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Advice for Picking Light vs Dark Paint For Your Apartment

Apartment Essentials April 17, 2022

It’s never easy to choose the perfect color and theme for your apartment. There are so many different decorations and changes that determine the beauty and style of your apartment. One of these is your apartment’s wall paint, and if you should pick a light vs dark paint color. Not every paint color looks beautiful and sophisticated in every apartment. Depending on your existing decoration, floorplan, and personal preferences some prefer darker paint shades, and some prefer lighter paint in the apartment. You may also consider wallpapers for your walls.

Light paints are usually suitable for apartments where the sun rays are extremely vivid. If your wall exudes lighter shades, it automatically enhances the surroundings once the sun rays hit the painted wall. It will also help keep the heat out as light colors do not absorb much light. Darker shades are generally not suitable for every situation. It often looks good if your apartment is among greenery or a place where very little sunlight enters the room. To know which shade to choose for your apartment and what color would be preferable for your apartment wall, skim through this article.

What should you do before painting your apartment?

Before making any sort of decision, the very first basic rule is to brainstorm. You also have to have a strong sense of visualization before painting your apartment. Think through what the final result would be, how it fits in with other decorations and furniture you plan to acquire, and how it fits the rest of the apartment style.

If you are a beginner, you must gain the knowledge around the basics of apartment painting. Even though painting an apartment sounds like fun and games, in reality, painting is probably one of the most patience requiring jobs you do. Painting by yourself is very easy, comparatively inexpensive, and easy to fix, albeit if you mess it up, you have to redo it again. Before you decide to grab a paintbrush and roller and decide to give a makeover to your apartment, first plan the outcome you are after.

So, here is some information that will help you to understand how you can paint your apartment with light or dark paint:

1. Plan Your Theme for All Walls, Ceilings, and Rooms: Create a mind map where you are going to put ideas for apartment painting. Consider all the colors you plan to use, both light and dark, and think through how it would look with your current or planned furniture and decor. Think through the look both during day and at night. Look around and examine your wall before visualizing it with paints. Imagine this is a project and start building your plans. You don’t have to paint one color on all four walls; you can bring varieties too. But that is totally up to you. You generally will also paint in sections, working on one wall at a time. If it’s your first time painting, pick the smallest or least viewed wall surface so that you can learn and see where to make improvements.

2. Test and Pick Your Final Color(s): Now think, would your apartment look better with light paint or dark paint? Do you want your room to look bright or dull? Do you want to go all rainbows and sunshine, or gothic, or neutral? Whatever you are planning to do, depends on your taste and your apartment. If you have paintings hanging on your wall or sophisticated furniture, these might be a factor for apartment painting as well. You just have to sync everything. Or you can put different colors on the wall at different times of the day and see which one goes with your apartment room. But here is a suggestion- try to test the color by yourself; don’t believe the pictures. Purchase smaller sample swaths of each color and test on a small area of your wall. Look at the color both in the light and dark as it will change its appearance. 

3. Get DIY Apartment Painting Tools: The tools you would need depend on the wall and the type of paint. Here is a list of basic apartment painting essentials:

4. Buy the Paint: Look around your room and think about how many paint buckets you would need to paint the whole thing. Measure out the total square footage (the length of the walls to paint times the height) and bring that information to your local paint or hardware store. You may want to keep an extra bucket of paint in case mistakes or scratches arise in the future.

5. Clean & Protect Your Rooms: To prevent your furniture from getting paint marks, cover them up with a cloth or other form of covering till you are done painting your room. Remove the bulbs and cover the glass walls with tapes. Proactively put painters tape and covering over anywhere you may accidentally paint over to keep your lines crisp, like edges and corners.

With those steps done, you can now start painting with your preferred light or dark apartment paint. These are the basic points elaborating what you have to do to finally put the brush on your apartment wall. If things are looking too difficult, you can also consider hiring a painter to do the work for you.

