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Do You Have To Prime Drywall Before Painting?

Wall priming is the process of applying an undercoat on the wall during painting, to help with the adherence of paint.

And yes you have to prime your walls because priming ensures that the paint does not wear out faster, the procedure also protects the surface of the wall that is being painted.

 So why shouldn’t you skip this important process, well, for one is that your paint will start to peel off, and since the paint that you painted without using a primer will not have adhered properly to the wall then cleaning will also be difficult later when the paint will have dried.

Wall priming comes with so many advantages some of which will be discussed in this excerpt, besides individuals who are not familiar with the basics of painting might consider priming as an irrelevant task because after all the paint and primer serve the same purpose.

And that is where they go wrong as the difference between paints and primer are worlds apart.

Primer basically constitutes resins whereas; paint is made of resins pigments.

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And so that you properly understand the reason as to why you must prime drywall before, painting is that primers do serve a very different but important function when used before the paint.

Some of which are to offer a sealed and stable surface for the topcoat paint, the resins in the primers are also known to seal the porous surfaces and acts as a bond to the surface.

The primary ingredient in drywall primers is polyvinyl acetate, a substance that is also found in the carpenter’s glue.

So when you use primer on drywall the above component makes your wall more receptive to paint.

What’s more, is that the level with which primer adheres to drywall is different (better) to how the paint will adhere to the same, but then again paint tends to adhere better to primer than it will on drywall, so it is more of a symbiotic relationship.

Types of wall primers

Primers are available in three different types, the first one is the pigmented shellac, then there is the oil-based and the latex.

Each of the above primers have the ability to offer good results when used on certain surfaces and in specific circumstances.

Pigmented Shellac Primer

The pigmented shellac primer turns out to be very versatile because apart from the wall it can also be used on metal, plaster, wood or plastic.

And when it comes to the wall, shellac primer works well on the interior paint jobs and as a spot exterior primer.

Now, if your walls have experienced severe water or smoke damage then shellac primer will be perfect to use, and if you have stains on your wall then the shellac primer will block them.

The advantages of using shellac primer is that they always dry up quickly, are highly adhesive and can be used with both latex and oil paints.

Oil-based primers

Oil-based primers can be used on both wood and metal, but its versatility is realized when it comes to painting wood because it works well with dry, painted and new wood.

When using the oil-based primers you will be required to use mineral spirits to thin it up, and for cleaning; the primer also prevents stains from being seen through the coats of paint.

The oil-based primers are however not very safe to use because they have been known to release volatile organic compounds that are harmful to people.

They also take a lot of time to dry up, at least 24 hours or even more, the primer, however, can be effectively used on both the exterior and interior surfaces.

The latex primer

Of the above-discussed paints, latex primer (acrylic primer) is the most versatile, as it can be used in plaster, masonry, painted metal, woodwork and on drywall.

So by choosing the latex primer, you are obviously going with the healthy choice as it has little or no VOC compounds.

Using it is also very easy because they are water-soluble and dry up faster.

Another interesting characteristic of the latex primer is that it has an impressive cracking resistance and if you are planning to use it on wood, you should first try it out on a small surface to see if it will raise the wood.

So now that you have an idea of the different types of primers that you can use, lets us dig in on the effects of not priming your wall before painting.

If you don’t use a primer prior to painting, too much of the pigment in the paint will soak into the drywall and the final color will be way lighter.

Worse still is that it may appear washed out in various places?

Have you ever seen walls that have a chalky finish and are rarely uniform in the outlook, well those are the consequences of not priming and they become worse once you use a low gloss or the semi-gloss paint as your top coat?

An almost funny fact about failing to prime your walls prior to painting is that during cleaning, the walls tend to come out dirtier than it initially was, and if you try harder to wipe off the dirt then the paint might as well come out.

When do you use a primer or the self-priming paint?

Self-priming paint is made of a higher caliber resin that helps in sealing the porous surfaces like when used on new dry wood or wall.

The self-priming paints are thus made to prevent you from applying three coats, as you strive to get even coverage; they have thus incorporated enough solids to help build a finish by applying just two coats.

So when do you use a primer?

If you have a drywall that is water damaged, you will need to use a primer the type that we have indicated above in the types of primers.

A primer will also be needed on a stained wall as they help prevent uneven coloring and bleed through.

And if you have a gloss coat and want to repaint your wall, then you will also have to first use a primer.