So You Want to Paint Your Room Red

Disclaimer: The following article is strictly my view, and not the official view of my employer or the stores I work in.

If someone asks me what is my profession, I would say that I am a merchandiser. And if I was asked what products I promote, I say that I promote house paint in one of the major retailers in North America. I make visits to 13 big box retailers in NE Indiana and Ohio, I order paint chips, I organize and spiffy up the paint center, and teach the associates and customers the qualities of various brands of paint. I made sure the paint equipment is functioning correctly, and I even get my hands dirty and tint the paint myself. (And if my hands are not dirty, I am not doing my job right!) It is a very good job. I am proud of my work. And today, I want to take the time to give you some advice.

Red. It is the color of passion and hot warmth. The corporate raiders would wear red power ties as a symbol of aggression and ambition. Decorators would use red objects to make monochromatic rooms less boring. And it makes any room fun. However, there are pitfalls to red paint that could frustrate any consumer. So before you paint your accent wall or anything else, consider the following.

Most reds in a given palette is actually made of two types of red pigment. You choose your red shade and when we tint your custom paint, chances are we will use a combination of these colorants to get your red: “Exterior Red” and “Magenta”. The color code corresponding to these pigments will differ with each retailer, but they all use these pigments.

Using budget paints may not get the red you want. Budget paint is quite thin and has more liquid content than their more expensive brands. I tint the paint and the pigment will dilute the formula. The result is less coverage. And when a customer select a red shade from the premium palette, I have to tell them that the recipe adapted for the budget paint will be off. To achieve some colors, the can of budget paint would overflow. So it might be better to save your money for the more expensive paint.

You may need to use a gray primer. I have customers come to me with stories on how they used multiple coats but the whiteness of the wall would peek through and make the resulting color look more magenta/pinker than intended. Usually this happens when someone buys the budget paint and painted a white wall. When a customer wanted red paint (especially if is a budget paint), I would recommend getting a primer that is tintable to a gray shade.

After tinting, wet red paint looks pinkish. That is because the red you chose is a combination of the two pigments described above. But when I dry your swatch with a hair dryer, the swatch will cure to its intended color. Don’t Panic!

That is what I want to say about red paint, as I really want you to have a successful project.