Painting The Nursery: Blue Is Gender Neutral, Right?

Painting The Nursery: Blue Is Gender Neutral, Right?

It’s been almost a year now (actually can’t believe that) since Joe  got stuck in with giving “Bedroom 3” – as it was once known – the fresh slate it so desperately needed. He removed any of the rotten plaster that remained so the room went back to brickwork, and then re-boarded the room himself.

Only last month we had this room plastered (click here for a reminder what it looked like before) after making the decision that it would become a nursery. After a base coat or two of your standard white emulsion, it was officially ready for decorating.

bedroom 3 after

Uh oh. This means we had to actually make a decision about what colour to paint it. Our Achille’s heel is making decisions!

We trawled through all of the usual DIY stores looking for inspiration. I read all the magazines and colour guides whilst scrolling through Pinterest for ideas. We only came up with one conclusion: we would under no circumstances paint this room pink, regardless of the gender. It just seems to be the only colour that we both dislike. One colour down, a gazillion left to eliminate…

We narrowed it down to Green or Yellow – pretty gender neutral colours. In the end, we decided there was already enough green upstairs with Dulux Melon Sorbet in our bedroom, and a teal green in the bathroom. So that was ruled out. And yellow, we’re planning to use in the hallway so off it went from the list.

We could have very easily painted the room my all-time favourite neutral colour – grey. But, it just felt a little sad. We’re only going to be first time parents once after all, so let’s go for colour!

Getting a little frustrated with our own complete incompetence to make a simple decision (ha!) a 3 hour trip to B&Q later, and we chose Dulux’s Vinyl Soft Sheen in the colour Blue Seduction 3. I know, probably not the most baby-appropriate paint name, eh?

painting nursery 04 painting nursery 05

Now, I know what you’re thinking. BLUE? What if the baby is a girl? Well, we originally chose this shade because it looked distinctly like a lilac shade of blue on the colour card, which would be easier to accent with light purples and hot pinks, should we have a daughter. Also, I feel that out of the two ‘traditional’ gender colours, blue is far more gender neutral than pink.

Sure there was the option to wait until we find out the gender (and yes, we can’t wait to find out in just a few short weeks!) but as I’ve already mentioned, we want the room finished in trimester 2.

So off I went! I put on my scruffy clothes, and managed to just squeeze into my jeans with the help of an elastic band (check this out if you don’t know what I mean!). With a facemask at the ready (safety first!) I painted the room.

painting nursery 01 painting nursery 02 painting nursery 03

You’ll notice that we added a picture rail around the room – level to the highest point of the door and of the corner window. One lesson we learned from painting our master bedroom is that in older houses, walls are rarely straight. In fact, this room is curved where the ceiling meets wall. You can create the most perfectly straight line with tape, but if the colour of the ceiling is different from that of the wall, without some form of coving or picture rail, the uneven line is just so obvious and looks messy. A picture rail was the perfect solution for us to get that beautiful straight line.

To make sure I didn’t go over the picture rail line, I added my trusty frog tape where it was due to be fitted.

The picture rail was added later (which was surprisingly inexpensive from the store) and glossed white, as was the skirting board. And I think already the room looks brighter and cleaner.

The formula of this paint is gorgeous. You could get away with one coat if you wanted but I gave it a second for good measure. It’s a trade paint formula which means it costs a tad bit more than the off-the-shelf tins, but also means it’s more durable (perfect for a nursery) and it’s wipeable which should come in handy from sticky toddler hands or worse from the changing table… *shudder*

Typically, the paint looked LESS and less lilac when on the walls, and looks more baby blue at certain times of the day. But, I really do love the colour, and think you could do so much with it, regardless of boy or girl. Clouds? Under the Sea? Mario land? (Joe’s personal favourite) Or a starry night, the bedroom I had as a little girl myself.

I know it’s a bit of a controversial colour when we don’t know the gender but I’m happy with the progress so far. What do you think?

How would you dress this up for a boy or girl? We find out in July so all ideas very much welcome!

Mother's Always Right