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Can Primer Be Used as Paint? (No, Here’s Why…)

Can Primer Be Used as Paint? (No, Here’s Why…)

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Primer helps seal off surfaces and enables the paint to stick on walls since it’s adhesive. But can you use primer as paint? Or rather, can paintwork the same way as the primer would while you’re painting? 

The first thing you need to know is that primer consists of resins, enabling it to bind on surfaces. A primer is also used before you begin painting. But primers cannot withstand elements like paint and can deteriorate over time if used without paint or any other topcoat.

To understand more about all these, read this informative article.

Can I Use a Primer as Paint?

No, primer acts as the undercoat or base coat, and it helps seal surfaces and hides imperfections. A primer contains resins, making it work as an adhesive and preparing surfaces for painting. After applying primer, you should topcoat it with paint (which has pigment) and add color to your walls.

If you use primer as paint, it will not last long, and with time, it will become chalk and won’t be able to hold your paint. This is because its quality has been interfered with.  

How Paint and Primer Work?

Primer is used to seal off porous surfaces and make them waterproof, mold-resistant, and durable. A primer will enable your paint to adhere to surfaces better, preventing cracks and peeling off. It also helps conceal dirt and imperfections on the wall creating a uniform surface for painting.

On the other hand, paint helps make your walls beautiful as they give color to a once dull surface. Paint will also help your walls have texture giving them a unique look depending on your preference. You can also use paint to protect surfaces from scratches, dirt, or cracks.

This means that primers are problem solvers as they help paint hide imperfections and adhere to surfaces. The main work of paint is for aesthetic purposes. Primer is basically the undercoat, while the paint is the topcoat.

Can Paint and Primer be used on same Surface?

Yes, using a primer first before painting will enable your walls to be durable. The primer will also reduce your workload by concealing dirt and imperfections on the walls.

This prevents you from additional work as you’ll not apply several paint coats to hide the dirt. Primer will also help you do away with odors on the wall like those from cigars which paint can’t.

How Many Coats of Paint to Apply When Used Primer as Basecoat?

If you apply primer before painting, you don’t need to apply several coats of paint. Remember, you do several paint coats to conceal imperfections on the walls. This is the same thing that the primer does. So, after priming, you can do just one coat of paint. However, consider doing the second one if there are priming knots or stains after the first paint application. 

What Happens If You Use a Primer as Paint?

Primer comes in various colors and can make surfaces look neat and smooth. This can convince someone not to apply the topcoat(paint). If you prime your walls and don’t paint them after some days, the primer will get damaged and form chalk. So, if you plan to paint these surfaces later without priming, it will be a waste as the paint won’t stick on the surfaces well.

Can You Paint Without Priming?

Even though it’s not advisable to paint without priming, there are some instances where this is applicable. For example, if your walls are clean (you’ve washed them with a solution containing water and tri-sodium phosphate). Or if the paint you intend to use is the same color as the one there before. This means the old paint won’t show through the new coat you apply.

How Many Coats of Primer Should I Apply If I’m Also Using Paint?

You can do one or two coats of primer, depending on how the surface looks. One coat is enough if it’s not too dirty or with fewer cracks. But if the surface is too dirty, two coats will do. After that, apply primer on top of the paint to have a uniform look.

 Why Should You Paint After Priming?

The reason why you should paint after priming is to get a colorful coat or surface that’s beautiful to look at and brightens the space. You only need to choose your favorite color then turn a dull corner into a vibrant area.

Do You Consider Primer as Part of The Paint Coats When Painting?

Every coat of paint/primer you apply counts differently as each serves its purpose. However, to keep everything clean, it’s wise to say, ‘I did two primer coats and one paint coat’ or vice versa. Telling someone I did four coats while painting can be confusing since this seems impossible in most cases; you’ll have a hard time applying the same paint repeatedly. 

Also, you will not get a smooth surface and a perfect sheen with four coats. So, it will be like a joke saying this when in reality, you meant two paint coats and two primer coats.

Can You Prime a Wall/Surface with Existing Paint?

If your painted walls have cracks or peels, you can prime them. However, you need to use a suitable primer that will stick on the paint without any struggle. If the old paint is a different shade from the one, you intend to paint the primer to help conceal the difference easily. But ensure you apply enough paint coats to get the perfect sheen.

Between Paint and Primer Which One Is Expensive?

You will spend more money buying paint than on primer. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid using either of them as each has an important role they play on surfaces or walls.

Is It Possible to Use a Primer as a Topcoat?

Primer is not meant to work as a topcoat. Instead, it should act as an adhesive that helps the topcoat (paint) adhere to surfaces. But if you prime your walls after painting to conceal a crack in a small spot, it can work though you’ve got to re-prime it later on.

Why Not Use Paint Primer?

Even though some people use paint only as self-priming, it’s not advisable to do so. If you don’t prime the surfaces before painting, you’ll not get a professional look. Not Priming will also prevent the paint’s color from shining and make your walls look dull.

Bottom Line

Primer cannot be used as paint as the two perform different tasks on surfaces. Paint gives walls color and sheen, while primer helps paint stick better on surfaces. Primer also helps conceal dirt which otherwise would require you to use several coats of paint to disappear. Note that paint has pigment, which allows it to give color to surfaces, while primer has resins that enable it to work as an adhesive. However, the two work best when used together. 

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