Color Me Home Episode 6: Decorating Kids’ Rooms

This week, Betsy and Dan talk about decorating kids’ rooms. These are great projects and can be a lot of fun: you’ll get to use colors you might not typically use and you really get to put your creativity on display! But how do you create something that the kids will love–with all their favorite colors–without having the whole thing turn into, quite literally, a circus? That’s what we talk about in this episode, so give it a listen!

View our Pinterest Board for Episode 6!

Episode Outline

  • Involve Your Kids With the Decorating! (0:30)
  • What Do We Do When the Kids Pick Crazy Colors? You Compromise! (4:32)
    • My Son Embarrasses Me In Public (5:00)
    • Pick a Lighter Version of the Color (8:02)
    • Pick a Muted or Muddier Version of the Color (10:11)
    • Paint an Accent Wall (13:43)
    • Doors, Window Frames, Ceilings . . . (15:0o)
    • Accessories (16:30)
  • Choose the Right Paint and the Right Finish (17:30)
    • The Right Paint (17:57)
    • The Right Finish (21:46)
  • Our First Email Question! (23:06)

Benjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint56295-9030107

In the podcast, we mentioned ceilings as a potential area to bring in some color. If you’re going to give that a try (and you should, because it’s a very cool idea that’ll payoff with great results!) then you should definitely be using Benjamin Moore’s Waterborne Ceiling Paint. It’s specifically formulated for ceilings, and provides an ultra flat finish that easily hides common ceiling imperfections. It’s easy to work with, has minimal spatter and dries very quickly for fast recoats.

  • Superior hide for a flawless finish
  • Flattest finish offered by Benjamin Moore
  • Conceals common surface imperfections
  • Easy application with fantastic results
  • Formulated for minimal spatter

Recommended Paints for Kids’ Rooms

We covered 4 different products that would be perfect. Here’s a quick summary in case you didn’t have a note pad to jot all the good ideas down while the podcast was playing:

Hallmark Ceramic Paint by RepcoLite

Hallmark is our Premium interior paint. It’s created with Ceramic microspheres and provides exceptional washability and durability even in our matte finish. Hallmark is available in a Matte, Eggshell, Satin Sheen, and Semi-Gloss.

Aura by Benjamin Moore

Aura delivers remarkable durability and offers the most advanced way to bring color to life. Using Benjamin Moore’s exclusive Color Lock® technology, Aura paint brings you discernibly richer, truer color. Aura is ideal for kids’ rooms whenever you’re using colors with poor coverage or if you’re covering over other bright and bold colors. The reason? Aura’s specifically formulated to cover and hide better than any other paint out there. If you don’t want to fuss with 3 or 4 coats, choose Aura!

Regal by Benjamin Moore

Regal paint stands up to today’s active lifestyles in colors and finishes that create the home you’ve always imagined. A premium quality coating featuring Advanced Particle Technology® which includes our proprietary 100% acrylic resin. This makes the finish itself more durable, providing for superior uniform coverage as well as easier touch-ups. Additional benefits include spatter resistance for easier clean-up, and superior coverage for a flawless finish in fewer coats.

Natura by Benjamin Moore

Natura Waterborne Interior Paint continues Benjamin Moore’s commitment to providing the most environmentally friendly paint. Natura goes beyond zero VOC* to offer zero emissions** and no harsh fumes***, making it a safer paint for your family and the environment, all without compromise to performance or color selection. Natura is truly “Green Without Compromise®.”

Carefree by RepcoLite

While we didn’t mention Carefree in the podcast, we certainly should have! Carefree is a tremendous product for walls, will give you great washability and durability, and will price out below all of the other products here! If you’re working on a budget, Carefree might be a great option to consider.

Recommended Finishes for Kids’ Rooms

When it came to finishes, we strongly recommend either Satin Sheen or Semi-Gloss for your trim, doors, and furniture. Semi-Gloss finishes hold up well and wash up readily.

For your walls, however, our favorite choice is an Eggshell Finish. It’s dull enough to hide wall imperfections (Betsy kept referring to the dings and dents made by someone bouncing a ball of the wall . . . perhaps something she was guilty of long ago) but it also has enough of a finish to be washable.

Further Reading

We drew from a lot of articles and posts when we gathered info for this podcast. Here are just a few of them if you’d like to read further!

 

Popcorn, Get Your Popcorn!

popcorn_ceiling1White, yet iridescent snow hovers lightly over the streets and surrounding homes of west Michigan, resulting in a pictures phenomena. A canopy of matured, snow-covered trees lines the drive leading to our home, and is accompanied by a creek that acts as a point of reference to visitors who have made it to the bridge. Right now the bridge still has a thin layer of ice on it, while beneath, the creek, glistening by the cold winter’s rays, still runs quietly past the snowy banks.

By early February, rumor spread that Spring may be traveling north earlier than expected, and for myself, the earlier the better. I’ve never really have been cut out for cold temperatures. Although Winter brings beauty and relaxation, with warmth comes the opportunity for easier transportation and the psychological persistence and motivation to accomplish greater tasks.

But Spring’s not here just yet. And there’s plenty of work to be done in our home renovation. Still, I can’t help but be amazed at the progress we’ve made. Six months have passed since we started this project and everything seems to be going as planned. We’ve replaced shingles and flashed the roof surrounding the fireplace. We’ve expanded the living room by replacing a load bearing wall with a sturdy beam. We’ve added recessed lighting to the living room and front office. And finally, we’ve replaced the plumbing in the upstairs master bathroom to accommodate a walk-in rain shower.

