How to cover a red wall paint

Updated March 23, 2017

Changing the colour of a room can prove to be a difficult task if the original colour is intense or dark. If you're staring at a red wall and are ready to swap for another colour, you may be facing a more time-intensive paint job than covering a soft colour or white wall. Covering a colour like red is a fairly straightforward process and may not require primer depending on the type of paint you are attempting to cover.

Place tape along any areas of the wall you'd like to protect from your new paint. For instance, run tape along the baseboards to keep them safe from paint, and along the ceiling to create a clean paint line. You should also move furniture out of the room.

Figure out what sort of paint is on the walls. To do this, rub a small spot on the wall with alcohol and a white rag. If the paint becomes soft and rubs off onto the rag, you have water-based acrylic paint. If not, the wall is covered with oil-based paint.

Cover the wall with at least one coat of primer, if you are working with oil-based paint. Be sure to tint the primer to roughly the same tone as your finish colour to decrease paint time and create a more even finish. If you have water-based paint, you can skip this step.

Paint over the original colour with an off-white or tan 100 per cent acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is thick and will cover the original colour as well as dry quickly. The off-white or tan colour will help boost your new colour as well as hide the old one. Be sure to use a high-quality, flat exterior paint to minimise colour bleed and required coats. Depending on the tone of your red wall, you may need more than one coat of exterior paint.

Paint over the acrylic covering layer with your final choice in finish paint. With a solid tan or off-white background, you should only need to apply one coat. Be sure to check for even coverage once the paint is dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Paint rollers
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint mixing stick
  • Paint roller pan
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