How to Calm a Bright Yellow Bedroom

Written by angelique de la morreaux
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How to Calm a Bright Yellow Bedroom
Paint treatments can tone down a bright yellow bedroom. (yellow paint image by Jennifer Griner from

Even though it is a bright, cheerful colour, yellow can be overpowering in a bedroom. Calm down a bright yellow bedroom by applying paint treatments, covering the walls or changing the accessories. Look to the colour wheel to find harmonious colours that blend, or focus on cooler colours that will detract from the brightness. You also can focus on prints or plaids for your accessories that introduce the less intense tones of the colour.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3 buckets, 5-gallon size
  • Paint
  • Glaze
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Separate the wall in half and add a white chair rail to the room. Paint the top half of the wall a soft yellow-white while leaving the bright yellow on the bottom. Allow your bedroom furniture to cover portions of the bright yellow on the bottom half.

  2. 2

    Measure and apply white bead board to the bottom half of the room. Add a chair rail above it and keep the bright yellow on the top portion of the wall. You can also apply wallpaper to one half of the wall, while leaving the other half the bright yellow.

  3. 3

    Break the bright yellow wall colour into manageable pieces. Add large pictures to the walls along with shelves filled with plants, knick-knacks or a seashell collection. Concentrate on tans, soft white and pale yellow items for the shelves.

  4. 4

    Change the curtains to a white and soft yellow print or mix in a plaid with tans and white. Convert the bedspread to match the colours contained in the curtains and shelves as you bounce the colour around the room. Keep the mirror aimed toward the outdoor window scene or the bed rather than the bright yellow walls.

  5. 5

    Colour wash the wall with a white paint. Dilute the paint as you measure one part water to three parts paint. Use a soft rag or a sponge to swirl the paint over the bright yellow wall. Work from one side of the wall to the other, starting at the top. Finish the other walls with the same technique. Stand back and examine the wall; if it is still too bright, reapply a second coat of colour wash once the first has dried.

  6. 6

    Glaze the top half of your wall. Put warm water into one bucket while you fill another with the "master" glaze. Mix the glaze according to the manufacturer's directions, usually 2 cups glaze to 1/2 cup water and the tint. Pour half the "master" glaze into a third bucket and mix with water until you have the colour depth you want and the mixture is the consistency of cream.

    Dip one sponge into water and spread it over the wall to get the wall wet. Use the other sponge, dipped in the glaze, to go over the wet section and apply the glaze. Vary the intensity of the glaze by pressing down lightly, then harder for an uneven appearance. Finish one full wall before beginning another.

Tips and warnings

  • Harmonise the yellow with colours next to it on the colour wheel, like yellow-orange or lime green.
  • White helps tone down the intensity of the bright yellow.

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