Back in January, I was reading some old stories looking for some fun ones to read aloud to my boys when I came accross The Princess and The Goblin by George MacDonald. While I haven't read it to the boys yet, I was really excited about an idea in it: the main character's bedroom ceiling is painted like the night sky. Such a fun idea! Add this to the fact that while I was mulling the idea over, I saw a magazine with a bunch of "inspiring" nursery ideas and wasn't too thrilled over any of them so I felt challenged to do better.
Baby Jack Jack's nursery was exactly the same from when Luke was in there. When we moved in to the house, the bedroom was pink and all the trim, including the window mullions, was a really bright teal very similar to our house color. After that, I just wanted something really soothing to go with the jungle bedding that we had. Hence the gender-neutral creamy wall color that is probably the biggest clue that I was still hoping for a daughter one day. I think I have been secretly dying to inject a huge does of personality and creativity into our house (thank, you pinterest!). When Ethan was born, Brian and I still lived in our small one bedroom apartment in SoCal and so the poor kiddo's crib was squished into a corner of the living room in an effort to keep our expenses down since I had just finished college. Pretty uninspiring. Our next place was much better since we actually had two bedrooms but the nursery was white and still fairly bland. So now, since we actually own our house now, I can do whatever I want (or more accurately, whatever I can sell to Brian...)
He took the idea fairly well. There was a lot of silence until I promised that he wouldn't have to do any of it and if it came out badly, I would repaint the ceiling white again. He did like the fact that I would be repainting the damage from where the previous owners had just painted over the wall paper and liked the idea that one day, the ceiling would transition well to the Star Wars room that seems inevitable with three boys.
I stared at blue paint for a couple weeks to make sure that the blue would go well with the creamy walls and would work with the jungle theme.
And after finding a good one, I got started. I usually don't tape since I can hold a really steady line when cutting in but painting upside down is a whole different ball game. Tape is important!
I used Valspar's Indigo Steamer in an eggshell finish so when I did the wash, it would be easier as well as have a little bit of a sheen that would look good with the stars on it. The paint I used was low VOC which is awesome for the nursery since no one wants to gas out their baby. Not good. The paint also had primer already mixed in so it only took two coats which is huge since it was just builder paint up there and so it was really thirsty. It was a little more pricey, about $32, than regular paint but worth it since it smelled less and covered better.
I bought a gallon and used two thirds of it for the just under 11' by 11' room's ceiling.
A little trick when closing the paint can so it doesn't splatter: put a plastic bag over it when hammering the lid closed. It catches it all! Because my white countertop does not need blue polka dots.
I still had some leftover of the creamy color, milestone, by Valspar from the walls to mix into the blue to do the wash. By using the wall color, it makes it pretty much a given that the tone of the wash will work with both colors. White would also work but it would have been a little more stark and not as easy to blend. Note: I made waaaaay to much paint for the wash; a cup would have been generous. I forgot how far it goes! I didn't mix the two colors completely; just swirled them to get some variation in the wash for added depth.
My mom and I did some fun paint techniques when we were decorating my parents' house and she taught me how to do a faux finish with a really wet washcloth. I found an old washcloth willing to take one for the team, soaked it with water (but not dripping) and dipped in the paint and then started having fun on the ceiling.
The great thing is that if you get too much paint on, you can just wipe it off and work it around until you like it. As you can tell, I am a huge Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night fan!
I looked like a smurf! Mom would have been proud ;-)
I know a lot of people really like the stick on glow in the dark stars but it made me kind of uncomfortable putting them on the ceiling of my everything-I-touch-goes-immediately-in-my-mouth baby. I thought painting them on would look a whole lot more finished too. I found glow in the dark paint at A.C. Moore for $2.50 to use instead so it will be so fun for Baby Jack Jack to stare at in the middle of the night!
In the middle of the swirls, I painted a diamond star and a six pointed one at the ends to create shooting stars. I used the wrong end of the paintbrush dipped in paint to put on all the little dotted stars following the pattern of the wash.
I can't wait to finish it off by painting the words to the song In The Jungle on the wall: "In the Jungle, The Mighty Jungle, The Lion Sleeps Tonight" to pull it all together. It seems so appropriate since I grew up singing that song at Mount Herman, a camp in Northern California, with my siblings that will always hold a special place in my heart! I sing the song all the time to my boys and have adapted it to make it a little longer and fun. The boys are confused though that everyone else "forgets" the verses about the squirrel and the camel!
When I get it finished, I'll post more pics! Sadly, it is taking more time than I would like since the last time I tried to get it done, I think I broke my toe (which still hurts, by the way ;-) ) But, as an update, Luke is doing much better!
If this inspires you at all, I'd love to hear what you are doing too!