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How do I effectively cover dark/bright colored paint?

We just bought a house and the living room is painted a very dark red color. What is the best way for me to change the color without spending days painting? Actually every room in the house is painted with either very dark or very bright colors, so I need advice on covering all of them. They vary from dark red, bright yellow, dark robin's egg blue, and pepto-bismal pink. Help! We will have about 2 weeks to get the house move in ready so we don't want to spend a lot of time in each room just painting as we have other small repairs to do at the same time. Thanks in advance!

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Posted 2010-12-16T19:30:29+0000  by erin76 erin76

Hey there erin76,


Congrats on the purchase and welcome to our community!


I had a similar problem when moving into the house I'm currently in, because everything was done with a dark, forest green color or a dark chocolate. So I feel your pain :D


Before we even get to the actual painting steps, make sure that the wall is properly prepped. You'll want to keep 3 keywords in the back of your head for this...


  • Clean
  • Dull
  • Dry

This means that the wall is free of any high gloss that may stop the primer from attaching properly. Remedy this if necessary with a 100-60 grit sandpaper real lightly over the wall. After you do this, take a lightly damp rag and wash the wall down to remove any dirt or dust from the previous step. Then afterwards, make sure it's dried down with another rag. Voila! You're ready to go =D


The best way to start off would be to get primers up on the wall. If you have a rough idea of what color scheme you're going to be doing and it's relatively uniform throughout the house, you can have the primers tinted a bit to help achieve the new color sooner. Both the KILZ and Gripper products work well to get this job done, and our paint desk can take care of the tinting process. Depending on the deepness of the color, this may take anywhere up to two coats (I took me 2 on one wall that was actually jet black!) You're much better off with two thinner coats than one thick coat, and make sure that the previous coat is dry before you start applying the next.


Once you have a good prime coat up on the walls, you can either continue to prime until it comes just a bit under the color you are looking for (in terms of using the tinted primer), or if you are at a base white/gray, and then go on with your topcoat of paint.


You can also opt to use a Paint-and-Primer combo, such as the BEHR Ultra line that we carry. With the extra primer that you've already applied up on the wall, the primer in this product should help kick you up to your desired color in no time. Depending on the size of the house and how many helpers you can rally up, it may be a two day project or so. It's going to take a bit of patience and some time...but it's worth doing right the first time!


If you're redoing the entire place, I would recommend Eggshell/Satin through most active rooms, and a Satin/Semigloss sheen in the Kitchen and Bathroom. It's a very popular choice, and hopefully might help you in your decision making. (Oh, and no more pepto pink walls either!)


Hope that helps you out, and please let me know if you have any other questions. I'd like to see pictures posted up of the completed project too, so we can show our community what you can do! =D

Posted 2010-12-16T20:07:04+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI
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