Have you just finished painting an accent wall and are confused why it looks different than the original color? It not only happens with you; because a multitude of factors might make a newly painted wall look lighter or darker.


Does Paint Get Darker With Second Coat?

As the previous wall color was a lighter shade then might be possible the paint will appear darker and also depends on environments as many factors from surrounding also influence the paint color rather when dry darker and lighter.

Paints typically dry darker because of many reasons like the surrounding’s pint color or color contrast with the area’s furniture. As,  oil, acrylic, and latex paints tend to dry darker than the original color on the paint swatch.

Paint finishes like gloss may make the paint look darker because gloss paint reflects light, but flat paint appears to be lighter, the reason is it can absorb light and thus look lighter when dries out.

All paints contain pigment, binders, and a solvent so for the proper color wait for 8hrs to dry fully after this do the second coat if you want to.

Are you still confuse? Don’t panic, delve into this article to find more.

What Factors Affect The Paint Color After Drying?

Always apply enough paint coats that take ample time to dry, as it will also impact the paint color’s appearance if we apply a second coat before drying the first coat. Also, many factors affect the paint color which is as follow

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1.) Type Of Finish You Want:

The sheen of the paint depends upon the type of paint you are using; is it flat paint, glossy paint, or satin paint. Paints do not dry darker or lighter when dry it’s just the quality of the paint and environmental factors that made it so.

Gloss finish may look darker as paint reflects light so the pigment is unable to absorb more light thus appears darker.

Eggshell and satin paint are light absorbers and they stay close to swatch color with a matte or eggshell finish. Also, providing you almost the same color of the paint, with this paint on wall you can clean up the area if there’s any stain on it.

Flat paint’s chalky appearance is ideal for the drywall as it can cover a textured wall like having cracks, blisters.

2.) Environment Of The Painting:

Undoubtedly, not only the paint but the color scheme of the paint with plants, pictures, and furniture also matters a lot. So, before trying to paint your room walls, try a few samples first of the color you are going to paint to get an idea about how a color looks.

Always create a cohesive color scheme that means contrast with lighter and darker shades, wait for it to dry, and take a look. Pairing a dark color with other shades will make your paint darker as it is rich in colors.

3.) Lighting In The Area:

Lighting in the area is also another factor that makes the paint look darker than it is. So, natural light should strike with the new paint’s surface, as it showcases the original colors of paint.

Also, the sheen and finish of dark colors usually look darker in a room when it dries because of the position light sources differently. The paint should feel smooth on touch if there is no humid in the room otherwise it will cause blisters or cracks on the painting area.

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4.) New Or Old Paint:

The paint will fade over time. The pigments will react with their surroundings and degrade slightly with age.

The sunny room might experience more fading due to many factors like UV rays causing damage and dust particles too.

Due to the iron used to manufacture the pigment, colors that are red or similar to red such as orange, have a higher chance of fading over time. It is more susceptible to environmental damage.

So, Does Paint Get Darker With Second Coat?

Usually, when you use the second coat of paint it tends to appear darker when it is “wet”. But, wait till the paint settles in as the second coat tries to prevent noticeable streaks, so this may darken and deepen the color of the painting.

In actuality, the paint color with two coats of paint won’t darken the paint color but make it richer. So, the second coat will affect the coverage like color or richness so does the paint get darker.

Type Of The Paint Matters:

There are many types of spray paints that are good enough for a lengthy drying procedure in which time is required for drying. The main types are as follow, let’s take a look

1.) Enamel Paint:

Enamel paints dry within minutes and has a high evaporation rate of solvent and is best for painting the outdoors. It gives out a glossy finish by creating a firm surface, also it takes between 10-30 minutes to dry for a second coat and 8hrs for a full dry.

2.) Lacquer Paint:

Lacquer paint has a faster drying time comparatively and is made using thermoplastic polymer. Also, its surface-dry procedure takes 3-5 minutes to dry and is ready for the second coat but overall hard dry can take about 3hrs.

3.) Epoxy or Polyurethane Paint:

This type of paint is the fastest drying spray paint. Also, it is surface dry in only five minutes is best enough for the second coat and it’s hard to dry might take about an hour.

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Environmental Factors Also Count:

Several environmental factors play an important role in darkening the paint after the second coat as; Humidity is crucial as it might take more time in drying the paint as well also affect the paint quality and result in blisters on the painting area. So try to use the space with low humidity because the paint usually dries faster in warmer weather.

Also, working in below-freezing temperatures can affect the paint and paints turns out to be darker than the paint swatch so the painting space should be well ventilated.

Moreover, due to low temperature, there might be an issue with the paint’s consistency so will cause bubbles, cracks, or blisters about to the paint surface. As the project is time-sensitive but with all these factors it will take a longer drying time than usual.

What Are Some Basic Tips To Avoid Darker Than Expected Paint?

Here are some suggestions for preventing paint lighter or darker than planned, so here are some things to think about before starting your next painting project.

  • Get quality paint for better performance
  • Consider doing paint above 60o Fahrenheit
  • Always use a primer before painting
  • Make sure to keep humidity less than 70%, preferably around 50%
  • Before using paint, stir your paint thoroughly.
  • Try to avoid touching up the paint
  • Last but not the least, repaint the wall or else will appear to darken.


In painting, there are many factors that make the paint appear to dry darker or lighter like the paint quality, humidity, and temperature. So, try to figure out what issue might be possible the reason for darkening of the paint, we hope from this article Does paint get darker with the second coat?  you got enough information with a better understanding that you will paint with multiple coats without any disruption.


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