Why Is it Such a Big Deal to Prime Your Walls?
If you take the time to watch multiple online tutorials on interior painting, you’ll quickly notice that just about everyone primes their walls before painting. Unfortunately, many of the contractors who create the videos don’t bother explaining why primer is so important in the first place. Even if you know a bit about primer and its use, you might wonder why it’s such a big deal and if it’s really worth the effort in every situation. To help clear things up, let’s dig a little deeper into primer and its many benefits.
Why You Need to Prime Walls
Primer Acts as an Essential Barrier
The first thing you should know about primer is that it behaves like a seal, penetrating the surface’s pores (commonly drywall). By absorbing this initial coat of primer, your wall becomes better protected from moisture, bacteria, fungi, and other small particles that might try to make their way in. If you were to skip this step and simply paint your wall without priming, much of the paint would soak into the material’s pores, forcing you to apply additional coats. While you may need to apply multiple coats of paint to your wall after priming them anyway, it’s more cost-effective to start with primer and then perform residential interior painting.
Primer Contributes to a Smoother, More Even Paint Job
Even if your bare wall looks relatively even, you’ll soon find that painting directly over it can lead to uneven results. Primer not only acts as a protective barrier but also a practical buffer that makes for a more even paint job. Of course, priming isn’t the only form of surface preparation that contributes to a smoother paint job -- you’ll also want to clean and lightly sand your walls before priming and painting them. As long as you tackle this prep work, your interior paint should smoothly glide over your primed walls and provide a much smoother finish.
Paint Sticks Better on Primed Walls
Your paint job won’t be worth much if it doesn’t remain in place for a long time to come. While paint is inherently adhesive, it won’t stick nearly as strongly to a rough, dirty, and/or bare surface as it will to a smooth, clean, primed one. Indeed, interior wall paint sticks around (so to speak) for a much longer time when applied to a properly primed wall due to primer’s receptive nature. Simply put, priming is a big deal because it ensures that your interior paint job remains beautiful and durable for as long as possible.
Primer Helps You Achieve the Look You Desire
Lastly, we’d be remiss to leave out the aesthetic advantages of primer as well. Though slightly different from paint in composition, color, and purpose, primer can be seen as an initial coat of paint before the real painting begins. If you purchase tinted primer that matches (or even partially matches) the interior paint colors you plan on applying, you can more easily achieve your vision. For instance, if you wish to lighten up your dark blue interior with light blue paint, you may need a multitude of coats to fully conceal the darker color below. By applying a primer that’s the same light blue (or something even lighter) as your incoming paint, you can reduce the number of paint coats you’ll need to get the color you ultimately want. In other words, primer serves as a buffer or bridge between your previous colors and new ones.
Time to Prime and Paint Your Walls?
Perhaps now you better understand why those online painters always start with primer before painting. It’s worth noting that primer isn’t always necessary, however -- if your previous coat of paint is still in good condition, it’s usually fine to paint directly over it (after cleaning it, of course). Still, it’s never a bad idea to prime your walls, and now you know why. If you’re looking for more advice on painting terms and tips, Anderson Painting is happy to oblige. We’re also here if you’re looking for professional painters to prime and paint your surfaces.
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