green or red and taupe.

There are a couple of guidelines to remember when choosing dark paint colors for bedrooms, such as black or navy blue, especially if the space is small.

  • Avoid feeling boxed in. You don’t need to paint every wall the same color.
  • Accent with color. Choose an accent wall to paint and leave the other walls a lighter color.
  • Emphasize length with color. If you have a deep, narrow bedroom, paint one of the longer walls to highlight the length of the room.

Keep in mind that light colors make a space look larger and darker colors make a bedroom appear smaller. If there’s a lot of natural light streaming into the bedroom, the room can also appear larger

How to paint your bedroom

Painting a bedroom can create a soothing and comforting atmosphere, taking a bland room and transforming it into a personal sanctuary. While the act of painting a room may come off as difficult at first glance, once you know how to paint and what tools you need, it can be a satisfying way to upgrade your living space.

Prepping and Planning

Knowing exactly how to paint a bedroom is half the battle. From the tiniest bedrooms to massive master suites, the skills remain the same. Preparation is key to any painting job. Begin the process by assembling the right tools. A tarp or drop cloth is important to have to protect your floors. Painter’s tape is used for masking off areas, and lends itself to creating clean, sharp lines. A reasonably small angled brush and a narrow roller are worthwhile to have around to paint small or hard to maneuver in areas, and a wide roller assists in covering large areas with paint, without sacrificing time.

Picking out your ideal bedroom paint colors is also something to put some serious thought into before making your final decision. Color can influence moods, so choose wisely, along the lines of what feeling you want to encourage in your bedroom. Your color choice is just as important as knowing how to paint a bedroom. If relaxation is what you seek, soft and cool blues and grays are the colors you need. If you need to get going in the morning with high energy, lean towards vibrant and warm corals, yellows and reds. Once you have your colors chosen and your tools assembled, it is time to begin painting.

Let’s Paint

Start by carefully using the painters tape to mask off any baseboards, air vents, door and window frames, and any other areas you do not want any paint on. A patient and thorough application of painters tape can save you from headaches down the line.

With your painters tape applied, a tarp at your feet and your tools and paint at the ready, the application process can begin. If a layer of primer paint is needed, this is the time to apply it. With your bedroom paint colors in your paint tray, begin by carefully painting a border of several inches out from your painters tape with a brush or small roller. This lessens the need to go close to the masked areas with your large roller, preventing accidental paint spots in unwanted areas.

Paint the remaining area of the wall from the top down, so any dripping due to gravity can be smoothed out with ease. Not knowing how to paint top down can lead to time consuming and annoying issues down the line. Cover walls one by one, remove your masking painters tape and allow the paint to dry completely.

Enjoy Your New Bedroom

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It is important to save a small sample of your precise paint choice for later touch ups. Label paint cans with the room they are specifically used in and the color name to have easy access in the future. It can help to write the room and color name on your stir stick and keep it as well. This can make it easier to get the color matched later on if a fresh coat is needed.

With some patience, know how, and attention to detail, painting a bedroom can quickly and dramatically take a sleeping space to new heights.

For a professional-looking paint job, do what the experts do.

How to paint your bedroom

Tips on how to paint interiors like a pro.

Photo by: Shutterstock/kitzcorner

Related To:

These top tips will make your next paint job a smashing success, whether you’re painting all your walls or just one.

1. Wait for Dry Weather

Humidity means drips and slow drying, so avoid painting on a rainy day. If you must paint when it’s humid, take your time — and take advantage of slow-drying paint to correct your errors before moving on to the next coat. But don’t overwork or it will show when you’re finished.

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2. Do a Thorough Visual Inspection and Prep

Any cracked, flaking or peeling areas need to be lightly sanded or scraped (and then thoroughly rinsed) before applying new primer and paint because the weight of the new coat will pull the old paint loose. “You’ll just end up wasting your time and money if you don’t tackle that first,” says Tom Lee, Senior VP of Consumer Marketing for Behr. Greasy spots may also need a bit of washing with soap, followed by a rinse with clean water. Otherwise, wipe down with a damp cloth so that paint will have a clean, dust-free surface to stick to.

