Primer & Paint: Do You Need Both?

As professional painters, we get this question a lot.  Yes, we use primer and yes, we use paint.  We’ve even relied on products that combine the two!  But in terms of whether or not you need  both, it really depends on your home surfaces.  To help you decide, we’ll share some inside tips that we’ve learned from being in the business for more than 30 years.

What’s the Point of Primer?

Basically, primer works to prepare your walls for paint.  If your walls are in rough shape, this is an important first step toward a professional finish!  You might have damage, stains, or wallpaper glue residue still sticking to your surfaces. Rather than just painting over them and emphasizing these flaws, primer should give you a neutral background that allows the paint to adhere better.

It’s also beneficial for porous walls!  Depending on what materials you have in your home—and when you last painted—applying primer will stop your walls from absorbing too much color.  Although this sounds like a small reason, it could have a big impact on your budget.  Not to mention, it works in the opposite situation with low porosity, too.  Let’s say you previously had a very glossy finish on your surface(s).  Applying primer will give the new coat of paint something to hold onto, making it last much longer in the end.

Will It Make Your Paint Colors Brighter?

Although primer won’t actually change the color of your paint, it can make it seem that way. Since most primers are plain white, or a tint of your new tone, they provide a nice, even base coat for a bright finish!  This is especially important when your walls are already a darker color and you’re trying to move to something much lighter.  Unless you apply a good primer first, the original paint may still show through.  Causing your walls to retain a dim or dingy finish that changes the new color you chose!

What About Self-Priming Paint?

Honestly, if your walls are in good condition, you might be able to get away with self-priming paint. Essentially, this option combines both primer and paint for a much thicker coat overall.  As long as you make sure your walls are clean first and you’re not making any drastic color changes, you could save yourself the primer step and have a similar finish.  Just keep in mind that this isn’t a miracle cure—and it won’t provide the exact same look as a separate primer and paint.  You’ll also need to allow more drying time since we’re dealing with a thicker substance here.  So, while it reduces the number of steps, it may not make a huge difference in the actual time it takes to complete your next painting project.

Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on the popular primer and paint question!  After painting (and priming) hundreds of homes throughout Carroll County, Maryland and the surrounding areas, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.  Let our experts take a look at your home and handle every step of the process.  All you have to do is pick the perfect color! Then enjoy the look of a professional paint finish.  For more information on this and other services, please contact D & L Enterprises today!