Choosing the best paint colour to refresh your sleeping space instantly, or trying out a clever paint that won’t cost you a fortune, using paint in the bedroom really can make for a quick and easy room update. Whether you go for a split colour wall in calming blues or a painted stripe in soothing greens, we show you bedroom paint ideas to suit every style and taste.
Go for calming colours and natural materials, think soothing and soft rather than bright and stimulating – choosing a sage green over a grass green and an ochre yellow over a buttercup yellow. Get your space just right with bedroom ideas that suit your personal style.
Bedroom paint ideas
Try painting the whole room in one colour, walls, skirting, ceiling, cupboards, radiators and even window frames, to create a cocooning effect. Introduce rich textures in upholstery, quilted throws and comfy knits, layering these elements throughout the room for a warm and welcoming feel.
1. Repeat tones of the same colour
‘The repetition of a central colour will help enhance the mood you are trying to convey,’ says Justyna Korczynska, Colour Consultant at Crown. ‘Paint several walls the same colour of varying tones, or connect the colour through the room with matching accessories. Get creative with DIY by painting a plant holder or a chair in a similar shade to emphasise the tone of the bedroom. The theme can be further enhanced by the use of textiles in the room, for instance in the choose of bedding, or a colour matched rug or blanket.’
2. Create a striking headboard
If you’re tight on space (or budget), creating a hand painted headboard is a super affordable, easy way to transform a bedroom wall. Keep things simple with a panel of colour for your chosen bedroom colour scheme that can be easily changed, moved or erased. It’s a cheaper and less bulky alternative to an upholstered headboard. Choose any paint colour that you fancy, so you can really make it work with your style and scheme. For added interest position a wall light as if it were attached to a real headboard
3. Go for a painterly effect
This is a great paint ideas trick that makes your ceilings seem higher. Choose a colour on the base but then bleed into white and continue the white onto the ceiling, so that your eye doesn’t know where the wall ends and the ceiling begins. Paint the bottom in a colour also gives a more cocooning feel when you’re in bed, but the room will remain light and fresh, thanks to the white. Use a roller to paint the bottom half of the walls in the darker colour, finishing the top edge with rough upward strokes of a paintbrush.
Make more of a favourite painting or print by colouring a border around the frame. Use masking tape to mark out a square 8-10cm bigger than your frame and colour it in with leftover paint. Remove the tape and, when the paint’s dry, rehang the picture.
4. Try two-tones of the same colour
A ‘half wall’ or a ‘split wall’ is the description given to painting a wall two colours and dividing them with a crisp line. Painting your wall with two colours is an easy way to give the illusion of a higher or a lower ceiling. To add height to a room, use a darker shade on the bottom half where the heavier colour grounds the room and the lighter colour draws the eye up. Or vice -versa, with the darker colour giving the appearance of a lower ceiling and therefore a cosier, more cocooning room. Worried about how to paint a two tone wall? Don’t worry, we promise it’s easy!
This trick has the benefit of allowing you to use bold colour without overwhelming your space. It also adds an on-trend graphic edge. Don’t feel you must place the horizontal line in the exact centre, it can be split into thirds, or anywhere you feel the split sits comfortably within your eyeline.
5. Evoke the feeling of a night sky
Pale rooms can seem chilly and unwelcoming, especially in artificial light. By painting the ceiling in a deep colour you can really cosy up a bedroom with high ceilings. The paint colour helps bring the ceiling down, fooling the eye into thinking the room is smaller and more intimate. Medium to dark, rich and deep colours such as navy blue and chocolate brown on ceilings warm up the space and make it feel cosy.
So, let’s look at how to paint a ceiling. If you have a picture rail, bring the colour down from the ceiling onto the top part of the wall above the rail, this will bring the ceiling down further for a more cocooning feel. Painting a ceiling, or the fifth wall as its sometimes referred to, can add another dimension and character to any room. Here it provides impact to an otherwise plain room.
6. Go for a geometric feature wall
Let the colours from a patterned textile or a piece of art inspire your design. This simple Scandi-style scheme is all about sugary pastel shades. When choosing colours that will sit directly adjacent to each other make sure they are from the same ‘tonal family’ – so all the colours have the same amount of white and black in them. This means they’ll sit together flawlessly. Keep furniture simple like with this grey marl upholstered bed and painted side table. That way, the feature wall remains the hero in the room.
7. Give a wall its stripes
Inject a dose of understated elegance and sophistication into your bedroom by painting bold stripes in blush pink and white. A pink bedroom idea that earns serious style point, stripes on walls and fabrics bring a classic feel to any room and transform a bland bedroom into one with a boutique hotel vibe. Choose from tailored pinstripes or bold broad lines, in either horizontal or vertical stripes to bring order and structure to a space.
In a bedroom stripes work best in soft, pretty shades such as pale pinks, blues and greens. Pair them with white for a crisp, smart feel. Incorporate the woodwork into your stripes by painting the bottom stripe white, so that skirtings can be integrated into the white stripe with ease. Finish by layering silk and satin bedlinen for a sophisticated and glamorous space.
