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Painting dark colors

Forget the old adage that small rooms need to be painted a light shade. White reflects light, making it the go-to color of choice, but what other hues can make a room appear larger? White most definitely isn’t the only answer. Be bold and paint a small room with your favorite dark shade.

Painting Tips for Small Rooms

  • Commit to color. Use one color on the walls, on the moldings, on the cabinets, even on the floor. By using one tone so completely, it makes the different planes all blend into each other. The boundaries are obsolete as the completeness of color unifies the room.
  • Use a gloss finish. A semi-gloss is the perfect selection in the kitchen or bath, but choose more subdued eggshell and satin finishes for the living room or bedroom.
  • Play up perception. Don’t run from shadow, embrace it. Using a dark color can actually camouflage a claustrophobic room. A deep blue provides depth. The corners will be cast in shadow and you’re not quite sure where they are, emulating the vastness of an expansive cavern.
  • Embrace your inner diva. A dark shade brings an element of drama and grandiose to a seemingly quaint room. A deep purple partnered with grey or metallics makes a room feel regal.
  • Make your walls recede. Try using a slightly darker shade on the wall opposite the door. This will make the wall appear to recede, leaving the room feeling spacious.

Transform your small living space into a welcoming environment with the power of paint. No need to shy away from your favorite dark shades and hues, let them serve as  your inspiration!

~This post inspired/contributed by ColorGuild. ColorGuild, the global paint and color authority, is a member based organization serves as a definitive resource on color and coatings.  As a member of ColorGuild, we welcome their contributions.

What a difference a shade makes


Have you ever wondered why that red accent wall just doesn’t quite cover in one or two coats? Many of the colorants used to make dark reds, blues or purples; and bright colors such as yellows, oranges, and greens, contain translucent pigments. Light will reflect right through these coatings to the primer or previous coating underneath and the coating will not appear uniform until enough topcoats are applied to match this reflectance. Sometimes, that can mean three, four or even five coats of your accent color.

Miller Paint has a series of gray primers that are specifically designed to match the reflectance value of your accent color. What this means is that you can achieve a more uniform appearance and the correct color in two coats as opposed to many headache filled coats.

One main thing to remember with dark or bright accent colors is that because of the amount of pigments added to the paint, the dry time will be considerably longer than other colors. A good idea is to use two light coats instead of trying to apply one heavy coat. This will help with the dry time and allow you to finish your project sooner.

So next time you’re picking out that accent color to make your room stand out, be sure to ask your Miller Paint sales associate if your project could benefit from using a gray primer. While it may seem like an extra step, it could save you two or three coats in the end.

~ Alex @ Tigard Miller Paint