Should I prime my walls before I paint?
Many people ask if it necessary to prime the walls before we paint. A majority of the time it is not necessary to prime first. On a repaint some painters will use a primer tinted to the color of the paint to save on materials. The first coat will be the tinted primer and the second coat will be the paint. We do not do this as two coats of paint will ensure an even finish that won’t flash due to sheen discrepancies.
When do you need to prime then?
Prime new patches, new texture and have stained areas. New drywall needs to be primed to seal the drywall mud and paper so you have an even finish with your paint. Repaired areas that have received spackle and/or drywall mud will flash if not primed. Water stained spots, crayons and other troubled spots will bleed through paint without being primed. If you removed wallpaper it is a best practice to prime the walls before painting. Sealing in smoke damaged or soiled surfaces that emit odor is another time when it is highly recommended to prime first.
There are many primers to choose from. Each serves a specific purpose. There are all purpose water based primers that do a little bit of everything. These can work for sealing patches, new drywall and sealing light stains. Oil based primers work better on blocking stains that can bleed through a water based primer such as water stains. They also seal in minor odors that may be from pets, smoke or other causes. Oil primers work well after removing wallpaper to help seal in any remaining glue residue that might still be on the walls. For severe stains (fire damage, water damage, nicotine, marker, pet urine) a shellac primer is your best option.
This is a quick overview of a few of the common interior wall/ceiling situations where it is recommended to prime first. If you want to save the priming for us give us a call on everyone’s favorite tool 697-5135 for a quote.