Nursery DIY: Big Wall of Polka Dots

Just because I don’t want my future little girl to have a pink nursery full of barbies and doilies doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be relentlessly adorable. What’s cuter than primary colors? Primary colors that are also polka dots, that’s what. And not this kind:


We decided that instead of painting the entire nursery any one color, we’d leave it a crisp white and DIY some kind of “interest wall.” Pinterest was sort of helpful here, but I didn’t want to have a huge wall of the Goose’s name written in script (sounds hard) or something super trendy that will look weird in two years (like a giant wall of chevron). We decided to go with polka dots. Classics never die, right?

First things first, I joined my husband on his most recent pilgrimage to Home Depot. I asked the folks behind the paint counter which color swatches I could choose samples from (turns out it was any of them) and then picked out my three favorite primaries. I went with a bright, sunny yellow (Lemon Zest), a one-shade-down-from-fire-engine red (Fiery Red), and a cool, ocean blue (Isle of Capri), all Behr Premium Plus. I brought the swatches over to the counter and had them mix up samples for me. The whole thing came out to be less than $15. (I’m providing detail here for the other people like me who’ve never Depoted paint samples before- it’s very easy). Then i spent the next half hour sitting on an upturned orange LET’S DO THIS bucket doing crossword puzzles while Kyle hand-selected only the most beautiful giant slabs of MDF (for another upcoming project).

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Next up, assemble your supplies. Hopefully your supplies are a little more organized than mine.

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I used whatever old paintbrush I had kicking around, plus a mask (better safe than sorry, right Goose?) and an old olive jar with a little water in it to rinse between colors (not pictured).

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Lucky for me, my husband had already laid down painters tape and plastic over the floor for some touch-ups he was doing with the white paint (thank god for that, too, because bending over to lay all that tape over the moulding would have been an epic struggle for this mighty and rotund giant). Don’t miss that step, though! You will dribble paint on the floor, and possibly on your clothing (so wear a huge, unflattering sweatsuit and protect your long, flowing locks while you complete this project). I speak from experience.

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When I was ready to start painting, I just went for it, starting with the red. I made the dots a couple of inches wide, and tried to space them regularly, but not perfectly. Some were a little oblong, bigger or smaller. The size and shape matters less than trying to get a nice, crispy edge. They will not be uniform or perfect, much like babies and life (I was a philosophy major in college, as if you couldn’t tell).

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You can go over them all again with Round 2 paint (once they dry), so don’t worry if the color saturation isn’t perfect. Just keep moving.

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After you’ve done the whole wall in your first color, move on to the next.

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Don’t forget to leave room for your third color here. Things should not be evenly spaced at this point.

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I saved the lightest color for last, knowing that I could use it to fill in the gaps a bit. If I ended up needing to add more yellow than blue or red, you won’t notice the lack of balance too much because of the lighter color.

Here I am with the finished wall, looking rather homeless yet accomplished:

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See how unevenly placed they are? That’s what you want! Perfect circles, evenly placed are boring. I think the organic and slightly messy look is much for fun and playful for a little Goose.

Eventually, the crib will live on this wall. More photos to come when the paint dries and things really get moving!


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