My bedroom walls are currently dark gray, and I want to paint them bright pink

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We all know that primer is recommended when going from a dark color to a light color, but is it really necessary here? I'd rather skip the primer, but I don't want the gray to potentially alter the shade of pink and make it darker.

  • 2
    Might take a few more coats of expensive paint, but cheap primer is not necessary.
    – crip659
    Nov 26, 2022 at 23:41
  • 1
    I would go with the primer. I my experience with white on black, the black always bleeds through. Nov 27, 2022 at 1:01
  • 1
    Many paint stores will sell you a small "try it" container of a paint you're interested in, so you could test this yourself for about $5. Personally I would go with a white primer; it'll give you a color closer to what you expect.
    – keshlam
    Nov 27, 2022 at 3:00
  • This is entirely a matter of opinion (color and quality standards) and the products you choose. I'm voting to close as off topic.
    – isherwood
    Nov 28, 2022 at 13:59
  • I'd say explaining that and how to deal with it is on topic, answering the question behind the question. Edit to rephrase it that way rather than close.
    – keshlam
    Nov 28, 2022 at 15:05

4 Answers 4


You can paint with no primer if you choose to.

Primer typically costs less than paint, and may save a coat or two of paint to get to an acceptable result. So it's the wiser choice, especially with a drastic transition from a dark color that will show through easily.


"but is it really necessary here?" This is a question that will only be answered after you've painted the walls. There are quality paints out there that have the primer added to them. I've used them since they came out and have always been very satisfied with the results after one coat. The primers are really important if you've ever patched/ repaired the walls. The repairs might not show up on a dark wall but they sure could on the bright pink wall.


The paint will tell you how many coats you need. Primer is not necessary. I rarely prime bare sheet rock. I use a quality paint - like Ben Moor's Aura or SW's Super Paint. The main point is use your fav stores high(est) quality. Your eyes are sensitive to coverage and if you look closely you will see the gray bleed (I call it ghosty) which tells you to use another coat. The bleed of color into your pink will be a product of needing another coat. [I once used a specific red (Ralph Lauren at HD) on "my" kitchen walls and used 6 coats and I still did not like the cut-in coverage.] Any change of color will need at least 2 coats - even white on white unless it is exactly the same white. Any repairs that are visible are caused by 2 things... the quality work in patching/sanding the repair and the type of finish that needs to be sealed - not the color - for example flat/matt shows imperfections less (like a patch/ruff walls). Eggshell or semi-gloss is a tougher finish to make consistent and shows flashing & imperfections more. Spot-prime each patch with the same finish (Eggshell/SG) paint before rolling the walls - that will help seal the patch. No priming is needed for Aura Matt. Bottom line: I would rather try to get 2 coats and skip a primer. If a 3rd coat is needed then do it - if you want the exact pink color you chose. That is why I used Ralph L's own red - it was too risky to duplicate at the time in another manufacturer's paint. Ben Moor's Regal line is good and less expensive than Aura. You simply cannot go wrong with Aura Matt and it touches up easily. Prices on paint are crazy all around. Is it worth $20 more per gallon? How important is the job?

  • An edit to include some formatting would go a long way toward making this wall 'o text more readable. Also, avoiding nicknames and/or abbreviations that aren't obvious will help those who aren't as familiar with the painting world as you seem to be - remember, many people here are raw rookies and do need it all spelled out for them.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 28, 2022 at 14:05

You can also buy quality custom color paint & primer in one. Even with that, I think the initial coat's color would not be true and off a bit than if you painted a neutral-colored wall.

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