How to Prime Walls That Have Dark Colors
In the 1960s, Mick Jagger sang, “I see a red door and I want it painted black.” That probably would have been simple enough. But had the door been dark blue and he wanted to paint it white, Mick would have found himself in somewhat of a fix. It’s a fix homeowners face all the time when they want to paint a lighter color over an existing dark shade. Let’s talk about how to prime walls that have dark colors.
What is primer?
Primer is a unique compound composed primarily of solvent and synthetic resin. The result is significant filling and binding properties as well as a surface that allows for the true color and density of new paints.
If you’ve ever painted a wall a color different from what was first on the wall, you know the trouble you can get into. This is especially true when painting light over dark – it may take many coats before the original color stops bleeding through. Primer pretty much solves this problem.
Primers are available for virtually any surface that can be difficult to paint such as porous concrete, steel, metal and wood. When shopping for a primer, tell your paint pro the current wall color and the color you want to paint over it to get recommendations on the best primer for the job.
Primers known as “high hide” primers are ideal when going light over dark, because they contain a large amount of titanium dioxide, which is an excellent masker of dark colors.
Applying the primer
As with all paint jobs, preparation is important when working with primers. Here’s a checklist of important steps:
1. Clean the surface thoroughly with an all-purpose cleaner, and allow to dry.
2. Scrape off any peeling or loose paint. Fill nail holes and other surface imperfections with putty, then sand well once it’s dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe off dust.
3. Mask around windows, trim, adjacent surfaces that won’t be painted and fixtures that will be left in place during painting. Blue painter’s tape is ideal for this.
4. Use a brush to cut in the walls you’ll be painting. Go about three inches in from all corners.
5. Use a new, high-quality roller to apply paint to the large sections. Two thin primer coats usually give a better result than a single thick one. Make sure to let the primer dry between coats.
With any painting project, it pays to get good advice. When you’re at the paint store selecting your primer and brushes, rollers, putty knives, spackling, tape and other necessities, don’t be afraid to ask question. The more you understand about how to prime walls that have dark colors, the better your final result will be.
Franklin Painting in CT has served homeowners in the Farmington area for more than 30 years with outstanding paint projects for a full range of interior and exterior painting needs. You can arrange for an estimate on any paint job by calling (877) 646-7774.