Do you want to paint the walls in your home or even just a piece of furniture? Most homeowners get excited when taking on a DIY painting project. But it isn’t as easy as buying a pail of paint and a couple of brushes. Before a paint makeover, you need to understand the importance of using a primer. This guide tells you everything you need to know about applying primer before painting.
What is a primer and how does it work?
Technically, a primer is a coating applied to wood, melamine, glass, metal, etc. to facilitate paint adhesion. In addition, the primer acts as a barrier against corrosion and moisture. It also saves paint due to its sealing and filler effect. It consolidates and equalizes paint absorption, which leads to the best-looking finish. Applying a primer is a preliminary job that guarantees flawless and long-lasting results.
So that you can better understand how it works, think about a Velcro strap. The smooth part needs to be attached to the rough part in order to stick together. In the same way, the primer makes the paint “stick” to the furniture, wall, or any object you want to paint.
Are all primers the same?
No. There are different types of primers depending on their base. The most common ones include:
• Water primer, which is diluted with water.
• Solvent primer, which is diluted with a solvent.
• Epoxy primer recommended for exteriors and high gloss surfaces, which is also diluted with a solvent.
It depends on the type of paint you are going to use, but in general:• New and very smooth surfaces such as metal or glass
• Glossy, glazed or varnished surfaces
• Materials that require protection against oxidation and moisture or that will be placed outdoors
• Porous surfaces such as wood to prevent problems with tannins, etc.From a practical point of view, the primer helps the paint adhere more effectively, reducing the chances of peeling or cracking. At the same time, it enhances the appearance of the painted surface by giving it a more uniform color and gloss.The following are the different types of primers you can choose from:
- “Wash primer” and “shop primer”
These types of primers are the most used by professionals. The wash primer disinfects the surface, leaving it free of contaminants and then promoting good adhesion between the different layers.
The shop primer helps with the adhesion of the substrate and the different layers. They also usually have pigments that protect against corrosion.
These types of primers are used when the surface has some type of roughness. The goal of these primers is to fill those grooves or ridges that may have remained on the surface.
These primers are epoxy-based, so the drying time is longer and the layer is thicker.
These types of primers isolate one layer from another. It is generally used when a surface has been caulked and needs to be isolated from the rest of the layers.
- Primers for plastics
Plastic is quite a difficult material to paint. It is important to use this type of primer on plastic surfaces to ensure the grip of the final paint.
By using one of these products, you will reap the benefits of a primer and achieve that final look of a high-quality paint job, but without having to apply as many coats. That will save you a lot of time and effort – and maybe even a bit of money compared to just applying paint straight away.
You don’t save anything when you don’t use primer in your painting jobs. In fact, you pay for it in more paint as you may need more coats of paint just to achieve that same effect, but you might still have peeling problems in the future. Keep in mind that a primer serves an important role in any paint makeover project, so be sure to set aside a little money for it as it can prove to be a huge difference-maker.