What Homeowners Need to Know About Paint Primer

Painting Blog On Primer

If you’ve been looking over painting blog posts for some ideas on how to paint your home, you’ve probably come across information about priming. What does this mean, exactly? What is it used for? Primers are specially formulated products that must be used to prepare surfaces for the paint finish. The primary purpose of primers is to adhere to the substrate and create a uniform surface that is ready to receive the paint coats.

Primers can also be used to act as seal pores in permeable materials such as wood in order to prevent knots, stains, and tannins from bleeding through – particularly after surfaces have become damaged from elements.

Different Types of Primers

There are many different types of primers ideal for specific situations. In order to understand their intended use, you must familiarize yourself with the different types:

  • Masonry Primer – It’s recommended to apply a masonry primer before you begin painting. Some masonry surfaces have high pH levels, which can lead to adhesion problems if you apply a coat of paint directly onto the surface. As long as you use a quality masonry primer, you should be able to safely paint over a broader range of pH levels without worrying about adhesion loss.
  • Bonding Primer – Slick surfaces, such as glazed block, ceramic tiles, and certain types of vinyls, don’t have the best adhesion and require a specially-made, quality bonding primer.
  • Acrylic Primer – This high-quality primer will seal and fill in cracks. It bonds really well, and is ideal for projects involving bold colours  – especially if you are going for a bright or dark hue. However, it can be costly. An affordable alternative is a high-build primer, which can be used as an undercoat.
  • PVA Primer – If you’re dealing with fresh drywall, you may need a Poly Vinyl Acelate primer. It’s generally inexpensive and formulated specifically for sealing a surface. PVA primer tends to take small amounts of tints effectively.
  • Stain-blocking primer – This comes in a variety of forms for different uses. BIN primer, for instance, is recommended for covering walls damaged by smoke. If you need to paint over water-damaged walls, an Alkyd primer should be applied with 2 – 3 light coats.
  • Multi-purpose primer – Many manufacturers are now offering these primers for universal application. However, use caution when purchasing this product, as it might not work for every single situation. Make sure the label specifically states that it can be used for your intended purpose.

dsc01675When to Prime

Do you even need to use primer for your project? Every unfinished surface, from concrete to drywall, should ideally be primed prior to painting. You don’t want to skip this step. When paint is applied directly to surfaces without primer in between, that paint tends to peel, chalk, and crack more easily.

If the surface has been previously painted, it may or may not require priming. The process is required if you are switching between latex or oil-based paint, or if the existing paint is failing. Don’t forget to sand and scrape deteriorating surfaces before applying a coat of primer.