Dark colored walls are a powerful decor accent to any room, but if you want to add a lighter mood to your home, it’s time to paint over those dark colors! You’re probably wondering about many things here: how to paint over dark colors? How many coats of paint do I need? How do you paint over a black wall? What’s the best paint to cover dark walls? Well, read this article and all of your questions will be answered!

“Transformation literally means going beyond your form.” - Wayne Dyer
Anything is possible if done the right way!
Anything is possible if done the right way! Image source: Uncluttered Simplicity

Get the Wall Ready

Properly clean and sand the walls before painting!
Properly clean and sand the walls before painting! Image source: Surrey Cleaning

Before anything else, make sure to clean the walls! Start off by dusting them with a microfiber cloth - and if you think the walls are too dirty and greasy, wash them with water and laundry detergent.

In addition to that:

Scrape away any loose paint with a scraper. Lastly, fill in holes with filler and sand the wall smooth.

Use White Primer

Use tinted primer for a better foundation before applying the paint!
Use tinted primer for a better foundation before applying the paint! Image source: Lowe’s

Using a primer beforehand is important because it’ll help to get a better color coverage. When painting over light colors it’s recommended you use grey primer. In this case, since you’re doing the opposite, use tinted white primer!


If you’re looking to paint over dark color without primer, maybe consider an all in one primer and paint to make the job easier.

Roll In “W” or “M” Shapes

These "W" and "M" shapes prevent from leaving paint brush marks on the wall! Image source: Glidden

To avoid roller lines on your wall, paint making large, wide “W” or “M” shapes on the wall!

A Couple More Tips to Keep In Mind

Make sure to gather all the supplies needed before getting started!
Make sure to gather all the supplies needed before getting started! Image source: Best Pick Reports

When DIY painting a home, these are a few things to keep in mind regarding preparation to have the best results possible:

  • Invest in a nice quality paint brush or paint roller
  • Test the color on a small piece of your wall to see if it’s what you really want (and don’t judge it until completely dry)
  • Cover floors, wood work, or any furniture left in the room you’re painting

Before and After Photos

Living Room Repainting

Living room with dark red walls.
This living room with dark red walls can look a lot better after repainting! Image source: Rather Square

If you have a dark red wall in your home that you feel like painting over, there’s no big mystery! If you follow the steps shown above, you’re already set on the how to paint over dark red walls tutorial!

Check out this living room transformation from dark red to light grey walls:

Living room with light grey walls.
A light grey is the perfect color to bring a cozy energy to the room! Image source: Rather Square

The new coat of painting brings a different mood to the room while also making it brighter!

Brighten Up that Hallway

Dark hallway.
This dark hallway is about to get some serious improvement! Image source: Sobremesa Stories

So, to sum up what you need to do for painting over dark walls:

  • Properly clean and sand the walls
  • Apply one or two coats of tinted primer
  • Paint rolling “w” or “m” shapes to avoid roller lines

After following the steps on this dark hallway, check out how it turned out:

Bright hallway.
Doesn't it look so much better now? Image source: Sobremesa Stories

Looking good! You’ll notice that the ceiling was also painted.

And here’s one more tip for you:

If you have a textured ceiling, use a screwdriver to mark a line in the wall intersection - this will scrape of the texture while leaving no weird marks of paint there!

Office Makeover

Before and after photos of an office repainting.
This office is way nicer to work in after brightening up the mood with white walls! Image source: All Sorts Of Pretty

This project required a bit more effort and patience since every gap on the wall needed to be caulked. But taking a look at the results, it totally paid off, right? Check the full progress at All Sorts of Pretty!


Are you feeling more confident to paint over dark walls already? It's about time you get your hands dirty and go for the repainting project! Make sure to check our Home Improvement page for more great tips!

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