Sophisticated Painting: How to Brush on a Little Structure

Orlando's finished bedroom
Sean Gin/Homepolish

By Orlando Soria

I recently decided it was time for a bedroom update. The paint had seen better days and I just wanted a refresh, but I loved the color of my bedroom too much to change it dramatically. I've always preferred to add color with art and objects rather than relying on a crazy wall paint (though I do love a dramatic color from time to time, don't get me wrong). I live in a bright, happy apartment nestled against the Hollywood Hills and my favorite thing about it is the sunlight that streams through the windows all day.

This room makeover takes a full day or two because you need to wait for the paint to dry but it's definitely worth the time. Click through the images for my step-by-step instructions!

Painting Inside the Lines
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Sophisticated Painting: How to Brush on a Little Structure
I chose a warm grey (Horizon by Benjamin Moore) and started prepping the area by patching holes, sanding imperfections, etc. Patching holes and sanding imperfections is actually one of my favorite things to do. It’s kind of like a metaphor for everything else in your life. Like, don’t you wish you could cover that thing you said that one time you were drunk with spackle and no one would ever remember you said it? Oh you’ve never said anything regrettable after drinking? Fine, I’m the weird one. Thanks.

My massive art collection is great for everyone except my walls: they look like target practice at a shooting range. But that’s why spackle exists! I filled in 50,000 holes and then got to work painting my base color.

Pro Tip: For spaces that DON'T get a lot of natural light, paint a darker, more saturated color. For spaces that DO get a lot of bright light, stick to lighter, less saturated colors.

My apartment has many great architectural features but no crown molding, making it hard to know where the wall color stops and the ceiling's begins. So I painted an implied molding around the room, doors and windows to give the space a defined, structural look.
You might be perfect, but you need to tape these borders off otherwise you’re going to be doing this for hours and hours and hours longer than you planned. And then you’ll be stuck at home while all your friends are having a dinner party without you, staring into each other’s eyes, realizing this is the most important and meaningful dinner they will ever eat.
Here I am measuring more window borders. This is day two because I'm no longer wearing my neon YOLO t-shirt.
This part is the most fun. Just be aware that even if you are the world’s most careful human, you will likely have to do a little fixing once you rip the tape off. Paint tends to seep under the tape, causing rough borders, which cause me to scream in terror. This is why it’s a good idea to keep extra wall and trim paint. Use a small art brush to repair any minor mistakes.

So there are borders around all of the windows and doors as well as along the ceiling and floor. Make sure the width is the same for all areas. My borders are 5" wide.

My new wall color and the large borders in my bedroom have given me a whole new love for my bedroom. Sometimes I wander in there just to look at the walls and think about how much more meaningful my life is now that there is definition between the walls and the ceiling. Also, rearranging and adding some new pieces really brought the space together and make me feel like a real life grown up.
Pro Tip: When determining how much paint to buy, consider what color your wall currently is and what color you want it to be. If you are changing the color dramatically (from light to dark or visa versa) you need at leasttwo coats. If you are painting the wall a color close to what it already is, you’ll likely only need one coat.

Side tables: Pepe’s Thrifty Shop

Lamps: Santiago’s Antiques

Pinstripe duvet, sheets, organic roller shades and sisal rug: Ikea

White Euro Shams: West Elm

Navy Throw: Shop Nine Space

Painting: By Orlando Soria

Art: Matin Zad for Tappan Collective

Mirror: Ikea

Tabletop Accessories: Shop Class LA

Throw: Shop Nine Space


P.S. You can see more of Orlando Soria's bedroom makeover on Style By Emily Henderson.

Whether it's a total renovation or finding the perfect finishing touches, Homepolish designers work by the hour to create balanced spaces that just work. For more design inspiration, follow @Homepolish.
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