Painting a Nursery

There are a lot of things to do in order to prepare for the arrival of a new baby. For me, the most exciting is to decorate. (BTW, I’m pregnant.)

Here’s a before picture of the office/nursery taken as we were prepping to paint. Previously there had only been two desks in the room. Nothing fancy.


I like gender-neutral, but I didn’t want to do a boring yellow or green nursery. I don’t care for “baby” colors. (Why are babies relegated to neutrals and pastels?) So I figured I’d go right to fun “kid” colors. We’re doing bright oranges and yellows.

One Memorial Day weekend later, we’re painted!


Culmination of my k-12 math education

Culmination of my k-12 math education

Three of the walls in the room are Glidden “Marshmellow White” but the fourth wall is a broken chevron pattern inspired by this fabric….


Riley Blake's "Fun & Games Chevron" in Orange

Riley Blake’s “Fun & Games Chevron” in Orange


I was not sure we were going to be able to pull this off, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

How to Paint a Broken Chevron Pattern

Paint Colors

  • Glidden Canary Song
  • Glidden Pencil
  • Behr Sweet Rhapsody
  • Behr Coral Expression
  • Behr Gentle Rain
  • Behr Kumquat
  • Behr Orange Zest
  • Glidden Marshmellow White (base color)



  • All the regular painting supplies. Paint, rollers, brushes, paint trays, drop cloths. The whole deal.
  • A long level
  • A laser level
  • Measuring tape
  • A protractor (or you can make a stencil. See below)


  1. Paint the base color and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.
  2. Measure the width of the wall.
  3. Subtract the width of the total amount of vertical tape would like to use from your wall width. (We wanted 8 stripes and required 9 straight, vertical lines. Our tape was 1-inch, so we subtracted 9 from the width of the room in inches.)
  4. Divide the remaining number by the number of vertical stripes.  So we have…(Width of the room in inches – total width of vertical tape in inches)/ number of vertical stripes. This will give you the width each stripe needs to be in order to divide evenly. We decided to border our wall with tape, so as not to get any on the ceiling.
  5. Tape off the vertical lines you’ve measured. A laser level can be very helpful, and we picked one up at Home Depot for about $20.
  6. As you tape, be sure that the tape is entirely flat and sealed securely. No bubbles or wrinkles. I just used my hands to press firmly on each piece.
  7. Tape your first diagonal line. You can tape one line, and then measure with a protractor to ensure that each line diagonal line is parallel. But I just made a stencil by cutting out a piece of cardboard.
  8. After you’re done with the first line, you can ensure that the following line you tape, either above or below, is at a consistent angle by measuring  from the tape you’ve already put down. I decided on widths that were inconsistent, but if you are going for a consistent width, you’ll want to do the same math from the beginning, replacing vertical tapes and measurements with horizontal ones.
  9. My stripes worked in pairs as mirror images. To ensure that this was actually the case, I used a level to make marks on the mirror image, to ensure that the tapes would be at the same height for the first piece of tape.
  10. From there, you can use your measuring tape to tape out the rest of that column, mirroring the measurements of the first column.
  11. Before we painted, we numbered the paints and lightly penciled in numbers on the wall. From there, it’s literally paint by numbers!
  12. The final, and perhaps most important step, is to peel the tape off before the paint has dried. We did second coats after 10-15 minutes and peeled the tape off as soon as possible. If the paint fully cures while the tape is still on, you run the risk of peeling paint off of the wall.



2 thoughts on “Painting a Nursery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s