5 Things to Remember When Painting with Bright Colors

5 Things to Remember When Painting with Bright Colors

Sarah Rae Smith
Feb 15, 2011

A few months ago my husband and I decided to paint our new main floor bathroom yellow. Buzz Lightyear yellow to be exact (yes from the Disney line). As you can see there's all sorts of work that still needs to be done, but there were a few things I learned along the way that I really wish I would have known about before I started!

Although our bathroom is far from finished and has somehow transformed into a holding area for things we don't want broken during the rest of our other remodeling, we learned a great deal about working with brightly tinted paint. If you can look past the toilet seat waiting to be installed, check out the tips below and share your thoughts in the comments!

1. Use a Separate Primer: There's all sorts of cool new paints on the market, many of which offer the ease and speed of having a primer built into them. That's all well and good if you're looking for something a little more neutral, but when it comes to brightly pigmented paint, you need a separate primer. 3 different store associates (from different stores) gave us warning that if we used the all-in-one products, we'd be using 4-5 gallons of paint and although the commercials said 1-2 coats, it would be more like 7-8 instead!

2. Prime Like Your Life Depends On It: Now neither my husband or I are new to painting. We've painted a million different surfaces in a million different homes (ok, so that number might be a little exaggeration) and there isn't much that surprises us. We put on 2 coats of our tinted yellow primer (3 in some spots that needed it) and after we started painting we wished we would have done more. Any spot, speck or previous bit of color will show through. If you don't cover it with primer, it will take more paint in the end (which is usually thinner, so it will take quite a bit more).

You can find the full line of Disney paints on their website. Once you get past the goofy names, there's some really great choices to pick from!

3. Consider the Sun: We can joke all day that you need your sunglasses to see in our bathroom (well at least my Father can), but truth be told, there's a one-hour window when the sun is at its highest right above our bathroom window where that joke, actually kind of comes true. It's like doing your business on the sun. Literally on the sun. We wouldn't change it, because honestly, we find it to be rather humorous, but for others less adventurous than us, it is for sure something to take into consideration.

4. Accent with More than White & Black: Any color when it's at its brightest can easily be accented by white or black. Although we thought we would tone down the yellow with as much white as we could cram into a small space, what really made it come together was blue. A little neon blue and green was just what the doctor ordered and things suddenly snapped into place (you'll have to wait a little longer for that reveal).

5. Give It 4 Months: During the process of painting, my brain was freaking out. It was yellow, so yellow that when I stepped out of the room to grab a drink or roll my sleeves back up, everything else was tinted yellow! Once it was on the walls, it was bright — so bright that I wasn't really sure it would work. The holidays happened and now that we're 3 months down the road, I love it and can't imagine changing it. (But a few days or even weeks after the job had been done, I still wasn't sure.) So make sure and give your space at least 4 months before you repaint if you really feel you've gone wrong!

Images: Sarah Rae Trover

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