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Is Primer Paint Necessary? (Answered)

Is Primer Paint Necessary? (Answered)

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Primer paint which resembles regular paint has a high concentration of solids and adhesive binder. It’s used to seal off surfaces and create smooth, clean surfaces for the paint to adhere to.

In most cases, primer paint is necessary as it will help hold the paint in shape and prevent peeling off or cracks on the walls. However, sometimes you can avoid using primer and get better results. 

Read this article to know when primer paint is necessary, types of primers and what to use them for.

Should You Use Primer Paint or Not?

Primer paint is necessary in most instances, for example, when your walls are porous or glossy and you want to seal them off. However, there are times when it’s not a must to use primer on your walls. This can be when your walls are clean or if you’re painting the same color as before.

When Is Primer Paint Necessary?

There are several reasons you should use primer paint in your painting work.

#1 When You’ve Got Porous Walls

If you’re working on porous surfaces, you shouldn’t fail to use a primer before painting. Permeable surfaces are moist, with oil or absorb water and retain odors. If you paint a porous wall, you’ll use a lot of paint as the surface will keep absorbing your paint. But the primer will seal off these surfaces and make your work easier.

#2 Glossy Surface

A glossy wall doesn’t hold paint in many cases. So, if you decide not to prime it, you’ll have to do several coats, but still, none will stick. For this reason, you need to sand then prime the glossy wall for your paint to adhere in place. Sanding will give the walls a fine texture that both the paint and primer can stick on well.

#3 Stains on Walls

Another instance when primer paint is necessary is when your walls or surfaces have stains. The primer paint will enable you to hide the stains as it’s a perfect sealant. But if the stains result from leakage, it’s essential to fix them before priming.

#4 Work Surfaces Have Odor

You should also consider using prime on walls or surfaces with unpleasant smells like cigars or pets’ odor. Remember, the walls can soak up any smell making your house uncomfortable to stay in. However, if you prime them with high-quality primer paint, the smell will disappear and will never be your problem again. But if you paint regular paint, the wall will keep the odor all through as they don’t have the right properties that can do away with the smell.

#5 If You Want to Paint a New Drywall

You should also not make the mistake of painting new drywall without priming. If you do so, the wall will keep absorbing your paint, and in the end, you’ll have thick paint marks on the surfaces that look ugly. But the primer will give it a clean, even finished look, which beautifies your space.

#6 Painting Unfinished Wood

Don’t hesitate to use primer paint as the unfinished wood will keep absorbing your paint, making you spend more than you should have. Additionally, the wood grain will make your walls have an uneven finish which can be boring. To avoid this, prime before painting.

#7 Painting Over a Darker Color

If you want to change the color of your walls from dark to lighter shade, it’s advisable to prime first. Remember, the dark paint will show through if you paint a lighter color over a darker color. It’s best to prime the walls to avoid having such a scenario, reducing your workload. If you work with paint alone, it will force you to apply several coats of light color paint to hide the darker color, which will be costly.

Effects of Not Priming Surfaces Before You Paint

Even though some painters ignore using a primer before painting and instead apply additional coats of paint, this is not advisable. Remember, both the primer and paint have their purpose on the walls. So, if you don’t want to get undesirable results, it’s best to prime before painting.

Failure to do this you’ll see effects like:

  • When you don’t prime your walls, they’ll have rough and blotchy spots. But the great effect of having uneven surfaces is that they’re prone to become porous. In addition, it will be expensive to even out such walls using paint as the surfaces will absorb much paint.
  • It will result in an uneven ratio of pigment to topcoat, which interferes with the sheen of the walls and makes you have an un-uniform color. This means that the color on your walls will be lighter than it should be or look washed out in some areas.
  • The paint will peel off or crack off more so during humid days.
  • You will also have challenges cleaning your walls after the paint dries off as it will look dirtier than before, or it will wear off while you try removing dirt.

What Type of Primer Paint Should I Use?

Your primer paint choice largely depends on the surfaces you’re painting. For example, if you’re working on drywall, it’s best to use a drywall primer to have a consistent look. On the other hand, opt for a wood primer that sticks better on wooden surfaces if you’re painting bare wood. Wood primer on bare wood also takes less time to dry off, saving your work hours.

Types of Primer Paints:

Masonry primer

This kind of primer paint is ideal for surfaces with high Ph. levels that affect how paint adheres on walls. You can also use masonry primer on masonry surfaces that experience efflorescence. This is because this primer is efflorescence-resistant and protects your surfaces from such problems.

Stain-blocking primer

You can use stain-blocking primers on surfaces that experience frequent water leakage, smoke stains or bleed through the topcoat. Stain blocking primer is also useful when you want to change the color of your walls from a darker shade to a lighter one.

Blocking primer

If you’re painting a slick surface like ceramic tiles with a glossy finish, the best primer to use is the bonding primer. It will help you have excellent adhesion on the finishing coat, preventing your walls from peeling off.

When You Can Paint Without Using Primer Paint?

There are some cases where you can skip priming your walls before painting. The conditions include:

If You’ve Very Clean Walls

You don’t have to prime your walls if they’re clean and in perfect condition. You can also clean your dirty walls before painting using a mixture of tri-sodium phosphate and water.

If You’re Painting Same Color as Before

Also, if you’re not changing your paint’s color, you can avoid priming the walls. Remember, primer helps hide darker shade which is not the case here.

Are Primer Paints Expensive?

Primer paints are way cheaper than regular paints. For this reason, you need to prime your walls or surface instead of applying several coats of regular paint, which will cost you a lot of money and require a lot of time to dry off.

Guide: Is Primer Supposed to Look Streaky (Everything Explained)

Bottom Line

Primer paint is necessary before you paint your walls or surfaces to help your paint stick better. It will also enable you to seal off porous surfaces and give them a perfect finish. Failure to prime your walls can make the paints peel off and have a non-perfect sheen. However, there are special instances when you can avoid priming your walls, like when they’re clean or repainting the exact color you had before.

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