Vibrant colors liven up the kids' playtime.

How to Decorate a Kids' Playroom With Paint Schemes

by Christine Bartsch

Clothes, beds, toys -- kids outgrow everything at supersonic rates, including their favorite colors. This fickleness presents a challenge for moms attempting to settle on a color scheme to paint their kids’ playroom, especially when dealing with multiple siblings determined to disagree. Avoid any temper tantrums by taking the decision out of little hands and selecting a universal scheme that will remain age-appropriate for years to come.

1. Color Considerations

When Tommy bawls for dark blue and Sally pouts for pale pink, you may be tempted to resort to boring beige. Neutrals may be the smart solution, but they’re not as fun as a bold, imagination-stimulating color. Consider painting the playroom in one or all of the three vibrant primary hues -- red, yellow and blue. If the primaries are too bright for you, consider shades of the secondary colors -- orange, green and purple. Remember that playroom color schemes go beyond the wall paint. Evaluate the collective colors of the large toys, furniture and accents in the playroom to help you select a complementary wall color. Otherwise, you might wind up with walls that clash with the room’s decor.

2. Work the Color Wheel

One color isn’t much of a scheme, so don’t be afraid to bring in an additional hue or two. Coming up with kid-friendly complementary color combinations can be challenging without a little color scheme knowledge. Monochromatic refers to a one-color scheme that features only lighter and darker shades of one base color, for example, a purple room featuring shades of lavender and eggplant. Schemes with hues next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue, blue-green and green, are analogous. For a scheme that’s truly complementary, select paint colors directly opposite one another on the wheel, such as orange and blue. Any one of these combinations goes a long way toward making a playroom playful.

3. Some, All or Just a Wall

Painting an entire room one solid color is always an option, but a playroom gives you the opportunity to have a little fun with the design scheme. Assess the space’s architecture for corners, nooks and short walls that create distinct edges. These provide the perfect place to break between two colors. For example, if you’ve settled on a muted green for most of the room, but you want to introduce one bright spot of sunny yellow, tape off one wall along the corners to create a bright yellow focal point with clean paint lines. For rooms without any distinctive architectural features to highlight, consider adding a chair rail to create a break between two colors, or create fun patterns on the walls with tape or stencils.

4. Fun Finishes

Once upon a time, moms had only flat and gloss to choose from, but paint has come a long way regarding the types of finishes available. Calm kids clamoring over color selection disagreements by offering up a compromise in the form of a fun finish, such as glitter, chalkboard or glow-in-the-dark paint. Beyond specialty paint finishes, consider tackling a painting technique to create a faux finish. Layer two or more paint colors on the same wall by picking one shade as the base, then adding additional hues over the top using a dry brush, sponge or wash technique. Experiment on sample boards before painting to help you perfect the technique and decide which color works best as the base.

About the Author

A former art instructor, high school counselor and party planner, Christine Bartsch writes fashion, travel, interior design, education and entertainment content. Bartsch earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communications/psychology/fine arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a creative writing Master of Fine Arts from Spalding University. She's written scripts for film/television productions and worked as the senior writer at a video game company.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images