8. Create a cocooning canopy
Paint an area from behind the bed, over and onto the ceiling – creating a canopy of colour. Paint behind the total width of the headboard, adding 3 or 4 inches to either side, so the paint line is visible. Try a shallow canopy onto the ceiling for ease, or continue over the whole length of the bed for added impact. Use tones of chocolate, coffee and caramel in the bedroom to create a warm and restful scheme, mixing velvets, slub linens and textural cottons to add create a wonderfully welcoming scheme.
9. Fake a headboard with paint
A great way to get the look on a budget is by using paint in place of buying a colourful headboard. This fine example of a DIY headboard idea by the team at Crown shows how a little imagination can transform your bedroom scheme. Carefully pencil out your chosen shape onto the wall ready to create a defining line using masking tape.
10. Be bold with block colour
Using a statement accent shade to create blocks of colour has become a popular way to inject a touch of vibrancy to a bedroom. Using a thick masking tape section off a block shape you wish to paint in your chosen colour. Allow it to dry throughly before very carefully peeling the tape off to reveal an impactful injection of colour to your bedroom paint scheme. A bust of sunshine yellow is ideal to awake the senses and create a happy vibe. It looks great in this white bedroom, but would work equally as well in a grey bedroom idea.
11. Add accent colour as a border
‘Use natural breaks such as corners, alcoves, shelving, dado or picture rails to start and stop the different colour choices’ advises Judy. Using a deep dusky pink in the middle scetion alone allows this bedroom to feature a dominate colour, without it feeling overwhelming. The contrast is balanced with the help of crisp white bedding to echo the white ceiling and wood panelling featured on the lower half of the wall.
12. Create interest using a variety of coordinating colours
Why go for one bedroom paint colour when you can create a canopy of colours, that all serve a different purpose with the scheme. Use your first choice of colour to paint the majority of the walls. If choosing how to paint skirting boards we suggest using this same shade here, too. Using a darker gradient of the shade block out a painted section in place of a headboard. Work with a lighter variation of the wall colour to pick out the wood work, such as window surrounds and shutters. Then to add further interest use a completely different colour, but one with the same warmth, to paint a picture rail-like panel at the top of the wall to frame the space.
13. Use different tones to divide the room
Create elements of architectural interest such as a dado rail by combining two different colour choices, to form a clearly defined line. Paint up to a half way level in the more dominate of the two colours, mask with tape and then paint above in the alternative shade. This paint idea helps to create the illusion of the walls being more generous in height, which can prove masterful when decorating smaller rooms.
14. Add texture with thoughtful paint effects
If you’re looking to really make an impact with your paint choice try using bold paint effects, which can add depth to any colour scheme, even neutral bedroom ideas. By carefully mixing two colours, in this case neutrals, from the same colour strip you can create a textured effect for your walls. This skilful painting method is a great way to make a statement without having to use pattern or shouty saturated colours.
This textured paint effect on the walls is painted in Stone III and Stone V pure flat emulsion, both by Paint & Paper Library. The muted tones are offset against the strong contrast of the black wall lights and side table, while hints of orange and blue-grey on soft furnishings inject a warming, softer quality.
15. Make a feature of a picture rail
Create the illusion of ceiling height by painting above a picture rail. This simple, yet clever splash of colour helps to draw the eye up, stretching the walls up. It works best with bare walls, rather than decorated with bedroom wallpaper ideas and pictures. Choose a bright colour to make even more of a statement.
16. Go deep blue for a cosy, moody look
Struggling to sleep? Get yourself a couple of pots of deep blue paint pronto. Dark inky shades like this will help you switch off after a long day in front of a computer screen – just make sure you banish your devices, too.
When using such a deep blue it’s important to break it up with pale wooden furniture and lighter linens so that the room appears cosy and cocooning – rather than bleak and oppressive.
17. Try balancing a look with on-trend pink and grey
Children’s bedrooms are the ideal canvas on which to experiment with paint effects. All you need is a decent masking tape to help you achieve those crisp lines – we rate Frog Tape every time. You could create ‘mountain peaks’ across the wall, or something simpler. If the room is being shared like this one, you could even use paint to demarcate whose bit of the room is whose. Keep the kids happy with our children’s room ideas
18. Add just a dash of yellow for a sunny bedroom
Channel positivity with this dynamic colour accent. Yellow isn’t always the best colour in a bedroom as we associate it with danger – especially in conjunction with black – which is hardly a good ingredient for a proper night’s sleep. But used sparingly against a calming neutral, it’s a veritable dose of sunshine. Together, the two tones bring life to a neutral base and brighten a light-starved space.
19. Paint the coving to match the walls
Carrying a colour up the wall and onto the architrave makes the ceiling feel higher and a room feel grander. It’s a clever trick, particularly if you live in a house built in the 1980s or 1990s, where ceilings could be particularly low.
If you’re looking for a colour that will work with dark wooden bedroom furniture, a deep blue or green is ideal. Teal bedroom ideas have the effect of making the wood seem less ‘heavy’ and old-fashioned, which it might against a lighter grey or white, but still allows the furniture to pop.
