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Priming your walls before painting may require additional effort and patience, but this extra step can make a ton of difference. If you are new to the world of DIY home improvement and want to spruce up the interior of your home with a fresh coat of paint, you may want to invest in a good quality primer to ensure your walls look smooth and flawless when you are done with them.
More often than not, homeowners choose not to prime walls before painting because of two main factors: cost and time. Applying layers of primer on a wall requires the same amount of work as laying down the actual colour coat, and since it gets covered up in the end, some decide to completely skip this important step.
However, as many fail to realise, applying primer before painting not only gives your walls a professional-looking finish but also reduces the number of coats you may need. In addition, it can protect the colour for years, keeping the hue from fading.
Since we have already discussed how to choose the right paint finish along with the differences between interior and exterior paints, it’s about time we talk about the importance of priming your walls.
Top Reasons to Prime Your Walls Before Colour Coat
Here are some of the top reasons to prime walls before painting.
- Primers are designed to provide a stable base surface for the colour to adhere. The slightly rough and porous texture of this material allows the paint to lock onto it with relative ease.
- It can conceal stains and cover other imperfections to create a uniform finish. If you don’t use a primer, you may have to use twice the amount of paint to achieve similar results.
- Using a primer can significantly reduce the number of colour coats, which could be very cost-effective since paints are usually more expensive than primers.
- It neutralises the underlying hue of your surface and keeps it from bleeding into the fresh coat, which allows the new colour to shine through.
Basic Types of Primers You Should Know About
There are three main types of primers available at hardware stores:
- Oil-Based Primers: They work well with both oil paints and latex paints. They are also the most suitable paint primers for metal.
- Latex Primers: These water-based primers for walls are less brittle than their oil-based alternatives. Moreover, they are mostly used on unfinished drywall.
- Pigmented Shellac Primer: They are a great choice for surfaces with severe smoke or water damage. The shellac-based paint primers for wood are also great at colour-blocking tough stains.
When To Use Primer on Walls
If you encounter one or more of these conditions, you should consider applying primer on walls before picking up the paintbrush.
If the Surface Is Stained
A paint primer works like a base coat, covering up any flaws in the surface to allow a smooth finish. Thus, if your walls have any visible stains or scuffs, using a good quality primer could increase the lifespan of your paint while keeping the surface spot-free.
If the Surface Is Highly Porous
Cement and concrete are inherently porous, which means most interior and exterior walls in homes across Pakistan have a highly porous surface.
If you apply paint directly on such walls, they will immediately soak up the colour. As a result, you will end up using more products and putting in more hours to get the job done. However, a primer can significantly reduce the porosity of a surface and cut the amount of paint required to spruce up the wall.
Similarly, brick walls and wooden surfaces also need a layer or two of primer before they are ready to be painted.
If the Surface Is Glossy
Paint does not stick well to base coats with a glossy finish. So, if you had previously painted your walls a glossy colour, you may have to lightly scuff the surface with sandpaper before applying at least two coats of primer. Otherwise, your paint will not be able to stick to the wall.
If You Are Changing the Colour from Dark to Light
Laying down light-coloured paint over darker hues can be a little troublesome. Hence, most experts suggest treating the surface with at least two layers of white pigmented primer. Doing so would allow the lighter colour to stand out with a few coats.
When You May Skip Primer on Walls
While it is always a good idea to prime walls before painting, there are a few conditions where you may be able to obtain desired results without prepping the walls.
If the Surface is Very Clean
You may be able to skip the primer if your walls are perfectly clean and in great shape. The easiest way to clean the surface before painting is to wipe it down with a mixture of tri-sodium phosphate and water. Although, if you can’t get your hand on this cleaning solution, you can simply wipe off dust with a soft microfibre cloth.
If You Are Not Changing the Base Colour
Sometimes, you just need a coat of paint to brighten up your home. If you are not planning to switch up your colour palette and want to freshen up the existing hue, you may not need a primer at all. Just make sure the surface is free of dust and debris before you begin painting.
Using Self-Priming Paints
Last but not least, you may forgo prepping your walls if you are using self-priming paint. These paints are relatively thicker and form a heavier coat. However, they are also more expensive and take a longer time to cure. So, you won’t be saving much money or time by using these two-in-one products.
To conclude, it is always ideal to prime walls before painting them. For this purpose, you can opt for oil-based, water-based, or shellac primers. Furthermore, the paint primers for interior walls can be different from those designed for exterior walls, so please make sure you are buying the right painting essential.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for more DIY painting tips, you should consider checking out the following guides:
- How to Paint a Room like a Pro
- How Long Does It Take for Paint To Dry and Cure?
- Paint Calculator: How Much Paint Should You Buy for Your Home
This brings us to the end of our blog on whether you should prime your walls before painting. For more home improvement guides, please stay connected to Zameen Blog – the best property blog in Pakistan. You can also share your feedback with us at email@example.com. In addition, don’t forget to visit and like our Facebook page to learn all about the latest real estate trends in the country.