Should you use Primer When Painting Your Home Interior?

Should you use Primer When Painting Your Home Interior?

Now that there is paint and primer in one, to make painting easier and quicker, you may think there is no need for a separate primer but depending on what you are painting, that might not be the case.

There are still some areas in which you need a separate primer.  While the primer and paint in one can reduce the steps of painting a room here is some instances where you will still need a separate primer.

  • Newly hung sheetrock
  • Natural wood
  • Painting over darker colour with lighter colour or over glossy paint
  • Grease or oil on wall
  • Concrete
  • Cinderblock walls


If you have hung new sheetrock you will need a separate primer.  The reason is the primer will keep the colour uniform  and if there is any grease or oil that may have gotten on the sheetrock the primer will keep it from bleeding through the paint.

Natural wood

If you are painting natural wood for the first time, you will need a primer to keep the number of coats of paint down. Again, this will also keep the colour uniform through the entire wall area or piece of furniture or door.

Painting a lighter colour over a dark colour

If your wall colour is a dark colour such as brown and the paint colour you have chosen to paint over it is a light cream colour then you are going to need to add primer to your job. Painting over the dark colour with a separate primer will make the lighter colour stay light instead of darkening. It will also prevent bleed through of the darker colour.

If you are painting over a glossy paint, first rough it up with a quick sanding and then apply primer. After that you can then apply the fresh paint in the colour of your choice.

Grease and oil

If you are painting a kitchen where there is grease and oil on the walls you not only need to wash the walls and dry them but apply a primer to keep the grease and oil from bleeding through the new paint. This would also apply in a garage.

Concrete or cinderblock 

If you applying paint to concrete walls, floors, or driveways you will need a primer and paint specifically for concrete. The primer helps the paint adhere better to the concrete and keeps the number of coats needed down. The primer also helps keep the colour uniform from start to finish.

If you plan on painting cinderblock walls in either your unfinished basement or in your garage, you need to start with a primer and paint specifically for concrete. Once again the primer seals any water, oil, or grease stains and keeps them from bleeding through the new paint. You will also get a uniform colour start to finish.


So while many of the new paints come with primer in them, there will still be times in which you need a separate primer for the job. Following the advice in this article you will be able to always know when to use a separate primer.

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