Valor Home Services

Do I Have to Use Primer Before Painting My Walls?

I’ve gotten this question more than once, which is always my indicator that it’s worth sitting down to write an answer that everyone can benefit from.

That recent frequently-asked question has been, “Do I have to use primer before painting my walls?”

A coat of primer can seem like an unnecessary expense to some homeowners around town, but when we’re talking about interior painting, it’s just about always worth it.

Pro tips:

•Primer is always, always, always used when painting new drywall.

•It’s also beneficial if the paint below your new coat had a glossy or semi-gloss sheen.

•And finally, you’ll always need primer when painting over wallpaper and wood paneling (whether the latter is finished or not).

What are the different kinds of primers?

You can find primers in oil-based, shellac-based and water-based blends. Because of the VOCs the first two release, however, these are not used for interior painting.

Primer looks and spreads like paint, but it has a higher concentration of solids plus an added adhesive binder (the same binder, in fact, that’s found in carpenter’s glue). This consistency helps it fill imperfections.

When priming drywall

Priming new drywall is a must because the primer actually seals the paper and drywall mud together. These materials absorb paint at different rates, and if you skip the primer, you’ll never be able to produce a uniform topcoat.

It’s not just for new drywall, though. Primer is also used on previously finished walls, especially when the previous coat was glossy or has been covered with a greasy film.

Priming wallpaper and wood paneling

When you’re planning on painting over wallpaper, primer is used to help the paper absorb paint more consistently. The same is true of wall paneling. Primer is also applied to paneling to prevent the topcoat from peeling or bubbling later.

Valor Home Services is in town and online to answer any questions our Edwardsville, Caseyville and surrounding area neighbors have. Start the conversation with us today to get your own interior painting projects underway.