Paint Preparation for Painting Over Dark Walls

dark walls

Image credit: Sara

Thinking of painting a dark wall with a light white or pastel colour? Unfortunately, this can be difficult. Dark wall paint has a tendency to show through lighter paint, and this can alter the tone and hue of your new colour. Patience and proper paint preparation will ensure the lighter paint shows up true to colour.


Why bother cleaning a wall you’re about to paint over? Well, cleaning is a necessary part of paint preparation. [Read: 10 Paint Preparation Tips from Professional Painters] If your walls are dirty, the new paint will not properly adhere, causing it to blister and crack. If your walls are stained, the stains may show through. [Read: How to remove 4 common stains from your walls]

Sugar soap, or even detergent and warm water should do the trick. Give your walls ample time to dry before you begin painting. Paint will not adhere to a damp surface.

Wall Preparation

If you’re after a perfect, professional finish, you must fill in any wall imperfections, and sand over peeling, uneven paint.

  • You can fill in small dints and holes with a drywall mix or filler mixed with water and applied with a small, flat-edged tool. Once the drywall has dried, use a fine-grain sandpaper to smooth out the surface.
  • To remove peeling or uneven paint, use medium-grain sandpaper and sand the area until smooth. Run your fingers over the area to ensure it is flat. Finish off with fine-grain sandpaper.




When painting over dark walls with a lighter colour, using a primer is essential. A white primer will conceal the colour underneath, allowing your new paint to dry true to colour.

Purchase a white primer, or a block-out primer. Use a roller to paint the wall. Roll out in big ‘M’ and ‘W’ shapes to ensure even coverage, and to avoid roller lines. Allow the primer to dry completely.

If you can still see the dark colour through the primer once it has dried, paint a second coat. Once the final coat of primer has dried, you’re ready to get painting.

If you’re ready to repaint your home, and want perfect results, don’t risk doing it yourself. We are professional and certified Brisbane house painters. Give us a call on 07 3829 5735 or send us an email. We guarantee amazing results every time.

Avatar for Louise Kraudelt

About Louise Kraudelt

Meet Louise Kraudelt, a knowledgeable and insightful author in the field of house painting. With a passion for sharing her expertise, Louise provides valuable information and tips on all aspects of commercial and house painting in this blog.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar for leeshin leeshin on 06/29/2015 at 6:56 pm

    many people are not aware of the wall preparation about painting. this article serves for it. thank you .

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