Painting a Bedroom – a Simple Guide

Updated May 18, 2024 | Posted Jun 5, 2022 | Professional insight, Miscellaneous | 0 comments

I’ve been a Professional Decorator for most of my working life, so it’s safe to say I’ve painted my fair share of bedrooms. In this blog I’m going to give a little guide on painting a bedroom.

I’ll go through everything you need to know; from setting a room out, prep, feature walls, and paint. Follow this advice and things should go a lot more smoothly for you. I hope it helps.


Getting a Bedroom Ready to Paint


This may seem obvious but removing all your furniture will always help. The more furniture you can remove, the more space you will have to work. If you can’t remove all your furniture from the bedroom, just remove what you can. Then move the remaining furniture into the centre of the room and cover it with plastic sheeting to protect it from dust and paint. (Plastic sheeting is available from any good trade decorating centre or DIY shop). I tend to use plastic from Lick Tools because I know it can be recycled afterwards. I use cotton twill dust sheets to cover the floor.

Once your furniture is out of the way, bring in all the tools and paint you are going to need and set a “base” in the middle of the room (away from any painted walls). Having all the equipment close by and organised will help the job move along in a speedy manner. Keep your base organised throughout the job.

People underestimate just how important setting a room out really is. You never have loads of space when painting a bedroom. If you don’t stay organised, then you end constantly moving things around and tripping over tools. It’s horrible working in conditions like that, and ultimately, the quality of your work will suffer.

a bedroom set up for painting

The Preparation Work in a Bedroom


Any imperfections to the walls and ceiling should be filled using a good quality interior filler. Ideally, you would then sand all the wall and ceiling space, however, if a surface is in good nick, you may only need to sand your filler.

All the woodwork in the bedroom should be sanded. Open cracks should be filled using caulk. A good quality decorator’s caulk will help you avoid problems like crazing.

Most Decorators will own dust free sanders, but as a DIY Decorator, you probably don’t. Just remember that dust can get everywhere! Close the bedroom door, wear a mask, and open a window. Inhaling it can cause health issues.

Once all the sanding, filling, and caulking is done, you should remove dust from every surface before painting. If there is a lot of dust in the room, then you might want to take your sheets outside to shake them. The cleaner you can keep the bedroom, the better finish you will achieve.

It’s easy to panic when you’re prepping a room. When you’re painting a bedroom, the aim is to make it look as good as you can. But so far, all you’ve done is make a mess and turn the space into something that resembles a building site. It can be a shock to the system, especially if you’re house proud. Don’t worry though, from this point onwards, everything you do will make the room look better.

prepping a bedroom ready to paint.

The Best Paint for a Bedroom


I’ll just touch on paint products briefly and link to more comprehensive blogs in case you want more information. As a Decorator, I can tell you unequivocally that the quality of your paint is important.

If you choose the wrong ceiling paint, then you’ll see defects like picture-framing and roller marks. It’s a similar story with the emulsion you choose for the walls. The wrong paint for your woodwork may mean a lack of durability, or it might start discolouring after a short period.

Good paint leads to better results. Moreover, your paint finish will last longer.


Ceiling paint

The trick to choosing a good ceiling paint is to go for something with a very low sheen, and avoid “brilliant white”. This is to avoid issues with defects, especially on light critical areas. The favourite amongst decorators is Tikkurila Anti-Reflex, but Teknos Teknoceiling is another contender. You can read a full comparison blog here.


Wall paint

For a bedroom, something low sheen is preferrable. A good quality vinyl matt will probably do the job, but a durable matt is even better!! The two products that stand out are Teknos Pro 5 and Tikkurila Optiva 3, however Armstead durable matt is another great paint that is cracking value for money!! Click here for more information.


Woodwork Paint

It’s all about water-based satinwoods for me. Water-based is easier to use, better for the environment, easier to clean up, and will never discolour. However, there are a lot of poor quality water-based paints on the market, so you need to choose a good one.

You could go ultra-premium and buy Benjamin Moore Scuff x, or a cheaper, but still a fantastic product would be WRX Satin. We have a full comparison blog, which you can view here.


The Order to Paint a Bedroom


Once your room is laid out and your prep has been completed, it’s time to start painting. I always start on the ceiling as any paint splats would otherwise ruin a finished surface underneath the one you’re painting. Use a brush to cut-in around the edge of your ceiling and around any lights. Then roll the larger areas with a good quality roller. Once dry, repeat the process to finish your ceiling, before moving onto your walls. Both walls and ceilings require two coats of paint (more if you you buy cheap paint).

Once you’ve finished your ceiling and walls, move onto your woodwork. This is the order I paint a bedroom unless I’m spraying. It’s worth noting that a lot of decorators I know now complete the ceilings, followed by the woodwork, which they then tape, before painting the walls. Either of these methods will work well and you will achieve a perfect finish with either.


Choosing a Feature Wall for a Bedroom


You don’t always need a feature wall, but focal point in a bedroom, and it is what gives your room its character. There are different takes on a feature wall. It might be a chimney breast, or the wall your headboard sits against. It might be paint, wallpaper, or something more adventurous (I’ll give you a few ideas further down).

If it’s a painted feature wall, then you just need to ensure that you choose a colour that won’t clash. When buying paint online, you can often choose from predetermined schemes. Or you could use something called a Colour Wheel, which groups colours and clearly explains the other colours that compliment them.

There is a little video below that I recorded some time ago which might help. Dulux Heritage isn’t cheap, but it’s very good paint. The video shows the colour picker Dulux provides at any Dulux Decorator Centre. (I recorded the video with Decorators in mind, but you get the idea).

Mike Cupit Shows How to Choose Dulux Colours

The Dulux Heritage Colour Picker is available from any Dulux Decorator Centre.

Unusual Features for a Bedroom

Silk Plaster

Silk Plaster is a decorative cotton pulp which you hydrate and then apply with a plastic trowel. It’s more popular in the rest of Europe than it is here. It looks great on a feature wall and offers soundproofing and heat insolation.

There are over three hundred different colours, including metallics. You can add glitter if you’d like a bit of subtle bling. It’s fairly easy to use too. Just paint the wall with an oil-based undercoat in a similar colour to the Silk Plaster before you start.

It’s a product I use occasionally, and I love. The picture and video are of the same wall. If you are interested in Silk Plaster, then it might be worth reaching out to Silk Plaster UK on Facebook.

An unusual Silk Plaster feature wall
Silk Plaster Feature Wall

Mike Cupit explains Silk Plaster

Glitter Walls

Adding glitter to paint is nice and easy to do. If you use it in the wrong place then it can look tacky, but providing the bedroom suits it, glitter can make a great little feature. I’ve used it multiple times when painting a child’s bedroom.

You can buy special glitter to use. Valspar make one that you can buy at B&Q. You just add one pack per litre of paint, mix properly, and then apply the paint as normal. We have a full blog on glitter wall which you can see here.


Final Thoughts


I think I’ve given you all the information you need on painting a bedroom. I could have gone on and on, talking through the best paint rollers, and the best paintbrushes, or even colours and designs. I’m sure you have better things to do than read my drivel for hours, so I’ll leave it there.

Good luck with your project and enjoy your newly decorated room.

Updated May 18, 2024 | Posted Jun 5, 2022 | 0 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


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