4 posts / 0 new
Last post

Is primer always necessary before painting walls?

A. Spruce
Re: Primer/Paint

On fresh, new walls, yes, on previously painted walls, it depends on the condition of the painted surface, and whether you're going lighter from a dark color or not.

Re: Primer/Paint

The definitive answer is - it depends :)

I often say that it is NEVER wrong to prime, but often it is overkill. If you are going over a quality paint of a low sheen, such as flat or eggshell, you don't neccessarily need to prime. Obviously, if you are significantly changing the color, either much lighter or darker, and you are changing the color family, i.e. pink tone to a blue tone, etc., you will probably need to two coat the walls.

I have a very scientific test for whether a quality paint is on the wall: wet your hand and put it on the wall. If the paint darkens as the water soaks into the paint, prime the wall! This is often the case in new homes where the builders' painter has used cheap, contractor's grade paint which is full of chaulk.
I always primed the walls when I was the first painter after the builders' paint job.

If you paint over dry, poorly sealed walls, the color might actually cover, but the paint will be very streaky.

Often a paint color mixed from full bodied white paint will cover better than a primer and finish coat combination. This is because a quality white paint will have more white pigment than a primer. Primers have several functions: seal stains, seal the wall in general, promote adhesion of the finish coat to a glossy paint, and finally, to facilitate a color change. To this extent, the amount of white pigment is lessened to promote all the desired qualities.

Even after decades of painting, I really never knew in advance if a color was really going to cover in one coat. I could make an educated judgement, but the proof was in the pudding.

I hope I haven't given you too much detail!

Re: Primer/Paint

I posted on Painting forum but it looks dead..
So here it is again...

Hi guys/galls,
I am painting a couple of new interior doors and baseboards. How many layers of primer and how many of semigloss paint should I apply?

Can I dilute acrilic paint with water to make it spread better and dry with as least brash traces as possible.

What is the best way to paint a louver door -brush ? sponge? roller?
Did anyone use this new 2-in-1 primer/paint by Beehr? Any good?

Thanks a lot.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.