Applying primer is one of the traditional steps in the painting process. For many people, it seems like an extra step, one that adds to the cost and time of your project. Is priming really necessary?

What is a primer?

Primer is the base coat of paint, designed to seal, protect and provide a consistent surface for topcoats of paint. It‘s the first layer of preparation when undertaking a painting project. Some primers require mixing multiple parts while others are incorporated into the top-coat paint to speed up the painting process.

Why use a primer?

Primer is not a useless coat of white paint underneath your top colour. It has many benefits.

  • It seals pores in unpainted surfaces.
  • It covers imperfections (patches and/or repairs).
  • It provides a uniform surface for the next coat of paint to adhere to.
  • It ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface.
  • It helps block odours.
  • It brings the paint colour to neutral, ensuring your topcoat will have a true colour.
  • It optimizes the surface so fewer coats of topcoat paint are required.
  • It blocks and conceals stains, preventing bleed through.
  • It creates a base for a smooth, seamless paint application.
  • It saves time and money.
  • It ensures a universally smooth top finish coating. 
  • It prevents uneven absorption of the topcoat.
  • It prevents attack on the substrate by air, water or other elements.
  • It evens out porosity.
  • It increases paint durability.
  • Is less costly than paint helping you take care of issues with less expense. 

When to use a primer:

A primer is recommended:

  • On surfaces that have never been painted before
  • In areas where you are making a big colour change 
  • On new or resinous wood 
  • On metal 
  • When switching from a higher sheen to a lower sheen finish
  • If your surface has been repaired or patched
  • In humid areas (bathroom, laundry room)
  • When your surface is porous
  • When painting over an oil-based or glossy paint

How many coats of primer do I need? 

How much primer you need depends upon the material you’re covering and the condition of the material. You’ll need more coats if your surface is in rough shape, you’re making a drastic colour change, your material is porous and/or the present finish is high gloss. 

Should I use a white or grey primer?

Primer is available in white and grey. Use the white version when your topcoat is a soft paint colour and/or neutral tone. Use the grey primer for deeper, darker shades.

Primer reduces the number of coats of paint needed, protects your surface from wear and tear, seals the material, supports true colour and makes the painting project easier and less expensive. It ensures a quality paint job. All primers are not equal, so consult a professional painter when selecting primer for your project. They have the knowledge, experience and skill to make your paint project a success and ensure lasting results.

Looking for a painting company that ensures quality by using quality paints and primers? Call the Calgary painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 835-4817. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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