Monday, 22 June 2015

Life Hacks 101: How to Quickly & Cheaply Paint a Lighter Colour over Dark

I love life hacks. Seriously, I spend my days figuring out or researching ways to get things done as efficiently as possible. Hence my new weekly blog feature - Life Hacks 101.

Welcome to my first installment :)

Mr C and I have recently taken on the challenge of decorating our living room. About four years ago we went through a similar exercise with the same room, but it was a patch and repair job. Now of course, it is much more of a major undertaking, but more on that in a later post.

One of the bigger issues that we had this time is that I wanted an entirely new colour scheme. Well, who wouldn't, right?

We opted for a custom green by Valspar for our chimney feature wall, mixed for us by a lovely chap at B&Q (left) to match the exact colour of our new curtains.

This is accompanied by a cool 'daisy chain' ivory for the remaining walls. The palette is completely the opposite of what we had previously - especially the new lighter green versus the original chocolate brown chimney (what was I thinking?!).

Anyone who has tried to paint a lighter colour onto a darker wall will understand how immensely frustrating it can be. But a few years ago I learned something that changed my decorating life forever, and with a little patience, this light vs dark situation is easy and cheap to fix... honestly.

Here's how:

Step  One: Source a tin of cheap grey matt paint to use as a primer. It doesn't really matter what shade of grey, or what make of paint (don't be afraid to go cheap, especially if like me you are on a budget) as long as its not too light or too dark and it's a matt finish. Trust me, you will be causing yourself more issues if you buy a silk paint.

We had some left over from a previous grey cover up job, 'Grey Slate' from B&Q - yes, the reviews are correct, it is not great for coverage and it does dry patchy, but it's cheap and we are not using it as a finished product, only a primer.

Paint over your dark colour with your grey.

Step Two: Leave to dry completely. Walk away from it for at least 6 hours to give it time to dry and settle. Touching the wall to check if the paint is dry does not necessary mean that it is.

Step Three: Paint over the grey with your new colour. If necessary leave to dry and then apply a second coat.

This is the new colour after just one coat. It will need another, which will be applied later this week when I have a free evening after work.


No stripping, no cracking, no millions of coats, just a simple coat of grey primer followed by a coat or two of your chosen colour for a great result. 

What's your decorating life hack?  

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