Painting an interior wall may look to be an easy layout fix, but like most home projects, it is more than a quick job. “Many men and women think that painting above a wall using a light color only needs one jacket,” says Philip Storey of Redhill Painting. “But that is seldom the case.” Wall preparation, painting techniques, and the kind of paint and finish all affect the outcome.
Here is the scoop from four professionals on which you want to know for your next painting job.
Painting a light color on walls. Test the colour you’re contemplating in your current wall. Look at it from light, in light and during the night. “Light colors, such as pastels and shades of white, require significant natural lighting for the color’s natural undertones to glow,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. Testing the colour can also help you work out how many coats you’ll need to cover the old colour properly.
Next, prep the wall accordingly. Fill nail holes sand rough spots and spot prime any dark marks so the surface is even and prepared to paint. Some of the professionals we’ve spoke with also recommended cleaning the wall using a mild soapy solution and rinsing them attentively. You’ll also need to be certain that the wall is solid — if the paint is peeling or there aren’t any structural difficulties, you might want to seek advice from a professional.
Now it is time to paint, and technique is significant here. “Generally roll top to base from one side of this wall to the opposite end,” says painter Alex Davison. “I know you’ll want to finish fast, but moving across will just leave marks. End one segment and on to another — a little like cutting grass.” Use at least 2 coats before continuing.
Painting a dark colour on walls. “Painting darkish colors is harder and less forgiving than painting mild colors,” says Storey. Be ready for three coats of paint — sometimes four — to find the proper dark color in your own walls.
Deciding whether or not to prime is often a problem with dark paint colors. “When doing mild to dark or light to dark, you do not usually require primer,” says Rick Watson, director of product advice at Sherwin-Williams. Otherwise, you’ll want to utilize a high-hiding primer that is designed for the substance you’re painting. Jordan advocates using a gray-shaded primer to help show a color’s depth. “When a primer is tinted to the right shade of grey, light absorption and reflection find a harmonized balance, offering maximum top-coat coverage and great hiding and colour vibrancy,” she says.
Again, painting technique is important. “Darker colors are fuzzier and are more likely to leave marks where they dry faster,” says Davison. Since these colors can bleed, paint carefully and fast. “Be more systematic than you’d using a light color, as roller marks can be more apparent using a darker colour,” says Storey. He advocates using a roller using a shorter rest (3/8 inch to 1/2 inch) to make sure the paint is applied smoothly. Be careful to not put on too much paint in one coat, which can look uneven as it dries.
Robert J Erdmann Design, LLC
Picking a finish. “As it pertains to finish, beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says Watson. However, you can even choose a finish based on the area’s purpose.
Flat finishes — including matte and eggshell — are usually best for ceilings and walls where you would like to hide any imperfections. “With flat paints, so you can get by using a good deal more,” says Watson. Flat paint’s matte finish also does well with routine cleaning, making it a fantastic solution for significantly less frequently used spaces, such as formal dining and living rooms. “The shine of horizontal finishes helps make walls washable and smooth, only with a moist sponge,” says Jordan.
However, glossier finishes — including lace and semigloss — wash even more readily, which is why they’re often suggested for higher-use spots, such as kitchens, bathrooms, trim and cabinets. “These paint formulations traditionally produce the toughest and most stain-resistant finishes,” says Jordan. The glossier the finish, the imperfections could be seen in the surface and your paint job, therefore Watson recommends using a high quality brush using glossy paints.
Erica Islas / EMI Interior Design, Inc..
Paint Choices From the Pros
For mild walls: “C2’s LoVo nonreflective flat is a superb ultraflat finish which has tremendous hiding power and an extremely smooth finish. Pratt & Lambert’s Accolade Velvet is a great eggshell finish that goes on ultrasmooth, is spatterless and covers extremely well. Both are low odor and low VOC.”
For dim walls: “Fine Paints of Europe’s Eurolux Matte is an incredible product for painting dark walls. Their distinctive pigment system generates high-powered coverage within an incredibly durable paint.”
For mild walls: “I always purchase Regal Select [Benjamin Moore], as this is a really excellent product, low VOC and at a fair price.”
For dim walls: “Restoration Hardware includes a paint which are their particular colors tinted into actual Benjamin Moore paint, so you have the quality and the designer touch. Check out Slate for instance.”
Jackie Jordan and Rick Watson
For light and dark walls: Both urge Sherwin-Williams’ Emerald Interior Paint. “It flows like melted butter,” says Watson. “The leveling and flow characteristics of the paint make a beginning painter resemble a pro.”