Do I Need To Prime Before Painting?

By PropertyClub Team
Feb 1st 2022
If you want to paint, there are many things to consider. Along with the color, you also need to determine if the primer is a layer you will add to before painting. Do you need to prime the walls? How do you know if this layer is a necessary step in the painting process?

Read on to learn more about how you can tell if you need to prime before painting. A few circumstances indicate priming is necessary before the layer of paint. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.

hash-markWhat is Primer and What Does It Do? 

Primer is a base coat that goes on the wall before adding a colorful layer of paint on top. It gives the color a flawless finish and ensures it will stick to the wall. It also helps provide better coverage and ensures the best color saturation.

Previously, the primer used to be necessary before every paint job. Now, only a few walls need a primer before painting. 

hash-markWhen Do You Prime Walls Before Painting?

1. If the surface is porous 

If the surface of your wall is porous, you need to prime the walls before painting. A porous surface absorbs everything, from grease to paint. Therefore, you will need to utilize the primer to seal the surface so that it doesn’t absorb the paint when placed on top.

Wood and drywall are some of the most porous surfaces. Ensure you prime them before putting paint on top of them. It will save you money and time.

2. If the surface is glossy 

A glossy surface might look nice, but it’s difficult for paint to stick to as a surface. Adding primer first will give the color something to adhere to on the surface. If you leave it glossy, it will take a long time to get something to stick to the wall.

Sanding a glossy surface will also make it easier for the paint to stick. A combination of sanding and primer will work best.

3. If the surface is stained 

The last thing you want after painting is for stains to soak through. If your surface has marks, a primer will seal them in and prevent them from breaking through the layer of paint.

Ensure the stains don’t come from leaks or mold growths that need to be taken care of ahead of time. Plug water leaks or remove the mold before painting.

4. If the surface has an odor 

Many are unaware that walls soak up odor, especially if they’re around smokers or people who cook with strong smells. Unfortunately, it can be impossible to remove the odor without tearing the walls down. 

To trap the smell, you can add primer to the surface. Eventually, the odor will disappear if you take this additional step.

5. If the color is changing drastically 

If you’re going from a dark color to a light color, you should prime ahead of time. This action will dull the previous color and help the new shade cover the old one better. Without a primer, the dark color might appear through the light hue.

You might not need to prime if you’re going from a light color to a dark one. The dark should have enough to cover up the light.

hash-markWhen Can You Skip the Primer? 

1. Your walls are in good shape 

If your walls don’t fall under any of the descriptions above, you’re good to go. Walls in tip-top shape don’t need a primer. Although you can add one if you want to, it will only cost more money and take up additional time you could spend doing something else.

You can get a professional to check out your walls or do it yourself. Look for pores, gloss, and everything else we discussed above. Once you’re sure, you can leave the primer behind.

2. Your new paint nearly matches the old 

If your new paint is similar to the layer on the wall, you don’t need to prime it. The new coat won’t stand out enough to warrant starting fresh with a priming layer. You can save money by putting it straight on top.

Of course, you might apply and notice the colors don’t match as well as you thought. Stop painting, let it dry, and add the primer for the best results. Ensure the paint job is as smooth as possible for a gorgeous finish.

3. The paint you’ve picked already has primer 

A few paints come equipped with primer already inside. Although they can be more expensive, they’ll save you money and time by packing everything into one convenient package.

Ensure your wall needs primer before investing in this combination paint. It might not be worth your money if you have pristine walls.