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Brighten Up Dingy Walls for a Fresh Spring Look

March 4, 2024

Brighten Up Dingy Walls for a Fresh Spring Look

Assess the Condition of Your Walls

When you walk into a room and feel like the walls are dull or dirty, it can bring down the whole space. Before brightening up dingy walls, take some time to assess their condition.

  • Check for cracks or holes. Use spackle to fill in any imperfections so you’ll have a smooth surface for painting.

  • Look for signs of water damage. Stains or bubbling paint can indicate moisture issues that need to be addressed before painting.

  • Test for lead paint. If your home was built before 1978, the paint could contain lead. Use a lead testing kit before sanding or scraping.

  • Clean thoroughly. Wipe down walls with a degreaser and rinse thoroughly. This removes dirt, grease, and other contaminants.

Choose the Right Paint Sheen

The sheen or finish of the paint impacts how the color looks on your walls. Here are some tips for choosing sheen:


  • Flat or matte finish doesn’t reflect light. It works well for hiding wall imperfections.

  • Best for ceilings and low-traffic areas. Shows scuffs easily.


  • Eggshell has a soft, velvety appearance. Provides some sheen but still hides flaws.

  • Great for hallways, bedrooms, dining rooms. Washes clean.


  • Satin finish has a smooth, subtle gloss. Shows some color variations.

  • Often used in living rooms, bedrooms. Durable and stain-resistant.


  • Semi-gloss offers medium reflectivity and sheen. Enhances color vibrancy.

  • Recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, trim. Resists moisture and washing.

Pick New, Inviting Wall Colors

Dingy walls can feel lifeless. Choose new paint colors that feel uplifting and refreshing.

  • Neutrals like warm white, tan, or gray work well as main wall colors. They act as a blank canvas.

  • Pale pastels in shades of blue, green, or pink create a soft, soothing look.

  • Bold colors like navy, emerald, or crimson make a dramatic statement. Use them sparingly.

  • Multi-color paint techniques like ombré, stripes, or gradients add modern interest.

No matter what colors you choose, opt for paint with a matte or eggshell finish. The subtle sheen will keep walls looking bright and clean.

Add Accents for Personality

Beyond just a fresh coat of paint, there are easy ways to inject personality into your space. Here are some ideas:

  • Hang art, prints, or photos in fun frames

  • Display collections of objects, bottles, or baskets

  • Install removable wallpaper or self-adhesive tiles as accents

  • Paint or stencil patterns onto decorative trimwork

  • Arrange floating shelves to hold plants, books, and knickknacks

Accent walls in a bold shade or with wallpaper also help rooms feel cohesive and pulled together.

Improve Lighting for a Brighter Space

Proper lighting is key to making any room feel bright and airy. Here are some quick tips:

  • Clean fixture covers and bulbs so light can shine.

  • Use higher wattage bulbs in existing fixtures. Opt for “daylight” bulbs.

  • Add mirrors to reflect and amplify natural light.

  • Install new fixtures like pendant lights, sconces or track lighting.

  • Layer in supplemental lighting like table and floor lamps.

Opening windows, trimming foliage, and using sheer curtains also help maximize daylight.

With some prep work, fresh paint, and a few enhancements, you can easily breathe new life into dingy walls. A brighter, refreshed home feels just right for spring.

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