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Prime Time for Exterior Painting

calander Jul 1 , 2020 user-iconAnderson Painting
Anderson Painting residential exterior painting

Conventional wisdom states that a home exterior should receive a new coat of paint about every 5-10 years, depending on a variety of factors. If you wait too long to freshen up the outside, your previous coat will most likely begin to fade, peel, and chip away. But when it’s finally time to perform some much needed exterior painting, there is more to the process than simply painting over the previous coat(s). For the best, longest-lasting results, you’ll have to do thorough prep work beforehand, such as cleaning (power washing), removing old paint, sanding, and, last but not least, priming.

While all of the above steps are often necessary and worth discussing, here we will dive deeper into the importance of primer.

What is Primer, Anyway?

Primer is a preparatory coating that is applied prior to the subsequent coats of paint. Primer often looks like paint, though its composition differs -- more specifically, primer is typically composed of approximately 20–30% synthetic resin and 60–80% solvent (with a small percentage of additives), whereas paint also contains binders and pigments. Most primers are white, though some do contain pigment.

The Importance of Priming

So, why might your Raleigh house painters be adamant about applying primer? Primer actually serves multiple important purposes when it comes to coating surfaces. First, it seals the surface underneath, preventing other materials from soaking into it or damaging it (especially important for exterior painting where environmental threats loom large). Second, primer provides a smooth, non-porous canvas that aids in the adherence of ensuing coats of paint. And lastly, primer can facilitate the sometimes challenging task of painting over a darker color with a lighter one -- especially if the primer is lighter than the new coat of paint or shares a similar pigment.

In short, primer acts as a crucial buffer between a new or previously-painted surface and new paint applications, ensuring the longevity and beauty of the paint job.

Is it Always Prime Time?

Now that you have a sense of the purpose of primer, you might wonder if there is ever a situation that wouldn’t call for this initial coat when painting an exterior. As it turns out, priming, while usually a good idea, is not always necessary. These situations that may not call for prime time include:

  • Painting over previously-painted exterior surfaces that have held up (i.e. no flaking or peeling) -- as long as it is cleaned and sanded, the older but durable coating can act as a fine surface for new coats of paint.
  • Using a combination paint-primer to coat your exterior -- there are many products that act as both primers and paint in one package. Just make sure you use a high-quality product or you might not end up with the best results.

If you’re unsure whether or not to prime before painting your exterior, reach out to a Raleigh painting professional for advice. Otherwise, play it safe and apply primer anyway.

Is Your Exterior in its Prime?

When it comes to time to update your exterior, Anderson Painting contractors can help you every step of the way -- from determining the necessity of priming to the final cleanup. For more about Anderson Painting and everything we do, call us today at (919) 610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!