Coming up with names is one of the most exciting parts of anticipating your baby’s arrival. But setting up the baby’s nursery ranks a close second for expectant parents and eager grandparents. There are endless possibilities when it comes to making the nursery a special place for you and your baby.
Once you have selected the room which will become the nursery, the first step in the transformation is painting. Choosing the paint for the baby’s room involves more than selecting the colors. Here are a few tips to make the room – and your painting experience – safe and healthy for your family.
Choose Baby-Safe Paint
First of all, never forget that paint is a chemical compound. You want to select the safest option for your child’s room. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted by the solvents in the paint as it dries. These fumes are toxic if you inhale them, especially for babies whose bodies are developing.
Several manufacturers offer paints which have less than 50 g/L of VOCs. There are even paint lines with no VOCs, although it doesn’t mean that they are completely non-toxic. If you use low VOC paint and keep the room properly ventilated, you should have no issues.
Paint the Room Well in Advance
If at all possible, paint the nursery at least two months before the baby arrives. If you live in colder areas, try to paint in the summer so you can keep the windows open. It will allow the fumes to evaporate completely before you bring your little one inside.
Even if you use low VOC paint, it’s not a good idea to paint the room when you’re pregnant. It’s much safer to let someone else do it for you. Let the paint dry completely and air the room out for a few days before going inside.
Focus on Finish and Performance
Paint with a shiny finish will last longer and resist fading. But it also reflects more light and can cause glare. Some manufacturers will list the LRV number which is a measure how much light the paint will reflect. Paints with high LRV numbers will reflect more light than others. To reduce glare, select colors with LRV no higher than the 60s
Some finishes make it easy for you to wipe away stains. Others will change color even if you use something as innocuous as a paper towel to wipe any spills. It’s a good idea to keep some extra paint for touch-ups in any case.
Selecting the Right Colors
Pink and blue are the traditional colors for a nursery but nothing says you have to stick with tradition. Use teal blue or lilac instead of baby blue or bright pink. Many parents opt for more gender-neutral colors that are calm and soothing. Keep in mind that the color should suit your child as they grow. No one wants to repaint the walls every few years!
Consider how the color and shade will match the furniture as well. For instance, purple shades are considered royal colors and are a good fit for elegant styles like the Allegra collection from Natart. Furniture with a ‘weathered’ look or farmhouse style pieces like the Cortina collection will suit earthy shades like rustic browns or deep reds.
You can even go with neutral colors for the walls and select bright accents for the upholstery and linen instead. It’s easier to change these items than the color of the paint as your baby grows into a toddler and beyond.
Always Test Your Colors
The appearance of a color will change depending on the light, time of day, finish and even the number of coats you apply. Paint chips can help you shortlist colors but nothing beats seeing the paint in the actual room. Try to get tester cans so you put up a few favorites on the walls. See how they look under different conditions – day, night time, natural sunshine, artificial lights etc. It’ll give you a more realistic idea of how the finished room will look.
Once you finish painting, you can bring in the furniture and decorate to your heart’s content. As time slows down towards the end of your pregnancy, setting up the nursery will help keep your mind off the calendar!