After spending a few years looking at that maroon wall in the dining room, you might be thinking you want to change things up a bit. You want a lighter color, but you are not sure how to paint over that deep, dark wall. Buy Owner is here to give you tips on how to brighten up that room!

Straight Painting

Though it will take some work and a bit of time, you can paint over a dark-colored wall with a lighter shade. Here is what you do:

  • Grab a bucket and fill it with soapy water. It’s a good idea to wash the walls with a soft sponge so you get rid of the dirt before you paint over the wall.
  • Stick tape around the window frames and around any crown molding. You don’t want to get paint on them!
  • Apply one coat of primer on the entire wall. You will notice that the primer is white. You may have to apply a few coats of primer in order to get rid of the dark color. However, let each coat dry completely before you apply a second, third or fourth one. (look up how much)
  • Apply one coat of your chosen color to the wall and let dry. Apply additional coats as needed.

Color Washing

If you want to lighten a wall, you may want to try a different technique that involves creating a faux finish. Color washing is a painting technique that results in the look of several layers of color. In other words, a water-based wash, or thin glaze, is applied over the base coat. Here is how you color wash a wall:

  • You may want to practice on some sample boards and experiment with several colors, seeing which one best complements the existing hue on the wall.
  • When you are ready to begin, you will have to clean the wall, much like you would if you were just going to paint over the whole thing. Wash the walls thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Keep in mind that, because your base coat is darker, it will show through. However, the point of color washing is to create a layered effect. To create your topcoat, mix one part interior satin latex paint to five parts glazing liquid.
  • Apply the glaze to the wall with a cotton rag, smoothing it on in a circular motion. For extra flair, vary the direction of the circles each time you dip for more paint.