Paint Primers – When To Use A Paint Primer

Primer is the foundation coating applied on the surface before painting. It is also termed as base coat or sealer, when applied to different surfaces. Primers have the ability to adhere to the intended substrate. In this way, they provide protection to the original surface underlying the primer coating and ensure better grip or bond of paint to the surface. In addition, primers increase the paint durability and gives smoother look.

There are different types of primers available dependent on the usage. Some primers are manufactured to bond well with metal surfaces, while others are designed for masonry such as, concrete building materials or brick walls. Each of these material needs a bit of different care. It is necessary to choose a right type of primer to recognize how the final painting project turns out.

Primer products are engineered to form a binding layer that is better prepared to receive the paint, allowing the finishing paints to hold on much better, than if they were used alone. Primers are used for their good filling and binding properties with the material underneath; they seal pours and allow an even sheen and pleasant exterior to the finish coat.

When to Use Paint Primers:

  • Primers should be essentially used for new dry walls or ceilings where no paint was applied before as it seals the walls and provides a smooth uniform surface.
  • Priming is also a good option for water stained walls, ceilings, metal or materials which are not water-resistant.
  • Priming can be done on surfaces which are difficult to clean frequently, also on glossy surfaces and bare wood.
  • Tinted primers close to the color of the finishing paint can be used to achieve the true color when the new paint is deep in color. They can also be used before painting light colors over the existing dark colors. Although, it is commonly believed that primers are not designed to cover intense colors and they are chiefly used for their efficient filling and binding properties.
  • Use primers before painting surfaces with different product or color; for example, if walls and ceilings are already covered with oil based paint product and you are planning to use acrylic paint.

When Not to Use Them:

  • There is no need of using primers if you are using similar product or color for re-painting a surface; for example, acrylic paint on acrylic.
  • As well as, it seems an unnecessary burden of applying another coat of paint primer before painting, it is more expensive and certainly more work.


For the long-term result, it is important to choose a quality primer product as per the painting needs. A good quality primer will provide a solid foundation for the entire paint project. It will provide good adhesion. It will build an effective barrier against stains, moisture and create a uniform and attractive top coat.


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