December 7th, 2016

Tips for adding a light paint on dark color wall.


It is easier than you might think to acheive a favorite light paint on a dark color wall.

We love strong, bold, confident colors and the statement they make for a space. And when we paint over them—especially with a lighter color—we keep an eye on a few details so we get the color and coverage to make the room come alive.

Since we love a dark color, we changed the purple for green, and stopped it about 1/3 of the way down the wall. The rest is getting the grey, our light paint on dark color wall.

Theresa painting over dark paint
There are four main things we focus on: Primer, tinting, paint + primer, and brushing. However, we can’t help ourselves so there are a few more tips tossed in for good measure that we hope work for you on your color makeovers.

MyFixitUpLife painting supplies


While Theresa chose Glidden Complete Barely Jade Paint + Primer for this project, your makeover may be different. For example, a small repair, touch-up, or a single feature wall with color you already have.

For adding a new color—especially a light paint on a dark color wall—like this purple on our dining room walls we always use primer likeGlidden Gripper as a base coat. Tinting the primer with just a bit of color improves paint coverage. Just a little color goes a long way. Pour some into the primer, mix and apply.
Tinting primer for painting


If you’re heading out for new supplies, like we did on this project, choosing paint + primer will give you excellent coverage. Typical paint projects—especially covering a dark wall with a light color—are at least 3-coats: One primer and two paint. I’ve had it take more than two coats of paint. Using paint + primer will almost surely eliminate an entire coat and save a lot of time!

However, while the Glidden Complete we used here is good and really gave great coverage, it’s not magic. Best to prepare for two coats.


Not that cutting in any color isn’t extra awesome, but light colors over light colors offer more forgiveness during the cut-in process.

When adding light paint on a dark color wall, I like to make sure I spread paint evenly without ‘stretching’ it. One trick is to load the brush in the bucket as you normally would. Then, before brushing on the paint, leave dabs on the wall. These dabs are like little reservoirs. Use them to re-wet the brush bristles. They also help to customize how much paint you have on the brush. This is awesome for tight spaces like around this window apron where too much paint on the brush can easily bead up and get on the molding.


Dab paint


Be a roller master. It is tempting to over-roll to get the paint to cover, which can leave streaks and drips if you don’t roll them out. We like to roll paint evenly. Even with paint + primer, it’s best to expect a second coat and be pleasantly surprised if you don’t need another coat of the light paint on dark color wall.

MyFixitUpLife painting tips roll out

Fun time!

Also, it is very important to have fun! Both in real life and in the design.

Designer Theresa chose a dark ceiling, crown molding and top portion of the wall. Glidden Complete Paint + Primer Deep Shaded Grove in semi-gloss makes a fun and strrong statement. Uncommon and serene, it’s unconvetional and fun!

This post is sponsored by Glidden® paint, a PPG brand. All thoughts, opinions and paintbrushes are my own.