Paint Ideas for Kids' Rooms

Use these kid's room paint ideas to update your child's bedroom. An array of paints, techniques, and motifs create a playfully furnished bedroom that suits your kid perfectly.

When using paint to decorate your child's room, think in broad strokes: saturated colors, epic images, vivacious finishes, and dynamic patterns best reflect a kid's joyful perspective and no-holds-barred attitude. Before painting, get your child involved in picking out kid-friendly color schemes. Ask kids what colors and themes they'd like and where they think the colors and images should be placed. For a shared kids' bedroom, discuss how you can make a compromise between siblings. If they like complementary colors, try painting opposite walls in those two colors. You may opt to keep the backdrop more neutral and let them choose their own accessories and decor. Or decide that if one sibling gets to pick the wall color, the other gets to pick out furniture, rugs, and artwork.

If they're old enough, hand them a brush or roller and invite them to join the fun. Allowing them to be part of the process will give them a sense of ownership and pride. Unsure of their painting ability? Direct their efforts to a dresser's backside or a bookcase interior. Even if you prefer bedroom designs that take kids from toddlerhood through their teens, try to paint in the moment. Paint is a low-cost update and easily changed. These paint ideas for kids' rooms will make your child's bedroom a fun hangout to spend time in.

Pick the Right Paint

With an array of paints awaiting inventive decorators, a customized and fun kid's room paint look can be created with just a trip down the paint aisle. To make your life easier, pick a kid-proof interior paint that will resist messes. Semigloss finishes are durable, easy-clean starting points for walls, but add in crayon-colored, chalkboard, glow-in-the-dark, magnetic, glitter, and faux-confetti paints, and you'll find that creating kid-pleasing perimeters is truly child's play.

Apply chalkboard or magnetic paint above a desk or at chair-rail height as a place for kids to post notes and display artwork. Splash a star-studded Milky Way across a ceiling using glow-in-the-dark paints. Set walls aglow with a top coat of glitter-infused paint or add partylike dimension by applying a confetti-studded clear finish. If you and your child prefer quieter environs, paint all the walls in a favorite hue, or take it up a notch by painting just one wall in a vibrant hue. Or paint upper and lower walls in different colors, highlighting the sections with contrasting colored trim.

Painted Furniture

If you do prefer to keep walls white, bring in color in other ways. Extend paint personalization to dressers and chairs, too! Painted finishes turn ho-hum furniture pieces into works of art. Before you revive tired furniture with paint, apply a coat of primer (or use a paint/primer product) to ensure the new finish endures. Opt for high-gloss paints to create polished patinas that stand up to rowdy kids; or employ distressed treatments to fashion weathered patinas that look better as more dents and dings are added. Chalk paint gives you the option of repainting old furniture without sanding, stripping, or priming. You’ll still need to finish with sealer to protect from wear and tear. Starting with unfinished bedroom furnishings? Consider using colorful water-base wood stains to give these new pieces a distinctive look. Amplify importance by painting and staining frames, legs, shelves, and drawer fronts in different paint colors. Use chalkboard paint to turn a dresser or desk frame into a doodling surface; brush a noteworthy band of chalkboard paint around a lampshade or lamp base so you can chalk a "sleep tight" wish onto a bedside light.

Pile on Painted Motifs

Animate children's bedroom color schemes by incorporating patterns on walls, furnishings, and accessories. Paint walls with stripes rendered in easy-on-the-eye color combinations to give kids' bedrooms staying power. The versatility of stripes means that they offer up both girls' and boys' bedroom paint ideas. Make a storybook statement by painting a wall-size mural—maybe even a giant cartoon wall painting! Or simply stencil jungle critters, rocket ships, and twinkling tiaras on walls, headboards, and dresser fronts. Use paint and stamps to add mini motifs to furniture, lampshades, hardware, and curtain panels. Color outside the lines: Invite kids to leave painted handprints in conspicuous places and paint their signature (in cursive or block letters) on furnishings and walls. Kids will love their paint-personalized surroundings and happily settle in for years of sweet dreams.

Go Geometric

If you’re hesitant to commit to jungle animals or handprints, geometric patterns offer an excellent compromise that’s both modern and kid-friendly. Their sleek lines won’t clash with your decor, and painting them in a bright children's color palette keeps the look youthful and fun. If you need shared room ideas, geometric designs are a stylish solution. You can incorporate multiple favorite colors and they're eye-catching for boys and girls alike. Block out shapes with painters tape across an entire wall or stick with a single accent stripe that leaves some white space. Try a repeating triangle design, cubes, or giant triangle “mountains.” To unify the painted design with the rest of the space, pull out colors to use in objects around the room.

Look to the Ceiling

Most ceilings are slathered with white paint and then forgotten about. Instead, make the fifth wall stand out by using it as an accent wall. For maximum contrast, keep the walls neutral. Use a painted ceiling to set the color scheme for the rest of the room. A purple ceiling can be carried throughout a kid's room in splashes—on the curtains, lamp base, headboard, and throw pillows. A ceiling is also a natural location for a cloud or star design. In this nursery, a subtle starry ceiling was created by stenciling pale gray shapes on a white backdrop.

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