Dawn M. Smith

Red paint. It’s not for the meek or the time crunched DIYer. The red paint process will require lots of love from the painter, but when done right, the results are truly stunning and worth the effort.

Using a statement color like red requires a level of patience and planning that non-professional painters likely haven’t encountered, but if red is your heart’s desire, read on to learn helpful hints for achieving the perfect shade of ruby, cherry, brick or wine red.

Where should I use red?

Shades of red are often seen in dining rooms, as they are supposed to stimulate hunger, but red works well in other spaces. Playrooms, homeschool rooms, and even master bedrooms, because red can also trigger a sense of excitement and warmth.

Room size will play an important part. If the room is too small, red paint will become overwhelming. If the room is too large, four walls of red paint will evoke a circus tent type state of mind. Send in the clowns!

Light is an important factor to consider before applying the first strokes of paint. It’s wise to invest in a quart of your chosen red and paint a large square of the wall and watch how it reacts to the sunlight throughout the day, and how artificial light behaves at night. Remember undertone colors like blue-reds and orange-reds, as they can throw off a paint project.

Talk with a paint store professional, they’ll give their opinions on the right shade and brand for your job. They will also immediately recommend a primer or a tinted primer to help lay the foundation for the red paint to perform at its best.

How do I successfully paint with red?

Preparation is the key for the perfect application. Red is a show off color. Not only is it eye-catching because of its beauty, it also shows any imperfection on the wall. Clean and repaired walls are the only way to begin the process.

Quality primers are crucial, either when applied alone (a grey tinted primer helps to counteract existing paint) or if professionally mixed directly into the red shade. Investing in primers saves time and the need for expensive repeat red coats of paint.

Expect to use at least two coats and give ample time for drying. Red will show feather marks of the brush and roller so get the best tools to save your strength, time, and energy.

Don’t worry, if you didn’t choose the perfect red the first time, the same priming techniques neutralizes red too.

Not ready to take the plunge into a bold red?

Play with deep, strong pink colors, they evoke the same feelings as red.


Go with a classic red front door. The red provides instant and classic curb appeal. Follow the same methods for applying paint inside.

If you’ve always wondered about red, give it a go! It might just become your favorite room in the house.

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