How to Paint a Blue Room White

When painting a light color over a dark color, the most important part of the project is primer, a special paint that is applied before ordinary interior paint. Primer will help your paint adhere better and last longer, and it prevents stains and colors from bleeding through. Find primer at the home improvement store in the paint aisle. Check the labels and purchase a "high hiding" primer to provide the most coverage and eliminate the need for multiple applications of regular paint, which can be expensive. Taking the extra step of priming the walls will save you time and money.

  1. Move the furniture out of the room or push it to the center of the room and cover it with plastic or a drop cloth. Remove artwork from the walls.
  2. Use blue painter's tape to protect window trim, the ceiling and any other trim in the room that could come in contact with your brush or roller.
  3. Remove any nails from the walls and fill in the holes with a drywall compound appropriate for latex paint. Apply it with a small putty knife and scrape off the excess so that it is flush with the wall. If you plan to hang your artwork back in its original spots, you can leave the holes as they are.
  4. Use drywall compound to fill in any other gouges or holes in the wall. Let it dry. Sand lightly if necessary.
  5. Remove outlet covers and light switch plates with a screwdriver before you begin painting.
  6. Cover the floor with a drop cloth wherever you are painting. You can move the drop cloth with you around the room if you don't have enough cloths to cover the entire floor at once.
  7. Clean the walls to be painted, using a sponge mop and a cleaner designed for painting prep--non-sudsing and requiring no rinsing. Cleaners containing trisodium phosphate are best, but follow all safety precautions.
  8. Pour primer into a paint tray and dip a roller in, rolling it along the tray a few times to remove excess primer. If your primer instructions advise using a damp roller, dampen it with water before beginning.
  9. Apply the primer coat, using the roller for large expanses of wall. Roll as close to the trim as possible to cut down on the amount of brush-painting needed. Start at the top of the wall and move downward, catching any drips as you go. Use a ladder to reach the top of the walls.
  10. Finish the primer coat by using your brush at the ceiling and the floor, around windows and around switches, where the paint roller could not go.
  11. Let the primer dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  12. Apply the paint in the same way as the primer, beginning with a roller and moving on to a brush.
  13. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions and then apply a second coat.
  14. Reinstall the outlet covers and light switch plates when the second coat of paint is dry.
  15. Remove the blue painter's tape, take up the drop cloths and place the furniture back where it goes.

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic (optional)
  • Drop cloths
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Drywall compound
  • Small putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Sponge mop
  • Wall cleaner
  • Paint trays
  • High-hiding latex primer
  • Roller with long handle
  • Paintbrush
  • Ladder
  • Latex paint
  • Clean rags or heavy-duty paper towels


  • If you are priming over a latex paint, make sure your primer is also water-based and use a latex finish paint.
  • Canvas drop cloths are more expensive than plastic ones, but they are easier to maneuver and will provide you with years of service.
  • If you must leave your project for a few hours or even overnight, wrap paint-covered rollers or brushes in plastic (you can use plastic grocery bags, secured with a rubber band) to keep them wet and ready to use. This saves you from cleaning them before the job is finished.
  • Keep a dry rag and a damp rag handy while painting to wipe spills and drips before they dry.


  • Keep the room well-ventilated while painting. Open one or more windows and use a fan. This will help hasten the drying time as well as prevent accumulation of harmful fumes.

About the Author

Elizabeth Nickelaid is an editor and writer with more than 20 years' experience in the newspaper industry. She has won state and national awards for headline writing and has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wake Forest University.