Choosing Our Nursery Paint Color

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

As you saw last week, the bottom portion of the walls in our nursery is done and it’s painted the prettiest shade of green. With that big step crossed off our list, it was time to choose a nursery paint color. Here’s a reminder of the color palette for the room (you can find more in this blog post about the design plan for the nursery)…

Nursery Design Plan - warm color palette for girl's nursery

I want all of the colors in the room to have a warm undertone and to coordinate with the sage green that dominates the space. I’ve had my heart set on a very subtle light pink for the nursery paint color. I don’t want it to be bubblegum pink, just a very muted shade of blush. Unlike gray and white paint colors (which I use all the time), this was my first time choosing a pink paint color! So I wanted to make sure I picked the perfect shade for this room.

Choosing Paint SamplesChoosing a nursery paint color

I hit up Lowe’s Home Improvement and browsed their paint samples. I find this to be pretty soothing and often grab tons of swatches and narrow it down from there. I also brought a piece of the built-ins (we have some trim left over that I threw in my purse) so I could compare the pink colors to the sage green. If you have other elements of the room decided, bring them with you to the store to help you make your selection. Looking at paint swatches to choose a paint color

When I look at paint swatches, I always look at all of the colors on the swatch. Because I want the undertones to be warm, I looked at the dark colors on the swatch to make sure they had the warm muddy undertones I’m going for with the space. Always glance at all of the colors on the swatch to make sure you like the color palette as a whole. Use cheap brushes

I also pick up these cheap brushes when I’m waiting for them to mix up the samples. They’re nice because you can toss them after you paint your samples and there’s no cleanup as you try out each color. Be sure to number each brush and number each can (#1-#5 in my case) and then apply them in the same order on the wall. You don’t want to get all of these names and colors confused during the selection process.

Here are the paint samples I ended up getting from Lowe’s…Choosing a nursery paint color that is light pink or blush

All Valspar Colors (from left to right): Adobe Blush // Tender Shell // Desert Bone // Warm Fog // Lip Balm

It’s wild how different these paint colors look in the cans vs. on the wall. In the can, they all look pretty similar and very light. On the wall, it’s completely different…Choosing a nursery paint color

All Valspar Colors (from left to right): Adobe Blush // Tender Shell // Desert Bone // Warm Fog // Lip Balm

I always suggest painting swatches on different walls of the room and waiting until they’re all dry to make any decisions. In fact, give yourself an entire day when you can see the colors at all times of the day (as well as with the lights on and off). Paint looks different depending on the light, so you want to make sure you always love it. For more tips on choosing a paint color, check out this blog post. Choosing paint colors for our nursery

Immediately, I was able to eliminate a few colors. #1 was too white, #2 was too dark, #5 too light. I was between #3 and #4 for a while until I painted them together on another wall. Choosing a paint color

The top color (Desert Bone) was just too pink for me. So I settled on the color Warm Fog!

Using a Zero VOC PaintUsing a zero voc paint for the nursery

Once I had my nursery paint color, I headed back to Lowe’s to pick up my paint. I ended up buying two gallons of Valspar’s Simplicity brand (similiar) in the color “Warm Fog” in an eggshell sheen. I used this same paint on the chair rail because it has zero VOC, which is ideal for a nursery. But let’s dive into what that actually means…

What’s VOC?What are volatile organic compounds?

VOC = volatile organic compounds. VOCs are found in building materials and they’re what give off that new paint smell. These chemicals emit gases that can be harmful when inhaled. Because I’m pregnant and because our new baby will be sleeping in this room, it was important for me to choose a zero VOC paint. The Valspar Simplicity brand is Greenguard Gold certified, which means it has ultra-low emissions. Sometimes zero VOC paints don’t have the best coverage, so you have to paint more coats than usual. But Valspar Simplicity is a paint and primer in one and we only had to do two coats to cover this room. No extra coats!

I felt very safe using this paint when pregnant, but I also took a few extra precautions. I chose to wear a respirator and gloves while painting, and we kept the windows and door open while painting (and took lots of breaks). I chatted with my doctor ahead of time and she was a-okay with me painting the nursery since I was using a zero VOC paint and taking extra steps to be safe! Do what’s right for you and your body.

My Best Painting TipsSupplies for painting

Here are the supplies I picked up for our day of painting…

Painting Supplies

Prime Over SamplesPrime over paint sample so they don't show through

Because I chose a light color for the room, I wanted to make sure my darker paint color samples wouldn’t shine through. The night before we started painting, I put one light coat of white primer over all of my sample areas. That way, they would be covered and the darker colors wouldn’t bleed through our new paint. I recommend this if the color you choose is pretty light.

Prep WorkPrepping the room for paint

First, we prepped the room. Since all of the furniture had already arrived for the nursery, we put drop cloths over everything and positioned it all in the center of the room. Then,  Finn and I got to work taping the room. You’ll want to tape any edges that you don’t want to get painted. I know some people are good at “edging” so they don’t need painter’s tape, but my painting skills aren’t quite that advanced. Better safe than sorry!Use frogtape when prepping a room for paint

I used Frogtape for this step because I find that it leads to less bleeding than traditional painter’s tape. I taped down below, while Finn worked on the ceiling.

Time to Paint!

I tackled the lower areas, while Finn used the ladder up high. When cutting in, I always like to use my Handy paint pail. Make sure you buy inserts for the can so you don’t have to clean it. Instead, you can just toss the insert when you’re done. It even has a magnet on the inside to hold your paint brush (I only use Purdy paint brushes) and prevent it from falling into the paint!Choosing a nursery paint color and painting Valspar warm fog on the walls

The only tough area was getting around the built-ins. Finn rolled the top and I used a brush to get the tiny spots near the built-ins. That’s where the painter’s tape came in handy to prevent paint from getting on our new built-ins!

Two Coats of PaintPainting the color warm fog in the nursery

We applied one coat of paint and let it dry to the touch (about thirty minutes). Then, we applied our second coat. With both of us working, it probably only took us about one hour from start to finish. It was such a fast and satisfying DIY project!

Clean-UpUse magic wipes to clean up

I always recommend peeling off the painter’s tape when it’s still a bit wet so you don’t have any peeling of paint with the tape. And if you get paint somewhere you don’t want it (like the floor, baseboards, etc.), I love having these Miracle Wipes handy. I also use them to wipe off any paint that gets on my skin. They work like a charm!

Before & AfterNursery paint color beforeNursery paint color afterNursery paint color beforeChoosing a nursery paint color and painting it the color Warm Fog by Valspar

So it isn’t wildly dramatic from the before, because both are soft shades of creamy white. But you can definitely see the blush undertones in this color. And how about how different the sage green paint color looks depending on the time of day? The before photos were taken late afternoon and the after photos in the morning. It’s so much lighter with direct sunlight in the room!

Our Nursery Paint Color – “Warm Fog”Nursery paint color warm fog

Overall, I’m really pleased with the nursery paint color. In some lights, it just looks taupe and at other times it really does look blush. I’m happy that it’s not bubblegum pink, but a very, very soft and subtle blush. Choosing the color warm fog as our nursery paint color

You guys got a sneak peek of the furniture in here with these after shots. Isn’t it exciting?! Now that everything is painted, we can focus on the fun stuff – the furniture, styling, and accessories for our baby girl’s nursery!


Nursery Posts

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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