Nothing is more exciting than welcoming your baby into this world. All kinds of preparations are underway – from making a list of names to shopping and sprucing up your home’s exteriors and interiors – as parents leave no stone unturned to give the best to their new arrival. The major preparation is, of course, decorating the nursery – which starts with choosing the wall color. While choices have fortunately expanded beyond pink for girls and blue for boys, there’s much more to consider that can have a long-term effect on the health of your newborn.
Start with a healthy environment
Use paint that has low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – VOCs are solvents that are released into the air when paint containing these compounds dries. According to the American Lung Association, breathing VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose and throat; cause difficulty in breathing; nausea; and can damage the central nervous system as well as other organs. Some VOCs can cause cancer. Not all VOCs have all these health effects, though many have several. Details on specific health effects of each specific VOC can be found in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Toxic Substances Portal.
Paint the nursery at least two months in advance – This is a good general rule, even when using paint containing low or zero VOCs – as all interior paints give off some fumes.
Check for the presence of lead-based paint – Homes built before 1978 often contain lead-based paint. If there is no chipping or peeling of the paint on the wall, windowsills or doors, it doesn’t mean the environment is safe. Intact paint can be dangerous – especially on windows and doors – because they generate lead-contaminated dust when they are opened or closed. If your home has lead-based paint, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Hire a licensed contractor for removal, and find other accommodations during the mitigation process until it is determined safe for you to return.
Getting down to work
Understand the effect of colors on space – Dark color schemes can make your room look more cramped, whereas light colors like white can make it appear more spacious. Different color schemes can also have a bearing on your baby’s mood. For instance, research claims that red color can increase the feeling of aggression, whereas yellow color can pep up the mood. Also, some soothing colors are known to help your baby sleep better. The best way to select a color for your baby’s room is to view how it would look on the wall. You can get sample colors, and then choose the best for your baby’s nursery.
Determine the amount of paint you need – The quality of paint and the area of the room you have to paint (square foot) are the two things that will determine the amount of paint you need to paint your baby’s room. For example, to paint an average sized room (two coats) you would need about five gallons of average quality paint, but the same can be painted in three gallons if the paint is of premier quality.
Take into account the durability of the paint – The paint finish you choose is what would affect the durability of the paint. For instance, if you want moisture resistant and washable paint, you can choose eggshell finish. For a high traffic area, you can either choose eggshell or some other pale to mid color because they are less prone to marks from rubbing. If you use matte paint, on the other hand, it can hide the imperfections in the wall.
Do the necessary prep work – Before you start the project, you should ensure that you have all the right supplies. You also need to prep up your tools. Also, clean the rollers and brushes so that it can paint properly. You also need to ensure that you remove all the furniture from the room and cover the floor with drop cloths. You also need to tape off the floorboards, corners, and other outlet covers and switches. Keep a rag handy in case of spills. You can first sand the walls and prime them before putting on the paint coats.
How color affects your baby
While a newborn may be unaware of the color of his or her nursery, this will most likely be your child’s room for the next several years, transitioning from infancy to childhood. Project Nursery has an informative guide on the emotional effect that colors evoke. Of course, it isn’t a good idea to use wall-to-wall red, but it can work as an accent color. The article provides a thoughtful analysis of the major colors and their suitability for a nursery.
With so much to prepare for in anticipation of your new arrival, you may not have the time (or inclination) to do the job yourself. The Paint Manager has an experienced team of painters ready to create the perfect nursery.
Contact us to learn more!