paint roller

How many coats of paint do I need?

Written by David | July 15, 2022

Are you getting ready to paint your house? Do you have some dark or “odd” colors in your home? Then you are going to need to know the answer to “how many coats of paint do I need?” in order to cover these colors.

painting dark wall white - how many coats of paint do i need

The pitfalls of painting with light colors

We are finally seeing the tide turning when it comes to colors. We have more customers wanting the lighter colors of whites and light greys than want dark or bold colors.

Is selecting lighter colors bad? Tomato Tomatto… It is really personal choice. The darker colors really do make a statement. The lighter colors make everything brighter. Want some other top comments about light colors?

  • the lighter colors will take more coats of paint to cover better
  • lighter color paints show all your dirt so make sure to get highly washable paint
  • lighter colors with lower sheen are cheaper than higher sheens
  • lighter colors make the room feel bigger

How do I cover red painted walls?

LOL – with a lot of paint. I say use a light grey primer as grey will neutralize red. You can use a white, but I think the red still has a affect on the undertones of the white (pink) so we use light grey.

You will most likely have to cut in the edges 3 times and roll it out 1 time to get the coverage you are looking for. You can see the house we are working at in Inverness, IL below where we are covering red paint.

This is also where the phrase you get what you pay for will really be seen. Lower quality paints just do not cover well.

How will my new paint color go over darker colors?

That my friend depends on the new color you are painting.

Every color covers differently. People cringe about painting red, but personally, I feel yellow is the worst color to paint.

We painted a home in Boulder Ridge subdivision that was painted an army green, that was pretty hard to cover as they selected a linen type white. Even with 3 coats of paint, we could have done 4.

When selecting a lighter color, we will often ask if they can add more white to the white base to get more coverage. We actually have a few other paint contractors that are experimenting with adding more titanium white raw materials to get better coverage. (we will let you know how that works)

Tools for painting

Just like paint, when it comes to tools, there is a huge difference, personally the Cortez Paint Brush by Corona and Purdy Microfiber Roller Sleeves are my go to and must haves…

There are others, but like the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket says, there are none like it!

Other tools you will need for painting your walls:

I could list about 20 more but to do the job, that is about what you need.

How long should you wait between coats of paint?

Waiting for paint to dry is a saying that gets tossed around when you’re bored.  Like watching grass grow.  The dry time of paint varies by the brand, the sheen and the color. The more tint that is in the paint, the longer it will take to dry. The higher sheens, ie gloss paint, I think take longer to dry was well. The instructions of paint will vary on dry times. 

  • advance paint says 16 hours between coats 
  • average flat or eggshell paints can be recoated in usually 1 or 2 hours or less.
  • using a fan will dramatically decrease dry time
  • if painting inside, keeping the air moving is critical, ceiling fans, HVAC etc., the more air moving the better
  • if there is high humidity it will take paint 2x longer to dry – that is another reason for air conditioning, it removes the moisture from the air 

We use the feel test. Is it dry to the touch? Then paint.  If the paint feels cold odds are there is moisture and it’s still too wet to paint.  Basically if there is a doubt then wait.  

How else can we help?

Let us know how we can help you love the space you’re in! From interior painting, and cabinet refinishing to wallpaper installation we are here to help.

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