Painting Over Dark Walls

Dark colors look great, especially when it’s newly painted on a wall. But fading happens and the old “accent” color becomes gloomy and bleak. Plus, changes in trends is inevitable, and sometimes, you just get tired of the old look. Whether you’re bored with your old paint job or you’ve inherited a dark color in a previously lived-in home, switching into a lighter wall color is always a refreshing idea.

Some people just ditch this idea because of this truth: painting over dark colors is tricky and difficult. But it shouldn’t scare you. You may hire for help, but you can also do it yourself according to PaintStainBlog.

1. Gather your supplies

To make the painting more convenient, gather what you need and choose the right painting tools. Ditching the cheap and low-quality materials may cost you more, but it will surely help you achieve a smoother finish and a perfectly concealed dark color. Choose high-quality paintbrushes and roller covers to help you paint in a heavier film and hide the dark-colored walls better. A high-quality paintbrush have strong bristles that don’t fall out easily, has a minimum length of half the paintbrush’s width, have flexible tips and split ends to produce an even coating. High-quality roller covers spring back to its original shape when squeezed.

Here’s what you need in preparing and painting over dark walls:

  • Rags/cloth
  • Sponge
  • Laundry detergent and water solution
  • Flat file
  • Sandpaper
  • Spackling knife
  • Spackling/putty
  • Paint roller covers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint scraper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic sheeting/newspaper
  • Primer
  • Paint

2. Prepare the area and the wall before painting

First and foremost, you must clear the area you would like to repaint to avoid getting paint splattered on existing furnishings, appliances and decoration.

Dust the walls with a damp cloth. For hard-to-remove dirt and grease, use soapy water and scrub the walls with a sponge. Also, include the baseboard and moldings in cleaning. No matter how clean your house may seem, there are clinging dust and dirt into every surface, including your walls. Plus, these prevent smooth adhesion of paint. Allow them to fully dry.

After cleaning, scrape away any peeling paint. Fill in any holes or cracks with spackling or wall putty. Let it dry. Lightly sand the filled areas to smoothen the surface. For glossy patches, use 220-grit sandpaper. For a firmer grip, use a sanding block. Wipe off any dust from sanding.

Line your floors with plastic sheeting or newspapers for protection. Use painter’s tape over moldings, baseboards, power sockets, switches and other things that you don’t like to be painted with your new color of choice. This can be time-consuming, but it will save you from having to wipe off mistakes.

3. Apply primer

When painting a light wall with darker paint, you can easily paint it with your desired color. But if you are going to paint a darker wall with a lighter color, you will need a primer. This is an important step you shouldn’t skip, otherwise, you will still see shadows of the original wall color peeking through.

Usually, you will need at least two coats of primer. For the very dark walls, you might need three. It’s best to choose a quality primer – it’s more costly but it will be more cost-effective in the long run. The better primer you choose, the fewer coats you will need. And a better primer conceals the original wall color better.

For best results, use a quality stain-blocking primer. You may also tint your primer with gray or a color close to your final paint color to reduce the number of coats you need to apply. Let the primer dry completely for a day or two in between coats. It might be tempting to rush, but be patient – this will help you create a smoother finish.

4. Paint

Finally, the moment you’ve been prepping up for. Once you have chosen your paint of choice and your primer has dried up and concealed the dark color, then you’re good to go. Always pick quality paint for better results. Using low-quality, or diluting paint may result in uneven hiding of the old paint and uneven coating of the new paint. Quality paint also has quality ingredients that remain on the wall after the paint dries. You can find paints that need only one coat, but typically, two coats to ensure a flawless finish and evenly concealed old paint. Like the primer, let one coat dry thoroughly first before applying the next coat. Drying times vary, so it’s best to refer to the paint can for instructions, but paint typically takes two hours to completely dry.

5. Clean up

Once the walls are dry, peel up the painter’s tape. Clean up the plastic sheeting or newspaper you used. Wash the paint brushes and rollers thoroughly and let them dry before storing away in your garage.