Prime Time – Is It Still Necessary?

These days a lot of paints are available in self priming formulas so naturally a lot of our customers want to know “Is a primary really necessary?”  Most of the time, our answer is yes.

Primers solve a wide variety of problems with your surface, help paint to stick better and give the finish coat an even appearance.  Just think ladies.  When we’re putting on that special outfit, sometimes we need a little extra support underneath to lift, smooth and help us look our best.   That’s what the primer does for a paint!

TIP:  Painting over old varnish or glossy paint?  Skip the deglosser and pick up the sandpaper.  You might be tempted to save yourself time and elbow grease but while a deglosser only dulls the surface and can leave behind a residue that reacts with the paint, sanding, puts tiny scratches in your surface and ensures that your paint will stick well without peeling over time.

Painting new wood?  For interior doors, cabinets, or furniture you’ll want to seal the knots first so they don’t bleed through later.  For this we recommend a shellac (alcohol based) primer like Zinsser B-I-N which dries quickly and can be top coated with either oil or latex paints.   Start with a coat on the knots, then follow with two coats on the rest of your woodwork.

Some surfaces like glass, tile or formica are too smooth for paint to stick to without extra help from a bonding primer.  Sand well with a 240-360 grit sandpaper and apply a coat of a product like STIX made by Insl-x.  Make sure to read the manufacture’s instructions on surface preparation, time between coats and clean up.

Metals can also be tricky to paint.  Before priming, start by wire brushing your surface and getting rid of any rust or loose flaking metal.  Metal primers can be found in either spray or brush on formulas and since they are traditionally oil based do your priming outside with plenty of ventilation.  If you’re spraying, put on an extra coat to ensure a thick enough build.

TIP:  Did you know most primers can be tinted?  If you’re using a deeper colour as the paint store to tint your primer for better coverage.

For walls, start with your surface type.  Is it masonry or drywall?  Interior or exterior?  For most paint jobs on clean sound walls a multipurpose latex primer like Benjamin Moore Fresh Start will be a great option.  However, if you have peeling masonry or need a waterproofing primer for damp areas ask your local retailer  for a problem solving product that is formulated to tackle those issues.

A properly prepared surface guarantees that all the hard work you put into painting will give you a durable and beautiful finish that will last for years to come.

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