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Updating Interior Paint from DARK Red to LIGHT Grey

While it was great when we first built our home, my husband and I have grown tired of the dark red walls in our living room. I'm hoping to get some advise on whether or not to use separate primers and paints or the new combo primer/paint. I know it's probably going to require several coats, but hoped to hear a few reassuring words that it can be done.

A. Spruce
Re: Updating Interior Paint from DARK Red to LIGHT Grey

You must use a stain blocking primer first, or all that red/dark color is going to bleed through whatever top coat you use. There are three choices, Zinsser Bull's Eye 123 (blue label ), Kilz (original, not Kilz 2 ), or Zinsser BIN (red label ). Bull's Eye is good for covering lighter colors and adequate for darker when multiple coats are applied, cleans up with water. Kilz has a higher pigmentation content, so it covers a tad bit better for more stubborn stains and color blocking, cleans up with paint thinner. BIN is a shellac, which is excellent for high hide requirements and odor blocking, cleans up with alcohol. Be sure to read the labels of these products for proper clean-up procedures, they are not all the same in this respect.

Once you're happy with your prime coat coverage and the primer has fully cured, follow up with your paint/color of choice. It will not be necessary at this point to use a paint-N-primer combo product, paint alone will suffice.

Re: Updating Interior Paint from DARK Red to LIGHT Grey

I've done this a lot after tenants moved out. Spruce gave you the secrets and you may still have to use 2 paint coats after the primer. Let everything dry completely between coats.

Re: Updating Interior Paint from DARK Red to LIGHT Grey

Yes, the primers listed are pricy, but do use them. If you try not to you'll find out when you have pink walls instead of white ones.

Re: Updating Interior Paint from DARK Red to LIGHT Grey

OK, let me be the contrarian here:

If we are talking about covering an old dark red paint which is in otherwise good shape, is a quality paint, and a low sheen, a dedicated is NOT absolutely neccessary.

Primers have 4 functions: they seal porous surfaces, they adhere to slick surfaces, they seal in stains which might bleed through, and finally, they facilitate a color change. Apparently what we aretalking about here is a simple color change.

Primers are also products of compromise to address the all four uses. However, if you are strictly going for a color change, and particularly to a light color that will be mixed from a full bodied white paint, you will be better off with two coats of that paint. Two coats of a quality white paint will cover just about anything, including black and white stripes! Add a little of the organic tints such as raw umber or lamp black, and your ability to blank out the old color increases even further! The poster states he/she intends to go to light gray. I can assure you that light gray mixed with lamp black will cover excellently in two coats if mixed in a quality paint.

One of the best arguments for twice around with the paint is that both coats are of the same color. Any light reflected back out through the paint film will be of the appropriate color. This is precisely why primers are often tinted toward the finish paint color.

Using the paint is often time saving and cost effective. For example, many rooms are of a size that they require about a gallon and one-half for the primer and for the paint. You could have two gallons of primer tinted and be left over with an odd colored primer. You could have two gallons of paint mixed and be left with a half gallon of paint left over. OR, you could simple order 3 gallons of the correct color paint, go around twice and come out without all kinds of paints left. You would also save time in not having to stop and wash out the primer materials before commencing with the paint

Actually, many paints have alwlays been good primers. For years my flat paint of choice was Benjamin Moore's Regal Wall Satin. It stated on the instruction label that it was a good primer - and it was! When I was the first painter going over the "builders grade" new construction paint, I would always plan on two coats of Wall Satin. It always resulted in nice even color and sheen.

I have nothing against the dedicated primers when they are called for, but in the case stated by the poster, it is overkill with no increased benefit.

Amen ;)
And now to Spruce for the benediction

A. Spruce
Re: Updating Interior Paint from DARK Red to LIGHT Grey
ordjen wrote:

Amen ;)
And now to Spruce for the benediction

Let's leave my diction out of this, ok? :p:D

I would disagree with skipping the primer coat based on my experiences, however, you have obviously had better over-coating experiences than I. The best we can do is offer our experiences and let the OP decide for themselves which avenue is best for them. :cool:

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