Guide to Basic Uses Of Paint Primer

Guide to Basic Uses Of Paint Primer

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    It is difficult to answer the question of whether or not to apply a paint primer before applying the colour coat because it appears that everyone has a different opinion on the matter.

    Because applying one or two coats of paint primer helps produce a better colour coat, paint manufacturers almost universally advise their customers to apply the primer using a paintbrush, paint roller, or paint sprayer. Primers are often recommended by painting contractors who charge by the hour. However, painting contractors who charge by the job might recommend skipping the primer, particularly if the cost of the materials is included in the price.

    When painting interior walls, investing in a coat of primer may seem like an unnecessary expense; however, in almost all cases, it is worth the investment. When painting new drywall, primer is an absolute necessity, and doing so offers a number of advantages over using paint with a high gloss or a semi-gloss finish. When painting over wallpaper, regardless of whether the wallpaper is porous or not, and wood panelling, regardless of whether the wood is finished or not, you need to use primer. When painting directly over flat wall paint, you typically do not need to use a primer.

    Do-it-yourself Priming is a step that painters typically want to avoid doing before painting if it can be avoided. When it comes to painting, the answer is frequently determined less by objective factors than by subjective ones such as cost, time, and an individual's level of patience. After all, it is possible that priming is a waste of time and effort. Priming requires the same amount of labour as applying the colour coat. Although each stroke of the brush and each roll of the roller are identical to what you would do for the colour coat that will ultimately be applied, in the end, everything will be concealed.

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    Benefits of a Primer Coat

    When primer is applied over new surfaces, it seals the original material, preventing the paint from penetrating it and reducing the need for additional coats of paint. Primers not only prevent bleed-through from knots and other naturally occuring blemishes and colouring in the bare wood, but they also help to conceal joints, also known as seams, on newly installed drywall. Mold stains and other types of discoloration can be concealed by using primer that has stain-blocking properties. This will prevent the stains from showing through the finish coats of paint. The application of primer to masonry, metal, and many types of wood surfaces is necessary to ensure that the paint will properly bond. Hitch Property Constructions provides home painting services to help you paint the home of your dreams.

    Primers are typically white, but there are a variety of other colours that can be used. This is done to provide a neutral surface so that the true colours of the paint can be displayed. It is not necessary to colour the primer itself; however, some paint stores will add a small amount of pigment to the primer in order to make it more similar to the colour of the paint you will ultimately use. When the final colour is going to be significantly lighter than the surface's initial colour, this is a good strategy to use.

    Types Of Paint Primer

    Oil Based Primer

    Because they work well with both latex and oil-based paint, oil-based primers are extremely versatile. This makes them an excellent choice for painting projects that require either type of paint. They are resistant to stains of almost any kind and can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces. In addition, if you are painting over a surface that is heavily stained, using a primer that is oil-based helps to cover the stains so that they do not show through the paint once you have completed the painting project.


    If your finished product will need to be able to withstand the elements, using a primer that is oil-based is a good choice because it is exceptionally good at withstanding changes in temperature. Because they help to prevent stains, it's also a good choice for the areas of your home that will have a lot of contact with little hands (like the walls, cabinets, or doors), such as when your children are playing or eating. In a nutshell, if you have young children living in your house, an oil-based primer is going to be your best bet in terms of securing stains that are already there and helping to prevent new stains from appearing.


    Primers that are oil-based have to be handled with a little bit more care and time than those that are water-based. This is because oil-based primers may work better on surfaces that come into regular contact with people. This primer needs to be thinned with mineral spirits in order to work properly, and the drying time is an entire twenty-four hours. When compared to other kinds of primer, oil-based primer is more challenging to clean because you cannot use water and soap on it like you can with other kinds of primer. In addition to this, it contains a high level of COV compounds, which have come under scrutiny in recent years due to the potential adverse effects they may have on one's health. There are also requirements for the disposal of oil-based primer along with any brushes or other tools that are utilised while working with it. It is strictly forbidden to put it down the drain or bury it in the ground; instead, you must let it dry out completely before disposing of it.

    Key Features

    When priming masonry, do not use an oil-based product. This type of primer works best on unfinished wood, unfinished drywall and walls that have been patched, as well as rough surfaces or surfaces that have been stained. This primer works exceptionally well with porous woods; consequently, if you are going to use unfinished wood in your project, this is the primer that you should use.

