Dark colors are often the hardest for a DIYer to use appropriately and get satisfactory results, because it’s difficult to get the pigment evenly distributed. Learn how to paint a dark wall evenly using these tips. This post contains affiliate links.
When I built my house a year ago, I went with white paint on all the walls. I had Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Matte colored to PPG Delicate White for a few reasons:
- My house has a fairly open floor plan and a singular color improved the flow from room to room.
- I love the bright, airy quality white paint creates.
- I honestly couldn’t make one more decision before moving into my new home!
Here’s a peak at Delicate White…
While updating my bedroom, I wanted to create a focal wall. Traditionally, the focal point of the room would be the wall you see when you first walk in. When you first walk in my bedroom, the first thing you see is the door to the master bath – no bueno!
I know that painted accent walls are a little 2002, but they’re ideal for determining a primary or secondary focal point in the room. I decided to go with a high-contrast wall, featuring navy blue paint (specifically Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Matte in Naval). Check out this article on the best navy blue paint for your home.
I’ve painted over my share of bold accent walls, but I’ve never painted a deep dark wall. Painting walls in dark colors takes a little more preparation if you want a deep velvety look. Here are my tips for how to achieve satisfactory results with a heavily pigmented color.
How to Paint a Dark Wall Evenly
Select a quality paint. There are many options and price points to choose from and I am not a painting expert, but I can share my personal experience with paint brands. Over the last year, I’ve found that the Sherwin Williams paint used throughout my home stands up well to cleaning and scrubbing, while neighbors who used a less expensive option have had problems with a powdery paint texture and paint coming off the walls with a light wipe down.
For my focal wall, I purchased Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Matte paint in Naval. The paint went on like butter and leveled out nicely, which kept streaks and ridges at bay.
Bonus tip: Sign up for the free “preferred customer account” and receive a 10% discount in Sherwin Williams stores AND receive information for GREAT sales (the perfect time to stock up).
Prep your space. A deep-toned paint will show more defects and imperfections in your wall than a lighter color. Prepare the walls accordingly. Pull any nails and picture hangers out, spackle and allow the wall to dry completely. Carefully sand the spackle smooth. Sanded repair areas can show in dark paint jobs, so be sure to consider the texture of the wall you’re working with. You can also purchase paint texture products with spray-on applicators to try to match wall textures, like these.
Remove any faceplates, switches plugs and set them aside nearby, so they can easily be replaced when you’re done.
Apply a bleed-proof painters masking tape to the ceiling, corners and trim where they intercept the wall.
I skipped this last step and I shouldn’t have…I highly suggest priming walls with a primer that is deeply tinted with your wall color if you’re painting over white or a very light color and you’re unsure what paint was used previously. It could save you up to a third the paint needed.
Cut in. Use an angled brush to cut in around the perimeter of the walls, at the corners and along the ceilings where the tape is to get a clean, straight line when you roll the paint on. Work quickly. Since I was only painting one wall, I was able to work quickly. If you’re painting multiple walls cut in and finish each wall one at a time.
Paint in a “W” pattern. Using a roller with the correct nap (smooth, semi-smooth or rough) paint in a large W pattern. Paint wet edge into wet edge, moving from one side to the other, to avoid creating stripes of paint around the edges of the wall.
Consider using a roller extension pole to make quick work of the project and avoid having to climb up and down a ladder over and over.
Use the right amount of paint. Don’t try to cover your wall in one pass, even if you’ve used primer. You will have to use more than one coat of paint with a dark color. My dark blue wall required three coats and some touch up. I am certain it would have only required two coats if I had laid down a primer.
Make sure that you have enough pain on the roller to ensure that you don’t hear a sizzling or cracking sound as you apply paint to the wall. If you can hear that, it means you don’t have enough paint on your roller and you may end up pulling paint off the wall.
One of the reasons selecting a dark paint colored worked for me is that the 14×16 master bedroom in my home has great sunlight, with two large windows placed directly across the room. Any smaller and I think the dark paint may have taken on the look of a black hole, starved for sunlight.
Do you have any tips on how to paint a dark wall evenly? I’d love additional feedback.