Tips for painting walls a darker color


You can hear a lot of myths about how dark colors make a room look smaller and gloomier. Or about how difficult it is to paint over dark paint when the time comes to repair

In fact, there’s no particular reason to be limited to lighter shades when painting walls. Like any other colors, dark colors also have their advantages when it comes to painting walls with them, and you can always find ways to neutralize the drawbacks of dark paint.

The size of the room

Dark wall changes the perception of the space of the room. For example, if you paint one accent wall opposite the door dark, the room will seem shorter. If you paint two opposite walls dark, the room will look longer and narrower, especially with a lighter ceiling. And if you paint all the walls and ceiling dark, you’ll visually make the room look smaller, and you’ll create a cozy, comfortable, and inviting atmosphere in it.

Lighting tricks

By enlisting the help of light, you won’t let the dark walls trick your vision and make the room seem smaller. Shiny paint, including semi-matte or semi-gloss paint, reflects more light than matte paint. This alone will already make a room with dark walls seem brighter.

You can also install more light sources in the room for the same purpose. Increase the brightness of overhead lighting, get higher wattage bulbs for work lighting, and place table lamps and wall sconces in strategic places so that there are no dark shaded corners in the room.

The effect on furniture

Furniture often looks especially striking against dark walls. Bright and light colors look catchy in combination with dark walls. So it makes sense to put the most beautiful and expensive pieces of furniture by the dark wall.

If the furniture in the room is eclectic, that is, in different styles or different colors, it will look more coordinated against the dark walls. With a white wall, each piece stands as if on its own. But with a dark wall, they are all surrounded by the same color and therefore seem to be part of the same whole.

Mixing the paint

The pigment that colors the paint quickly settles to the bottom of the container, even if the paint has just been mixed. The uneven distribution of the pigment in dark or bright colors is more pronounced than in light colors. Take the paint home with it upside down and store it the same way at home until it is time to open the jar. When you open the jar, stir the paint for a few minutes. Dip the wand very deeply to touch the bottom, and stir until homogeneous.

Paint Tips

It is a misconception to think that dark paint is easier to paint over light paint than vice versa. A layer of light paint shines through dark paint just as clearly as dark paint shines through light paint. It usually takes several layers of pigment, that is, several layers of paint, to achieve a rich, dark wall color.

Glossy paint, including semi-matte or semi-gloss paint, reflects more light than matte paint.

The number of coats of paint can be reduced by one or two if you first cover the wall with a tinting primer of the same shade as the new dark paint. Allow the previous coat of paint to dry before applying the next coat.



When you decide to repaint dark walls to a lighter color, use a high quality primer beforehand. Acrylic and shellac primer give the best coverage compared to latex primer, preventing the dark paint from shining through the light paint. You’ll end up with a blank canvas wall and need fewer coats of paint to cover dark walls.