How to Paint Over Bold Colors Using Fewer Coats

Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your home. However, depending on the color you’re trying to cover, painting might not be quick or easy. Keeping up with the latest color trends can lead to pastels, jewel tones and everything in between. But when you’re ready to make a change, some colors are notoriously difficult to conceal under fresh paint. How can you paint over bold colors to make sure that new colors take and don’t bleed through?

Prep work

 Ben Akiba/Getty Images

Black is a sleek, stylish and stubborn color. Image: Ben Akiba/Getty Images

It’s less a matter of what colors are hardest to paint over but more about the transition, according to Jimmy Slattery, senior product manager at Valspar. “The more drastic the transition (light to dark, dark to light) the more difficult it can be to get the job done in less coats.”

If your paint job entails a drastic transition, Slattery recommends that you use a high hiding primer. If you can, get the primer in a tone close to the new color. “Also, vibrant reds, yellows and oranges can struggle to hide no matter what color they’re going over,” he explains. Slattery recommends applying a light or medium gray tinted primer tinted as this will reduce the number of coats that you’ll need.

 Peter Zvonar/Getty Images

Red and orange hues are notoriously hard to cover. Image: Peter Zvonar/Getty Images

The importance of primers

Brian Osterried, PPG Paints product marketing manager, agrees that priming is the key to success. This is true when you’re trying to cover dark colors with light colors – and he says when trying to cover light colors with dark colors. “When going from black to a light or medium color, a grey or deep base primer is recommended, such as PPG Paints SEALGRIP® tinted to grey,” he says. “Darker primers allow the lighter hue to cover in less coats and reduce the chance that the dark color will bleed through.”

Like the sun, this color wants to shine through. Image: Gladiathor/Getty Images

Tina Nokes, co-owner of Five Star Painting in Loudoun County, VA, adds that “Many people try to skip the primer step thinking that 2 topcoats will do the job.” However, she says you can prime now or prime later.  “A primer will ensure that you don’t have to go back and prime after two top coats, or you may end up applying a third and fourth coat of paint for adequate coverage when the finished result is not what you hoped.”

Nokes recommends using a high-quality stain-blocking primer. “This will keep dark paint colors from seeping through the fresh topcoat,” she explains. “Applying paint primer will also allow for no more than two coats of coverage, enhance the paint’s adhesion, and minimize the chance of the finish appearing streaky and uneven.” However, even with a primer, Nokes says that one coat of paint is rarely enough – especially to cover the most stylish color of the year. “Two coats are almost always required after using primer to assure even coverage and no flashing of the old color.”

She agrees that the primer should be tinted a grey color – or similar to the topcoat that you plan to use.

Quality products matter

Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images

This vibrant color won’t be easy to tame with a paint brush. Image: Wachirawut Priamphimai/EyeEm/Getty Images

While it’s important to use a high-quality primer, this doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the other materials. “Aside from the surface you’re painting and the previous coating underneath it, the biggest factor when it comes to repainting over a colored surface is the product you choose to use when repainting, “ says Osterried.

That might sound like just a sales pitch, but Nokes agrees. She says that a higher quality paint does a better job of covering dark walls because it contains greater levels of binders and pigments. “And these binders and pigments are necessary for hiding difficult colors and boosting coverage.” If you use lower cost paints, Nokes warns that they may not provide the coverage you need. This could result in your walls needing more than two coats after the primer has been applied.

Using top-tier tools is also important. “Use high-quality rollers and paint bushes to make your painting project easier and more efficient,” Nokes says. “These tools deliver the paint in a smoother, thicker coat, which works to conceal the dark color.”

Finals Tips

Paint Over Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Purple is a royal color, but it can also be a royal pain to paint over. Image: Paolo De Santis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Before you apply the primer, be sure to prep your walls. “Fill in nail holes and sand through rough spots to make sure the surface is smooth and free of structural problems,” Nokes advises.  “To ensure a perfect surface, wash the walls with a solution comprised of mild dish detergent and warm water to remove dirt.” She also recommends using a drywall pole sander. “This will break down the paint color, and increase adhesion,” Nokes explains.

In addition, she recommends that you cut and roll while keeping a wet edge. “This keeps the new color coverage consistent and assures that the cut lines won’t show up on the wall.”

The post How to Paint Over Bold Colors Using Fewer Coats appeared first on

Cavern Clay: The Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year

Cavern Clay Dining Room

Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year, Cavern Clay, warms up an inviting dining room. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019  Color of the Year

Cavern Clay is the Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year – and we are already falling in love with the possibilities. This unexpected, warm terracotta is a color chameleon with endless decorating opportunities. Cavern Clay looks like it fits with the heart of Southwestern decorating (which is making a comeback this year!). Paired with muted colors like blue, tan and even pink, the hues of the Painted Desert can be realized in your home’s decor.

Cavern Clay Living Room

Blue color accents balance the warmth of Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay. Image: Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay

“American Southwestern isn’t the only inspiration for Cavern Clay,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “We believe 2019 will be a renaissance of the 1970s — with a twist. In the coming year, we will embrace our pioneering spirits and artisan ingenuity. Our 2019 Color of the Year, Cavern Clay, embodies renewal, simplicity and free-spirited, bohemian flair.”

Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay can be more than an accent wall color. Though muted, Cavern Clay is crisp enough for an entire room with the right lighting and accent colors. A rich terracotta paint color is the perfect palette for all types of wood and natural surfaces but, of course, you’ll want to sample it in your home before committing.

How to Use Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay In Your Home:

Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay Accent Wall

Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay is perfect as an accent wall color. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Cavern Clay

  • Cavern Clay is a classic front door color. This rich, warm hue is an awesome backdrop for a door wreath or porch decor.
  • If you’re not ready for Cavern Clay on every wall, your ceiling could be the perfect spot. Choose a room where a dramatic ceiling color can make a statement, like a foyer or dining room.
  • Don’t listen to the rumors that accent walls are out of style this year — they will always be in fashion, and Cavern Clay has the right amount of warmth and drama.
  • Your dining room is not the only gathering space that can handle a bold color; Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay can bring instant warmth and comfort to your kitchen.

Each year, Sherwin-Williams not only names a Color of the Year, but they also provide innovative color palettes that give inspiration for the coming year. (Cavern Clay is part of the Colormix Color Forecast for 2019, found in the Wanderer palette.) This stunning master palette is divided into six themes for 2019 — each with their own story:

The Shapeshifter Palette

Sherwin-Williams Shapeshifter palette

Soft colors create a relaxing living room color scheme. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Shapeshifter

The Shapeshifter palette is the answer for all of us who love pastels but have yet to find a way to incorporate them into our homes. The subtle pastels of Shapeshifter are paired with anchoring colors to moderate the palette. This sweet color scheme is all about balance and creating a space that is truly “you.”

Sherwin-Williams says: “There are those who always seem a little ahead of their time. Visionary and creative, this palette reaches into the cosmos and returns with a whole universe of inspiration. Atmospheric wisps of colors, grounded by deep, dark blues, capture the unique space between technology and spirituality.”

The Wanderer Palette

Sherwin-Williams Wanderer Colormix Palette

The Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Wanderer color palette is rustic and relaxing. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Wanderer

The Wanderer color palette is a natural backdrop for all of your favorite treasures. Natural materials and artwork blend beautifully in this relaxing palette. Cavern Clay, the 2019 Color of the Year, can play a starring role on your walls, or as a perfect pop of warm color.

Sherwin-Williams says: “Some spirits can never be fenced in. They need to soak in the blue of endless horizon and the subtle earthy colors of the high plains and desert. Sun-washed and warm, this palette can be seen in the baked clay canyons, worn leather and woven wool blankets of the true New West.”

The Aficionado Palette

2019 Colormix Aficionado Palette

The Sherwin-Williams Aficionado palette is dramatic and welcoming. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Aficionado

The Aficionado palette signals a return to color. Neutral colors are still popular, but deep colors are joining them in many palettes today. The gorgeous smoky hue of Blue Charcoal or the rich Grandiose Gold are more than accent colors when you choose the right lighting and accessories.

Sherwin-Williams says: “Devotees of the best in life appreciate the well-worn, the bespoke and the rare. Like a bookcase of leather-bound classics, this polished palette evokes nostalgia and timeless tradition. With copper and gold anchored by merlot and deep, dark gray, these tailored tones make everything feel impeccable, tasteful and elegant.”

The Enthusiast Palette

Eclectic living room

The Sherwin-Williams Enthusiast palette is just the right mix for an eclectic living room. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Enthusiast

Eclectic style-lovers rejoice — the Sherwin-Williams Enthusiast theme is everything you’ve been craving in a color palette. These iconic and energetic colors work seamlessly with each other, tempered with a neutral or two for balance.

Sherwin-Williams says: “There are those who don’t know the meaning of ‘less is more.’ Passionate and eclectic, they have a calling to be unique. They embrace the details and create scene-stealing worlds that burst with beauty. The proof is in this palette that features bold pops of vivid color, maximum impact and lots of energy.”

The Naturalist Palette

Sherwin-Williams blue dining room

The Sherwin-Williams Naturalist palette in a light and airy dining room. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Naturalist

The Naturalist theme from the 2019 Colormix Forecast does natural without being boring. Reminiscent of the lush 1970s color palettes, the fresh green of Primavera plays off of Eros Pink for a charming and updated color scheme.

Sherwin-Williams says: “Walking barefoot in the garden, nature lovers instantly connect with the wonder of the world in full bloom. With roots in the forest, this palette’s colorful tendrils grew in hothouses and conservatories until they became these lush, sophisticated tones. Ranging from mushroom to leafy green to passionate floral pink, they’ve now found a place where they’ll never fade.”

The Raconteur Palette

Contemporary Bedroom Sherwin-Williams

The Sherwin-Williams Raconteur palette is perfect in a contemporary bedroom. Image: Sherwin-Williams 2019 Colormix Raconteur

The Raconteur palette is all about finding beauty in our experiences and surroundings. Colors gathered from our shared histories create a soothing and meaningful backdrop for our favorite decor.

Sherwin-Williams says: “From ancient sagas to today’s motivational speakers, we love our storytellers. With colorful accounts, they sum up our very nature and remind us how we’re all connected. Passed from grandmothers, traders and nomads, the tales traveled the world, gaining artistry, until we’ve translated them into a rich and modern palette that spans space and time.”

The post Cavern Clay: The Sherwin-Williams 2019 Color of the Year appeared first on