How I Overcame My Fear of Painting My Walls a Dark Color
I can’t believe that I painted my son’s bedroom Sherwin Williams Alexandrite (SW 0060)!
Watch This Green Bedroom Makeover in Action!
Everyone has a DIY fear.
Mine is that I’m afraid of dark paint.
I’ve had bad experiences where I’ve painted who-knows-how-many-square-feet of walls, only to wake up the next day and state matter-of-factly, “It’s too dark. I hate it” only to have to repaint it lighter.
There’s a part of me that wants to explore more color options instead of the soft, wimpy colors I gravitate towards.
But that fear of “What if it’s too dark??” stops me in my tracks from picking colors that could potentially suck the living sunlight out of a room.
You see, my house and I have a dark history.
A couple years ago I paid over $1,200 to have a big oak tree removed from my back yard because it blocked sunlight from my house. Ever since, I swore I’d commit myself to making our home always feel light, airy, and fresh.
That has meant NO. DARK. COLORS.
But somewhere along the way, I started dipping my timid toes into darker colors, looking for more dramatic ways to add some flair to our home (starting with my tween son’s bedroom makeover last year).
Last week Frog Tape asked if I had some walls I was planning to paint and wanted to know if I would like a roll of their tape. Frog Tape is my preferred painting tape, so of course, I couldn’t turn down complimentary tape. 🙂 Anything to keep project costs low, right??
(Resource: Check out the 2017 FrogTape® Design Trends).
Plus, I had been putting off painting my middle and youngest sons’ room for a while because I didn’t know what color would work in a room that doesn’t get much sunlight–aside from a boring bright white.
Them wanting to work with me was the kick in the butt I needed to get it done!
And you can see why it needed to be done!
You’re probably wondering if it was really this bare.
This is what it looks like after you push all the junk to the side. 😉
But yes–the curtains had fallen down from repeated pulling by rambunctious little boys.
The walls had never been painted since moving in nearly 7 years ago, and over time, the kids made them so dirty and nasty. It was definitely time for a paint job!
I wanted to add some character to this room.
And while I haven’t had time to get it all done in 1 day, I’m proud to say that this is a very good start to a little boys’ room makeover!
- Frog Tape
- Paint (I used Sherwin Williams Alexandrite SW 0060)
- Paint roller
- Paint brush
- Degreaser for cleaning the walls
- Applicator for applying painting tape (optional)
Prepping and Taping Off the Walls
I started by giving the walls a wipe down with a good degreaser. Don’t think of painting without cleaning first, especially if you want good results. (And espeeeeecially if it’s a kid’s room! They wipe everything on the wall. And I do mean everything).
The next step was taping off the ceiling, adjacent walls, and baseboards with the Frog Tape they’d sent to me.
When using dark colors, I’ve learned that taping off is essential.
Light-colored paint is forgiving if you get some paint on your ceiling or trim.
Dark paint?? Uh–not so much.
I wanted nice, crisp sharp edges along the baseboard and adjoining walls in the kids’ room. Frog Tape is the only tape with Paint Block Technology to give you those crisp lines. It’s always worked well for me.
At a home show during the winter, I bought this handy painting tape accessory that allows me to apply painting tape quickly and accurately. It fits all painting tape, including my Frog Tape.
It just slides on and I can tape off the trim, ceiling, and adjacent walls in half as much time!
I applied the Frog Tape everywhere I didn’t want to get paint: on the adjacent walls…the window sills…along the baseboards…and along the ceiling.
The color was absolutely gorgeous!
I wish I could take credit for it, but Kojo picked it out!
After trying to convince him why it wasn’t a good idea to pick black or red paint for his bedroom (yikes), I was happy he settled on this gorgeous green from Alexandrite (SW 0060).
I enlisted two of boys to help.
Kojo, of course, was down since he’s the one that picked the color.
Ohene wanted to help, too, but had the nerve to ask me to pay him.
Dude, it’s your room–you should be paying me to do this.
Anyhow…I digress… LOL
They actually did a pretty good job, with the exception of the artistic creations Ohene started making on the walls with the roller when I wasn’t looking.
To speed things up and to keep it clean, I did the second coat.
While the paint was still wet, I removed the Frog Tape so that it would come off smoothly without a problem.
We only had one “oops” due to an over-zealous child–and that paint wasn’t coming out at all.
Oh well–the ceiling needs to be painted anyhow… #brightside.
But Should I Stop With the Accent Wall….Or Keep Going??
This is where the stress began.
You see, when I first set out at the beginning of this makeover, the plan was to simply do an accent wall.
I had learned from my other son’s bedroom makeover, a dark accent wall is a great way to go bold, but not fully commit.
(Three light walls out-ranks one dark wall, right??)
But after I sifted through the internal conflict, I decided to just go for it. The color was calling me.
The DIY adventurer inside of me wanted to know if I could push the limits of what I’ve always known and tried.
I explained my fear to Kojo: “What if I don’t like it??”
And my wise 5-year-old said, “Then you can always paint it!”
So I kept going.
I taped around the ceiling again, around trim, too. Then used a paintbrush to fill them in.
Once everything was taped off and brushed on along the tape lines, it was easy to fill in two coats with the roller.
Let’s have another look.
Doesn’t it look so much more inviting??
