Follow Inventive_Home on Twitter
Custom Search
How to paint a lighter color of a darker wall  Painting a dark wall with a lighter shade

How to Paint a Lighter Shade over a Dark Wall

How can you paint a lighter shade over a dark wall without having to paint three or four coats? Simple! Use Water-based primer.

When I wanted to repaint my orange-clay bedroom in a light sandy shade, I had a problem. The dark wall showed through the lighter paint.

I could paint three or four coats of light colored paint over my dark wall. But that was expensive and time consuming. Instead, I came up with a smart way of painting a dark wall with a lighter shade.

A bucket of water-based primer cost me $35. Much cheaper than a few buckets of paint. And the primer covered my whole room (ceiling included). Once the room was covered in primer, I could go ahead with painting a lighter shade than the dark walls had been.
Preparing a room for painting

Water-based primer will cover your dark wall completely

To cover your dark wall before you paint it with a lighter shade visit your home improvement or paint store. Water-based primer comes in large buckets.

The primer looks like white paint. You can easily apply it with a roller. Then use a brush to cover the seams along the corners. To paint a lighter shade over your dark wall be meticulous in your application of the primer. Don't miss a spot!

Before you start, prepare the room for painting

I was careful to prepare the room for painting. Water-based primer is a thick paint, and it loves to drip or splatter as you roll the roller along. So before you paint a lighter shade over a dark wall, take the time to protect the surfaces all around.

Painting the lighter shade over your dark wall

You can see from my photo just how dark my wall was before I painted it with a lighter shade. Even so, one coat of primer was all I needed.

I waited an hour after the application of the primer before I started painting the lighter shade over it. If you fail to wait, the primer will mix with your paint, mixing in white and bleaching the hue a little. This can result in an uneven paint surface.


Water-based primer is a great solution for painting a lighter shade over a dark wall. It also works well if you want to paint over egg shell latex paint with flat paint (i.e.: paint none gloss paint over gloss paint).

Below you can see the completed room

There's no hint of the fact that I painted a lighter shade over a dark wall. And if you like the ceiling design, here's how to create your own faux tray ceiling illusion.

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line.

painting a dark wall with a lighter shade 
More Home Inspiration
Vintage style home decorating Create Vintage Style Home Decorating

Discover the enchantment of Vintage style decorating where your home becomes a link to the past and its family traditions.
Enchanting entryway remodeling ideas Enchanting Entryway Remodeling Ideas

Discover enchanting ways to add beauty to your home's entryway with simple home remodeling and entryway decorating. And see my before-and-after pictures.
The Art of Choosing & Hanging Linen Wallpaper

Learn how to choose linen wallpaper (also known as cloth wallpaper or canvas wallpaper), and how to hang it for an elegant home decorating makeover.
Make a lattice wall room divider Create a Lattice Wall Room Divider

Using a garden lattice, create a graceful wall divider that lets in sunlight.
10 Soothing Bathroom Decorating Ideas 

Discover how simple little decorating tips can turn your bathroom into a soothing spa.
How to Create a Faux Window with Imitation Sunlight

How to make a fake window that seems to have a view and fake sunlight.
Easiest faux painting technique in the world Easiest Faux Painting Technique in the World

Use a sea sponge to faux paint walls, furniture, cabinets and so much more by blending three shades as you work.
Tips for oganizing your garage Tips for Organizing Your Garage

10 tips for organizing your garage by making the most of every space. Use peg boards, shelf brackets, iron shelving, adjustable hanging shelves and other ideas.
 © Inventive Home Improvement, 2011 
Help Me Keep
The Site FREE!
Please Visit My Sponsors
The Sound and the Echoes Fantasy Novel