Is Paint Primer Really Necessary?
Paint primer has been a popular mainstay for prepping walls for heavy-duty painting. But how does paint primer work? Is it an important requirement for your painting project or just an unnecessary step? We will explain everything you need to know:
What is paint primer?
Paint primer is much more than the white paint it appears to be when applied. Paint primer helps to prep and protect your walls. Its benefits include sealing in stains, blocking stains and odours, creating a smoother finish and ensuring adhesion with your topcoat. Primer can also increase your paint’s durability, reducing the likelihood that it will chip or flake off. Primers come in many different finishes and types—including tinted primers—depending on the surface you are getting ready to cover.
When would you need to use primer?
Your painting project might need primer if you are painting over a dark colour. The primer will lighten the dark colour and create a blank canvas for you to paint the new colour over. Another common issue that calls for primer are blemishes on your wall such as water damage, mildew stains or grease patches. Also, primer is a must for painting over surfaces that new paint will not readily adhere to (such as a slick or oil-based surface, bare wood, wallpaper, metal or plastic).
When can you skip primer?
If your walls are in excellent shape, or if you are painting over an already-light surface, you may be able to skip using a primer. Other reasons you might want to skip primer include new paint that is similar to a previous colour or paint that already includes primer (which has become fairly common with high-end paint brands). If you have just small areas that need to be prepped, you can spot-prime as needed to save time and effort.
Paint primer might be an annoying “extra” step in your painting project process, but more often than not it leads to better and more professional results. And, primer is often strong enough to extend the coverage of your paint, saving you a second or third coat. Best rule of thumb: When in doubt, use paint primer before applying your final paint.
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