Think of painting a wall red like decorating a cake. When you put white frosting on a chocolate cake, if the frosting isn’t thick enough the darkness of the chocolate cake shows through the frosting, affecting its color. So you compensate by applying more frosting until the color is consistent. Red paint is the same way. If you haven’t applied enough coats, the paint isn’t thick enough, and the wall color underneath affects your end result.
For an average 12’x12′ wall, you should expect to apply two coats of red paint. If you have a darker red, it might require three coats for complete opacity. And if your walls are textured or bumpy, definitely plan on at least three coats since the bumps will be highlighted in the paint. The more textured your walls, the more coats you’ll need to apply.
How this applies to your situation April, is that right now you can still see the cake underneath the frosting; i.e. the wall color underneath your red paint, which is why your walls are still an ugly pinkish hue. If your current color is close to the end result, then I wouldn’t worry about this and just continue on with the paint you’ve already purchased. Odds are you’ll achieve the color you are looking for in the next coat or two.
Avoid one coat paints
Many DIYers are tempted to use a “miracle paint” that claims you can apply it in just one coat. You see these products used on home improvement shows all the time. The most popular example is Benjamin Moore’s ONE COAT Paint, which says it provides full coverage with just one coat. While they don’t work for every situation, they will save you time if they do what they claim.
Products like these are helpful when your walls have no texture or bumps because it creates an even layer of paint over the entire wall. But there are times where you might need 2-3 coats of regular interior latex paint if your walls have really bad texture or uneven spots that stick out more than others. If those spots stand out, the only way around it is to apply more coats of paint or use a “miracle product”. While the cost of using a one-coat paint might be lower than applying 3 coats, you’ll end up paying for it in your time and energy.
Your walls aren’t going to look good unless they’re covered with enough coats of red paint. And if you have any bumps or texture on your wall surface, even a miracle paint will need more than 1 coat of regular interior latex red paint. It’s always better to estimate how many coats you’ll need and buy twice as much as you think you’ll need so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later on because you don’t have enough leftover to finish the job.
While you can use some of these products to save time or effort, they don’t always deliver on their promises. The real key is to know how much paint your project will require and plan accordingly. If you want professional looking results, it takes patience and elbow grease—which isn’t a bad thing if you get right down to it. Painting is supposed to be hard work; it’s often satisfying labor that helps improve homes while allowing homeowners an opportunity for self-expression through color choices.
Paint and Primer
If your color is still too far off, I’d consider going back and purchasing the paint and primer in one combo you mentioned above. Now it’s important to remember that some people would have you believe that a paint and primer in one combo could tackle this job in just one coat. Unfortunately this is not true. When it comes to darker pigment rich paint colors, it will still take two or three coats to get the job done. Considering that you’ve already painted two coats on your wall and it is not even close to the color of the sample, it might be time to switch to a paint that is a little thicker and will coat the wall better. I hate to tell you to buy another paint product, but this may save you time in the long run. Not to mention that if the combo paint gets the job done in less coats, it might actually be cheaper because it requires less paint.
Whether you stick with it and apply more coats of paint or purchase a combo paint instead, in the end you’ll see the results you were hoping for. It’s just going to take a bit more elbow grease to get the job done!