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NewHusband
Dark Red Walls

I want to redo our dark red walls a light color. Any tips on how to do this in as few coats as possible?

A. Spruce
Re: Dark Red Walls

You will need multiple coats of a stain blocking primer such as Kilz (red label ), probably three or more. Then you will need at least two coats of paint.

It doesn't take much dark to be problematic to cover with light colors, especially with white. The purer you want the top color to be, the more coats of primer it will take to seal in the dark.

ordjen
Re: Dark Red Walls

New Husband -

I am somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to priming. My position is that it is NEVER wrong to prime, but it is sometimes over kill. If your walls are covered with a quality paint of a low sheen (eggshell or flat), you will get better blanking ability with two coats of a quality white paint then with a primer and one finish coat of paint. Why is this? Primers have several functions, one of which is to facilitate a color change. Because of its other functions, i.e. adhesion, stain killing, sealing of porous walls, its blanking ability is compromised somewhat. Primers will have less white pigment than a full bodied white paint. It is the amount of white pigment in a paint or primer that is giving the maximum blanking ability.

Spruce correctly counsels that if you want a really pure, bright
white, more than two coats might be neccessary. Just a few drops of raw umber and/or lamp black tint per gallon will dramatically improve your coverage and will still look white unless seen next to a pure white or a pastel color. "Ceiling Whites" often have lamp black or even blue put into them to make them look whiter than the really are, yet give better coverability.

How do you know if you have a good paint on the walls or well sealed walls? One simple test is to merely wet your hand and place it on the wall. If the water immediately sucks into the wall, then I would prime the wall first. If the moisture sits on the surface, you probably have a decent quality paint on the walls.

A. Spruce
Re: Dark Red Walls
ordjen wrote:

you will get better blanking ability with two coats of a quality white paint then with a primer and one finish coat of paint. Why is this? Primers have several functions, one of which is to facilitate a color change. Because of its other functions, i.e. adhesion, stain killing, sealing of porous walls, its blanking ability is compromised somewhat. Primers will have less white pigment than a full bodied white paint. It is the amount of white pigment in a paint or primer that is giving the maximum blanking ability.

Good points, though, my experience is that darker colors actually bleeds through the lighter color, so while blanking is necessary to go lighter, sealing is necessary to prevent the bleeding of the underlying color.

In addition to ordjen's points on the quality of paint already on the wall (wet hand test ) and sheen, the presence of dirt and grime should be addressed too. If the existing paint is in good shape and just dusty, then a once over with the vacuum to pull the dust and painting can commence. Paint with a sheen or that are covered with grime should be washed first.

ordjen
Re: Dark Red Walls

Spruce,

Good points. As so often, the answer is "it depends" :)I guess I was addressing the perfect situation where everything is in good shape and merely a color change is desired. It is one of the reasons why answering general questions is difficult without seeing the actual jobsite or anticipating all the variables that can affect the results.

As stated, "It is NEVER wrong to prime", just sometimes overkill.

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