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It’s important to paint with primer to ensure that a home has a consistent paint finish. It will help to block water, smoke stains and grease from seeping past the outside coat of paint and into the surface. Primer will also cause the topcoat of paint to adhere better, so that the paint color looks richer and lasts much longer.
To prevent smoke stains and other blemishes from sticking to the wall or surface, you should opt for a stain blocking primer. These are available in either water based or oil based styles. The oil based style has a strong odor and you will need a paint thinner during cleanup. Oil based stain blocking primers are effective at preventing smoke, nicotine, rust, water and wood tannin stains. Water based stain blocking primers are less smelly, easy to clean up and prevent grease, scuff marks, crayon and ink stains.
If you are attempting to re-paint a surface that is already painted, you don’t have to prime the surface if it is in good shape, meaning that there is no paint peeling or chipping. Paint on home exteriors will need to be primed because of the pounding that it takes from weather. Interior painted wood will need spot priming and interior walls will only need priming if there are stains or if you are transitioning to a new paint color.
Before you paint with primer, you must clean the surface off from dirt, debris and anything else that will prevent a smooth coat of primer and paint from looking their best. Many experts will tint the primer with a small amount of the paint — if they are both oil based or both latex based — to help the topcoat fully mask the surface.
You can buy paint and primer combinations that include both in one formula. The paint and primer products are ideal when you are transitioning from one color to another, when you are painting over walls that are already painted that lack gloss, when repainting surfaces that are in excellent shape or when painting new drywall that’s uncoated.
The type of brush that you use will depend on your skill level and the nature of the paint job that you are attempting to complete when you paint with primer. Many painters recommend using a 3” to 4” brush for walls (and no more than a 6” brush). Some even opt for something as small as a 2” sage brush. Unlike regular brushes, sage brushes have longer handles that painting beginners can grasp easier. Be sure to purchase a quality brush that’s durable and applies paint primer evenly.
If you spill primer on the carpet, your cleanup will differ by the type of primer that you are using. If you are using shellac-based primer, apply ammonia to the spill and then attempt to wipe it out of the carpet. If you are using water or oil based primers, use a carpet cleaner like Spot Shot or Folex for cleanup. If you spill the primer on concrete, and it is an oil-based primer, use paint thinners such as lacquer thinner, turpentine, or mineral spirits and wipe it away with a wire brush. If it is a latex based primer, use a wire brush along with water for cleanup.
Proper planning is the key when you paint with primer.