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3. Buy High-Quality Brushes, Roller Covers, and Painter’s Tape

If you’re splurging on great paint, you definitely don’t want to pinch pennies on the application. Good brushes and roller covers give excellent coverage so that you don’t waste time and paint on re-application, and high-end painter’s tape is the real deal when it comes to sealing out drips and blurs.

Paintbrushes and Applicators 02:28

4. Know Your Nap

The more texture your walls have, the thicker the nap you’ll want on your roller cover so it can reach into crevices and give complete coverage. For example, you’ll want to go with a thick nap if you’re painting concrete walls. But for drywall, a thin nap is preferred. If you go with a nap that’s too thick, you might actually create texture where you don’t want it, so be prepared to give the salesperson details about what you’re painting when you’re buying your painting supplies.

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Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking color schemes.

5. Protect Anything You Don’t Want Painted

You will never regret the time you spend covering floors, furniture and hardware before you begin a paint project. Drop cloths are a must and small plastic sandwich bags secured with tape are an easy way to protect doorknobs.

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6. Remove Light Switch and Outlet Covers

If you’re impatient, you’ll be tempted to skip this five-minute step, but don’t.

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7. Use Primer

Paint-and-primer combinations are fine if you already have a clean, smooth surface. But if there are any issues with the wall or it’s been more than eight years since you last painted, bite the bullet and go with a separate primer. If you need to cover an especially challenging surface (say, glass or high-gloss paint), use a bonding primer such as Benjamin Moore’s Insl-x Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer or KILZ Adhesion Interior & Exterior Bonding Primer.

8. Box Your Paint

Get the paint salesperson to help you with a realistic estimate of how much paint you’ll really need so that you can buy it all at once. Then, instead of using one gallon at a time, combine all the paint into one large container and mix it thoroughly. This is known as “boxing” your paint, and it keeps your color consistent from beginning to end.

How to paint your bedroom

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Gray may not seem like the most exciting color for your bedroom, but it can actually be an ideal backdrop for a variety of design schemes. The trick is finding a gray paint shade that doesn’t look drab and uninspiring once you get it up on your bedroom walls. If you take your time when choosing your gray shade, though, you’ll wind up with a calm, relaxing bedroom that’s ready for you to put your personal stamp on.

Get Samples

Choosing a gray paint shade for your bedroom may seem like an easy project – gray is a neutral color, after all, so the various shades should all be more or less the same. In reality, all grays are not created equal and there is great variety among the paint shades available at your local home improvement center. While looking at paint sample cards can definitely help, you can’t get a real feel for how a particular gray shade looks in your bedroom without seeing it on the walls. After looking at sample cards, choose several gray shades that you like and get samples. Most paint brands sell affordable sample size jars that allow you to paint the color on a small section of your wall to see how it looks. Create swatches on your wall of the sample gray shades that you’ve chosen side by side, so you can start to narrow down your options.

Choose Undertone

While gray is traditionally a neutral color, some shades actually lean toward the cool or warm end of the spectrum. If you want a totally neutral shade, opt for a color like dove gray. You can, however, give your bedroom a calm, peaceful look by choosing a cool gray shade. Look for a paint shade with blue, green or purple undertones for a soft, soothing look. If you prefer a warm, cozy feel for your bathroom, opt for a warm gray. Choose a gray shade that has pink or yellow undertones to make your bedroom feel more inviting.

Choose Depth

Choosing the right undertone is only part of the equation when painting your bedroom gray. You must choose the right color depth for the size of your room as well. In a small bedroom, you’re better off with a light gray shade like dove or a light blue gray because it will reflect the light and make the space feel larger. If you have a large bedroom, however, go for a deeper shade like charcoal or ash to give your room a more sophisticated look.