    Remember the dry time of 24 hours that was mentioned earlier, and make sure that you plan enough time for this aspect of your project when you are planning it. Before applying, mix an oil-based primer that has had a small amount of mineral spirits added to it. This will make the primer thinner. In order to get a nice, even coat and a smooth finish when working with an oil-based primer, you should only ever use paintbrushes with natural bristles. You can get help from Hitch Property Constructions in a wide range of service areas with their specialised selection of home renovations.

    Latex Primer

    Latex primer is a healthy alternative for individuals who are concerned with VOCs because it is water-based. Because of its water-based composition, this type of primer works particularly well on softwood, bricks, and concrete. It helps to provide a thin and even coat prior to the application of paint.


    When compared to oil-based primers, latex primer has the advantage of being applicable to a wide variety of surfaces, whereas oil-based primers are restricted in the types of surfaces that they can be used on. Primers made of latex perform exceptionally well when applied to drywall, plaster, woodwork, metal, and masonry. In addition to this, it has a very fast drying time, which means that you won't have to wait very long to finish your project. Only three to four hours of drying time are required before you can begin painting, although a test patch is usually recommended regardless of the type of material you are working with.

    In addition, in comparison to oil-based primers, it is more flexible and less brittle, which means that you won't have to worry about your finished project cracking into pieces once you're done with it or peeling away from its surface. Because it emits almost no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and some of it emits no VOCs at all, it is ideal for use in indoor settings (especially unfinished drywall). Even though primers and paints made with latex are more likely to become stained, the water-based component of these products makes it simple to remove any stains that do occur.


    The most significant problems associated with using a latex primer are discoloration and inadequate coverage. Latex primer and paints are much more susceptible to discoloration than their oil-based and shellac counterparts. It does not have the same level of thickness or durability as other types of primers, which makes it less than ideal for use in areas that have a lot of stains already. Despite the fact that it dries very quickly, you should still perform a test area before applying it to wood in order to determine whether or not it will cause the grain of the wood to become more visible. This will add some extra time to the completion of your project; however, protecting the wood from the primer's damaging effects is of the utmost importance if you want a beautiful finish.

    Key Features

    A latex-based primer can easily cover a wide variety of surfaces and has a drying time of between three and four hours. It is simple to dispose of and contains very few or no volatile organic compounds. Even though it is a healthier alternative, it is essential to ensure that the room is well ventilated and that a fan is running at all times in order to prevent exposure to any potentially hazardous fumes. If you are working with wood, it is imperative that you perform a test patch prior to carrying out the full application. This will ensure that the wood is not harmed in any way. A synthetic brush is the ideal tool to employ when working with latex primer.

    Shellac Primer

    Because it helps seal surfaces, you should use this whenever you're doing work inside. Because it has a multitude of positive qualities and only a small number of negative qualities, it has been hailed as an excellent primer for hundreds of years. This is why it has been praised. In addition to this, it is an excellent choice for concealing unsightly stains.


    Shellac primer dries in less than an hour, in contrast to the other primers on this list, which require multiple hours to fully dry. This makes finishing projects quick and easy, and even if you decide you want to do a test patch, it won't put your project behind by very much time. Similar to oil-based primer, it does an excellent job of blocking stains and makes the cleaning process easier in the event that fingerprints or stains begin to appear. Additionally, it is one of the primers that works best to cover stains that have already been applied to the surface. Last but not least, because it has a high level of adhesion and can adhere to a variety of substrates, any leftover primer can be utilised for other projects at a later time.


    When it comes to shellac primers, there aren't that many people who have complaints. In spite of the fact that it has a higher concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the majority of people are willing to look past this drawback because of its remarkable and virtually unrivalled capacity to give surfaces a smooth, even cover before painting. There is an additional step involved, which is known as thinning, but it is not overly complicated. Before applying, you will need to have a minute amount of alcohol that has been denatured. Just combine everything and start priming! Because shellac primer emits a greater quantity of fumes than latex does, it is essential to maintain adequate ventilation in the room at all times. This can be accomplished by keeping windows open and operating a fan. Masks are worn by some individuals so that they have an additional line of defence against the chemicals and vapours that are present.

    Key Features

    Shellac primer must be used in conjunction with oil paint or latex paint in order to be effective. It can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, plaster, and plastic, which speaks to its adaptability. When working with shellac primer, ensure that the space in which you are working is well ventilated at all times due to the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and be sure to dilute it with alcohol. Shellac primer can be applied with paint brushes made of either natural or synthetic bristles; however, the majority of people favour using natural bristled brushes.

