May 17 2011

What is a paint primer? When should it be used?

Category: Home Improvement


Paint PrimerA paint primer is typically added to a surface or area to prepare it before it’s painted. It is often added to provide an even finish, to block stains or other wall coloring, to provide durability & protection from the elements, and to allow the top layer of paint to adhere to the surface after the addition of the primer. Paint primers are manufactured to essentially act like glue and attach itself to most substrates. It will physically and chemically bond to the topcoat of paint if applied within the first 24 hours after applying the primer. So when is a primer needed? Adding a coat of primer is typically warranted for specific materials that are porous like wood, drywall, and concrete. Whenever cracks or depressions are present and an entirely flat surface doesn’t exist for painting, you should use a paint primer to fill and form a binding layer. Substrates that aren’t sealed effectively will significantly reduce the paint’s ability to set and will often peel or chip. What type of primer should be used? There are several types of primers that are available and their use will ultimately depend on the surface material, the condition, and the environment. Paint primers are typically offered in oil, shellac, or latex-based formulas. Each type of primer has different characteristics and uses a different solvent for thinning and cleanup.

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