How to paint a star/night-sky themed nursery that will last until high school.

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Before I even had kids, I started painting my guest room in a star/night-sky theme because I am really, really, REALLY nuts for outer space and all things star-related. Like the "all-I-ever-wanted-to-be-was-an-astronaut-ever-since-I-was-a-little-girl" sort of obsession that has just grown stronger with time. Since I couldn't name my children after stars (I dunno--Moonbeam Stardust does have a nice ring to it!), I settled for naming my ferrets after stars: Castor, Pollux, Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Vega. Turns out, near the end of painting my guest room, I found out I was six weeks pregnant with my first child and quickly turned it into the baby's nursery. Three children later, this nursery has been the perfect room for both my girls and my boy to grow up in. It has a non-babyish quality to it that will allow my 3-year-old son to stay in it until his teenage years, when we can add a cool metal desk made out of tool chests topped with a laminate counter, pushed up against a metal bulletin board on the wall.

Oh, and the best thing of all about this room: GLOW IN THE DARK accurate representation of the night sky! That was a must for this room, because how can a star/night sky themed room NOT have stars and planets that glowed in the dark when you shut the lights off? Another positive feature of this glow-in-the-dark room: no need for a night light. My children have never needed a night light in this room, since the stars glow brightly when the lights are shut off, and then dim over time to complete darkness by the time they fall asleep.

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thebeatonpath9 months ago

A starry night ceiling has been on my "to do" list for 11 years for the kids. Have had the glow in the dark paint and stencils just sitting there. This has inspired me, plus the boys' room is already painted a lighter blue! One step done. We just spent two weeks at a lake cottage in Canada where we star gazed and enjoyed the Milky Way every night. This is just perfect!

kellechu (author)  thebeatonpath9 months ago

I'm so happy that you are going to do it! I have projects that I have put on hold for years and years as well. Kids grow up so fast and the projects I have in mind would be too young for them now. :( I'll have to wait for my grandchildren to complete some crafts (or nieces and nephews).

This is still, by far, the BEST tutorial on the internet! I have one last question. What is the purpose of the glazing component? Does it enhance the paint somehow? Just don't want to mess this up!

kellechu (author)  thebeatonpath9 months ago

You are too kind! That is a really good question and I should add it to the body of this instructable so others know the reason behind it as well. The purpose of the glazing component in faux finishing/faux painting is to extend the drying time of the acrylic paint and make the paint color more transparent. This helps to be able to continue to blend larger sections together as you move across the wall. This is also the reason that you want to be able to finish at least an entire wall in the allotted time--and not stop halfway through--because the acrylic paint (even with the glazing compound) will dry completely and you will not be able to blend the joining sections together seamlessly. You will be left with a darker edge in that case, where the other paint just layered on top of the dried paint instead of blending in with it. If you think you can only do one wall a day, put blue painter's tape on the other wall edges, even the finished 'faux'ed walls, to keep the new paint from just sitting on top of the old dried paint and showing a funky darker edge. I hope this helps explain the reasoning behind it, and not just raise more questions!

That makes perfect sense! THANKS for the detailed info.

priril9 months ago

Wow. This is so cool! Great detail to the room, too!

kellechu (author)  priril9 months ago

Thank you. I'm glad you like it!

Thatdan9 months ago
My son would love that in his room I'm going to have to try it
kellechu (author)  Thatdan9 months ago

Awesome! I hope you do! My kids love the room and they have a space station tent in one corner for play. The furniture and toys can be switched out as they get older. I was thinking of painting the Millennium Falcon (small) or the Death Star (small) on the blue wall, just to give something new to look at in the room and to nerd it up some more!

mikegalloway9 months ago

Great job, this is super pretty.

kellechu (author)  mikegalloway9 months ago

Thank you!

JanM19 months ago

Wow i want to use your great idea for the inside of my camper van It is so awesome!! Thank you!!!!!

DIY-Guy JanM19 months ago

Very funny to paint the inside of a *camper* with the night sky!
I go camping to SEE the night sky. :)
Keep it up!

kellechu (author)  JanM19 months ago

I'm so happy that you are going to do it--it is a very easy painting effect. The outside of my car has a pretty bad paint job, my husband was joking that I should sponge paint the night-sky onto it as well. I think I'd have to research automotive paint first! Post a picture of your camper when you do it! I would love to see how it comes out.

motorbikematt9 months ago
well done!
kellechu (author)  motorbikematt9 months ago

Thanks! I hope the newly posted video will show people how easy it really is.

jwilson329 months ago

wow, that is an amazing project. Kutos to you!

kellechu (author)  jwilson329 months ago

Thank you!

patsheldon9 months ago

omg wow, SOoo much better than generic nursery themed rooms. Very refreshing. I absolutely love it!! I will be making it!

kellechu (author)  patsheldon9 months ago

Yay! Excited for the company of another nursery room decorated in a starry-night theme (without having to pay for a muralist). We are going to raise a generation of kids who love outer space and sci-fi. My plot to take over the world one nursery room at a time is working!

spark master9 months ago

sweet paint job!

JanM19 months ago

Wow i want to use your great idea for the inside of my camper van It is so awesome!! Thank you!!!!!

tvega9 months ago
kellechu (author)  tvega9 months ago

I'm glad you like it!

jmyers19 months ago
This is so cool!
kellechu (author)  jmyers19 months ago

Thank you!

At Liberty9 months ago

This is *glorious*!

kellechu (author)  At Liberty9 months ago


spylock9 months ago

Very good stuff.

kellechu (author)  spylock9 months ago

Thank you!

tpeterson19599 months ago

You have very fortunate children. You did a remarkable job and I love that you made the night sky accurately; what a great idea to splatter paint for the Milky Way! Your directions are great (especially if you have ever painted using any of the glazing techniques); I agree with gravityisweak that a demo video would only make it better. Any suggestions on how to convince my wife that I should do this with my home office?

kellechu (author)  tpeterson19599 months ago

Video posting shortly! I was going to use this guest room as my craft room before I found out I was preggo and turned it into the baby's nursery. Soooo, she should totally let you paint your home office like this! The kids shouldn't get all the fun, you know?

bagnitsch9 months ago
you went above and beyond on this project. so awesome.
kellechu (author)  bagnitsch9 months ago

Thank you. In all honesty, it was my guest room that was going to be my craft room, so I was going above and beyond for me! The kids always get the spoils of my craftiness (and my would-be craft room).

thebeatonpath9 months ago

I think I'll also paint their door as the Tardis! WOO HOO

kellechu (author)  thebeatonpath9 months ago

Ha--I love it! That is so creative!

gravityisweak9 months ago

This paint technique is crazy! It has so much depth to it! You should do a short video on a small board or something similar to show the technique for the night paint. I found it difficult to follow just by reading, but the results are stellar! (no pun intended)

kellechu (author)  gravityisweak9 months ago
That is a great idea, I should do that! I'll have to acquire more acrylic paints (I'm out of blue and purple at the moment) and light blue base coat latex paint to show the correct color combination, but I'm sure it would help a lot since I don't have any before pictures.
I would appreciate it and I'm sure some others would too!
kellechu (author)  gravityisweak9 months ago

Video of the sponge painting process coming soon!

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