How Can I Paint a Space-Themed Room for a Child?


Quick Answer

A space-themed room is a sure-fire way to spark a child's imagination and fuel his sense of adventure. There are many ways to put together a space-themed room for a child, including purchasing pre-made space-themed decals that can be peeled and stuck to walls. Use paint and homemade stencils to create a space-themed room with a personal touch. You need paint rollers, a roller tray, interior latex paint, painter's tape, painter's tarps, drawing or printing paper, sheets of acetate no more than 0.003 inch thick, a Sharpie marker, an X-Acto knife, a self-healing mat or protective stack of magazines, rags or paper towels, stencil adhesive, stencil brushes and stencil paints.

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  1. Design the images of your space-themed stencils

    Select the images to be stenciled on to the walls. Planets, clusters of stars, rocket ships, astronauts, aliens, comets and distant galaxies are suitable stencils for a space-themed room. If you're artistically inclined, draw the images you want to stencil on paper. If you prefer, search for images on the Web, and print them out to the desired size of your stencil.

  2. Create your space-themed stencils

    Place a sheet of clear acetate over the paper drawing of the image you want to stencil. Trace the image onto the acetate with a Sharpie marker. To protect your working surface, before cutting, place the acetate on a self-healing mat or a stack of magazines. Cut out the image of your traced-on image using an X-Acto knife. This empty space in the sheet of acetate is your stencil.

  3. Prepare the room for painting

    Empty the room of clutter and as much furniture as possible. If furniture is too big to be removed, push it to the center of the room so that there is enough clearance along the perimeter for you to paint the walls comfortably. Cover the floor and any remaining furniture with painter's tarps to protect against paint drips. Cover the edges of any electrical outlets, light switches, window trim, door trim and baseboards with painter's tape to protect against paint seeping on to these surfaces.

  4. Cover the walls with a base coat of color

    Black paint is a common option in space-themed rooms, but if black seems too severe for a child, go with blue instead. A medium-to-dark blue matches a space theme nicely. Choose a durable, washable interior latex paint that will survive the rigors of play time. Apply the paint with a roller using long smooth strokes. Work quickly and purposefully, but don't rush. Follow your paint brand's instructions, and apply a second coat as needed. Allow paint to dry at least 4 hours between coats of base color. Let the final base coat dry for at least 12 hours before beginning stenciling.

  5. Stencil your space-themed images onto the wall

    Spray stencil adhesive to the back of your stencil, and fix the stencil to the wall area to be painted. Further secure the stencil with painter's tape at the stencil's outer edge. Securing your stencil properly ensures that paint doesn't seep out behind the stencil. Use specialized stencil brushes and stencil paint for best results. Dip your stencil brush in your stencil paint. Dab off the excess on a rag or paper towel. Hold the stencil brush perpendicular to the wall, and dab the stencil paint directly on to the wall in a stamping motion until the desired area is covered. To add further detail to this stenciled painting, wait at least 4 hours for the first color to dry. With a clean stencil brush, dab another color into areas of the stencil to create a layered, misty effect or to highlight certain areas. To create precise new details, use a new stencil of those details, and dab them on to the larger stenciled image.

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