Types of paint to consider for apartment walls

As I have already elaborated on the painting system, let’s go talk about the types of paint that you might consider using on your wall. Every type of paint has light or dark shades. So let’s look at the types:

  1. Matte Paints: You would love to use this kind of paint if you want less reflective walls. Even though they are good for coverage, they are pretty vulnerable too. They will be damaged if you clean them with a cleaner. So, you have to use such paint in an area where you roam around less, such as the dining room, living room, or even ceilings.
  2. Eggshell paints: These are lighter than matte paints yet dark. So you would consider using them on living rooms, guest rooms, hallways, stairways, etc. They are good as they are not pure white which is hard to match well and turns dirty easily, and are very common for painting large areas.
  3. Gloss paints: Semi-gloss and high gloss paints reflect light more. While they can be considered for bedrooms, bathrooms, and places where you prefer the light to come in, but are more commonly used on fences or accents as opposed to the walls themselves.

These are the types that can make your apartment look lighter or darker.

Light Paint:

Certain colors reflect light when the sun hits them. Light paints usually look good when they are closer to a space where sufficient sunlight can enter. For example, colors like silver, light coffee, peach, light pink, white, sky blue, beige, oyster white, and many others absorb the light and reflect it back. The fact that they reflect light also means that they will not hold the heat from the sun as long and can keep the room cooler than darker paints.

Light paints usually look good in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and places where you go frequently. Light paints aim to please your eyes and brighten up your mood. But again, it depends on the perspective. Choices are subjective, so are types of paints.

But there are problems with light paints as well. If you accidentally put a stain on the wall, it is going to be very visible.

Dark Paint:

Unlike light paints, dark paints absorb the light and do not reflect back. Dark paints are suitable for living rooms, dining rooms, guest rooms, and even hallways and stairway walls because people visit such places less, so you don’t have to worry about pleasing your eyes. Dark walls can make your paintings or portraits and furniture look focused, and also, if you put a stain on it, it will hardly be visible. 

Of course, there are cons too. It is hard to get rid of dark paint if you ever change your mind. Also, it makes the room look darker, but if you are used to it, it might work for you.

Colors such as maroon, navy blue, purple and darker shades of blue work best as dark paints.

Pros and cons of light vs dark paint:

Pros of light paint:

  • Brightens up your mood
  • Blends easily with decor
  • Helps the room to look bigger
  • Can help reduce room temperature

Cons of light paint:

  • Very visible to dirt and stains.
  • Difficult to maintain.
  • Monotonous.

Pros of dark paint:

  • Highlights your furniture and other objects.
  • Better view and picturesque.
  • Room feels cozy.
  • Hides holes and stains.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Trendy because of the gothic culture.

Cons of dark paint:

  • Gets very dark at times.
  • Room feels congested.
  • Room temperature can be a bit higher if in sunlight

Which paint is mostly used in apartments?

If you look at online apartment tours around, you will see most of the apartments have lighter shades of paint, specifically eggshell white. The reason is to make sure whoever lives there feels comfortable because very rarely do people find serenity in darker surroundings. Light paint also makes your room look bigger, so there’s that.

Even though dark paints are trendy now because of the gothic culture, some people still prefer sunshine and rainbows. Apartment owners prefer light paints because they don’t look congested, and unless you are used to small spaces, you wouldn’t want to suffocate in your own house.

Different rooms require different types of paint:

You can make a chart where you brainstorm about painting. You can put lighter eggshell shades in your bedroom, such as light coffee, darker shades such as matte blue in your dining or living room, sky blue or white in the bathroom, and yellow in the kitchen. Also, you can go all white or silver because most apartments look good in a single shade. Some individuals even do high gloss on ceilings for a reflective effect.

Conclusion – Light vs Dark Paint

Apartments look good in a lighter shade if you ask for our recommendation. To use darker shades in your apartment, you need to be extremely determined. Both light and dark paint have pros and drawbacks, but it also depends on your taste.

Go with light paints if you want a bigger space and a gentle mood. Choose light paints if you don’t want to feel in your own apartment.

You still have a lot of choice for light paints when you think if you want an eggshell or matte color, and which light shade to go with, whether white, beige, or a light colored tone.

Go with dark paints if you are used to it and can handle yourself in congested or more dim spaces. Choose dark paints if you want your portraits to get the limelight and be a part of the trend.

In this article, we have instructed you on what to do before painting your wall and how to paint your wall. We have also provided information on the types of paint you can get in shops. We have distinguished between light paint and dark paint and provided the pros and cons of each paint. We hope you can now decide and paint your apartment with your choice of light or dark paint.

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