How to Paint Your Home with Kids Underfoot + Our Guest Cottage Update

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Well, my muscles have never been this sore, but we finished painting our guest cottage! In case you missed it, we decided to turn the old garage house we lived in before we built into a guest home. My parents will be our first guests this summer, so we have a limited amount of time to get the whole thing clean and updated before they arrive. Plus – we’re on a budget! Today I wanted to show you our progress and also share some of my tricks to painting your home when you have children running around. It can get complicated, so I want to help ease your mind if you also have that situation going on!

Painting a small home simply white
The guest cottage living room painted in Simply White

To be totally honest – and I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you – I did get the most painting on the guest house done AFTER the kids were in bed. I’d sneak up to the cottage with all my paint supplies ready to go, and have a solo three hour paint party. This is definitely the easiest and quickest way to paint when you have kids home with you during the day, but here’s how I did get some daytime painting sessions in with my 4 and 2 year old underfoot:

How to paint your home with kids underfoot

Let you kids “help” you paint.

Depending on their age, you kids might want to help you paint your home! Give them a quick demo with a brush or roller, and then let them try it on there own on a wall that you can paint over again later if needed. Or, let them work right beside you with a brush as you roll with the roller. Helping me paint kept my 4 year old’s attention for quite a while! I even gave my 2 year old a little craft brush and a corner of the room and let her go to town. It’s only paint, and it’s easy enough to cover up later with your roller.

Set up some toys.

A pile of new toys or toys that they haven’t seen in a while in the center of the room can help keep your child’s attention for a while as you paint. Give them a task like, “Build Mommy a giant tower with those blocks!” and check in on them to see how they’re making out. Keep giving out new tasks and hugs as you work.

The guest cottage living room painted in Simply White - and Baby B helping me tidy up!
The guest cottage living room painted in Simply White – and Baby B helping me tidy up!

Get them to tidy up.

My girls like to sweep and wipe things (only when it’s NOT after-supper chore time, of course), so they were pretty happy for a while with the task of sweeping the floors of the guest house and wiping down surfaces with baby wipes while I painted. Again, this works best when you give them a specific mission and check in on them every now and them to see how they’re progressing and to dole out new missions.

These few tricks helped me get a lot of painting done in here over the past week, and I’m so happy that the painting is finished! It’s a lot of work, but painting your home is definitely one cost-effective way to make it look completely new and different.

Here are more photos of our guest cottage renovation progress so far:

Painting white kitchen cabinets Simply White
The kitchen cupboards got a fresh coat of Simply White paint and the knobs were spray painted oil rubbed bronze
Painting a small home simply white
The guest cottage kitchen with freshly painted cabinets, walls, and one new light fixture

Painting a small home simply white

Painting a small home simply white
The guest cottage entry – we still need to patch up some holes here
Painting a small home simply white
The guest cottage entry
Painting a small home simply white
The guest cottage bedroom painted in Simply White

Now it’s onto the finishing details and the furnishing! I can’t wait.

Have a great weekend, friends!


  1. It’s so bright and airy! Can’t wait to see what it looks like once you’ve added all your crafty and DIY touches. Kudos on painting with your kids in the room. The only time I ever tried my then one year old climbed up the ladder, which was an extra dangerous situation as it was in the stairwell. Yikes! Great post 🙂

  2. Painting with kids will be a great fun, my son is 10 years old. I am thinking to try your tips on my next painting project. And of course we have to be extra cautious for kids safety as color can be dangerous for kids.

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