One of the first steps in getting ready for a new baby is to decide on a great nursery color palette. There is a long list of things to do and this should be one of the first. Before painting a nursery, registering for decorations or buying wall hangings, parents needs to identify the basic nursery color scheme they will use.

Choosing a Nursery Theme

If you have already decided on a nursery theme (Hello Kitty, Farming, Transportation, etc.), then you are one-step ahead. For those of us still deciding on the perfect nursery theme, consider some basic ideas.

Jungle Themes Wall DecalsCredit: Danimezza

1. The theme should have staying power. It is quite common for children's interests to change suddenly and without notice. If you are using a theme that involves characters from popular television shows, make sure that your child will enjoy it for a few years. A Blue's Clues nursery could need to be remodeled once the child hits kindergarten and the show stops being cool.

2. The theme should be easy to buy for. If your nursery theme is too obscure, it will likely be challenging to find decorations that are affordable. The more accessible the theme is, the more likely you will be able to find decor.

3. The theme should be you. If you aren't comfortable with a theme, don't use it. Just because a child's siblings liked a certain theme or because you enjoyed a certain show as a kid doesn't mean you need to invest time and money matching it. Find something that fits with your home currently.

Choosing a Nursery Color Palette

Color Palette(77256)

After resting on a theme (or deciding against a theme), you can use some free web resources to identify your favorite nursery color palette. Here are some things to remember when choosing a general nursery color scheme.

1. Does it match the theme? If you have a theme that has inherent colors, make those the basis for your nursery color scheme. For instance, if you have chosen the popular Disney movie Cars as the theme for your nursery, you will want to use red as the most dominant accent color in the room with other accent colors that match those of the main character.

2. Use Colour Lovers to help you find a great nursery color palette. Colour Lovers is a free website that allows users to mix and match an endless selection of colors. You can use their tools to blend colors and make patterns that employ the colors you have chosen. You can also purchase the patterns as prints and have them framed for an easy wall decoration.

3. Stick to the plan. Once you have mapped out the colors and patterns to use for your nursery, don't deviate from the plan. Adding bits of extra color and decorations often results in a nursery design that doesn't make sense.

4. You can always fix it. Holes in walls can be filled, walls can be repainted, and decorations can be taken down.

Painting a Nursery

Once you have chosen a nursery theme that will work for you and decided on a great nursery color scheme, you will need to choose the right paint for the baby's room. Most major paint outlets offer Low VOC or No VOC.

Volatile Organic Compounds in paint are considered by many to be harmful and can present dangers resulting from the vapors that emanate from them. Traditionally, No VOC paint is much more expensive but Low VOC paint is affordable and safe. Remember these tips when painting a nursery:

1. Allow the room to fully aerate before moving in the baby. Usually, the paint being dry is not enough to ensure there are no vapors resulting from the paint. If there is a window in the room, leave it open with a fan for a couple days (if possible) to ensure the room is vapor free.

2. Use swatches. Visit paint retailers and ask for swatches to help you decide on a color. Holding the swatches up to the wall (even though they are small) goes a long way to helping you conceptualize how a color will look in a bedroom.

3. Paint small portions of the room when choosing colors. Most paint stores will give you paint samples for a dollar. When painting a nursery, color small sections of the walls to get a better idea of what the color will be once on the wall.

4. Always use a primer. Primer is relatively cheap and provides an excellent base for the color you will add. If you don't use a white primer base when painting a nursery it is very likely that the color will not be what you expect.

Creating a great nursery color palette may seem like a huge task but when broken down into smaller parts, it is easy to complete yourself.