Should You Prime The Walls Before Painting?
There are various reasons people choose to do projects themselves and often times one of those goals are to save money. If you’re an inexperienced painter, a common question may be if you need to prime a wall before any home interior painting.
The simple answer is that it depends. One could assume that not priming could save money, but in some cases, not priming could cost you more money. Failing to prime a wall before painting may require more expensive topcoats to cover and get a beautiful finish.
The Indianapolis interior painters at Legacy Painting suggest using primers the following circumstances:
Patched or Repaired Drywall
Before painting, it is common to repair or patch the walls with some spackle or joint compound. If these repairs are small, you do not need to purchase a primer but apply a light coat of your regular paint on those areas once the spackle or joint compound is dry. This process is called “spot priming.” If you already have primer, simply use a little primer on those patch areas. It is not necessary to prime the whole wall if you’re using the same or similar color. When the “spot-prime” areas are dry, you can paint the wall normally.
Major Wall Color Changes
The rule of thumb is that a dark color will cover a light color well, but light colors will rarely cover dark colors – even with multiple coats. In order to save time and money, professional painters recommend using a good primer. If you are painting over a dark color like reds, navy blues, purples, and other dark colors, a primer with strong “hide” qualities will work well. Once the wall is primed, your top coats will cover beautifully.
Painting over Oil-based or Glossy Paints
In order for new paint to work well, it must have a surface to adhere. When the old paint is oil-based or has a high sheen, you can achieve a good surface to paint in the following ways: use sandpaper or a sanding block to scuff the walls or us a bonding primer that will stick to the underlayer. If you’re changing colors, you can use the primer without scuffing (although additional sanding won’t hurt). If you do not need to prime because of a major color change, it is cheaper to scuff the walls.
Skim Coats & New Drywall
Drywall and skim coats are highly absorbent and will require multiple layers of paint. It is better to apply one to two coats of a quality primer and seal the pores in those substrates before your top coat. Failing to apply a primer on a wall with new drywall or a skim coat will require multiple coats of paint, so prime it first.
Covering Stains or Odors
Stains happen. Whether you have grease spots, markers, or water stains (common on ceilings), it will show through the new paint. Also, cigarette smoke, smoke from a fire, pet odors and other strong odors can still be detected even after painting. When it comes to covering over many of these issues, painting contractors will normally use primers like Kilz or Zinsser B-I-N.
Do not use a primer to hide mold or mildew. Primers will not solve a mold or mildew problem and can only lead to additional growth. First, solve the cause of a mold and remove it before applying any primer or paint. Once those problems are resolved, you are free to apply your primer.
BONUS: Primer Tinting
Many professional painters will have their primers tinted before painting. Tinting the primer is an inexpensive way to bring the walls closer to the final color and can lead to fewer top coats. Ask your painter or local paint store about having your primer tinted or if it’s necessary with the color you’re using/covering.
Need A Home Interior Painting Company?
Legacy Painting offers interior and exterior residential painting services to homeowners living in the Greater Indianapolis IN Areas like Indy, Carmel, Fishers, Avon, Greenwood, and Greenfield and surrounding communities. If you’re looking for a free estimate on your home interior painting, call Legacy at (317) 560-7428.
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