I still need to install a new ceiling fan, in addition to other projects in the room. But for now, this will suffice until I figure the rest out.
I’m just glad that it is starting to look like a modern room for little boys instead of the barren, forgotten room that it was!
I love how rich the room feels now!
The curtains will be replaced and the rods will be moved up higher once I have more time to work on the rest of the room.
But for now, it’s a joy to not see clothes lying all over the place and boring walls!
(And the added bonus is that these walls will hide dirt! YAY!).
This paint would look amazing with fresh white crown molding! (Click here to see my DIY tutorial for crown molding).
I’ll need to think about what kinds of wall decor and shelving this room needs, too.
I am absolutely thrilled at how this paint color turned out!
Was my fear valid?
Meh…….While I’ll agree that the room feels smaller with dark paint (and it is a tad bit darker), overall, the dark paint most notably livened up the room and made it feel more welcoming. I don’t know why I was such a baby about it all, really.
I can’t wait to work on the rest of the room and make over that white dresser again (the one missing all the knobs).
This room used to be a place I disliked coming into because it was always messy, disorganized, and lacked personality.
Now, I can see myself curling up with the kids and finishing reading a good book series!
(Although, I’m sure it’s only a matter of days before it’s once again covered in discarded clothes….).
So what do you think? Was it a great idea to keep going, or should I have stuck to one dark accent wall?
I’m glad I was able to get over my fear of dark colors and paint my kids’ bedroom Sherwin Williams Alexandrite (SW 0060)! What do you think??
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What a great article Serena. Maybe I’m crazy but I want to paint my ceiling dark color 🙂
I tried to find top ceiling paint reading blogs (here is one of them https://ceilingpainter.com/ to give an idea) but it seems to be there are only white ceiling paints. So if there is lack of dark ceiling paints I suppose I should use interior wall paint for that purpose. What do you think?
I’m glad you shared your experience painting your walls dark. I’m actually in a similar situation since my husband wants our room painted a darker color. I’m more open to my husband’s idea because of how your choice livened up the room.
Loved the dark green choice. It makes a gender neutral room while also making it look great! Not sure I got a chance to see but what color was it?
I love the dark green paint and white trim. I have been thinking about doing that but then remember one of the things I loved most about my house, when I saw it for the first time, was the dark wood trim. I want to get this done over the summer but once I paint the trim, there is no going back. The only place I could try it out is in my bathroom.
Serena when my boys were little I painted the wall a dark bluish purple. Boy did it ever cover the dirt. Mine also had a bunk bed and they’d use it as a jungle gym. Dark walls are a must for rambunctious little boys. I love your warm dark green color.
I love how a can of paint can just transform a room in a few hours. It looks great! It gives the room a warm cozy feel and so much more welcoming. I agree with your son, it’s just paint! The easiest way to change a room.
You are so right, Maria! I just got back from traveling for the week and when I saw the room again, I thought, “Man…that sure does look good!” I was very happy to get it done. I don’t know what all that unnecessary fear was about. lol
I love it! You know how I feel about dark colors in interiors, so I’m happy you decided to keep going with the paint. Great color pick Kojo!
Where did you get that bed? I need one like that. Also, did you mention where you got that tape applicator?
Thanks, Haley! That bed is from a store called Flexa furniture (http://www.flexaworld.com/). I bought it back when my oldest was about 2-years-old, so I’ve had it for almost 10 years. It was about $1,000 and it’s held up nicely. It’s built to be modular so I can always add to it, remove the legs, etc. Pretty cool. 🙂 Oh, and the tape applicator is called Smart Masker Pro. It was about $25, which is expensive, but the folks at the home show sold me on it. I don’t think you can find it on Amazon, maybe not the “Pro” version, but it looks like they have a regular Smart Masker.
oooh, thank you! Now the bed is on my want list… do you think it’s too low to put another mattress underneath and make it like a low bunkbed?
I definitely need to get that Smart Masker with all of the painting I still have to do.
You’re welcome! 🙂 We actually do have a mattress under there right now (I just didn’t photograph it with the mattress), but yes, you can do that! 🙂
I just looked it up. Amazon has the Smart Masker here (affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2uK1S4Z
I tried googling the Frog Tape dispenser with no luck. Guessing it’s not available in retail stores?
Hey, Shelly! The dispenser isn’t a Frog Tape product. It’s something from the home show and I tried to find it online so I could do a review and show people how it works but I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! It was about $25 and the sales guy said they only sell at home shows, which sucks. It works really well. It can be a little confusing to figure out which way the tape goes on, but once you figure it out, it works like magic! I’ll do some research and see if I can find it again, or maybe reach out to the company or something! 🙂
Thanks. You’re the best! Really enjoy your blog!!
Hey, Shelly, I checked and it’s called Smart Masker Pro. I found this one on Amazon but it’s not the “Pro” version. Not sure what the difference is, but it looks to be the same tool! Here you go: http://amzn.to/2uK1S4Z
My son choose almost the exact color for his room. I about croaked but let it happen. I love it too. The green and white is wonderful for a guy’s room.
HAHA, yeah, it’s a shocker when you see how dark it dries! The paint in the can does NOT look like it does on the wall! But they’re both beautiful and you’re right–green and white are magical together! 🙂 Your son has good taste, too, just like my little 5 year old! 🙂