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How to paint a red wall white

Updated February 21, 2017

Covering an intense, vibrant colour with a light colour of paint can be a difficult endeavour. Often, even when the finish coat appears to have thoroughly covered the old paint, the original paint begins to show through over time. If you would like to paint a red wall white, you will need to use the correct materials, in the correct way. If not, you may end up applying multiple coats of white paint and still end up with a finish that appears uneven.

Remove switch plates from the wall using a screwdriver. Cover areas you do not want painted with painter's tape. Protect flooring with drop cloths.

Apply two coats of white acrylic latex primer to the red wall using a roller stocked with a nap roller cover. Allow two hours of dry time between coats. Allow the final coat of primer to dry for two full hours.

Wash all painting tools with water.

Apply a coat of white acrylic latex paint using the roller stocked with a new roller cover. Allow the paint to dry for two hours. Apply an additional coat if you notice streaking.

Tip

Apply primer and paint to any areas inaccessible with the roller using a 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush.

Warning

Red is one of the most difficult colours to cover with a light-coloured paint. Never attempt to paint white over red without first applying two coats of white primer, or you will likely end up with an odd-looking, streaky, uneven finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
  • Roller frame
  • Roller extension pole
  • 2 nap roller covers
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • White acrylic latex primer
  • White acrylic latex paint
  • 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.