When it comes to paint primer, everyone seems to have their own opinion. Some argue that you should put it on before every paint job, while others believe that putting on a coat of primer is just a waste of time. While paint primer does, objectively, improve the look of your paint, you could go without it in some cases. Here we discuss everything you need to know about primer so that you can determine if it’s right for your project.
What is paint primer?
Paint primer is essentially an undercoat that’s put onto a surface before your colored paint. It differs from normal paint in that it contains resins, rather than pigments, which provide a chemical bond between the surface that you’re painting on and the paint itself.
When should I use it?
Primer preps the surface you’re about to paint, smoothing over rough edges and covering up previous paint jobs. There are many reasons why you should use it, including the following:
- – If you’re painting over a darker color
- – The surface you’re painting is damaged
- – You’re painting on drywall, bare wood, or a newly skim-coated wall
- – You’re using latex paint over oil-based
- – You’re painting over metal or plastic
When can I go without it?
As important as primer can be for certain paint jobs, it’s not always necessary for others. Primer is mainly used when you’re painting on a brand-new surface, or a very old one. However, if your paint job falls somewhere in the middle, then chances are you don’t need to use primer. Here are a few signs you can skip priming your walls:
- – The walls are in good shape with no damage or stains
- – Your new paint is close in color to the original
- – Your paint already has primer mixed in