Are you confused about when it's necessary to prime before painting? Use the following tips to help you understand when it's prime time to use a primer.
When Can I Use Paint-and-Primer-in-One?
Paint-and-primer-in-one formulations are best for the following projects:
- For painting over previously painted surfaces that aren't glossy
- For use as a spot primer over patched or spackled areas
- When transitioning between colors
- For repainting interior surfaces that are in good condition
- Repainting trim, windows, cabinets and doors
- Painting new, uncoated drywall
- Painting over previously painted metal in good condition
When Is Primer Necessary?
Paint alone has a hard time adhering to slick or glossy surfaces, which could result in peeling. Bonding primer is formulated to adhere to these surfaces, providing a sound base coat for paint.
Paint-and-primer-in-one is a good solution for some paint jobs but not all. Times when paint-and-primer-in-one won't suffice include:
- When you're painting over stain, you should use a stain-blocking primer. Many household stains will bleed through a paint-and-primer-in-one. Use a primer to seal the stain and achieve the best finish possible.
- When you're painting bare wood, use a primer to seal the surface. This will promote an even finish by reducing the rise of the grain. In particular, woods like cedar and redwood that contain tannin require primer.
- You can use paint-and-primer-in-one to seal porous drywall if you use a two-coat system (one coat works as a primer, and the second works as paint). However, primer is still the best option because it's more cost-effective and is better at sealing porous surfaces. The finish will be more even if you use a true primer.
- If the surface you're painting has been heavily stained by smoke, water, tobacco or graffiti, use a primer.
- Plaster, concrete and other extremely porous surfaces will paint more easily, and the resulting finish will be smoother if you use a primer.