So, you’re thinking about painting over that dark wall color. Maybe it was an accent wall you just aren’t in love with anymore, or you’re turning a man cave into a light and breezy guest room. Whatever the reason, it’s time to make a big change in your home’s decor. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! This quick guide will walk you through the process, providing a few essential tips along the way to make sure you end up with a result you’ll love.

Surface Preparation

Prep work before interior painting is absolutely essential. Not too glamorous or fun, but  it’s crucial for a smooth and durable finish. Plus, laying the groundwork now will make the process much easier down the road. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Clean the wall. Get rid of any dust, smudges, or other debris that might mess with your paint’s adhesion. Even the cleanest of homes have more clinging to the walls than you might realize (or want to think about).
  2. Repair damage. Found some cracks or holes? No problem! Just fill them in with a suitable filler.
  3. Sanding. Once everything’s dry, give the surface a good sanding to make sure it’s perfectly smooth.

Priming the Wall

A high-quality primer is your secret weapon here. It provides an even base for your new paint, improves adhesion, and most importantly, keeps that dark color from showing through. Your goal is long-term coverage and primer is the MVP.

Choosing the Right Paint and Finish

Now, onto the fun part – choosing your new color and finish! Here are some quick tips to consider:

  • Undertones: The undertones of a color can influence how it looks in your room, so pay attention to whether they’re warm or cool.
  • Natural lighting: Lighting drastically changes how a color looks, so consider the amount of natural light your room gets. 
  • Ambiance: What mood do you want to set in your room? Different colors can create different atmospheres.

Testing and Sampling Colors

Choosing a color is a big commitment, so why not take a test drive first? Apply your chosen paint color to a small section of the wall and observe how it changes under different lighting conditions throughout the day. This can help you make a more confident decision.

As we like to say, never trust a swatch. Do yourself a favor and go with a sample on your actual wall instead.

Applying Multiple Coats

We hate to break it to you, but you’ll probably need more than one coat of paint under even the best of circumstances. This is especially true when you’re going from dark to light. But remember, patience is key! Make sure to let each coat dry properly before applying the next one.

Proper Techniques for Painting

Here are a few pointers to help you paint like a pro:

  • Consistent strokes. Keep your strokes even for a uniform finish.
  • Maintain a wet edge. This can help prevent visible lines or streaks in your paint.
  • Avoid excessive pressure. Overdoing it with the roller or brush can lead to an uneven application.

Finishing Touches and Clean-Up

You’ve made it this far, so don’t skip out on the final details! Make sure to neatly paint along edges, corners, and trim for that professional touch. And don’t forget to clean your brushes, rollers, and trays properly – you’ll thank yourself later.


What’s Your Takeaway?

Painting over a dark-colored wall with a lighter shade isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be brutally hard either. It all comes down to the right steps, the right products, and the right techniques. Investing time in doing the job correctly will pay huge dividends later.


Q: Can I paint over a dark color without using a primer?

A: You could, but we really wouldn’t recommend it. Using a primer will save you from potential headaches down the line.

Q: How many coats of paint will I need when painting over a dark color?

A: Typically, you’re looking at around two to three coats. But hey, every paint is unique, so it may vary.

Q: Can I skip the surface preparation stage?

A: You’d be rolling the dice. A little prep work goes a long way in achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish. Trust us, it’s worth it!

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