With the cold of Winter still to pass, I find myself thinking about other interior projects that I can tackle. Now, I have to say, being one who has an obsession with “DIYing,” I pay attention to many home improvement shows. One of my favorites, and I’m sure many of you can agree with me on this, is “Fixer Upper.” On that show, in Episode after Episode, I started noticing a trend regarding ceilings. Almost every time they encountered a popcorn ceiling, the solution was the same: All that texture has to come down!

The more time I spent fulfilling my winter-bound projects, the more I found my eyes drawn upward to our popcorn ceilings. From there, it didn’t take long before that “Fixer Upper” solution was playing in my head: All that texture has to come down!

I discussed this with my boyfriend Patrick, and discovered that he didn’t necessarily agree with me. He wasn’t convinced that the popcorn was an eyesore. Of course, he was eventually overruled! However, the only way it was coming down was if I did it myself. He wanted no part of the hassle and mess, and I didn’t blame him. After all, I didn’t know what to expect, either.

Thankfully, my younger sister Leah was a gracious help, and we decided to tackle the project.

To alleviate some of the mess, and to make pick-up a little easier, first prepared the floors with Husky 3MIL plastic sheeting. The same garden sprayer we used to peel off wallpaper was our biggest asset: Two gallons of very hot tap water were added to the sprayer. We then sprayed that water in circular motions on the ceiling’s popcorn texture. (Please Note: Enough water should be sprayed on the ceiling to penetrate the popcorn texture, close to saturation, but not to the point that water is dripping onto the floor.) After five to ten minutes has passed, Leah and I each used a 6” Hyde joint knife at a forty-five degree angle to scrape the popcorn onto the floor below.

I found that scraping popcorn was extremely easy, and actually, quite fun! The texture scraped off like butter when wet, and turned into a muddy, paste-like texture that was easily manageable.

In the end, I was extremely pleased with how our ceilings turned out. Leah and I were able to remove popcorn from four rooms and a hallway in only a day’s time. Now we’ve got a smooth drywall surface that’s ready to be touched up, primed, and painted. Which is a project I’ll save for another post!

Supplies Used:

  • Hand held 2 gallon garden sprayer
  • 6″ Hyde Joint Compound Knife
  • Husky 3 MIL Plastic Sheeting
  • Laddeer
  • Extremely hot tap water
  • Large garbage can for cleanup!

 

The Fifth Wall

bigstock-Happy-Woman-Painting-The-Ceili-7960216_smaller_curl3Has this ever happened to you:  you walk into the paint store for paint and then spend the next three days or a week or more agonizing over the color chips you brought home?  You hold them up to every piece of furniture in the room.  You lay them on your carpet, on your end table.  You try to picture them large scale–covering your walls.  You debate between one shade and a slightly darker shade.  And then, finally, after all the debate and analysis and agony, you pick the perfect colors.

You make your way to the paint store, order a gallon of one and two gallons of the other and then, almost as a side note, you grab a gallon or two of ceiling white and call it good.

Do you see the problem here?  The mistake?  It may not be obvious, but it’s this:  we put huge amounts of energy and thought into our wall colors and don’t give our ceilings the time of day.

Next time you paint–change that line of thinking.  Your ceiling isn’t just a ceiling–it’s a fifth wall.  And, as such, you shouldn’t necessarily just roll white paint up there.

If you’re looking to make an impact in your home, putting color on a ceiling is a surefire way to do that.  And the reason is simple:  it’s extremely rare. apt-therapy_shadow_curlMost folks forget about their ceilings when it comes time to paint and as a result, most ceilings are forgettable.

Change that in your home by rolling a color up there.  Just keep this in mind:  the darker the color you put on the ceiling, the lower it will make those ceilings feel.  This can be great in big, high-ceilinged rooms.  Rolling a color on your ceiling that’s a shade or two darker than your wall color can go a long ways toward making your room feel cozier, warmer, more inviting.  A darker color on your ceiling will draw your eyes downward, bring down those big open spaces, and create settings that feel more personal, more intimate.

Lighter colors on the ceiling will make the room feel a little more expansive, a little more open.

white_ceiling_curlHowever, there’s something very interesting to realize here:  many folks understand this concept and they figure that painting those ceilings white will really serve to open the room up.  However, think about this:  if you’ve got a medium toned color on your walls, no matter what shade, a white on the ceiling can often produce a very sharp distinction between the walls and the ceiling.  This sharp distinction, this high contrast between walls and ceiling, can often lead people to conclude that their wall color doesn’t work–that it needs to be repainted.

Look at the picture above.  The green on those walls is a strong color.  However, the room works because the ceiling is a soft tan. It’s not a dark ceiling–definitely not dark in comparison with the walls–but it’s dark enough to create a nice balance in the space.

tan_ceiling_curlImagine the same room with a white ceiling. In fact, you don’t have to imagine it, look at the picture below.  That’s the same room with  a standard white on the ceiling and the whole mood of the room changes.  The stark white on the ceiling makes the green on the walls feel harsh.  Many times, folks would paint a room like this, think they love that green, only to be back later for new paint because the color’s just too strong on the walls.

Now, I admit, the green truly is a strong color–but you can minimize it’s strength, tone it done, control it a little better, by putting a color other than white on the ceiling.

All that to say:  don’t forget about the fifth wall in every room–your ceilings.  You can put some color up there to make a room feel more inviting, to make it feel cozier, or even to tone down the visual power of a wall color you really love.  Keep it in mind.