How to Paint Over Dark Colors
If you’ve ever had trouble producing a good result when painting a light color over dark-colored walls, the only problem may have been that you didn’t take the right steps. Here’s how to make sure your next light-over-dark painting project meets – or exceeds – your expectations.
1. Good equipment
The quality of your brushes and rollers will play a big role in how nice your painted areas turn out. Let a pro at your local paint store advise you on the ideal types of brushes for your specific job. Aim for medium-priced or higher, and never buy from the bargain bin. As to rollers, buy ones with the right-sized nap for your project – rough surfaces need a thicker nap, smooth surfaces need a thinner nap.
2. Quality paint and primer
For most interior wall or ceiling painting projects, a quality acrylic paint will do a good job. Avoid off-brands and aim for brands with solid reputations such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams.
The right kind of primer is the critical element when painting over a darker color. You want a primer with high amounts of binders and pigment as these are what block out the color underneath. When going from dark to light, a white primer will produce a better result than a gray or darker primer.
3. Do the prep
Even if you’re painting white over white, neglecting to properly prepare the surface is asking for trouble. Prep work is even more important when painting light over dark. Here’s what to do:
- Wipe surfaces completely with a microfiber cloth to remove dust
- Use a detergent cleaner and rag on stains and smudges
- Scrape off any chipped or peeling old paint and sand well
- If a liquid cleaner is used, allow the surface to dry completely before starting to paint
4. Several primer coats
With most paint projects, a single coat of primer is usually sufficient. When using primer to block out a dark color, two coats of primer will give you the added protection you need. Don’t scrimp on either coat – lay it on thick for the best results. Give each coat plenty of time to dry before doing anything else to the surfaces.
A few painting tips
To make your work look great, use the following techniques the pros use:
- Place tape along the edges of any surface you don’t want paint on
- Cut in the painting surfaces with a three-inch-wide layer of paint around their perimeters
- Roll on primer and paint with smooth, easy strokes, making M or W shapes as you move along
- Avoid slinging paint by not overloading the roller
- For brush work, make it easier by painting from a small plastic paint bucket, not from the bulky can
- If your project calls for more than a gallon of paint, combine all the gallons in a five-gallon bucket to ensure that every area painted will have the exact same shade (paints can have slight shade variants from one can to the next)
- Keep the room you’re painting in as well-ventilated as possible
Franklin Painting of Farmington, CT, can help you with any interior or exterior painting project. If you’re not really into doing it yourself but you still want amazing results, count on our professional crew to deliver. Call (877) 646-7774 with questions or to arrange an appointment.