    Reasons For Priming Before Painting


    Primers for paint are intended to create a solid base that subsequent coats of paint can adhere to. Paint primer is also helpful for hiding stains on the surface.

    Provides a Stable Base Surface

    The presence of pores on a surface is the condition that almost always calls for the application of a paint primer. When the surface is overly porous, an excessive amount of the paint will be absorbed into the surface. Before the paint can harden into a thick, protective shell, it requires multiple coats of paint to be applied.

    Additionally, the opposite can also be a source of difficulty. Adhesion of the colour coat is difficult to achieve when the surface has an excessive amount of gloss because the paint cannot lock onto the surface. Priming a surface with paint creates a texture that is ideal for paint to adhere to because it is slightly porous and slightly rough.

    Covers Stains

    Paint primer is also useful for covering lower stains because of its opaque nature. With the stains covered, the colour coat is free to do its job of providing beautiful colours instead of covering up stains.

    Primers are typically more cost-effective than paint, which is another reason why it makes more financial sense to use primers rather than paints for base coats.

    Priming is a strategy that will never let you down. Prime the wall if you are unsure about the condition it was in before painting it because this is the option that will give you the best results.

    Do You Have to Prime Before Painting?

    To determine whether or not to prime the surface first, you do not need every condition to be met successfully. Common circumstances that bring about the requirement for primer. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a comprehensive selection of home maintenance services.

    Surface Is Porous

    Priming is typically required when working with surfaces that are highly porous. Both the exposed facing paper on the drywall and the dried joint compound that covers the seams of freshly installed drywall are extremely porous. This makes newly installed drywall particularly susceptible to water damage. Unfinished wood is even more porous than regular wood and always needs to be primed. Paint primer is required for masonry materials such as bricks and retaining wall blocks.

    Drywall Is Skim-Coated

    A skim coat is a very thin layer of drywall compound that is applied over drywall that has not yet been covered. A skim coat is not something that you will come across very frequently because it is regarded as a level five finish, which is the highest grade that is possible. However, because it is highly porous, just like bare wood or drywall paper, it needs to be primed with at least one coat of paint before it can be painted.

    Previous Coat Is Glossy

    Glossy base coats don't do a good job of holding paint. The colour coat will adhere better with the assistance of a light sanding with sandpaper and one or two coats of primer. Using a primer will help subsequent coats adhere to the surface, and this is true even if you choose not to scuff the glossy sheen. Plastics and glossy paints almost always call for the surface to be roughened in some way before the painting process can begin.

    Colour Changing From Dark to Light

    Stay away from the headaches that come with continuously painting over darker colours with more expensive paint in lighter colours. If the existing colour is extremely dark, you should begin by priming the surface with two layers of white paint first.

    It is important to keep in mind that most paint retailers have the ability to tint your primer if you are going from a light colour to a dark colour. As a result, the colour of the primer will be more similar to the colour of the wall finish, and you will need fewer coats of both the primer and the colour.

    Surface Is Stained

    Priming blemished or stained surfaces with one or two coats of paint before painting is highly recommended. For these conditions, you might want to think about utilising thicker primers like Kilz 2 or Kilz Max.

    FAQs About Home Painting

    Priming is typically all that is required to get the job done. In contrast, if you are priming knots or stains and they remain visible after the first coat dries, you may need two coats. If you are painting over an existing layer of paint and the colour isn't being altered in a significant way, you can usually get away without using a primer.

    You will need to apply two to three coats of primer to the wall in order to ensure a strong bond between the new paint and the wall and also to cover any previous colours, particularly if they are red, orange, or an odd colour that has become out of style. To summarise, you will typically require two coats of primer for the majority of the painting projects you undertake.

    The majority of primers can be left on a surface for anywhere from a few hours to thirty days before painting is performed. The amount of time required differs according to the type of paint and primer used, the amount of time it takes for the primer to dry, the surface that is being painted, and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.

    Waterproof primers are increasingly popular for use on the exterior walls of homes in this day and age. This is done for a variety of reasons, including extending the life of the structure and reducing the risk of leaks. A barrier against water and moisture will be created by the coat of primer that is applied to the exterior walls. Your home's walls will not become damp because of this coating layer's protection against it.

    If the paint or primer you are using is water-based, you should wait at least three hours before applying a second coat of it. This is a good rule of thumb. It is best to wait twenty-four hours between applying oil-based paint and primer. If you are unsure, the instructions that are printed on the label of the paint can provide you with the most definitive answer.

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