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Can I Paint Light Colors over Dark Colors?

Some actions are hard to undo. For example, have you ever tried getting toothpaste back into the tube? Or how about working off the pounds you put on during a splurge? And then, of course, there are tattoos! So, where does boldly-colored interior paint fit in? How hard is it to undo? Can you paint light colors over dark colors?

Fortunately, bold paint colors are not permanent. It is very possible to cover over them, even with a very light new color, as long as you follow the right steps.

The Key to Drastic Paint Color Change: Primer

The difficulty with painting over a bold color is that it tends to bleed through your new paint, showing through even after multiple layers. Dark blues and blacks can be very difficult, but red is the worst. What you need is primer!

Primer is less expensive than the colored paint that will be your new topcoat. That is why, if you are going to need multiple coats, you are better off using primer for those first "coverup" layers. Use a high-quality primer, since it will have more pigments and better binders, providing a barrier against the old color. In extreme cases, you may even want to go with a stain-blocking primer, which will seal out that prior color securely.

An additional tip is to have your primer tinted with some of your new wall color. That way, once your primer coats are done, you are even closer to your final color, and it will require fewer layers.

Do I Lay It on Thick?

Some people, in their eagerness to cover up the old paint, apply their primer or topcoat very thickly. This is not a good idea, however, for several reasons:

  • Paint cures better when the coats are not too thick
  • Thickly-applied paint is more likely to show roller marks and brush strokes
  • When too much paint is on the interior wall at once, it can sag or drip

On the other hand, if your coats are too thin, it takes more layers to cover up the old color and to get solid coverage with the new one.

To get the best coverage, use a high-quality interior paint roller cover. Get it thoroughly loaded with paint, but not so much that it is dripping or splashing. Apply the paint to the walls in a W pattern, returning promptly to smooth out the area so that it looks uniform. Once your roller is leaving patchy, thin paint, reload it and continue the process.

More Interior Painting Tips

  • Before you begin priming, wash the walls and let them dry
  • Make sure you let each coat of primer or paint dry before applying the next. See the paint can label for details.
  • Use painter's tape and drop cloths to protect everything you don't want paint on
  • Have fun and try to enjoy the process!

Southington Painting

If the process of changing wall colors sounds labor intensive, it can be! However, there is another way to get the transformation you desire, and you hardly have to lift a finger! Southington Painting has teams of expert craftsmen, just waiting to help you turn those old colors into a distant memory, and turn your dreams into living reality. We take care of the preparation, the priming, the painting, and the cleanup.

Since 1979, Southington Painting has been providing incredible transformations in homes throughout Connecticut. We have earned a reputation for excellence in interior painting, but we also offer exceptional services in exterior painting, kitchen cabinet painting, deck maintenance, epoxy flooring, and more.

For a free interior painting estimate, contact our office today, or use our online scheduling tool. We look forward to working with you!

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