Kids' room paint ideas – how to choose the perfect paint for your child's room

Be bold, be creative, but choose a color that will grow with them

Kids room paint ideas with white walls, cadmium red painted bunk bed and red furnishings
(Image credit: Future/Adrian Briscoe)

Whittling down your favorite kids room paint ideas is no easy task, mainly because all the rules go out the window (or, at least, many of them do) when you’re designing a child’s bedroom. 

In this part of the house, you can be as playful as you like, and that means bright colors, bold patterns and even dramatic murals are all on the cards. 

That doesn’t, however, mean that you should throw the whole swatch book at the walls – it takes even more careful planning than usual to make a carefree color palette look good. 

To find out how to choose the perfect paint shade, design and style, we asked the experts. Take a look at their tips, and get some inspiration from a collection of bedrooms for seriously cool kids. 

1. Transport them to another world with a mural

A child's bedroom with two-color mural resembling a mountain range, painted in shades of pale brown-green

(Image credit: Crown)

Bedrooms are a place for boundless imagination – so why not make sure their four walls encourage your child to think outside the box? As seen in this bedroom, even the simplest of painted murals can be a stimulus for creative play. 

With just a canny choice of two complementary – and very atmospheric – colors, along with a zigzag design that can be easily marked out with masking tape, this child is instantly transported to forested mountains filled with lions, tigers, and bears (oh my). 

  • See: Bedroom ideas – designs and inspiration for beautiful bedrooms

2. Pick out feature furniture with paint

Kids room paint ideas with white walls, cadmium red painted bunk bed and red furnishings

(Image credit: Future/Adrian Briscoe)

Paint isn’t just for walls. If you’ve got a tired-looking item of furniture that you want to turn into a statement piece, get out your paintbrush. This method works particularly well in a child’s room where you have more licence than usual to colour block in bold shades. 

Here, a traditional bunk bed is given a modern update with a lick of cadmium red all over, contrasted with white bedding and walls, but mirrored through red striped accents throughout the room. 

3. Choose soothing colors for a nursery 

Kids room paint ideas yellow bedroom with bunk beds

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lewis)

‘If you’re decorating a child's room, paler colors tend to be more calming and soothing – both for the child and parents,’ says Judy Smith, Color Consultant at Crown. ‘A background of pastel yellows, soft blues, aqua greens and warm pinks can be a good basis from which to add more color. You can always add brighter tones on top of these colors in stripes, squares or whole painted feature walls to inject a bit more fun as the child grows.’ 

4. Throw out the gender rulebook

Kids room paint ideas with pale blue floral wallpaper and a recessed bed framed by white curtains

(Image credit: Future/Mark Bolton Photography)

‘As tradition goes in kids’ bedroom design, blue has been associated more with boys’ bedrooms and pink in girls' rooms,’ says Interior Designer Ginny Macdonald. ‘I think that is an archaic thing of the past and that color shouldn't define someone's gender. I love the idea of blue being featured in a girls bedroom and doesn't just have to be added in in small doses.’ 

In this bedroom, a soft powder blue is the lead color in a pretty, feminine room for a younger child. The overhead storage and the skirting is painted, while the same color is mirrored in a patterned wallpaper on the walls and inside the cozy nooks. 

5. Choose a finish that will do the hard work

A child's playroom painted pale grey with large white dots

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

‘We all know that children’s bedrooms take some wear and tear so choosing the right finish is vital’, says Patrick O’Donnell, color expert and Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball

‘For walls, choose finishes like our Modern Emulsion, which is washable and wipeable for accidental disasters that strike. For woodwork, resilience is key, so our super hard-wearing Modern Eggshell will fit the bill, from all your woodwork, to bedroom furniture and even tough enough for painted floorboards.’ 

6. Create a rainbow headboard

Kids room paint ideas with rainbow painted headboard

(Image credit: Lick Home)

Somewhere under this rainbow is the perfect place for kids to snuggle up at night. ‘Whether there's already an existing headboard or not, you can create an extra pop in the room by adding the same or a contrasting color to the wall behind it’,’ says Natasha Bradley, Interior Design and Color Psychologist at Lick Home

‘You can make the space really exciting for your little one by painting a rainbow, a cloud, or simply some geometric shapes behind the bed. This will make nap time even more enjoyable and will turn the boring routine into a real adventure.’ 

