Mar 16, 2013

Painting a Gender Neutral Nursery

I am beyond excited to share this post with you today, but before you get too excited…I’m not pregnant. Not to say that I won’t be soon! *wink!* But, this is a staged post that I have been working on for the past two weekends for The Home Depot and Procter & Gamble, who recently contacted me requesting that I do a post on a home painting project. Exciting, right?! I thought so! I, of course, jumped at the opportunity because I love painting, but thought for a while about what I wanted to do. I didn't have any painting projects on the back burner, and all the rooms in my house have been recently painted, so what the heck was I supposed to do?! Then, eureka! I stumbled across this painting on Pinterest and absolutely loved it. I wanted to do something similar on a wall, but for what? And then it hit me, unisex nursery! I knew that I would eventually have to paint this room for our future baby, so this was the perfect opportunity. Not to mention, it saves me the hassle of having to hire painters when I'm pregnant, since you shouldn't be around all of those fumes, and I would get the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself! The only problem is, as I’m sure you’re thinking, I’m not pregnant, nor can I predict the future to know what the gender of our first child will be. Problem? Nope! I decided to go with a gender neutral color palette, including hues of greens, blues, peaches, and yellows. When we do find out the gender of our first born I can always add pink accents for a girl or emphasize the blues and greens if its a boy. It's win win either way! When decorating any nursery, especially unisex, I find that choosing a color palette first is the best way to start your design process. Choosing colors that don’t exclusively identify with either gender like yellows, whites, oranges, greens, browns, grays, etc. is the best way to go. Sorry pink and purple! 

Something I learned while narrowing down my color options is that you shouldn't use red as one of your focal colors in the nursery. Sounds weird, right? Well, apparently red is the first color most babies recognize and this can either create excitement or confusion for your little one if it is the only color they can identify. It could even interfere with sleeping! Don’t quote me on that, but I sure wouldn't want to take that chance if I was a new mother getting only a few hours of sleep at a time!

After selecting a color palette, you can begin to build on your theme. Go for themes that are again gender neutral such as animals, beach or sea creatures, shapes and colors, bumble bees, Disney, or vintage shabby chic to name a few. Your options are limitless! If you can’t decide on a theme, but you have your colors selected, try painting first and then decide. Inspiration may come to you once you see the colors on the wall!

While there are hundreds of blogs filled with tips and tricks for DIY painting projects, most of us seem to overlook the importance of two key steps: prep and cleanup. It makes your project a heck of a lot easier with proper painting prep and cleanup, trust me. Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot are teaming up to offer some great products and tips to make each stage of your project go a little more smoothly. Here are some great tips they've come up with:

  • Before painting, make sure to remove dust from walls. A Swiffer® Sweeper with a dry sweeping cloth works really well – it attracts dirt and dust from virtually any surface, including walls. The head swivels a full 360 degrees, making it easy to move around corners and the pole allows for easy floor to ceiling reach. Don’t forget the baseboards, windows and doorways, too.
  • Mask the room with painter’s tape. Paint the areas that are likely to get dripped on last. Paint the ceiling first, walls second, and trim last.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will be your best friend in the prep and cleanup process, too! I used it to clean scuff marks on the wall and baseboards before and after painting. And great news, P&G and The Home Depot want to offer you these amazing products to help you with your next project! Be sure to enter at the bottom of this post for your chance to win the DIY Painting #ReadyDoneClean Prize Pack including a Swiffer Sweeper, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original, and a $50 Home Depot gift card! For more tips on how to paint like a pro visit The Home Depot website and read more!

Materials needed for this project include:
- flat acrylic paint
- paint trays
- acrylic paintbrushes
- drop cloth
- stencil
- paint roller
- painter's tape

After cleaning the wall with my Swiffer® Sweeper, with the help of my fabulous co-painter, Katherine, we started the accent wall by painting streaks of  blue, Valspar - Fresh Mist, letting that dry and then moving on to my next color, Valspar - Peach Frenzy, then Valspar - Lush Meadow, and finishing with my Valspar - Toasted Oat. I would allow each color to dry before moving on to the next and layering them as I went. You will see the wall build below as I added each color. Continue adding colors until you are satisfied. I purchased 1 quart of each color and had quite a bit left of each. I did use all of my White and needed to purchase more.
After your wall has completely dried, you can begin stenciling. My favorite stencils to use are those from Cutting Edge Stencils. This one in particular is the Ikat Zig-Zag Stencil, love it! If you've never stenciled before, I would highly suggest checking out their website and watching their how-to'll be stenciling up a storm in no time!

This is definitely the most time consuming portion of this painting project. Be patient and take your time when lining up the stencil or you could run into some major problems! Allow the each section to dry a few minutes before applying additional coats and before moving on to a new section.

Once you have finished stenciling, remove any painter's tape and use your Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean up any stray scuff marks and paint. To put the final touches on my wall I went back with a thin paintbrush and touched up any section where the white paint ran together. 

I had so much fun designing and working on this project! I only wish that I could keep decorating the nursery, but that will have to wait. This is a wonderful project for anyone who is eager to get started on their nursery and does not know or wants to be surprised by the gender of their baby! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

Enter for your chance to win the #ReadyDoneClean prize pack (shown below)! The prize pack includes a Swiffer Sweeper, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a $50 Home Depot gift card! Must be 18 and over to win. Contest ends March 30th. Winner will be contacted by email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Good luck!

This is a paid post brought to you by Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot. Procter & Gamble provided and paid for my materials and the prize pack used in the Giveaway.
All opinions are my own.