Renovation Progress

Painting Yellow Walls

Painting yellow walls is tricky in terms of getting the correct tone of paint – but the shade matters too! See how this nursery is being slowly transformed.

painting yellow wall colours

“Painting yellow walls is hard” is what the real title of this post should be :)  We’re entering the second week of the Fall One Room Challenge and it seems like I’m one step forward, two steps back.  Let me show you what we’ve done so far, and please let me know your thoughts on our yellow walls!

Alright, so let’s take a look back at memory lane from last week’s overview post here, and start right away with the to-do list:

What’s Been Completed

  • Clear out the room (including blinds)
  • Remove old trim and unattached phone cable
  • Patch any holes and prime top parts of walls
  • Paint light yellow (decide colour) – but have I really decided on the colour?

What Needs To Be Done

  • Install new trim (first casings, then flat pieces, baseboards, angle sections, door panels, chair rails) – sort of started, but not really
  • Patch, sand and caulk new wainscotting
  • Prime and paint grey wainscotting
  • Paint white baseboards and casings
  • Clean and paint crib
  • Build a mobile and hang from the ceiling
  • Reinstall blinds, install curtain rod and curtains
  • Clean everything, bring in furniture
  • Hang artwork and take photos!
  • (Prep for baby by organizing clothes and drawers)

BASICALLY, we’re transforming a nursery into another nursery and the main work involved will be adding wainscoting to the walls and freshening up the colours with some paint.

Sounds simple enough, but this week I ended up painting TWICE because I didn’t like the yellow colour.

Let me show you what I mean…

Nursery Progress from Last Week

Okay, so when I shared the design plans and before photos last week, I mentioned I had gotten a jump start on some of the items.

crib in middle of room

We managed to rip out all the old trim/woodwork, and I was able to salvage some of the longer pieces to donate.  All of the soft furnishings were taking out of the room (to escape the dust).

wallpaper under trim

I found some fun remnants of past wallpapers (3 patterns!), and it looks like this used to be a little girl’s room.  Is that a foreshadowing to the gender of the baby?  Not sure… but we’ll all find out together when baby comes out :)

broken gallon of paint

The previous homeowners had left some paint behind when we moved in.  This was the last gallon I hadn’t used/gotten rid of/whatever.  It was just over halfway filled and called something like “electric chartreuse”.  Basically, a super bright yellow, and I figured I might be able to salvage it for this bedroom.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my paint can opener and had to use a screwdriver to open the very old can (mixed in 2003!).  It was badly rusted and the Husband had to pry a hole into it to get this lid off.  No worries, I wouldn’t be putting the lid back on.

testing yellow paint shades

I mixed it with the half-gallon of primer I had, but not before first testing some small samples onto the wall.  The one on the far left is the paint colour as-is, then I tried to slowly add more white to make it lighter and see how it would look.

I was very happy with the tone of the yellow (not too green, not too orange) because I was worried that getting that part right would be the trickiest part about painting yellow walls.

Nursery Progress this Past Weekend

So then I cleaned the room, left the approx 50/50 yellow and primer mixture in the primer can and took a break from the nursery project.  (Also known as going back to our second house and not being at this house during the week).

Fast forward to this past Friday, and I told the Husband I needed him to move the leftover wainscoting trim we had in the crawlspace up for me to cut.  He was going on a guy’s fishing weekend trip, and I wanted to get a jumpstart on the room while he was away.

mess in entryway

Well, he just tossed everything right into our living room entryway!  I did manage to bring out a few pieces to be cut, then was able to move the remaining pieces away from the main walking path.  Thankfully, I had enough baseboard sections to do the closet, and then I moved some stuff into storage there until I finish more work in the room.


painting yellow wall colours

So the 50/50 yellow and primer ended up making the colour in the big block on the bottom left.  I knew it would still be too bright, so I brought two full gallons of ceiling flat we had leftover from our basement apartment renovations at the second house.

After mixing in both gallons of white paint in, I ended up with the lighter yellow colour in the blocks on the right – so figured I was good to go.

first attempt at painting yellow walls

In between naptimes and then when the kiddos were in bed, I managed to edge and roll 2 coats of the yellow paint onto the walls.  It was looking quite bright and nice at the end of the night, but I was a little worried it was still too dark.

yellow walls in daytime

The next morning, I had a better look at the walls in the light.  While I liked the yellow colour (and it was more subdued than my original design choice) – I knew that it was still too bright.

Painting Yellow Walls AGAIN

mixing yellow paint colours

So I headed out to the hardware store early Sunday morning and picked up a new gallon of off-the-shelf white, this time an interior eggshell.  I also grabbed an empty gallon can of paint so I could unload some of this yellow.

remixing lighter yellow paint

After dumping a gallon of yellow paint out of my bucket (I’d estimate having just over 2 gallons after painting the two first coats), I added in a full gallon of white paint and mixed everything up again.

Once again, I added a little sample to the wall and it was looking much lighter!

lighter yellow paint

I edged all the walls once, then did one coat of rolling.  I didn’t have too much time on Sunday to paint everything twice, and figured I’d get a good look at the colour anyways.

painting yellow walls in daytime

While I do like the lighter yellow much better than the first version, I’m still not convinced it’s light enough.  I wanted something that was super light, with just a hint of yellow – and this still seems very yellow.  Even little Zachary said that he wanted something with a bit more white…

painting yellow walls graphic

I’m at a standstill.  Do I get more white paint to lighten the colour right now, or live with it a bit and then see everything together?  It would be nice to have the yellow paint done and over with before the wainscoting needs to be painted, but I still have a LOT of time for that since we haven’t really started.

Follow the One Room Challenge

Check out all the other bloggers and linking participants for the One Room Challenge here.

Week 1: Yellow, Grey and Teal Nursery Plans
Week 2: Painting Yellow Walls (you’re here!)

yellow walls split screen

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I’ve already told the Husband he needs to commit his entire Friday and Saturday to help me with whatever I need in this room.  My goal is to get all the trim pieces installed and ready for patching/caulking (I ordered them last week, so the hope is that they all come in this week!).

Oh, and I’d also like to get a headstart on the crib and mobile… so wish me luck!

And input on the walls would be nice too :)

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