Choose Accent Colors

Once you’ve painted your bedroom walls with your chosen gray shade, you need to choose accent colors to pair with it. You may use your accent shades just for accessories like bedding, window treatments and throw pillows, or you can paint the room’s molding, trim and architectural features with it. Since gray is essentially a neutral shade, a variety of accent shades can work well with it. If your bedroom walls are a dark gray like charcoal, add a pop of color by using a bright shade like red or magenta as an accent. In a bedroom with light gray walls, a dark, rich accent shade like emerald, wine or navy can give the room an elegant look. You can also go super modern by using other neutral shades like black and white as accents.

By: Khadija Leon

About This Quiz

Designing your bedroom can be a very difficult and long process, and it all starts choosing a paint color. If you have no idea where to start, this quiz will definitely help you out.

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Painting a room white can make it feel open, clean, spacious, quiet, or simple, and it’s always the go-to when it comes time for us to paint our interiors. But there’s more to white paint than you think. For example: tiny variations between white paints can give a vastly different effect on your space. Here are 10 things to know before you paint a room white.

1. Only a few white paints are actually pure white.

Many people mistakenly believe that all white paints are pretty much the same—and that are all devoid of color. Not the case: “White paints can come with bluish, reddish, yellowish, and even greenish undertones,” says architect Amy Alper in Remodeling 101: How to Choose the Perfect White Paint. To see the differences, follow the suggestion of interior designer Ellen Hamilton and hold the samples against a sheet of white paper. Suddenly you’ll notice the many differences and complexities in what, at first glance, seems like plain white.

Most white paints fall into three categories: warm-toned (not too bright or sterile), cool-toned (which add dimension), and “gallery” whites (which are the purest white paints, used often in art galleries). To get a sense of which is which, we surveyed architects for their favorites in each category; see:

2. All paints start out as white.

Notes California-based designer Michaela Scherrer—whose whole Pasadena house is dressed in shades of white (and who dresses herself in only white): “All paint starts out as white,” she points out, “and then has tints added to it.” Scherrer mixes her own white paints, starting with a base paint—like Benjamin Moore Regal’s pastel base, Decorator’s White, Paper White, or the white base from Fine Paints of Europe—and adding universal tints, drop by drop, to add subtle hues. Read more about her methods (and how to mix your own custom white paints) in DIY: How to Mix the Perfect White Paint with LA Designer Michaela Scherrer.

3. The same white paint will look different in Seattle than in Florida.

Ever notice that your eye color changes slightly depending on what you have on? The same rule applies to white paints. A white paint on a wall will look very different depending on where in the world you live, on what sort of light your room gets (north-facing looks entirely different than west-facing), even on what else is in the room: dark wood molding vs. white molding, or a red couch vs. a blue couch. For how to take these factors into account, consult Expert Advice: How to Choose Paint Like a Pro.

4. A fresh coat of white paint is the cheapest way to make over a room.

Can’t take on a full renovation? “Paint is well-known as the cheapest and quickest way to make over a room,” says veteran remodeler—and actress—Amanda Pays in 11 Money-Saving Remodeling Strategies from a Hollywood House Flipper. At an average of $30 per gallon of flat paint, plus primer (which runs $7-$15 per gallon) and supplies, a DIY paint job, done right, can transform a room on the cheap.

5. It takes 570 gallons of white paint to paint the exterior of the White House.

The most iconic house in the U.S. is, you guessed it, white, and it takes quite a bit of paint to keep it looking fresh year after year. (The color? It’s reportedly Duron’s “Whisper White,” now made by Sherwin-Williams.)

6. What looks good to you now might look yellow to you later.

In her latest column for The Wall Street Journal, Michelle reveals that our perception of color changes over time: “Our physical sense of color, smell and touch changes as we get older, which means things that looked and felt good to us when we were younger may not anymore,” she writes. Says expert Sally Augustin: “’The lenses in our eyes yellow as we age, so colors in spaces actually take on a tinge. When you paint the walls white and you’re age 50, the color might look lovely and crisp. But to an 85-year-old, those same walls might look icky.’” Keep longevity in mind (and maybe opt for a white that skews cooler, not yellower).

