Painting Lighter Colors Over Dark Colors

I have one of those standing photo screens but it is a really dark color and the paint is chipped in several places. Since I don't like the color, I would really like to just paint it a lighter color like a cream or off white. Can I just paint right over it without the darker color showing through? What kind of paint should I use? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


By Runuts251 from Detroit, MI

April 4, 20090 found this helpful

No, don't paint it without using a good primer first- and that advice holds true for just about any paint job!

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April 4, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with the person who mentioned a GOOD primer, that is a must or your color will never cover good.

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April 5, 20090 found this helpful

Use a primer but stay away from a product called Klitz. You will be unhappy just trying to cover the klitz with the top coat. Go to a paint store. They can help you with the correct primer to cover a dark area with a lighter color.

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April 8, 20090 found this helpful

If you want to repaint something, you first have to determine what kind of paint is already on the surface. Is it a dark stain? Is it a high gloss paint? Or is it a a latex paint?

If it is a stain, which usually contains an oil. a new coat of primer probably won't adhere to it without using a lacquer thinner to clean the surface first and doing a little sanding.

If it is a gloss finish, you will need to use a paint thinner to sort of dilute the finish and then sand it. If it is a latex finish, a good primer will work, but a latex will not stay on a high gloss paint. Even after it is dry, the latex paint layer will just peel right off. But sanding a layer of latex paint is a little tricky. Latex is rubber and trying to sand it kind of balls up the paint. So I would advise against vigorously sanding on latex paint. You can lightly sand it so that a new paint layer has something to adhere to.

Any paint that is already on the surface should be sanded so that whatever you paint it with, whether it's primer or paint, has a good bond. Pat T in Nevada

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April 8, 20090 found this helpful

I was given an old dark brown dresser that had seen better days. All I did was sand it a little to rough up the surface, then painted it with white enamel paint from Walmart. That was 10 years ago and it still looks good!

Enamel paint is washable so that is an added benefit.

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June 9, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

What is primer? Can you please describe what it is or perhaps better still its purpose. I really need to know how to paint dark paint without removing it as I am highly allergic to that stuff that removes the old paint.


By Joan

June 10, 20110 found this helpful

You can also go to and type in " What is a paint primer" or other words that have paint primer in the question.

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June 10, 20110 found this helpful

A lot of paints these days have the primer already in them. Check the label to see if the color and brand you want has the primer in it. Also, there is a product on the market called KILZ. You can apply a couple of coats over your walls (2 if your going from dark to light). I always go with the paint with the primer already included and have never had a problem with coverage.

Hope this helps.

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June 11, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks so much. I will follow your advice starting today. We have a three day weekend. When I do not know how to directly translate a word, I have to fully understand the function so I can explain it to the vendor. I think I will be able to cope now.

Have a good weekend.

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June 11, 20110 found this helpful

Buy Behr paint at Home Depot. It is awesome! After my Mom & Dad passed away, I had to get their house ready to sell. My Mom loved dark green, & she painted their living room & kitchen a very dark green, even the ceilings! I bought a white paint that had just a hint of pale gray to paint the walls & pure white for the ceilings. It covered in one coat. No having to paint a second coat. I love that paint!

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