As you may know, primer is the layer of paint that goes on a surface to prepare it for the final paint color you intend (primer is usually white or off white, and always clearly labeled). We know it sounds like a lot of extra work to apply a whole layer of paint before you move onto the color that you actually want, but primer isn’t just for show, it can make a big difference and may help you save a lot of money in the long term, too. Here’s why using primer is a good idea.
Primer Improves Paint Bonding
House paint is designed to be as reliable as possible, but it doesn’t always bond well to a surface on its own. Even bare wood may not bond perfectly with the paint — which can cause peeling issues later that require repairs and repainting. Other surfaces, like masonry, are even worse materials for bonding properly to paint. Primer helps fix this problem by creating a new layer that paint can adhere to very easily (primer is designed to bond more easily with a wider variety of materials), improving results and preventing problems.
Primer Protects Against Wear and Aging
We already mentioned that primer can help prevent peeling, but its benefits go beyond that. Primers also act as a minor sealant for the surface. This helps prevent moisture from seeping into the paint from behind and causing bubbles or other issues, as well as damaging the surface itself. This is particularly important when painting exterior surfaces, especially surfaces that may absorb moisture more easily.
Primer Conceals Blemishes
Blemishes are marks that are easy to notice in a surface, such as a joint, or dark knot of wood. When painting around your home, especially with lighter colors, a layer or two of normal paint may not be enough to fully hide these blemishes, which is usually something homeowners want to avoid. Another primer benefit is that its extra layer is ideal for concealing these blemishes so that when the final layer of paint dries, nothing shows through.
Primer Prepares Dark Surfaces
When painting dark surfaces, especially with light-colored paint, it can be difficult to fully obscure the surface even with multiple layers of paint. Fortunately, a layer or two of primer can help prepare the surface so that when you start applying layers of your intended paint color, they will effectively cover the colors beneath. The end result is a smooth layer of paint with a hue that’s not affected by underlying colors.
Keep in mind that you don’t always need to use primer as a separate coating of paint. There are some situations where you can skip the primer stage. Brand new drywall, for example, is already a great surface for paint, and you may be able to use a house paint that has primer included in the paint mixture for surfaces like these.
If you have any other questions about primer and preparing surfaces for a long-term paint job, just ask! Give Tarheel Painters a call and we will help you make the right decisions!