Before and After: A Sad Beige Bedroom Comes to Life Thanks to a $200 Paint Project

published Feb 18, 2023
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Before: Black four-post bed in blah bedroom
Credit: Megan Shew

When it comes to room redos, especially guest room redos, many homeowners and renters can probably relate to the following: “It needed something special, but we didn’t want to spend very much money.” That’s what Megan Shew (@meganjeansav) said about this guest bedroom in her home, once a beige room that was “sad, boring,” and had “no personality,” according to Megan.

Credit: Megan Shew

Even though the bedroom had tall ceilings and cool beams, the bedroom wasn’t living up to its potential. “This pale, sad, lifeless small bedroom needed a major spruce,” Megan says. She and her partner, Justin Gareau, got to work to give it a makeover in a budget-friendly fashion.

“The process was a lot of simple but slow steps,” Meghan explains. She and Justin painted the walls a clean white (Behr’s Polar Bear) first, and then they added some flair.

Credit: Megan Shew

“We wanted to add color but not overwhelm the small space, and that is how we came up with the accent wall idea,” Megan says. “We didn’t have a huge budget, but I did have the time to invest.” She bought a bought $15 stencil on Amazon and used some green paint leftover from a previous project (Behr’s Dill Pickle) to create a pattern. “I had never done stenciling before, so I was nervous, but once I started it was a really peaceful, slow process,” Megan says — plus she had her pup, Gilly, to keep her company while painting.

Credit: Megan Shew

Megan let each section of stencil dry for a few minutes before moving on the the next, which she says added to the time the project took overall. After the stenciling was complete, Megan and Justin moved on to the floors. To take care of those, they had to scrape the old paint up, rough up the surface, sand, and clean — another time-consuming project. Once all that prep was complete, the couple added two coats of Behr’s floor and porch paint in a very soft blue, Beach Foam.“I love how relaxed and peaceful the room feels,” Megan says of its new color scheme.

The total for the walls and floors (not including furniture) was about $200. New furniture in the space — a new wooden bed (now on a different wall than where the original, too-clunky bed was), woven wall art, side tables, and a rug from Amazon; a mirror from Sam’s Club; and a lamp and pillows from HomeGoods — add a little over $630 to the project total and help complete the look.

But Megan’s favorite part is the accent wall. “I was nervous about trying something new, but once I had started, it felt right,” she says. “I am super proud of the stencil …
We made a major impact with just a bit of paint.” The yellow ombre (again, made from leftover paint from a living room project) on the door paneling packs a punch, too!

Megan definitely recommends giving stenciling — and other first-time DIYs — a go. “Try new things, think outside the box, experiment — with all design elements, but especially with paint since it is so reversible,” she says.

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to sleep in them, decorate them, make the most of small ones, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!