How to Lighten Up a Bedroom with Paint

If you've ever walked into a bedroom and thought it looked dark I'm going to show you how to lighten up a bedroom with Paint.

I love dark paint, I started my design journey with our small home we built almost 30 years ago.  Which means it was in the 90's and the the color trend was hunter green and burgundy.  Green is my favorite color, but I am particular about my green's.  One I love is hunter green.  Designers were using hunter green carpet to bring in the trending color.  I knew I didn't want to do that because carpet is very expensive and I knew I wouldn't be able to change it when I got tired of it so I painted my walls hunter green instead.  While I was painting my hunter green walls people would come in and say, 'wow that's a lot of green'.  Trying to kindly say they didn't love it.  But man I loved those hunter green walls.  I wouldn't paint an entire room hunter green but it still warms my heart.  

Following the Trends

Our next home still had dark walls but not the hunter green.  They were more a mustard / golden yellow.  The adjoining kitchen had dark burnt red walls.  I sure loved designing that home. You can always tell when a house was built by the style and colors inside and out.  The last home we lived in was all about the taupes and browns.  It was a spec house so I didn't choose any flooring or cabinet colors.  The accent colors came in throw pillows and rugs.  

We've now been in our current home for seven years and I was right on trend when I painted it a lovely gray.  Gray walls everywhere with white doors.  The. back bedrooms were painted a darker grey color, a color we had used a couple times.  It's called Bennington Grey from Benjamin Moore.  Check it out here. 


The three bedrooms that are the darker grey don't get a lot of natural light.  Especially the most recent one I painted.  I still love the color but wanted to figure out a way to lighten and brighten up the bedroom.

What is the Current Paint Trend

If you don't know what the current paint trend is, it's all about bright and white with natural wood accents.  Now it's not feasible to keep up with all the trends but paint is a pretty easy and inexpensive way to create a trending look if you love it and wanting a change.

Because I am loving the monochromatic look of white on white with natural wood accents I decided the easiest way to lighten up the room was with white paint. 

Not all White Paint Is the Same

Picking a white paint shouldn't be hard but man it can be tricky.  My doors and trim are all 'white'.  A color I didn't choose but was chosen by the builder since I didn't upgrade and have them paint the interior of my home with two tone paint.  Which means paint with color and isn't the horrific 'flat' paint.

The doors and trim are from Sherwin Williams called Dover White.  They look fine until you paint something really white next to them like Chantilly Lace or Simply White from Benjamin Moore.  Then they look incredibly yellow. 

I've even painted a half bath Dover White to match the doors and trim but because there is no natural light in there it looks way more yellow then I would like. 

So picking the right white paint for the dark guest bedroom was proving to be a challenge.  It either looked yellow or didn't work with the doors and trim and I wasn't willing to paint all of them in my home.

Asking for Help

My local Home Depot has the most amazing paint guy.  He knows his stuff and can figure colors out.  He's saved me a couple times when I was in the middle of a paint project and it wasn't working out.  So I was asking him for suggestions.  What I could do to find a white that matched my doors and trim but didn't look yellow in the dark space.  

He suggested I paint the room one shade lighter than dover white on the paint swatch.  It would still have some yellow so it matched but was a little more white which was what I wanted.  I took a picture of the paint swatch that he had and thought about it for a few days.  Because I had purchased so many 'white' samples it was a little nerve racking.  


Purchase a Sample

I decided it was worth investing in a sample and giving it a try.  With my fingers crossed I was ready to give it a try and hopefully get it right.  I was loving the look and really hoped I would get the color I wanted.

To check the color I painted the sample right next to the door trim.  So I could see if it looked white and didn't make the doors and trim look too yellow.

By a lot of luck I am so happy with the way it looked.  The next step is getting the room painted and hoping it gave me the look I was after. 

Lighten Up a Bedroom Start with the Prep 

Painting a room is the easiest and most inexpensive way to lighten up the space.  I was still wanting a feature wall but I wanted to paint the rest of the room the beautiful Whitetail white.  

Prep is not my favorite part of the painting but it really gives you the custom high end results you are after.  

The steps to preparing a wall are washing, filling, sanding and taping.

Depending on the room and the walls but if they haven't been painted in years they will be dirty, scuffed and greasy.  Take the time to clean them using TSP.  TSP really cuts through the grease and grime on the walls.  Cleaning the walls also helps you see all the nail holes and scuffs that need filled.  If they aren't terribly dirty I use a mop to get them clean. 

clean the walls

Getting a drywall repair kit is key for filling the holes.  You'll use the filler, putty knife and sandpaper.  

nail filler

The final step is taping off the baseboards, window and door trims.  The best tape is Frog tape.  It is a little more expensive but it does do a decent job of giving you clean sharp lines.  

Lightening Up the Bedroom with Paint

Now comes the fun stuff.  Painting the wall and seeing the change almost instantly.  It does take a couple coats of paint but you start getting a vision of what is to come even after the first coat of paint.  


Because I want to keep an accent wall I am only painting 3 of the 4 walls.  The fourth wall will have some wood accents that require a darker paint behind.  So until I get that figured out it's going to be left as it is.  


The Whitetail paint color is looking so good with the Dover White.  I am  so relieved.

Lightening Up a Bedroom with Paint

I love how light and bright this bedroom is now looking.  The color looks great with the dover white trim and doors.  I am so thankful for the help given by my local Home Depot paint guy. 


For more painting tips you can check out this Blog Post.  How to paint a room like a pro.  

Shop Decor to the Door

For cute decor and accents to your newly painted home check out all the unique and special decor pieces available at Decor to the Door.  No more running from store to store or unloading the kids trying to find cute and unique pieces.  Check it out here.  

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