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When to Use a Paint Primer

What is Paint PrimerBeyond just choosing colors, another big question when it comes to painting a wall is if you should be using primer or not.  And if you do use primer, what is the best option to go with?  It used to be that back in the day you had primer and you had primer!  Now you have paint with primer, different primer options, different materials, etc.  All of these options, of course, all have their own benefits and disadvantages.  So that’s why I am here, to help you figure out the best options for your needs (convenience, budget, ease of use, etc.).  Below you will find a variety of options available, why they are available, what they are good for and more.  The whole point though, is yes, you really should consider priming when painting.  It’s sort of like riding a bike without wheels, it’s just not going to work out in the end and you are going to end up putting more work into the project.

Interior Walls

When it comes to painting an interior wall, it can really change the look and feel of your home overall and it gives you a really good chance to mix and match colors and to add a little of your own personality into the style of the home.  Paint is really just an easy and quick way to transform a regular room into something really amazing.  If you live in a home and all of your walls are white and you never considered painting at least something like an accent wall in your kitchen, you might want to try it.  It’s a really quick and easy way to get a natural high because of A) all the colors available and B) how fun it is picking out those different colors!  One of the first things you need to understand about painting though is that there are some preparation steps you do need to worry about.  No, sorry, you can’t just paint a wall and hope for the best.  There are things you need to do beforehand such as prime your walls with primer.  This is a beneficial product though so it will be in your best interest to just do it and get it over with or hire a top house painter in Summit to do it for you.

Benefits of Priming

If you’ve never painted a wall, then chances are you also have never used primer before therefore you don’t know the true benefits of using this type of a product.  Here are a few true benefits to using a primer on your wall prior to painting:

– Lasting Finish:  If paint is the design of your wall, then primer is the shield against things like dirt, grime and dust and in some cases scuffs and marks.  Priming a wall prior to painting gives the wall and the paint an extra layer of durability.  Essentially priming is a great way to help you in the long run because a wall with primer tends to last longer paint wise than a wall without primer paint wise.  Primer also might mean that you can add one less coat of paint – sometimes!

– All in One Primers:  If you really want to save time and money, one option to consider is an all in one primer and paint.  This is essentially a can of paint with the primer ingredients already mixed into the paint.  This is a newer option (probably 5 or 6 years old).  This is a good option for people that are looking for a way to seal previously painted walls and uncoated primed surfaces without having to do a separate coat if primer, let it dry and then painting the wall.  It’s literally, an all in one that includes everything you need in one container.

– Tinting Primers Reduce Coats:  If you have something like a wall in a kitchen and you choose a paint such as Quiet Storm from Behr and you keep painting and painting and adding more coats and it’s just not getting to be the color you thought it was; chances are it’s because you didn’t prime your wall first.  Priming essentially “closes up” those small little indentations in the wall that suck up all that paint.  Priming a wall beforehand can help reduce the amount of coats needed to achieve the truest color or hue of the paint you picked out.  So if you don’t prime it first, it may take 3-4 coats to get to the correct hue of Quiet Storm.  But, if you did prime, it may only take 1-2 coats to reach the correct hue of Quiet Storm.  This is a time and money saver – paint is awesome, but specialty paint using specialty colors out of the range of black, white, gray and tan tend to cost a little more so having to coat it 4-5 times and go through a few cans can really bust your budget!

Types of Primer

When it comes to primer, this is something that varies widely, which is a good thing to be honest.  Here are a few of the primers available today in most home improvement stores, as well as what they are used for:

Dry Wall Primer:  As one would expect, this is for people that want to paint dry wall.  A new or bare drywall wall will soak up the paint like crazy.  But, using a drywall primer to prime the wall first and then paint the wall will allow for fewer coats which means you will save money and time.

Wood Primer:  Bare wood is one of those things that seems like it would be easy to paint, right?  Wrong.  Paint has a really hard time adhering to bare wood, which is why you need a slow drying oil based primer to help the paint stick to the wood.  This is going to take some time for the primer to dry correctly, but it will be worth it in the end.  Traditional wood primer takes about 24 hours to dry.  But, you can find some newer more modern options; you just might need to look around a little more.  The modern options have a faster drying time and they come in both oil and latex based products.

Masonry Primer:  If you plan on painting something like brick, it’s a good idea to look into a masonry primer before anything else.  Most masonry surfaces have a very high PH level.  This, like with wood, can cause adhesion problems which means you might try painting the brick and it either slacks off or it’s just piling up onto each other in big messy globs of paint.  It’s frustrating as heck for this to happen!  But, I can assure you that whether you prime it yourself or hire a top house painter in Summit to do it for you; priming beforehand is the way to go.

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