To Prime or Not To Prime


Primer is a vital part of some paint jobs but not all. It is important to use the right tools when needed and there are specific times to use primer. Lots of times people overthink their priming for a project. It’s pretty straightforward, if you have uncoated surfaces you need to cover it with a primer. Uncoated surfaces can be barewood, rust, bare sheetrock, joint compound, etc… You need to have a surface that the paint can adhere to evenly. If not your paint job will flash. For a paint job to flash means there is an area on the project that is more or less porous and looks different than the other parts of the project. Part of the primer’s job is to even the saturation rate of the paint to the project producing an evenly colored and covered surface. You also need a primer or transition color if you are changing a dark color to a light one. For most repaint projects no primer is needed at all. However pay particular attention to paints with a heavy tint load, they will need a grey primer to neutralize the color so that it’s easier to cover. A heavy tint load paint contains many different base colors or much high amounts of tint. This creates issues with coverage, with the grey primer it neutralizes the original color and allows the new color to cover in fewer coats. You will always need two coats of final color for a paint job to look it’s best.

The use of a primer can mean a quality job and can create a superior surface. While the primer can be a vital and imperative part of a painting project preparation of the area is more important. The second most important part of a quality paint job is the preparation of the surface (read about the most important part in this blog). The surface must be prepped correctly. If the surface is not prepared properly the primer, as well as the paint will fail. Preparing a project is one of the most essential parts of a job. Proper preparation will mean the area has been scraped, sanded, and caulked as needed. Be sure to allow enough time for the caulk to dry then apply the primer to all uncoated surfaces.

Often times with the lesser quality paint you’ll often need a third and fourth coat. Make sure that the coats are thoroughly dry between applications.

Keep in mind these simple rules:

    1. Proper Preparation – Be Sure! Read More 
    2. All uncoated surfaces need primer.
    3. Use a grey primer.
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