18th Aug 2021

If one thing holds firm in all sectors of the decorating trade it is the preparation. The time taken to properly prepare all surfaces prior to painting pays dividends both in overall time required to complete the project, and the quality of the finish obtained.

If the job at hand is to paint a dark wall with a lighter colour, the following steps should be taken prior to covering with the chosen shade.

Step One: Prepare the wall.

Fill any holes or damage caused by furniture, shelving, or picture hanging. If the wall has any drilled and wall plug holes, unless you intend to replace whatever has been taken off the wall, try to pull the plugs out. If you can’t pull them out, drill them out. Scrape and brush off any peeling or flaking paint and wipe down before applying filler. Once filled, rub down flush to the wall and again wipe down to remove any dust and paint flakes.

Step Two: Prime the wall.

When covering dark walls, no matter how high the quality of your chosen topcoat, a good grade of primer should be applied as a matter of course. In the case of dark walls, that you intend to cover with a neutral colour such as beige, ivory, or a light eggshell, use a good white primer. In the case of very dark walls, such as black, dark blue, dark green etc., prepare to add a second coat of primer and if necessary, a third. Multiple thin coats of primer will provide a more even finish than trying to save time by applying one thick coat. Remember, a high quality finish is what is required, and what the customer expects.

Step Three: Applying the topcoat.

Choose a good quality paint. Even if it says ‘one coat’ on the tin, and your white primed wall looks solid and even, be prepared to give it at least two coats of top-coat. Again, two thin coats will provide a much more even, higher quality finish, that one thick coat.

By using good quality primers and good quality topcoats, and taking the time to properly prepare and prime the wall, will ensure changing a dark wall to a light wall is no more of a challenge, than replacing one light shade with another.

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