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How to Paint a Nursery

Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique paints a baby’s nursery using zero VOC paint


  1. In any house built before 1978, start by testing the room for lead paint. Use the kit and follow the instructions to determine if there is lead paint on the walls or on any painted trim.
  2. Place the drop cloth on the floor and tape off the trim with painter’s tape to protect the room from paint splotches.
  3. Cut around the ceiling, windows, trim and outlets with the 2” angled brush.
  4. For the rest of the walls, switch to the roller.
  5. Allow the paint to dry for about an hour and then apply a second coat using the same method.
  6. With the paint still wet, remove the painter’s tape. Once the paint has dried, remove the drop cloths.

Mauro painted the nursery using Natura Interior Paint by Benjamin Moore. The color is called “Antique Glass” in an eggshell finish. For any room, but especially a nursery, Mauro strongly recommends using zero VOC paint. It’s virtually odorless and doesn’t release any harmful chemicals as it dries.

To test the walls for lead paint, Mauro used the LeadCheck Swabs test kit, manufactured by 3M.

The other materials used for this project, including the paintbrushes, drop cloths, painters tape, and rags can all be found at home centers.