Paint a Kid’s Playroom
Thomas Fix - Eastchester, NY

Hardwarian Thomas Fix

Cornell's True Value

Eastchester, NY

Paint a Kid’s Playroom

Level: Beginner

A playroom is your children’s cloistered space to use their imagination through play and creativity. So when painting a playroom, don’t forget to use yours to create a colorful, inspiring haven for playtime. It’s a fun painting project for the whole family to participate in and enjoy. Keep reading for ideas and inspiration to paint a kid’s playroom.

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    • Step 1: Plan It Out
      chalkboard paint

      Paint the playroom for them, not you, by keeping your children’s interests in mind when planning your playroom painting project. Have them actively involved and ask for their input. Does your child have a favorite movie or book character or a special interest in sports, music or art? Your playroom’s theme can match their interests and personalities.

      Look for ideas in their books or take them from the toys in the playroom. You can also find eye-popping designs on the Internet on sites such as Pinterest. Painting a mural specific to the room’s theme can be a fun approach. The mural can depict a favorite event or scene from a book or film or a specific location, such as a beach or jungle.

      If more than one child uses the playroom and they have contradicting tastes, you may want to keep the room’s design simple but appealing (kids also go through phases and outgrow favorites) so that your work will please everyone and last longer. You can paint walls with patterns, stripes, or other decorative painting techniques. Paint an accent wall if you feel a theme won’t work. You also can try accenting a room with borders.

      Consider using specialty paints, such as chalkboard paint or magnetic paint. Chalkboard paint provides a surface that can be written on with chalk and erased with a damp towel. Magnetic paint creates fun walls on which magnets will adhere. Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully for optimum results.

      Use paint in conjunction with play objects, such as a basketball mural coupled with a toy basketball hoop that can be installed on the wall, or other game themes.

      Don’t forget ideas for the floor. If you have wood floors, you can stencil designs on them with paint. If you plan on painting a wall mural, coordinate your floor and wall design so that they work together. A forest mural, for example, could start with a path painted on the floor.

      Adjust your theme to the different areas of the playroom, if you created zones for different activities. Paint an “art” mural in the area where a table is set up for coloring and painting. Use a “reading” theme near the bookcase, etc.

      For further playroom setup advice and ideas, see the project “Create a Kid’s Playroom.”

    • Step 2: Choose “Kid Colors”

      A playroom should be inspirational and foster imagination. Bright hues of primary colors are fun for a kid’s playroom. Choose a color scheme. Here are some tips on the way color affects moods and perceptions:

      • Green. The color of nature, green is said to reinforce self-esteem and suggest hope, restfulness and calmness.
      • Blue. Shades of blue, like the ocean and the sky, evoke feelings of calm, tranquility and spirituality. They’re good choices for a restful bedroom.
      • Red. Used as an accent to neutral colors, red can add some brightness to a kid’s room.
      • Yellow. Cheerful and dynamic, yellow is a great choice to brighten and warm any room. It’s also said to be the color of intellectuals.
      • White. White represents peace, faith, joy, cleanliness and purity. It reflects light, so it can make a room appear bright, cool and spacious. But it’s also the hardest room color to keep clean with little ones around.
      • Purple. Various shades of purple evoke different feelings. Children typically respond to the energy of bright purple.

      Don’t forget that if you’re changing the wall colors in the room, you may also need to update playroom furniture. You can do this by updating it with a little paint.

    • Step 3: Prepare the Room
      drop clothpainter's tape

      Before painting, you need to prepare the playroom for painting. Remove all furniture, toys and other items from the room before you start. If you can’t get everything out, move it to the center of the room and cover it with drop cloths. Place drop cloths or tarps on the floor and remove window coverings, switch plates and outlet covers. Use painter’s tape to protect windowsills, baseboards, door hinges and the ceiling perimeter.

      Properly cleaning and repairing the walls is extremely important when painting since paint doesn’t adhere to dirt. Using a sponge or cloth, wipe down your walls with mild detergent and water, letting them dry completely. If the walls have any cracks, holes or other damage, apply spackling compound with a putty knife and then sand with fine sandpaper once it dries. Sand any rough areas and scuff sand any glossy surfaces. Remove any dust with a damp cloth and allow it to dry completely.

      Helpful Tip

      If you need to make repairs, add an extra day to your plans to give the compound plenty of time to dry.

    • Step 4: Prime the Walls

      Apply a coat of True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Primer/Sealer with a roller, and paint widthwise in 6' sections, using a zigzag pattern of overlapping “W” strokes. Move from right to left, then left to right, spreading evenly with vertical strokes. Let it dry thoroughly.

      Safety Alert!

      Open the windows to make sure you’ll be priming and painting in a well-ventilated area.

      Helpful Tip

      If you want to prime and paint in one step, try True Value EasyCare® Platinum stain-blocking paint and primer in-one.

    • Step 5: Paint

      Apply EasyCare® Platinum stain-blocking paint and primer in-one using the same technique you used for priming. Surface dries in 2 hours. If necessary, apply a second coat after four hours.

      Helpful Tip

      Use True Value’s paint calculator to estimate how much paint you need before you begin the project.

      Use a paintbrush to do wall brushwork in areas your roller can’t reach. An angular sash brush works best in the corners and next to the doors, windows and molding.

    • Step 6: Clean Up

      Pick up your drop cloths or tarps and close up your paint cans. Dispose of used paint cans appropriately. Cleaning paintbrushes and other tools can be made easy with warm and soapy water. Thoroughly rinse your roller covers and brushes in water until the water runs clear, then place them in a brush/roller spinner, if you have one, to remove excess liquid. After they have dried, store brushes or roller covers in their protective sleeves or hang them on nails or hooks. Pick up drop cloths carefully, making sure you don’t spread around any paint that may have gotten on them. Next, remove painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any fresh paint. Remember that the longer it stays on, the harder it is to remove.

      Great job! You’ve painted a colorful and inspiring place in which your children can play.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

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