Painting is one of the least expensive and easiest means of redecorating. Anyone can use a roller or a paintbrush, and the finished project feels like a completely new room. If you are in the business of painting your little girl’s bedroom, here are a few tips to make the job easier, to make it last longer, and to make it as feminine and as pretty as possible.
Before painting any room, always prepare the walls and trim first. Clean everything, wiping it down with a damp cloth and allowing it to dry completely. Then carefully put painting tape along any borders: ceiling, floor, trim, windows, outlets, etc. Drop cloths or newspaper should be spread out along the floor from the edge of the walls – preferably covering the entire room, or at least several feet out from each wall. The prepping is the least enjoyable part of a painting project, but it is essential for a clean finish.
The first step is to paint the trim. Girls’ rooms ought to be feminine and light. Even if your daughter is a bit older and thinks she wants a navy blue room, paint the trim and doors white or ivory; this will give it the feminine touch, in spite of her dark-colored preferences. If the trim in her room is dark brown, don’t despair. Gone are the days of sanding and sawdust messes. Instead, go to any paint store or paint section in a department store, and buy a can of white bonding primer. The bonding primer will attach itself even to shiny, lacquered trim and create a whole new surface. The only preparation necessary is to make sure the trim is clean and taped along the floor or ceiling. It won’t be necessary to tape between the trim and the walls because the walls will be painted later. Simply brush the primer on just like paint. If the trim is very dark, two coats of primer may be necessary. The primer will be dry in about four hours.
When you paint the trim, always use glossy paint and don’t forget the door, closet doors, and any other fixtures in the room. Apply two coats or three if the trim was originally very dark. After the painted trim has dried, wait several days before painting the walls. The trim needs to be set enough to put tape on it without the risk of pulling off the fresh paint.
Once the trim is set, carefully put painting tape along the edges of the trim where the trim meets the walls. When there is tape along the ceilings, doors, outlets, etc., the fun part begins: you get to choose which color to paint your little girl’s room. If your daughter is old enough, invite her to join in the choosing process. Paint stores and home improvement stores often have interactive decorating screens where you and your daughter can scan in a paint color and watch as the computer portrays a bedroom (or any other type room) with your color choice on the walls. Remember to consider the orientation of the room when choosing a color. If the bedroom is on the northern side with only one window and very little light, choose something warm and bright like yellow or peach. If it is a sunny, southern room, just about any color will do. Remember the white trim will make any color look bright and feminine. And always choose a semi-gloss or satin paint that can be cleaned easily.
It is not necessary to put primer on the walls unless they were previously painted with very glossy paint. The easiest method is to first paint around all the edges of the floor, ceiling, outlets and trim with a wide paintbrush. Then take your rolling pan, pour a bit of paint into it, and roll the paint onto the walls. Go slowly; if you roll the paint too quickly, it can splatter. Now you’re getting to the point when the look of the room really begins to change and you can see what the finished product will ultimately look like. After the first coat of paint dries (usually in about 4 hours) apply a second coat the same way, painting the edges first and then rolling.
After everything is dry, there are an abundance of options for adding extras. Stencils and texture painting are popular. Wallpaper borders can be found that you merely peel off and then stick on the wall. Remember, though, to decorate your daughter’s bedroom so it can grow with her: you won’t want to have to do this every couple of years. But even if you do, the trim is the most time-consuming part. Once that is done, changing the color of the walls is a snap!