Understanding Paint Primer

Before applying colour coats of paint, primer should be applied to ensure a smooth, strong, long-lasting job. Here’s everything you need to know about priming.

The difference between primer and paint

The main difference between primer and paint lies in their respective chemical formulations. Primer makes use of an adhesive resin which helps create a smooth surface, while paint utilises a pigmentation formula.

The importance of primer

A wall which hasn’t been primed is easy to spot: chances are the surface will be rougher and less vibrant than you’d expect it to be. Primer makes rugged surfaces smoother and becomes an extra layer of protection for the coloured paint on top.

In fact, a single coat of primer with a single coat of paint on top provides a lot better finish than a double coating of paint without primer.

Primers also extend the quality of the paint job, preventing blistering and blotching in the long run.

Types of primer

There are two general categories of primer paint you should be aware of:

1. Stain Blocking Primer

If you have kids or pets, this keeps your walls blemish free. Use an oil-based primer if you’re after a glossy finish and you’re working on walls which have been damaged by water, smoke or rust. Use a water-based, or latex, stain-blocking primer to block solvent-based stains like crayon, grease and ink.

2. Coloured Primer

You can find primer in various accent colours which will work with whatever tint or shade you’d like to give your walls.

Working with surfaces

It’s important to choose the right primer for the right surface. Here’s how to tell what is best for the surface you’re working on.

  • Metal – Latex primer and good quality oil primers work best here as they prevent rust.
  • Bare wood – Use a wood primer to prevent moisture penetrating the surface and tannin acid from the wood causing discolouration.
  • Dry wood – Oil-based primer works wonders here by sticking to the surface, allowing a smooth flow of coloured paint on top.
  • Stained cement surfaces – Crack open some stain-blocking primer to prevent the growth of mould and mildew.

Pelham Painters are the prime choice

As you will have read, it’s no easy task choosing the correct primer. If you’re in any doubt, give Pelham Painters in Hobart a call and we’ll gladly take care of the job.