Pear Green Walls & A Light Blue Ceiling For The Nursery

Pretty much from day one (even before we learned that the bean was actually a beanette) I was dreaming of painting the nursery walls a fun pear green while taking the ceiling from bland ol’ white to a light aqua color. But somehow saying “green walls with a blue ceiling” conjures up all sorts of scary Trading Spaces episodes so even my dear hubby wasn’t getting my “vision” until we broke out the paint swatches and I was able to explicitly show him what I meant. There’s a tip for you ladies: many people (especially guys who don’t speak “interior decorating”) are visual creatures. So saying something like “I want to paint the side tables black” can be a lot less effective (ie: scary for a dude) than showing your man an image of a room with black side tables that you know will calm his nerves about the whole deal.

Sure enough, as soon as I whipped out a soft celery-pear-ish tone for the walls and showed John how sweet a subtle and dreamy aqua would be on the ceiling (especially with the white crown molding between them to really set them off) he was on board. Then we just had to get into our trusty painting clothes and finish clearing out the room so it was ready for the big transformation (and speaking of big, check out that belly- it’s quite a feat with four more months of baby-carrying left).

But back to my favorite subject: paint. Just like we did in this old ceiling painting post, we taped all of our potential ceiling paint chips on the actual ceiling so we could see how they would look in that light (colors look different on ceilings than they do when you hold them up to the wall since light reflects differently off a horizontal plane). We decided the swatch on the far right was too bright, the swatch to the left of that was too light and the swatch to the left of that one was juuuuust right (while the swatch on the far left was a bit too muddy). So that’s how we honed in on our final ceiling color after hunting through a bunch of swatches and taping up the ones we liked best. Oh and the winning swatch was called Regency Pale by True Value by the way.

As for selecting the wall color, that was pretty simple. I’ve always loved Celery Sticks by Glidden (it has happy golden undertones and so much personality without overwhelming or sucking the light out of a small space). So of course I was giddy about finally having the perfect opportunity to use it to create a fun and cheerful nursery thanks to the little person that I’m busy growing.

We also decided it was time to take some Mythic paint for a spin- not only because I’m knocked up (and shouldn’t be painting with anything full of chemicals and VOCs) but also for the sake of the baby (since regular paint can off-gas for one to even three years after it’s applied!). Sure it’s $40 a gallon (while a lot of the cheaper Lowe’s and Home Depot stuff is around $25) but it’s known to be the cream of the no-VOC crop thanks to the great coverage, the wide range of amazing colors, and their completely non-toxic and mommy/baby friendly formula. So we hit up EcoLogic (one of our favorite local haunts for all things green) with both of our pre-selected swatches in hand.

We figured we’d hold them up to the Mythic paint deck to select something as similar as possible in both colors but we had no idea that Mythic could actually do color matching (but not with a machine, they store a plethora of other brand’s formulas in their database for easy replication- without the VOCs). The only catch was that our swatch from True Value was one of the brands that they didn’t have in their system and Celery Sticks by Glidden was too new (just introduced a few months back) so it wasn’t yet in the database. Not to worry, we actually found two extremely similar (if not identical) Mythic colors in their deck. For the ceiling we landed on Adanna Aire (in a flat finish) and for the walls we ended up with Autumn Bloom (in an easy-care eggshell finish).

When we proudly returned home after purchasing our new nursery paint we remembered that the kind folks at Frog Tape had actually sent a few rolls our way so we could give it a try. We’ve heard so many good things about their mad scientist tape (which has a patented formula that creates a “micro-barrier” on the edge of the tape when paint comes in contact with it, which seals it and makes bleeding a virtual impossibility). Isn’t that some Bill Nye The Science Guy technology? We were intrigued to see what that magical green tape could really do…

We’ve always been fans of cutting in with a brush (specifically, a special little brush that I love) but we must admit that taping the crown molding off didn’t take very long…

… and it really made painting the edges of the ceiling go a lot faster than it would have if we were carefully edging by hand with a brush.

Oh and we interrupt all the tape talk to bring you our sad little nursery closet. We’re actually very lucky to have this pathetic little enclave since this room was originally a dining room so the fact that we could convert it into a bedroom (thanks to an already existent closet) was great. Too bad it looked like this. Wop wop.

We took off the door before we started painting (we’re planning a cute little closet facelift complete with a curtain that we can push to the side since the door swings out into the room and interferes with the main door to the nursery- grrrr).

And it was actually John’s fabulous idea to take the light aqua color from the ceiling and add it to the inside of the closet for a bit of fun. Isn’t he smart? The whole time he was painting the closet I was watching in awe and telling our baby girl what a decorating genius her daddy is (yes I talk to my stomach just as often as I talk to our chihuahua).