7. A white bedroom can help you sleep better.

“If you’re sleep-challenged—isn’t everyone these days?—consider creating your own cloud chamber,” writes Margot in The White Album: 27 Sleep-Inducing Bedrooms in Shades of Pale. “Fans of all-white bedrooms use words like ‘tranquil,’ ‘blank slate,’ ‘no distractions,’ and ‘Zen’ to describe the appeal.” The Better Sleep Council agrees: painting a bedroom a soft white can help you relax and wind down for bed.

8. Avoid handprints and marks with gloss or semi-gloss paint.

When painting the interiors of her New Jersey house white, Fan was given an unexpected piece of advice: paint high-traffic areas—like the walls of the stairwell—in semigloss or gloss. This will make it easier to wipe off smudges and fingerprints from little (and big) hands.

9. Add dimension by using one shade of white in multiple finishes.

To transform her small house in Connecticut, stylist Kate McCann simply gave the interiors a fresh coat of white paint. The secret? She used the same shade—Benjamin Moore White OC-151—in various finishes throughout the house: matte on the walls; pearl on the doors, trim, wainscoting, and mantel; and flat on the ceiling. Photograph by David Prince; see more of the transformation in Reader Rehab: A Country House Makeover Courtesy of White Paint.

10. Selling or renting your house? White walls will help.

When Margot interviewed in-demand Brooklyn interior staging specialists Hollister and Porter Hovey for the most fail-proof ways to get your place to sell, their second most-important tip (right behind getting rid of clutter) was paint it white. “No matter how pretty the gray or how warm and charming the cream, white walls look better online, where nearly all your potential buyers will see the space for the first time,” they say. “Paint the walls, the moldings, the ceilings, and the doors (unless they’re beautiful natural wood, which they’re probably not). The uniform blank slate will make the space look bigger and the ceilings higher. If your kitchen looks dated, paint the cabinets, too.” For more of their tried-and-true tips, see Real Estate Staging with Style and Affordability: 8 Insider Tips from Hollister and Porter Hovey.

For much more on choosing white paints, see:

How to paint your bedroom

Although it may seem like a simple aesthetic subject, deciding on what color to pain a bedroom is actually very important, as there are many factors to take into account. That’s why the decision must be well meditated before actually deciding the right color to decorate your bedroom. Apart from combining it with decoration, the color on your walls must suit other factors too. That’s why oneHowTo.com would like to give you some advice on how to decide what color to paint your bedroom.

First of all, we must highlight that you should know or learn a bit about the aspects of color psychology, especially when we’re talking about choosing your bedroom paint color. Such knowledge give us clues on what tones we should choose, helping us greatly in limiting our search.

You should take into account what room you’re painting and adapt the colors to the purpose of the room. Choose at least two colors for the room and go to the paint shop or DIY store to find samples so you can compare them.

If you want to paint a small room, it’s recommended to use white or light colors, such as pastel tones. This way, the optical effect will create further width. On the other hand, you can venture with darker colors in bigger rooms.

When painting, you can still play with the height of ceilings and try visually widening the dimensions of your rooms. If you decide to do so, it will be necessary for you to paint the ceiling in a brighter color than the wall; it’s also recommended to aim lighting to the ceiling to boost the effect. If you want to go for the opposite feeling, you should paint the ceiling darker than the walls.

You’ll also need to take into account the kind of lighting your bedroom and house in the whole have, so you can decide what color to paint your bedroom better. Lighter colors reflect light and widen spaces, whilst darker colors absorb light and make spaces seem smaller.

How to paint your bedroom

Naturally, at the moment of deciding what color to paint your bedroom, you should take the furniture and decorations into account. If you’re planning and going for a full renovation with furniture, try and look for a paint color that combines well with your new furniture. If you still haven’t got any furniture in your room, decide the other way round.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Decide What Color to Paint Your Bedroom, we recommend you visit our Interior Design and Decor category.