Painting Over Dark Paint Colors

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Paint is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your home. It is also one of the least expensive routes you can take to instantly improve its image and the way you feel at home. You don't need any special training; just some basic information and a boost of common sense. You don't even need expensive equipment. But there are times when you may find it isn't as easy as it seems, especially if you decide it is a good idea to paint light colors over existing dark paint colors

While dark paint colors can look amazing in the right environment, if you don't want them, you are going to have to fight them. If you don't believe this, then do yourself a favor and do a personal experiment. It will help you understand the dynamics involved in the successful over-painting of what other people have lumbered you with – in the form of dark paint colors. After all, anybody will realize that it is much easier to paint red over white than to paint white over red. For example, think about a dark study with a gorgeous leather paint effect on the walls that you want to use as a play room. The paint effect looks wonderful, but it is completely inappropriate for your children. So you need to find a way to change it.

You don't have a clue what to do. RELAX.

You don't need to paint your lounge black and your bedroom red to understand the technology of light over dark. All you need to do is see what happens when you paint over different colors. The idea is to physically see what the effects are when you want to change colors inside or outside your house.

If you have a garden wall, by all means use this as your canvas. Otherwise simply buy a piece of hardboard and prepare it in the appropriate manner, coating it with loud, dark color paint. Ideally you should use the kind of paints normally used to paint homes. You should also use a color that is close to whatever you need to overcoat. Don't be challenged to tackle a paint effect, just use a color. You could also do the experiment with artists' acrylic paints. Just don't try it with water colors or oils; it won’t work. Different types of paints are manufactured for different functions, and the paints that artists use are completely different to the paints that our children use, and supremely different to those we use to color our internal and external home walls.

For this discussion, let's stick with the garden wall, because that really is an easy option. Paint a large square in a dark color, black, red, navy blue or garden green. Then paint another square in a softer hue, pale ochre for example. Then paint the two squares on the wall with one single coat of a compatible white paint, acrylic over acrylic for example. A day later, repaint the wall with more white paint. Anybody who has painted anything will know that it is going to take more coats to cover the dark paint than the light paint. But if you haven't had this experience, persist with the experiment. Without a doubt, the dark hues are going to be harder to hide than the lighter shades. You will find this out quite quickly.

But this is not the only factor to consider when attempting to over-paint dark paint colors.

So now let's pause to consider the fact that when it comes to painting over dark paint colors, it isn't simply a matter of coating the surface with numerous new layers. Depending on the surface you are painting, you may need to strip or at least scrape the surface before you repaint it. Otherwise you will end up with so many layers of paint you will continuously add thickness to the surface. Even if this in itself isn't a problem, the top layers probably won't take long to start peeling off. But it does depend on the paint, and on the surface that it covers.

Generally the best approach to take when painting over any color, light or dark, will depend on the surface it has been painted on. For example, painted wood is best stripped prior to repainting. At very least it must be given a light sanding. Imagine if you had a wooden door that was painted dark green and you wanted to paint it white. You don't want to strip the door, so you paint it … and paint it … and paint it. Then when the paint eventually dries, you can't close the door because there is an extra millimeter on the surface! It is much easier to paint over walls again and again, but even then the paint surface eventually gets thicker and thicker. This will happen much more quickly if you are painting over dark paint colors that were used previously. It may not matter with walls, but invariably it does have an impact when painting on wood, or other surfaces like roof tiles.

Nevertheless painting over dark colors inside and outside our home can help us to transform our homes. If this is what you want to do, just be sure that you know what type of paint was previously used. Otherwise you might just as well stick with the original dark paint colors.

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