Here’s a sneak peek of the closet in progress, but we actually have to add a ton of baskets and bars (and the closet curtain of course) so stay tuned for another closet post when we get to that stage of the ol’ nursery makeover.

But back to the Frog Tape. After we finished painting two coats of soft aqua on the ceiling and in the closet it was time to remove the tape around the molding (we’re all about removing tape when the paint is still wet so it doesn’t peel any dried paint off with it when it comes down). And ladies and gentlemen we can definitively proclaim that we saw a sincere and amazing difference between blue painter’s tape and Frog Tape. It really does create a much crisper edge with zero bleeding or stippling. Seriously, it was such a clean line that it looked like we painted the ceiling before adding the white molding (which is always the goal). In short: it definitely would have come in handy for the horizontal stripes that we added to our half bathroom a while back and we’re extremely glad we had a chance to test drive it for our little nursery paint project.

So here’s the room after we removed the tape. Isn’t the soft blue ceiling sweet? But it’s only halfway there.

John was on a taping roll so he decided to keep going. Within about ten minutes he had taped off the bottom of the crown molding and also around the windows, doors, and baseboards. Then it was time for some warm pear green paint…

Ta-daaaa! Isn’t it a sweet and playful combination?

Oh and it bears mentioning that this photo was taken at night without any natural light (and wasn’t color corrected or anything)- so it’s a bit harsher and less subtle than it is in real life (especially in natural light). You’ll have to stick around for some daytime pics to really see it in all of its green and blue glory. Once we layer everything into the room (furniture, art, playful patterned curtains, a rug, a chandelier, etc) the walls will be the perfect cheerful-but-not-too-scary backdrop. And we love that it works with the rest of our home’s color palette thanks to the blue ceiling (which really relates to the soft gray-blue in our master bedroom and kitchen) while the green ties into everything from our guest bedroom’s bright green headboard to our more-neutral-but-still-taupey-green bathroom. We like to think of our home’s newly defined color scheme as “sea glass inspired” since it’s full of soft creams, sandy neutrals, serene blues, and a variety of greens- all colors of old weathered glass that can wash up on the beach.

So that’s a little update on our nursery progress. And we’ll toss in this sneak peek of a few of the fun accessories (fabric and a cozy area rug) that we snagged to layer into our freshly painted space. Stay tuned for those details coming soon.

And since everyone seems to love seeing our house when it’s messy, we snapped this photo of our living room’s console table which was bogged down with everything that used to be in the nursery (namely the nursery closet). The good news is that it has all since found a new home, but we know you love seeing our house all crazy-like, so enjoy!

And while we’re on the subject of painting, we’d love to know what color you guys gravitate towards when it comes to nurseries. Whether you’ve already painted one (or five) or just dream about whipping one up someday, we’d love to know what hues tickle your fancy. Pale pink? Brown and blue? Bright rainbow stripes? Spill the beans.


  1. says

    This cracks me up because I just painted horizontal wall stripes in our guest bedroom last weekend and loved FrogTape so much that I’ve been talking about it waaay too much. I was inspired by your striped bathroom and researched for days the best way to seal the tape edges. Now I feel like the crazy FrogTape lady. Here’s how our half finished room looks thanks to their technology:

    Words cannot express how excited I am to see your nursery. You have such amazing taste and I know it will be nothing short of spectacular!

  2. says

    Love It! Good to know about that frog tape. I’d wondered if it was really any different than the regular blue stuff I use. I’ll have to try it out. I’m taking off Monday and Tuesday from work next week in hopes of finishing our bathroom. Hate the color I bought, so I’ve gotta head back and try something else. Any suggestions for what you can do with a full can of color you hate pain? I have like four of them now…

    • says

      Hey Wendy,

      We love donating any excess or no-longer-necessary paint to places like The Habitat For Humanity ReStore (there are tons of them around the country so just google to find one near you). That way it doesn’t end up going to waste. Oh and if you can’t find a place to donate it, be sure to bring it to a special recycling facility in your area and don’t put it in with the regular trash- it’s actually illegal and very bad for the environment!


  3. Sarah says

    I know exactly what you mean about the guys being more visual than anything else. In fact, that is exactly how I found your blog! We bought our first house earlier this year, and love it. One thing we hated was the dark brick fireplace right in the middle of the living area. Now, it’s not like I hate brick. I love brick in the right places, but this particular brick was sucking the life out of our house. At least that’s the way I saw it. I had my heart set on painting it as soon as we got the keys to the house. My husband however wasn’t so sure about that. I knew he couldn’t picture it, so I set out to search for photos of painted fireplaces online and found your blog! I was going to paint the fireplace anyway, but figured it would ease my husbands pain if he could see that someone else did it and it turned out great. So we painted it, and love it. I’ve also been kind of obsessed with your blog since. I love you guys so much! your style is great and you’re so entertaining to read. Thanks so much for your blog and we wish you guys the best with the growing family!