20. Match curtains and walls in refreshing green
According to research, green is the best colour to paint a bedroom (a good plan if aiming to avoid the colour not to paint a bedroom). A green shade along the lines of this soothing mint is perfect. Enhance the impact as a backdrop by choosing curtains in exactly the same colour. That way, you’ll have less of a headache when picking bedlinen as you’ll only have one colour that blankets and cushions will need to coordinate with, and a freedom to experiment with pattern. Green bedroom ideas are sure to make for a serene sleep space.
21. Apply a geometric wall mural
Work out the highest point of the mural, aiming for it to be off-centre from the headboard. Using a long, straight edge, draw the first mountain shape in pencil, adding more either side. Use Frog Tape to cover your pencil outlines and to criss cross random shapes within the mountain peak.
Next, pick three tonal colours of matt emulsion, starting with the darkest at the bottom and working up to the lightest. When the paint is dry (apply two coats if needs be) peel the tape away to reveal your mural.
22. Create a pink plaster effect
Back in the 1990s, paint effects were the height of sophistication when it came to how to paint a wall. They featured in pretty much every episode of the original Changing Rooms, with plenty of us attempting to recreate the looks (not always so successfully) at home.
Then the Noughties arrived and our sponges and Fleur de Lis stencils were relegated to the loft. but could they be making a comeback? Maybe not the stencilling just yet, but a sponge is just what you need to create on-trend plaster effect or Ombre. Start with a base of pinkish white, then slowly build patches of blush pink and coral, going dark to light across the wall. Or you could cheat and use a wallpaper mural!
23. Paint a mellow feature wall
Change the mood of a white bedroom idea by painting just one wall in an accent colour. Choose your wall well, and make sure the surface of the wall you opt for is in a good enough condition to have attention drawn to it. Sage green is a great colour for when you want to unwind, so using it in the bedroom will create a soothing vibe.
A feature wall is easy to repaint when you fancy a change, so you can be as experimental as you like with your colour choice. Just be aware, on-trend darker shades like navy or charcoal grey might require an extra coat to cover – worth considering when perusing the paint chart.
24. Save on wallpaper by painting the bottom of the wall
We love a feature wallpaper here at Ideal Home. But we appreciate that they can be expensive. If you’re looking to cut the cost but don’t want to be restricted to a single feature wall, try this neat trick instead. Choose your print, then find a paint that either matches the backdrop or coordinates with the pattern – the teal used here falls into the latter category. Then paint the bottom third of the wall in that colour and paper the top two thirds. You should save one or two rolls’ worth!
25. Use paint to zone your bedroom
Paint is also a great way to create zones or section off an area of a room. Here, olive green demarcates a dressing and study area, whereas the area behind the bed has been decorated with a paler wallpaper. This attic room is flooded with light from floor-to-celiling windows, so it can take such a dark colour.
Which paint finish is best for a bedroom?
Matt paint is perfect for the bedroom. A flat matt paint is often chosen for bedrooms, over areas like hallways or living rooms, as a bedroom wall rarely needs to be heavily cleaned. Flat paint finishes such a matt emulsion are less reflective than those with a sheen, such as silk or eggshell, and so the colour will look stronger and truer and it’s also great at hiding any imperfections or textures on wall surfaces. Due to a flat paint colour reflecting less light, it will also have a more calming and soothing effect within the room.
What are the best colours to paint a bedroom?
According to Justyna Korczynska, Colour Consultant at Crown,”there are many well-known theories surrounding colour psychology and how colours can evoke physical and psychological responses. When decorating the bedroom, it’s important to choose a colour that resonates with you. Consider how a colour makes you feel, if it would help you unwind, or alternatively help you wake-up in the morning. Cool colours from nature such as blue and green tend to be restful, whereas warmer colours like yellow and orange tend to be more stimulating”
So it’s important to choose colours that appeal to your taste but also create a scheme that will be conducive to sleep. Colours that have been proven to reduce stress and soothe the nervous system are blues, greens, yellow, orange and pink. Try to stick with neutral or pastel shades for a calm, welcoming atmosphere.
How do I create a painted arch in a bedroom?
Here’s what the experts at Dulux suggest:
- Apply your background colour first, using a roller to cover a large surface area. Once the paint is completely dry (this can take from 2-4 hours), you’re ready to start your arch.
- First, cut a long length of string and attach keys to one end.
- Use masking tape, stick the string to the wall at the right height for the side of your arch. Cover the string with chalk and ping against the wall to make a chalk-line guide. Mask along this line with tape.
- Decide on the width of your arch and, using a spirit level, make a mark for the top of the other side at the same height. Repeat the process above.
- Measure the gap between the two sides and mark the mid-point.
- Attach a pencil to the end of a length of string. Pin the string at the mid-point between the two sides so that the pencil reaches the top of both side lines.
- Draw a semi-circle to form the top of your arch, then carefully paint the outline using a paintbrush. Fill in the rest of the arch using a roller.
- Gently remove the masking tape while the paint is still slightly wet.
Additional words by Tamara Kelly