7. Invest in graffiti-style artwork for older children

Kids room paint ideas with graffiti-style mural depicting the London skyline and a fire-breathing dragon

(Image credit: Future/Richard Powers)

For older children and teenagers, consider swapping rainbows for something a little edgier. This striking wall mural contains nods to graffiti-style street art, depicting a fantastical urban scene created through the use of stencilling and spray paint. 

If this is a little beyond your artistic talents, consider hiring a professional artist to create something bespoke for your child that they can help design. 

8.  Zone their workspace with color

A child's bedroom with a recessed desk area picked out in pale blue paint against white surroundings

(Image credit: Future/Davide Lovatti)

Building a dedicated space for homework is never a child’s top priority in their dream bedroom, but pay close attention to it and they will thank you later. To help make a distinction between work and play, use color to zone their workspace area. 

This technique works particularly well with a recessed desk area, like the one in this room. By painting this section of the room a more stimulating hue than the rest, you’ll make the area feel special and more exciting – and they might spend more time there than you expect. 

  • See: Nursery room ideas – including the best and worst colors to choose, to flooring and lighting

9. Neutral walls don’t have to be boring

A child's bedroom with beige walls, pink patterned curtains and a green upholstered desk chair

(Image credit: Future)

While it may be tempting to go to town with technicolor in a kids’ room, staying restrained when it comes to the wall color does have its benefits. In this sophisticated bedroom, the pared back beige walls allow the feature green chair and pink patterned curtains to really pop. 

Choosing a neutral color that is adaptable is also more likely to stand the test of time. If your child’s chromatic tastes change as they age, you can simply swap the color of the soft furnishings rather than needing to repaint the entire room. 

10. Create a statement ceiling

A child's bedroom with a feature ceiling painted in red and white to look like a circus tent

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

As they drift off to sleep, the bedroom ceiling is likely the last thing your child will see before entering the land of nod – so give them something to dream about. A statement ceiling can come in all shapes and sizes, from a stencilled starry night to wallpapered maps of the world. 

In this room, the bedroom becomes the big top, thanks to a simple but transportative design that turns a small room into a circus of wonders. 

11. Give your pinks staying power by keeping them earthy

A bedrrom with white walls and a terracotta painted headboard

(Image credit: Crown)

‘When it comes to decorating a girl’s room, most people seem to think pink should be the go-to shade,’ says Smith, ‘However, the latest trends have introduced more modern updates and fresh twists on this classic color scheme. Warm shades of terracotta create a grounding and restful space, whilst adding a punchy pop of color.’ 

‘For longevity, steer away from sugary pinks in favour of warmer tones that feel more grown up’, adds Nina Tarnowski, Founder of Woodchip & Magnolia. ‘This will ensure the décor grows with them. Consider shades of softer shades of pink and soft peaches, balanced by soft neutrals.’

What is the best color to paint a child’s bedroom? 

There is, of course, no one color that triumphs over all others – a room color’s success is entirely down to the individual child, their likes and dislikes, your personal interior style and the architectural qualities of the room itself. 

If you want to create a calming environment, such as a nursery, then paler, softer tones are best. For older children, consult them on their favorite colors. If they love bold colors then embrace it – but if it feels like too much to paint the whole room in the bright shade they picked out, then consider pairing it with more muted tones in a simple mural or feature wall, or using that color as an accent throughout the furnishings and wall art, with a neutral base underneath. 

How do you paint a child’s bedroom?  

Painting a child’s bedroom can be the most fun you can have in interior design, and gives you licence to really get creative. ‘Reflecting a kid’s bubbly personality, dynamic patterns, eye-catching murals and bright colors will create a stimulating and cheerful scheme to inspire playtime,’ says Smith. 

It’s also not only important to consider the color of the paint but the qualities of it too in relation to how the room will be used. Washable emulsions are a necessity for kids who love making art in their rooms, while hardy floor paint is essential if your child loves to run around. 

Finally, consider how their tastes are likely to change, and plan accordingly. If they love one particular color, choose a shade or tone that is more likely to grow with them for a few years in the future.