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The Best Primer Color for a Burgundy Paint Color

Jennifer Eblin

Before applying a coat of paint to your walls, you must use at least one coat of primer. A primer is a base coat in a neutral color that creates a suitable surface for the paint to adhere well to. Darker colors like burgundy really require a primer because one coat of such a rich, dark paint will not provide a shade that matches the color on the can. The best primer color for a burgundy paint is one with a pigment inside.

Why Use Primer

Paint is a mixture of pigment, which adds color, and a large portion of white base. A can of paint is up to 90 percent white paint and the other portion pigment, such as the burgundy color. Painting the burgundy shade directly on your walls is a problem because the pigment looks dull and faded. You need multiple coats of paint simply to achieve the desired rich burgundy shade all over. Using a tinted primer will create a dark underlying surface that mimics the paint shade. The primer helps darken the color of the paint and give you the desired burgundy shade with fewer coats of the burgundy paint.

Pigmented Primers

Dutch Boy released a primer product called Deep Tone Undercoat that has a deep red color. When you purchase the paint, you have the option of adding more pigment that tints the primer into a color that matches or resembles your paint color. Tinting options for the primer include purple and dark blue, which give the red primer a richer and redder appearance. If you cannot find pigmented primer, then opt for a primer with a thicker consistency. The thicker primer adheres better to the walls and creates a stronger base for the burgundy color.

Gray Primers

Gray primers work effectively at covering walls and reducing the number of coats required of your darker paint color. Opt for a gray color that is darker than steel gray and one that looks almost black to the naked eye. The darker color covers any lighter spots on the walls and darkens the paint color when you paint over the primer. The primer makes the burgundy look richer and darker than using no primer or using multiple coats of paint.


  1. Decorative Faux Painting recommends applying one coat of light primer. Once the primer dries, apply a dark coat of paint, such as hunter green or royal blue. After that coat dries, paint over the walls with your burgundy shade. The darker color applied first acts as a primer and makes the burgundy paint look more true.