  4. L.Duncan says

    You guys did a great job! I love the color scheme that was chosen for the nursery. Quick question: Was it really a pain to paint the ceiling? I’ve heard people complain about doing it. Did it take a long time and a specific type of paint (Ceiling paint)?

    • says

      Good question L.Duncan! Painting the ceiling is normally a huge pain. It’s just annoying on your back to bend that way (much less ergonomic than painting a wall) and of course any drips come right down on the floor so it can be more frustrating and time-consuming in that aspect. The one good thing about painting a ceiling is that it’s one plane as opposed to four (which is usually what you’re dealing with when you’re painting the walls) so it can be a pretty quick job if you put your head down and get ‘er done. And the amazing news is that JOHN HAS NEVER HAD MORE FUN PAINTING A CEILING! The Mythic paint covered like a dream. Especially in the flat finish that we applied to the white ceiling. Seriously it was almost perfect after just one coat of paint (which NEVER happens thanks to our highly absorptive plaster walls) so that’s a true testament to the quality of their paint. So our advice would be to spring for a nice brand (Benjamin Moore, Mythic, Ralph Lauren, etc) over something cheap for an easier application. Hope it helps!


  5. Kate says

    So funny – I just painted my nursery yesterday! We painted the walls Benjamin Moore “Weston Flax.” (A creamy light yellow.) We then removed the closet doors (it’s 6-feet) and painted the entire interior Duron’s “Alicia’s Bedchamber.” (It is an aqua in their Charleston Historic Color line.)

    Unfortunately, with all the clean paint and freshened trim, the ceiling looks horrible! It looks so dingy. Any advice on painting a popcorn ceiling? It is a very flat texture, but still an eyesore.

  6. Kate says

    Oh I should add I am having a girl. I wanted the room blue or green, but my entire house is those 2 colors, so I decided to try a soft yellow.

  7. Jessica M says

    Our daughter’s nursery has teal walls and white furniture – I really love the color in there. We used orange and lime green accents (since we didn’t know boy or girl until she was born) – a fun lime green striped lamp from Target, and my mom made the crib sheet and skirt from an orange and white geometric comforter set from Ikea. We used FLOR circle rugs on the hardwoods – lime green and orange – and once she was born, I ordered a hot pink one too!

  8. Stephanie says

    To Shirley: I used Behr’s Abriana from Home Depot in my daughter’s nursery. It was a nice soft yellow they highlighted in one of their paint catalouges for nurseries. I’ve used it in both of my girls’ rooms and have not tired of it in 8 years!

    Love the color combo for the bean’s room! Love the messy photo, too. You need to even do a post on how you find new homes for everything! Seriously!! I’m still having a hard time figuring out what to do with some Christmas gifts from a month ago!!

  9. Bethann says

    I just have to say that I love your blog and check it every single day. After seeing your nursery makeover for a friend (the blue with vertical stripes) we are borrowing the idea for our nursery. (Due with baby boy April 16) We will send pictures when it’s all done :) I love the colors you chose–so natural and peaceful looking. I’m sure the beanette will sleep very comfortably. :)

    Can’t wait to see more!

  10. Amy says

    My two-month-old son’s room is Behr’s Apple Orchard, a pretty bright green. The furniture is white.

    I love green and have it in our dining room and kitchen – Valspar’s Fresh Pear.

  11. says

    I love the nursery colors. And I LOVE painting ceilings. Our ceilings on our first floor are all a light pale blue. It looks better with our dark gray walls than a harsher white.
    Our second baby girl (Little Miss P) just turned 9 months old. We didn’t find out gender for either children so we wanted something gender neutral for the nursery. We did her room in Gossamer Blue (Ben Moore) and did white furniture and coral and pink accents (but would have done orange and brown accents for a boy). Here are some pictures (the first ones are with the big sister and you may notice some boy prints that are up…my mom insisted I was having a boy!)

  12. Megan says

    Love it, and love, love, love the fabric. So sweet without coming anywhere near the “creepy baby decor” category. A while back Target had a pick of one of their Dwell nursery collections in a room with warm gray walls. I was hooked. I’ve been in a gray kick lately and the mix of gray walls with the colorful, graphic design hit the right spot.

    Can’t wait to see more!

  13. Letty says

    I love the color combo! I never would’ve thought of it, but it’s lovely and oh-so cheerful! And Sherry, you look perfectly pregnant! Keep up the good work. xoxo

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